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Old 23.07.2015, 23:59
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Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Hello, forum dwellers!

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but a search using the "quota" keyword didn't help. I have been in talks with a small Swiss company based in Zurich, and we seem to like each other. The next thing on the laundry list seems to be getting a working permit, which is, regrettably, somewhat difficult.

The good thing going for me is that I'm a specialist in a fairly narrow field. The thing working against me is that I'm Russian, which makes me a non-EU resident, with all the hassle and drama.

The company made their first attempt at getting a permit in June, but was told that the quarterly quota was used up. They tried again in July. Today I received another e-mail from them, basically saying that there's no quota again. It looks like the big companies who apply on a regular basis for a big number of staff take it all, and there's no quota left for small companies who apply for only one person.

I'm not even sure how to formulate the question, I guess I'm looking for any opinions and/or pointers on the situation and possible next steps. Could the "big company" story really be the case? Is there any way to squeeze in there? E.g., apply on specific dates, etc.?

Any help and opinions would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 24.07.2015, 08:51
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

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The good thing going for me is that I'm a specialist in a fairly narrow field. The thing working against me is that I'm a non-EU citizen Russian, which makes me a non-EU resident, with all the hassle and drama.

FTFY.
Switzerland is busting at the seams with EU citizens, skilled and unskilled, seeking work. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for non-EU citizens to come to Switzerland for work. Advice often given to non-EU citizens on EF, especially Americans and others from immigrant countries, is to determine whether they have claim to EU citizenship of any kind through citizenship by descent programs.

If you happen to have Polish, Slovak, Slovene, etc. ancestry, look into claiming citizenship. Also, Germany has (or had) a program for descendents of Germans in the ex-Soviet Union to immigrate to Germany as a "Spät-Aussiedler", even if the German ancestors were centuries ago.

I cannot speak factually about large companies having an advantage in obtaining available non-EU work permits over small companies. However, it would seem reasonable that large companies would know the processes better and may have more resources dedicated to obtaining these permits.

Switzerland is also being flooded by refugees. Although you might end up living in a tent, if you really want to come here that might be an angle.
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Old 24.07.2015, 09:36
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Also bear in mind that non-EU quotas were cut back this year to a total of 6,500 - 2,500 B permits and 4,000 L permits. That's for the whole year and to cover all the cantons. So quarterly figures are only 625 B permits and 1,000 L's to cover the whole country. Okay, not all cantons need or will use them, but it's still a small number. If they were divided up equally between the cantons you're talking 24 B's and 38 L's over 3 months.

Equally obvious is that Zurich will be one of the cantons using what permits it gets very quickly due to the large number of international companies based in the canton.

All I can suggest is that the company keep trying if they want you badly enough. They need to see if there's anything they can do to make their case for hiring you stronger. But ultimately, each application is costing them money so they may come to a decision that's it's simply not going to be worth their while continuing to apply.

If there's any way to you can claim another EU citizenship as Mullhollander suggests that would obviously make a big difference. Check it out and if it's possible apply for the citizenship and a passport asap.
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Old 24.07.2015, 11:03
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Thank you for your responses!

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All I can suggest is that the company keep trying if they want you badly enough. They need to see if there's anything they can do to make their case for hiring you stronger.
Here's where I'm a bit confused by the procedure. If they say that there's no quota left, what's the point in making a stronger case? Or does "there's no quota left" actually mean "we've reviewed your application and we don't think it warrants any quota expenditure"? I just thought that these are two different reasons for not processing an application any further.
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Old 24.07.2015, 11:38
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

The company may need to review its application to make sure it's as strong as it can be. Then if/when new permits are released they may stand a better chance of getting a permit. As Mullhollander said, big companies make these applications all the time and know what they're doing. If your company isn't one who applies often or at all, then there may be some things that could be improved in their application. If quota permits are going that quickly then it still may not be enough, but anything they can do to make their case stronger should be tried if they want to make another application to hire you.
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Old 24.07.2015, 13:08
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Got it! Yes, my feeling is they've never done this before, though they've employed the services of a local legal specialist when filing the application, so, I suppose, he's had some experience with this.

