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Old 12.05.2015, 03:40
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Visa Type D Question

I am an American who met a Swiss girl and am interested in living with her in Switzerland. I know that I will need the type D visa to stay in Switzerland for longer than three months. Basically I am wondering what are all the circumstances for issuing the type D visa. I know they are issued for working in Switzerland, full time students, and for family reunification. I am a software engineer and am going to try to do remote work, so I won't need to work for a swiss company. Could they issue me the visa based on the fact I have enough money to support myself and I wouldn't be seeking employment?
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Old 12.05.2015, 08:55
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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I am an American who met a Swiss girl and am interested in living with her in Switzerland. I know that I will need the type D visa to stay in Switzerland for longer than three months. Basically I am wondering what are all the circumstances for issuing the type D visa. I know they are issued for working in Switzerland, full time students, and for family reunification. I am a software engineer and am going to try to do remote work, so I won't need to work for a swiss company. Could they issue me the visa based on the fact I have enough money to support myself and I wouldn't be seeking employment?
Sorry, but you won't get a Swiss residence permit or Type D entry visa with remote working. You need a job with a Swiss employer because they have to apply for the permit on your behalf (you can't do it yoursefl) - and have to prove they can't find a Swiss/EU national who could do the job. If they can't get an permit application approved for you, you won't get a Type D visa issued. The criteria for non-EU hiring is outlined here:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html
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Old 12.05.2015, 12:19
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Re: Visa Type D Question

I have to be very blunt: not gonna happen. There is no chance you'll get a permit for Switzerland while working remotely from somewhere else for some company based wherever. Why would any country give you a permit under such circumstances? Anyone could claim to do "remote work" for any company anywhere in the world.

Also, you don't need a type D visa to stay longer than 3 months, you need a permit. You are only able to get a permit if you a) found a Swiss company/affiliate that was willing to hire you for a job actually based in Switzerland and b) if that company could prove that you are the only qualified candidate and there are no Swiss/EU citizens who could do your job (which is highly unlikely anyway and usually only applies to experienced managers or highly specialized experts in some field or other, plus a few other exceptions).

Sorry.

There might be other options how you could move here if that's what you want, though it's never exactly easy.
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Old 12.05.2015, 12:38
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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Could they issue me the visa based on the fact I have enough money to support myself and I wouldn't be seeking employment?
Yes, if your wealthy it's an option to live here, retired & not working.
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Old 12.05.2015, 15:48
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Re: Visa Type D Question

Isn't this like the 3rd or 4th thread this year on the same subject? I am too lazy to find the other ones, but they are all the same: some American wants to move to Switzerland to live with their girlfriend/boyfriend. My question is, who are all of these young, hot Swiss people and why are they in America picking up dates? And why are they telling their new boyfriend/girlfriend, "hey, come on over and live with me!"?

For the OP, we will give you the same depressing response that we have given everybody else, i.e. it's hard but it's not impossible.

1. If you are seriously wealthy, you, an international lawyer and the Swiss government can reach an agreement and you can move here.

2. You can find a job here and your employer can arrange a residency permit for you.

3. If your girlfriend lives in a canton that offers "Concubine" permits, she can apply for one for you on the condition that she be financially responsible for your upkeep for five years even if you break up during that time.

4. You can marry your sweetie in the US and then she can apply for a "Family Reunification" permit for her new husband and then you can join her.
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Old 12.05.2015, 16:14
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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Isn't this like the 3rd or 4th thread this year on the same subject? I am too lazy to find the other ones, but they are all the same: some American wants to move to Switzerland to live with their girlfriend/boyfriend. My question is, who are all of these young, hot Swiss people and why are they in America picking up dates? And why are they telling their new boyfriend/girlfriend, "hey, come on over and live with me!"?

For the OP, we will give you the same depressing response that we have given everybody else, i.e. it's hard but it's not impossible.

1. If you are seriously wealthy, you, an international lawyer and the Swiss government can reach an agreement and you can move here.

2. You can find a job here and your employer can arrange a residency permit for you.

3. If your girlfriend lives in a canton that offers "Concubine" permits, she can apply for one for you on the condition that she be financially responsible for your upkeep for five years even if you break up during that time.

4. You can marry your sweetie in the US and then she can apply for a "Family Reunification" permit for her new husband and then you can join her.
Financial aspect applies to point 4 as well. Not sure if a concubine permit would allow you to work either, though family reunification would.

Two things to bear in mind: for the concubine the cantonal migration office will ask detailed and very personal questions about your relationship, wanting to know how long you've been together as they want to see a long term, committed (i.e. leading to marriage) relationship. If you've only been together for a few months I doubt they'd grant a concubine permit.

