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Old 01.01.2015, 15:57
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Losing Permanent Residence

I wonder if someone can put a finger to my rather unusually tricky circumstances. I hold a Swiss residence Permit C and my family lives in Vaud . I left Switzerland in December 2010 to take up a job with the United Nations in Rome. This was a forced decision as I had assiduously tried and failed to find a regular job since arriving in the country in 2004. The Canton of Vaud gave me leave of absence for a maximum of 4 years which expired on 30 December 2014.

My employer has extended my contract by another year and is likely to continue doing so as I'm looking after their long-term leadership development programme. Here is where things are going all wrong for me.

Article 61(a) of the “Loi fédérale sur les étrangers" states that I will lose my permanent residence should I prolong my stay outside Switzerland beyond the stipulated period ( 4 years).

Essentially, this laws requires me to give up my job and return to Switzerland and go straight on the dole. A frightful and thoroughly depressing prospect. I wrote to the Canton authorities in June 2014 with a " what if " my contract is renewed hypothesis and never got a reply.

I wrote to them again in November 2014 attaching proof of my contract renewal and have not been favoured with a reply to date. Several calls to the Canton and ODM have not proved joyful. The question is, should I quit my job in order to save my residency status? Should I, at this moment, contact lawyers and have them deal with the technical details? I have no other country of residence save Switzerland which leaves me in a rather tight spot.

Would be grateful for comments and suggestions
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Old 01.01.2015, 16:02
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

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I wonder if someone can put a finger to my rather unusually tricky circumstances. I hold a Swiss residence Permit C and my family lives in Vaud . I left Switzerland in December 2010 to take up a job with the United Nations in Rome. This was a forced decision as I had assiduously tried and failed to find a regular job since arriving in the country in 2004. The Canton of Vaud gave me leave of absence for a maximum of 4 years which expired on 30 December 2014.

My employer has extended my contract by another year and is likely to continue doing so as I'm looking after their long-term leadership development programme. Here is where things are going all wrong for me.

Article 61(a) of the “Loi fédérale sur les étrangers" states that I will lose my permanent residence should I prolong my stay outside Switzerland beyond the stipulated period ( 4 years).

Essentially, this laws requires me to give up my job and return to Switzerland and go straight on the dole. A frightful and thoroughly depressing prospect. I wrote to the Canton authorities in June 2014 with a " what if " my contract is renewed hypothesis and never got a reply.

I wrote to them again in November 2014 attaching proof of my contract renewal and have not been favoured with a reply to date. Several calls to the Canton and ODM have not proved joyful. The question is, should I quit my job in order to save my residency status? Should I, at this moment, contact lawyers and have them deal with the technical details? I have no other country of residence save Switzerland which leaves me in a rather tight spot.

Would be grateful for comments and suggestions
In view that you say it took you a long time to find a job, to give the one up that you have would probably be foolish.

Either your family move to Rome or you continue doing whatever you've done for the last 4 years.

Finding jobs in 2015 is certainly not going to get any easier
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Old 01.01.2015, 16:02
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

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Essentially, this laws requires me to give up my job and return to Switzerland and go straight on the dole.
Not able to a help you in your full question. However, the Dole as you call it does not exist in Switzerland. There is something called RAV, that is something like an Insurance one pays into while working in Switzerland, but as you have been out for 4 years, do not believe you would qualify for it.

Hope someone else can help with your question.
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Old 01.01.2015, 16:24
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Thanks Moggy

At the time I left, I asked if I could contribute to the Swiss social insurance and that was denied. To make it simpler, I will have to give up career to go and live on state assistance to save my residency. Rather rummy I must say
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Old 01.01.2015, 16:34
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Maybe i'm missing something, but taking residence in italy and then going back through family reunification when you find something in switzerland wouldn't be possible? if your wife has c permit and is working it should be no problem even if you're extra-eu.
If your wife has a job going back could be an option, but you say you were 6 years without a regular job, so i'm guessing your chances would be pretty bad (unless this job with the UN is career making and the situation is different now), i wonder though between 2004-2010 the unemployment office couldn't find you a regular job but you found one in italy that's weird

Last edited by Meerkat33; 01.01.2015 at 18:13.
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Old 01.01.2015, 16:36
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

If your permit was on hold until the end of 2014… are you sure it's not too late?

I wouldn't give up a job, for a C-permit. You have residency in the EU, does that not work for you for now?
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Old 01.01.2015, 17:47
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

If his family is on permit C, too,


why would it be a problem for OP losing his C (besides having, in case, to restart up from scratch)?


