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Old 19.12.2014, 02:41
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Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

Hi everyone.


I'm looking to find out if the information I was given is correct. I recently found a position within Accenture Switzerland (I work for Accenture in Chicago now), and the skills required were a perfect match, but they need someone to start in mid January and that is not enough time for the work permit process. Position has been open for last 6 months and they were not able to find a candidate in Switzerland or EU; so the chances of work permit being approved were on my side.


They cited two reasons they can't give the job:
1. cost to obtain the work permit. This is what I need to know if this is true information. The recruiting/transfer person said it will cost about $20K to the work permit. Is that anywhere in the ball park of what it costs?
2. the lead time is 6 months. This I trust since reading many blogs here. Most people say the same thing, even if some get the process done in 3-5 months.


Thanks
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Old 20.12.2014, 15:46
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

No idea on the costs, but the time limit could range from 3 to 6 months I guess.

If they don't want to spend the money there's nothing you can do about it.
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Old 22.12.2014, 22:57
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

yeah I know the timeline can be up to 6 months, so that correct. But the costs is what I'm after. I just don't see it adding up to that much without any relocation assistance.


Most people say about CHF2000 for lawyers and about CHF500 for work permit fees.
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Old 23.12.2014, 10:16
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

I strongly suspect, this is a polite way of saying they don't want you, maybe because you are American as this is difficult to mix with the current laws with regards to banking and financial sectors.
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Old 23.12.2014, 10:50
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

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yeah I know the timeline can be up to 6 months, so that correct. But the costs is what I'm after. I just don't see it adding up to that much without any relocation assistance.


Most people say about CHF2000 for lawyers and about CHF500 for work permit fees.
Also, some consulting companies say they can't fill the role so they can bring cheaper staff from India. Then the cost of the visa process can be covered by lower salary. I feel sorry for some of the staff shipped in from India, I met some who arrived without a winter coat, it was -5. Zurich is so expensive it would have taken a months pay to buy one.
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Old 23.12.2014, 11:52
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

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yeah I know the timeline can be up to 6 months, so that correct. But the costs is what I'm after. I just don't see it adding up to that much without any relocation assistance.


Most people say about CHF2000 for lawyers and about CHF500 for work permit fees.

I dont know how much my company paid, but they definitely couldnt afford 20k and still got me here. Maybe they are estimating 20k including relocation and the person relaying information communicated incorrectly?
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Old 23.12.2014, 15:01
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

Companies still go through the extra time, expense, hassle of applyinging for non-EU work permits for those few staff who are unique, who bring significant immediate tangible value to the firm, who are deemed worth the (significant) effort.

Positions that falls outside those narrow parameters, however, are more likely today filled with EU folks, even if not quite as good a fit, as the cost and effort to bring anything but top tier non-EU folks to Switzerland, especially Americans, simply isn't worth it.


I'm not sure what you are after, Roach7. Switzerland's immigration policy is actively seeking to reduce the number of non-EU folks here. There is a cap on non-EU permits, and the numbers have been cut drastically for next year. It's unfortunate, but it is the cold hard reality non-EU candidates face today.



(Ironically, in the face of restricted immigration several Swiss companies have started outsourcing IT to new low cost labor locations... in the US.)

I hope you find the job you are looking for... But today, Non-EU folks would be wise to look for career growth elsewhere.
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Old 28.12.2014, 07:36
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

Yeah I know the government restrictions are all stacked against me, but I think this could be person handling transfers just looking for an excuse not to do her job.


Since the transfer is employee triggered, the relocation costs would not be in play. I don't see the costs getting anywhere close to the estimate she provided.


And this was not the case management wanted to say thx but no thx. The position and my skills/experience are very much aligned so they jumped all over the chance at hiring me. The work permit got in the way, it really shouldn't have. So I have to somehow crack this transfers lady, and get above her to see if anything can be done in future.
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Old 28.12.2014, 21:58
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

Good news OP, unless they have already hired somebody for the position, it is unlikely that anyone is going to start in that job for another 3-6 months (the average notice period for most employment contracts here).

My advice is for you not to try to "crack" the transfers lady, but let your (potential) future office deal with her. To the transfers department, they are the "client", if they want you badly enough, they can escalate the situation until she has to try. Effectively, you need to do an end-run around her without seeming manipulative in this process.

My advice, OP, would be to send your potential future boss/hiring manager an email stating that you are interested in the position, that you would be willing to make the move as soon as may be feasible, but that you have spoken to X in the transfers department. X has suggested that there currently isn't any American support for your Swiss work permit for reasons that you don't really understand (feign complete ignorance of the system). Ask him/her if (s)he would be willing to enquire what the potential problems might be from his/her end. You might find that they disappear. Or you will discover if they are legitimate concerns. Either way, you'll have your answers...
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Old 28.12.2014, 23:18
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

When staffing projects with one of the Big4 in Switzerland my experience was that they charged 5,000 chf for each permit to do the dossier, forms, etc. This was a fixed cost that was allocated to the project for that specific person. It is nowhere near your 20K USD but it was fixed and I believe was more of a political decision than it was based on real cost. The real cost would be lower. The permits were all for EU no US.

I believe Big4 in Switzerland like to hire from one of the sister companies abroad as it is a lot easier to get done internally. The consultant would normally start on a two year loan with local contract (no expat facilities). Low risk for the local management and who cares in two years. It may also be the case with Accenture.

I would go for the job and climb as high as you need. They want you
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Old 07.01.2015, 14:02
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

Did you really get connected directly? If there is any kind of a man-in-the-middle or agency who published the vacancy then amount sounds realistic. These guys are expensive.
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Old 07.01.2015, 16:28
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Re: Work Permit Costs (employer/me)

if I read correctly you are already working with Accenture and it would be a move semi-internally. My description is without a middleman and you would not need a middleman as you are already a colleague I believe.

the costs are about the forms to fill in and all the documents that need to be in the file to go to the Canton. There is probably a Legal officer in the company that coordinates this as it is quite normal here in Switzerland to hire abroad.
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