Also as an American citizen you're still required to file US tax returns no matter where you live in the world and may owe US taxes on top of your Swiss ones. You would need to sign a W-9 form to allow any bank here to send your Swiss account info to the IRS and you would also have to report said account/s on a FBAR form annually if they come to over the aggregate amount of $10,000 at any time of the year. You wouldn't get a business account here either.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

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Old 12.05.2015, 23:26
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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Isn't this like the 3rd or 4th thread this year on the same subject? I am too lazy to find the other ones, but they are all the same: some American wants to move to Switzerland to live with their girlfriend/boyfriend. My question is, who are all of these young, hot Swiss people and why are they in America picking up dates? And why are they telling their new boyfriend/girlfriend, "hey, come on over and live with me!"?

For the OP, we will give you the same depressing response that we have given everybody else, i.e. it's hard but it's not impossible.

1. If you are seriously wealthy, you, an international lawyer and the Swiss government can reach an agreement and you can move here.

2. You can find a job here and your employer can arrange a residency permit for you.

3. If your girlfriend lives in a canton that offers "Concubine" permits, she can apply for one for you on the condition that she be financially responsible for your upkeep for five years even if you break up during that time.

4. You can marry your sweetie in the US and then she can apply for a "Family Reunification" permit for her new husband and then you can join her.
Thank you for the detailed replies. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do the remote option, but I just wanted to double check.

Which cantons support the "Concubine" permit? She lives in Lucerne.

It seems like trying to get a job is my best bet. As mentioned before, I am a software engineer. I am currently focusing on mobile application development. I have found some jobs in the Zurich area which match my skill set. How difficult will it be to land one of these jobs? Is it best for me to be over there when I apply?
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Old 13.05.2015, 08:29
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Re: Visa Type D Question

All cantons have the concubine permit, just some are more willing to issue one than others.

Possibly it could be easier to get a job while you're visiting, but there's no guarantee and you'd have to return to the States to apply for and wait for the Type D visa to be issued anyway while the company makes the permit application.
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Old 13.05.2015, 09:07
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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All cantons have the concubine permit, just some are more willing to issue one than others.

Possibly it could be easier to get a job while you're visiting, but there's no guarantee and you'd have to return to the States to apply for and wait for the Type D visa to be issued anyway while the company makes the permit application.
Does anyone have a link that provides information about the concubine permit for the Canton of Lucerne?

What is the german phrase for the concubine permit? I saw Lebensgefährtin was referenced in another post. I'm guessing all the information about the permit will be in german.
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Old 13.05.2015, 09:26
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Re: Visa Type D Question

I have a link for Vaud canton. Lucerne should be similar I would guess.

http://www.vd.ch/themes/vie-privee/p...s-du-concubin/

Also this link to other threads may help:

http://www.englishforum.ch/search2.php?q=concubine

Reading the most recent thread (2014) you'll see that Vaud wanted to see a relationship that's been in place for 3-4 years at least, whether Lucerne would require longer or not I don't know, but Vaud tends to be one of the easier cantons to get a concubine permit from.
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Old 13.05.2015, 09:50
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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How difficult will it be to land one of these jobs? Is it best for me to be over there when I apply?
Underlining the points already made:

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You are only able to get a permit if you a) found a Swiss company/affiliate that was willing to hire you for a job actually based in Switzerland and b) if that company could prove that you are the only qualified candidate and there are no Swiss/EU citizens who could do your job (which is highly unlikely anyway and usually only applies to experienced managers or highly specialized experts in some field or other, plus a few other exceptions).
Bottom line - it is difficult for Americans to move to Switzerland on a work permit these days, especially young Americans at the start of their careers. A non-EU candidate must have unique skills and exceptional experience that no other EU candidate has - the bar is set very high.

That you are non-EU is one hurdle, another is the toxic blue passport. Some companies have stopped trying to bring Americans here in any case, instead moving the job to the US if no other suitable candidate is available. The long reach of Uncle Sam means that only a select few Americans are worth the headache.

---

Your Swiss partner should be researching this stuff, by the way. Local connections and language are important. (How's your German/French/Italian/Romansch by the way?)

Wishing you all the best...
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Old 14.05.2015, 02:13
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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Underlining the points already made:



Bottom line - it is difficult for Americans to move to Switzerland on a work permit these days, especially young Americans at the start of their careers. A non-EU candidate must have unique skills and exceptional experience that no other EU candidate has - the bar is set very high.

That you are non-EU is one hurdle, another is the toxic blue passport. Some companies have stopped trying to bring Americans here in any case, instead moving the job to the US if no other suitable candidate is available. The long reach of Uncle Sam means that only a select few Americans are worth the headache.

---

Your Swiss partner should be researching this stuff, by the way. Local connections and language are important. (How's your German/French/Italian/Romansch by the way?)

Wishing you all the best...
Well I'm not exactly at the start of my career, I have six years industry experience after university. I would think in the software and technology field they would be more open to hiring Americans, as America is kind of the leader in that field.

Yeah I have her helping out for jobs with people she knows. My German is pretty basic at the moment, but I am interested in becoming fluent.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 14.05.2015, 02:51
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Re: Visa Type D Question

If a big company or university wants you, they can make it happen. Smaller companies may find it harder to manage.