Infact, just in case he should have to turn back to Vaud (his family living on La Dôle? Isn't this cold, especially in this period of the year? ), couldn't he be a dependent spouse?
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Old 01.01.2015, 18:00
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

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I wonder if someone can put a finger to my rather unusually tricky circumstances. I hold a Swiss residence Permit C and my family lives in Vaud . I left Switzerland in December 2010 to take up a job with the United Nations in Rome. This was a forced decision as I had assiduously tried and failed to find a regular job since arriving in the country in 2004. The Canton of Vaud gave me leave of absence for a maximum of 4 years which expired on 30 December 2014.

My employer has extended my contract by another year and is likely to continue doing so as I'm looking after their long-term leadership development programme. Here is where things are going all wrong for me.

Article 61(a) of the “Loi fédérale sur les étrangers" states that I will lose my permanent residence should I prolong my stay outside Switzerland beyond the stipulated period ( 4 years).

Essentially, this laws requires me to give up my job and return to Switzerland and go straight on the dole. A frightful and thoroughly depressing prospect. I wrote to the Canton authorities in June 2014 with a " what if " my contract is renewed hypothesis and never got a reply.

I wrote to them again in November 2014 attaching proof of my contract renewal and have not been favoured with a reply to date. Several calls to the Canton and ODM have not proved joyful. The question is, should I quit my job in order to save my residency status? Should I, at this moment, contact lawyers and have them deal with the technical details? I have no other country of residence save Switzerland which leaves me in a rather tight spot.

Would be grateful for comments and suggestions
So you did what? Worked sporadically for 6 years here? How did you get a C permit in that case? Are you an EU national? If so, then it doesn't matter about the C permit as you can easily have residence in Italy or anywhere else.

Why are you so concerned about keeping your residency here? Is it just because you don't want to move the family? If so, then you have no option except to quit your job and move back - unless by some chance your wife qualifies for a permit of her own (EU national). Then, although you'd lose your residency it wouldn't be too much of a problem to get it back when you eventually can return here.

If neither you or your wife is an EU national, then that's it I'm afraid. You've lost the right to live here and the family will have to move to Italy.

Also I wonder if you do still have a C permit - shouldn't it have changed to a Ci or carte de legitimation when you joined the UN? If you want to keep your job, you're going to have to give up the Swiss permit - whatever type it is.

The law is quite clear and I doubt any lawyer is going to be able to argue a case against it.
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:23
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Hello Folks

Thank you for all your thoughtful comments and suggestions. I need to keep the Swiss residency because that's the country which currently protects me under the Geneva Convention on the status of refugees. If I lose it, I become a no person and paperless.

As I said, coming to Italy was a forced choice and yes, the UN has enabled me to practice my profession with the prospect of retiring at 62. I have worked hard to keep my present job and being in the mid 50s, I am no hot cake in the labour market especially the CH one.

My family is still dependent on me and all the reason I need to keep my present job.I perfectly understand the law but am finding it hard to leave chuck a career to protect my residency status. Rather cruel irony but I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too.

Thank you all
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Old 01.01.2015, 20:30
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

I would see what the UN can tell you about your situation. They may have some advice which would help. Whatever, you need to come back to Switzerland in person and deal with it. Letters and e-mails aren't always as effective as face-to-face conversations.
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Old 01.01.2015, 20:33
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Are we talking C or CI permit, after all?


And the rest of the family what kind of permit do they have?




If one is stateless, then a C is better than a job with UN at Rome, of course. Unless it isn't that one detains an Italian permit with a perspective to get Italian citizenship. In this latter case maybe family should move with OP.
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Old 02.01.2015, 15:13
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Hello Folks

Thanks for the additional comments and suggestions. Yes , emails and letters don't always work. I went to see the fellows in Lausanne on 4 December and left rather flummoxed. They were still studying my letter sent in June and were also looking at my latest epistle sent in November.

All told, I was to receive an answer in a week's time. I called again last week and was told the headman looking after my case was away. I guess I have to sit tight here and wait. I do have authorisation to stay in Italy which is tied to my UN contract so no problem there.

The UN cannot help me, in fact, I could possibly lose my job if I cannot prove I have a place of permanent residency. I am trusting on the fairness of the Swiss system which has served me well in the past. But one cannot always trust a cupful of luck to be around when needed the most.

