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Old 26.04.2015, 04:13
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Girlfriend (non-EU) wants to join me in CH.

Dear all,

Apologies in advance if this thread has been discussed before. The situation I'm in is quite urgent though, so I didn't have time to review all the previous posts.

Here's the situation. I'm a swiss citizen and my girlfriend would like to come and live with me in Switzerland (she is from Serbia, which is not part of EU or AELE agreements). She first applied to masters here, got accepted but couldn't get a full-tuition scholarship. Therefore, the idea would be for her to find a job here and save for her MA (I do not earn enough to guarantee her financial security over here).

About her background : proficiency in english, graduated with honours from law faculty, had her own NGO and worked for the US department of State. Basical knowledge of french (as I'm from the french speaking region).

This is where I've got a few questions for those of you who know better immigration laws than I do :

1) Could she apply for a residence + work permit already before having found a potential employer in Switzerland? If so, what are her chances?

2) How reluctant are employers to apply to get non-EU members a work permit in Switzerland?

3) Would us being engaged change anything in the legal process (since this is planned for soon)?

4) Concretely, given her very high academical and professional achievements, what are her chances to land a job on the swiss market, due to the law giving Swiss and EU citizens priority over other countries' citizens?


I want to make clear that we aren't trying to mess up with the laws as I'm a very proud Swiss and she has a great respect and much affection for this country. Just trying to settle in Switzerland to reunite in order to achieve greater things as individuals and a couple.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 26.04.2015, 10:12
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Re: Girlfriend (non-EU) wants to join me in CH.

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Dear all,

Apologies in advance if this thread has been discussed before. The situation I'm in is quite urgent though, so I didn't have time to review all the previous posts.

Here's the situation. I'm a swiss citizen and my girlfriend would like to come and live with me in Switzerland (she is from Serbia, which is not part of EU or AELE agreements). She first applied to masters here, got accepted but couldn't get a full-tuition scholarship. Therefore, the idea would be for her to find a job here and save for her MA (I do not earn enough to guarantee her financial security over here).

About her background : proficiency in english, graduated with honours from law faculty, had her own NGO and worked for the US department of State. Basical knowledge of french (as I'm from the french speaking region).

This is where I've got a few questions for those of you who know better immigration laws than I do :

1) Could she apply for a residence + work permit already before having found a potential employer in Switzerland? If so, what are her chances?

2) How reluctant are employers to apply to get non-EU members a work permit in Switzerland?

3) Would us being engaged change anything in the legal process (since this is planned for soon)?

4) Concretely, given her very high academical and professional achievements, what are her chances to land a job on the swiss market, due to the law giving Swiss and EU citizens priority over other countries' citizens?


I want to make clear that we aren't trying to mess up with the laws as I'm a very proud Swiss and she has a great respect and much affection for this country. Just trying to settle in Switzerland to reunite in order to achieve greater things as individuals and a couple.

Many thanks in advance.
Yes, it's been covered many times before and actually it's not urgent - because nothing is going to happen quickly I'm afraid. Ill take your points one by one.

1. No. She must have an approved job offer before she can move here as she can't support herself financially and neither can you support her. See the link in 2 below.

2. That depends entirely on how desirable her skills/experience are. If they're in demand with few Swiss/EU national who could provide them then there's a good chance an employer would go through the non-EU hiring process outlined here:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html

If they're not in demand or even if they are but also plenty of Swiss/EU nationals who can do that job, it won't happen.

3. Maybe. You could apply for a fiancée visa, but I believe this would come with the proviso that you financially support her as she couldn't work until after you marry. There is also a concubine permit for couples who aren't planning to marry, but again that needs you to guarantee to financially support her for 5 years and I'm not sure it would allow her to look for work.

4. See answer 2.

Frankly I can't see much regarding her qualfications that would get her hired here. There are plenty of Swiss/EU nationals who speak English and I would assume also have law degrees. Most Swiss employers like to see a Masters on a CV as well so not having one may count against her. Whether her work experience in her NGO and for the US State Department would balance out the lack of a Masters or anything else to make her stand out as a candidate I don't know.
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Old 26.04.2015, 19:58
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Re: Girlfriend (non-EU) wants to join me in CH.

Hi

For question 3, I'm a non EU citizen and when we arrived in Switzerland I was engaged to my EU husband who had a B permit. We found through trial and error that being engaged didn't count for much legally. Once we were married and presented the marriage certificate it changed everything and it was all straight forward and I got my permit soon after that. However I have heard different rules apply in different cantons, we are in canton Vaud.
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Old 27.04.2015, 11:22
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Re: Girlfriend (non-EU) wants to join me in CH.

Simplest solution: get married.


1) Could she apply for a residence + work permit already before having found a potential employer in Switzerland? If so, what are her chances?

No, not possible.


2) How reluctant are employers to apply to get non-EU members a work permit in Switzerland?

They are not reluctant. There's simply quite strict rules around which non-EU citizens are generally eligible for a work permit. And unless someone is a seasoned manager or highly specialized, chances to obtain a permit are close to zero. For every non-EU employment, companies have to prove that there are no Swiss or EU citizens able to do the job. Given the EU offers plenty of labor force, it's clear that this applies for a tiny number of jobs only. Companies know that and will not bother applying for a permit - not because they don't want to, but because there's no point.


3) Would us being engaged change anything in the legal process (since this is planned for soon)?

Unlikely. An engagement is basically not more than a concubine and a concubine is not a legal status in Switzerland, i.e. there are no rights attached to it and this includes residence & work permits. You can try to get a permit on this basis, but you would need to act as a financial guarantor for her for 5 years. She might still not be able to work. Since you say you don't earn enough money to support the both of you, that option doesn't seem to be one, though...


4) Concretely, given her very high academical and professional achievements, what are her chances to land a job on the swiss market, due to the law giving Swiss and EU citizens priority over other countries' citizens?

A law degree won't make her stand out, even less so if it's only an undergraduate degree (I understand that's what she has). Tons of lawyers here, all with Masters degree plus bar admission, all with knowledge of Swiss legislation that speak fluent English plus one or two additional languages.

That being said, given her more specific background and your location in Lausanne, I would definitely try to tap into all the NGOs located in the Geneva area. Note that at least the big ones are highly competitive.

Also note that Switzerland doesn't have the most dynamic labor market, so you need to let go of the idea of trying to resolve this "urgently". Even for highly qualified and experienced nationals it may take months and months to find a job.

You should also definitely revisit the idea of enrollment at university, though that will not necessarily solve the long-term issue as she might still not be eligible for a permit after graduating. But at least it would give you a chance to live together or be near each other, possibly enough to consider marriage.
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Old 27.04.2015, 11:48
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Re: Girlfriend (non-EU) wants to join me in CH.

Even if you are married, for her to get a permit, either you have to show you can support her or she needs a work contract of her own.
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