Google and IBM have software engineers in the Zurich area. I once met an ETH researcher earnestly looking for a python programmer to do a 1 year gig, and willing to hire from overseas if necessary. UBS and the other banks have a non-trivial number of developers keeping their stuff running. There are probably other whole industries I'm not thinking of. So it is possible, and you should certainly look around and apply.

On the other hand Zurich is only so big, so there is no guarantee.

Good luck!
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Old 14.05.2015, 19:49
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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I would think in the software and technology field they would be more open to hiring Americans, as America is kind of the leader in that field.

Research FATCA.

(Then write your congress critter.)

Thanks to our loving Uncle Sam, the playing field is no longer level. Americans now pretty much face an uphill battle when looking for work abroad because we come with all sorts of headaches that our competition from other countries are not burdened with. Because of those headaches your skills have to be exceptional, or in niche areas, in order for a company to be able to justify going to bat for you.
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Old 14.05.2015, 20:42
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Re: Visa Type D Question

Type D aside, if you can set up a telecommuting arrangement with your employer for three months at a time, spending half the year in Switzerland is not a bad option. You can use the time to decide if you even like living here, develop/improve your language skills, meet some potential employers, and still strengthen your relationship. Depending on her work situation and ability to travel, you may find that you are only apart for a few weeks at a time.
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Old 14.05.2015, 20:46
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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Type D aside, if you can set up a telecommuting arrangement with your employer for three months at a time, spending half the year in Switzerland is not a bad option. You can use the time to decide if you even like living here, develop/improve your language skills, meet some potential employers, and still strengthen your relationship. Depending on her work situation and ability to travel, you may find that you are only apart for a few weeks at a time.
You need a work permit and that is not going to work working for a US employer. As several others already mentioned. And your permit expires if you leave the country for more than 6 months anyway.
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Old 14.05.2015, 20:59
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Re: Visa Type D Question

I think he's thinking the OP could do 3 months here as a tourist, leave for 3 months, then come back again for 3 months, then leave again. Unfortunately, without a permit granting work rights here that isn't possible and the OP wouldn't get one as he's not working for a Swiss employer. Plus what you're suggesting is illegal as he would be here as a tourist and tourists aren't allowed to work.
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Old 15.05.2015, 06:08
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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I think he's thinking the OP could do 3 months here as a tourist, leave for 3 months, then come back again for 3 months, then leave again. Unfortunately, without a permit granting work rights here that isn't possible and the OP wouldn't get one as he's not working for a Swiss employer. Plus what you're suggesting is illegal as he would be here as a tourist and tourists aren't allowed to work.
How is "work" defined by the swiss government? Is it defined as working for a swiss company? I saw that self employment work isn't allowed, though I don't really see how they could actually enforce that law for either self employed or the remote option. The government will have no idea I would be performing work while I was in the country, as I would just work for my laptop. I won't be opening a bank account or anything like that.
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Old 15.05.2015, 06:43
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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Not sure if a concubine permit would allow you to work either
My girlfriend (eu) came here on a concubine permit and was told she would have to reapply if she found work, though she was also told it would be painless as she was EU. That was some years ago, though, and it was really just a matter of informing the authorities when she found a part-time job. (Originally the iPad wrote Jon; yikes)

For an American, of course, the situation would be much harder.

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How is "work" defined by the swiss government? Is it defined as working for a swiss company? I saw that self employment work isn't allowed, though I don't really see how they could actually enforce that law for either self employed or the remote option. The government will have no idea I would be performing work while I was in the country, as I would just work for my laptop. I won't be opening a bank account or anything like that.
The definitions of both "work" and "illegal" apply to what you're suggesting, as does that of "tax evasion". Whether they will find out I can't say, but if they're looking it's not all that hard. Will you be bringing money into the country? Transferring money to your girlfriend's account? Using credit cards? All traceable.

Until this post I empathized, but if you're going to start exploring the illegal immigration option, that sympathy dries up pretty quick.
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Old 15.05.2015, 06:59
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Re: Visa Type D Question

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My girlfriend (eu) came here on a concubine permit and was told she would have to reapply if she found work, though she was also told it would be painless as she was EU. That was some years ago, though, and it was really just a matter of informing the authorities when she found a part-time job. (Originally the iPad wrote Jon; yikes)

For an American, of course, the situation would be much harder.



The definitions of both "work" and "illegal" apply to what you're suggesting, as does that of "tax evasion". Whether they will find out I can't say, but if they're looking it's not all that hard. Will you be bringing money into the country? Transferring money to your girlfriend's account? Using credit cards? All traceable.

Until this post I empathized, but if you're going to start exploring the illegal immigration option, that sympathy dries up pretty quick.
Thank you for the response, I'm certainly not exploring the illegal immigration option, was just merely trying to understand what is allowed and what isn't.
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