In 2007, I shared on this forum my travails in trying to get a job in CH and got much encouragement. I am back again still thrashing around in the shrubbery

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Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune
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Old 02.01.2015, 16:35
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

if i had permanent refugee status in switzerland i'd prefer losing my job than moving to italy, that's for sure, unless you benefit from some particular UN welfare plan. not nice living in welfare but in this case i'd understand.
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Old 02.01.2015, 17:18
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Your response sounds reasonable even though hard to accept.I have a pension which my employer will give me less his contribution if I were to quit now.
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Old 02.01.2015, 17:36
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

The UN should help you as they're the ones who have directly caused this situation for you. They knew at the start 4 years ago (I hope) that you would risk losing your residence permit if you stayed beyond that period. They need to look at some way to transfer you back to Switzerland or possibly convert your C permit into a G permit for cross border commuters if you could manage to return to Switzerland at the weekends. Not ideal losing the C, but at least you would keep some residency if you could commute.

The worry I have about you coming back here without a job is where have you been paying unemployment insurance? If it's in Italy, then I think you might only get a few months before it ceases and as you wouldn't have paid into the Swiss system you possibly wouldn't be entitled to any financial help from RAV.
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Old 02.01.2015, 17:41
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Is there a way you could do some of your UN work from home, with home being in Switzerland? Could you keep your job and commute (by train or lift-club)? Say, spending every second weekend plus a few weekdays at home? Or working on a project three weeks in Italy and one week at home?

If such a split is in any way possible, it would be a good idea to find out how many days (per month, per year, continuously, days within the past 6 months, etc.) you have to be in Switzerland for it to count as living here, or have to be in Italy for it to count as working there.

As always, enquire about this for the very specific municipality ("commune") in which your spouse and children now live (presuming that is where your expiring C Permit was issued, too), and for the very specific municipality in Italy. Rules different from canton to canton... that kind of logic may well apply in Italy, too.

I agree: don't wait for written replies from the Swiss authorities. It is you who wants/needs something from them, not the other way around. Compile your complete dossier so that, as soon as the offices open again after the holidays, you can take along all the documents you have and go to see them. Be ready to be heard, provisionally, by an intake clerk who may not be able to help you right away, and to be given an appointment to return, later, when the authorised person is available.

If there is any leverage for generosity or grace, given that it seems that your permit is, in fact, already expired, then I'd imagine this might be on account of your sans-papiers or stateless status. In that case, a supporting letter from the refugee/immigration authorities who dealt with your case, may be of help.
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Old 02.01.2015, 19:40
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

Hello Folks

Thank you all for the sensible suggestions. In fact yes, there is something called teleworking in the UN but it is done in extremely rare cases. I know a colleague who is teleworking from Malaysia because of a life-threatening medical condition. I don't know if such a humanitarian gesture could be extended on account of one trying to retain a resident permit.

My job requires a lot of talking to managers but not necessarily in person. So technically yes, I could do my work at a distance. Unfortunately my employer, would not easily change my contract terms to satisfy an immigration requirement. There are plenty other fellas who are regular and can do my job. The loss is all mine you see.

I am hoping that CH will understand there are people who through no fault of theirs, have to work elsewhere placing themselves in contrary positions to the law. My request to contribute to AVS was denied on account of working for non Swiss entity which means I will have to rely RI (revenue d'insertion) were I to return now. Rather frightful prospect I must say.

My prospects are rather dim but will take all this with some bit of fortitude
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Old 02.01.2015, 20:49
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

I would like to think that would be the case, but I fear the Swiss will say that, as you speak French, surely you could find some job here that you could do, even if it's only shop work, McDonald's, etc. They will see it as having been kind enough to accept your application to live/work here as a refuge you should be contributing to the Swiss economy which at the moment you're not doing.
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Old 04.01.2015, 02:29
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

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Would be grateful for comments and suggestions
Hi, UN has the unpaid leave policy for max 2 years, which means you can go back anytime within 2 years to the same position.

I think it's better to come back to Switzerland for 6 months or so to maintain your C permit and apply for another 4 years leave. I think a C permit is more valuable than a UN job unless you are P3 or higher
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Old 04.01.2015, 10:12
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Re: Losing Permanent Residence

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Hi, UN has the unpaid leave policy for max 2 years, which means you can go back anytime within 2 years to the same position.

I think it's better to come back to Switzerland for 6 months or so to maintain your C permit and apply for another 4 years leave. I think a C permit is more valuable than a UN job unless you are P3 or higher
This could be a solution asianm, but I think he might need to stay in Switzerland for at least a year before asking for the permit to be put on hold again. The Swiss can be touchy if they think you're trying it on sometimes. Still, it wouldn't hurt to ask at his commune office and the migration office to see what they say. They might agree that only 6 months would do.
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