Once again, thank you for the helpful response!
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  #7  
Old 24.07.2015, 13:44
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Here are several ideas that could possibly function but you would need to investigate:
1) Obtain "favorable" non-EU citizenship: If you have a claim on one of the below citizenships, you could move to Germany, register within three months, work for the Swiss company (possibly as a contractor) for a total of six months in/ from Germany and then apply for Swiss Grenzgänger (permit G), as I understand it. These "favorable" non-EU citizenships are:
USA
Australia
Canada
Israel
Japan
New Zealand
2) EU Blue Card for Germany: Would it be possible for you to obtain a German Blue Card as a highly skilled worker, work for the company from Germany and then change the status to a Swiss Grenzgänger (permit G) after a period of time? (You would live on the German-Swiss border in Germany.) I don't know if this would be allowed but you could explore it.
3) Austrian Red-White-Red Card: Same scenario as 1) above. (You would live on the German-Swiss border in Austria.) I don't know if this would be allowed but you could explore it.
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Old 24.07.2015, 14:29
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

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2) EU Blue Card for Germany: Would it be possible for you to obtain a German Blue Card as a highly skilled worker, work for the company from Germany and then change the status to a Swiss Grenzgänger (permit G) after a period of time? (You would live on the German-Swiss border in Germany.) I don't know if this would be allowed but you could explore it.
This is an interesting option, as I would qualify based on what I have read - having the university degree and meeting the salary requirements. The only question is whether I would actually be able to work in Switzerland while living in Germany (I don't mean physically, I mean legally - would that constitute a good reason for asking for the Blue card)?
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Old 24.07.2015, 14:54
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

German Blue Card:
One possibility is that you apply for the German Blue Card as "self-employed", where you would plan to work for the Swiss company as your first customer but then your business plan would be to search for other customers.
After a minimum of six months, you would decide that it would be better to work full-time for the Swiss company and you would apply for Swiss Grenzgänger "G" permit status. You would then become an employee of the the Swiss company but would continue to live in Germany on the German-Swiss border.

The change to Grenzgänger status is based on this:
"Arbeitsaufnahme/Grenzgängerbewilligung

Um in der Schweiz einer Erwerbstätigkeit nachgehen zu dürfen, ist eine Grenzgängerbewilligung (Ausweis G) erforderlich. Diese wird vom zukünftigen Arbeitgeber beantragt. Für Personen aus der EU oder EFTA-Ländern wird die Bewilligung wegen des Personenfreizügigkeitabkommen dann erteilt, wenn Sie einen Wohnsitz ausserhalb der Schweiz haben[6] und in der Regel täglich an Ihren Wohnsitz zurückkehren. Sie dürfen an maximal 60 Tagen im Kalenderjahr nach Arbeitsende nicht heimkehren.[7] Für den Grenzgänger müssen zudem die gleichen Lohn- und Arbeitsbedingungen wie für Einheimische gelten. Zudem muss er mindestens einmal wöchentlich an seinen Wohnsitz außerhalb der Schweiz zurückkehren und gegen die wirtschaftlichen Folgen von Krankheit abgesichert sein. Für Ausländer außerhalb der EU/EFTA-Staaten gelten zusätzliche Voraussetzungen, welche erfüllt werden müssen:
  • Es besteht ein dauerhaftes Aufenthaltsrecht im Nachbarstaat der Schweiz <= I think the German Blue Card should grant this.
  • Der Wohnsitz in der benachbarten Grenzzone im Ausland besteht seit mindestens sechs Monaten <= need to have lived in the border area (of Germany) for at least six months.
  • Erfolgte Prüfung des Inländervorranges <= the company must search in Switzerland for a comparable person but it doesn't say anything about a quota.
I don't know that this will work but it might.


https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenzg%C3%A4nger

Austria Red-White-Red Card:
Russians are the second highest recipient of this permit, according to this article:
http://www.nzz.ch/die-rot-weiss-rot-...ter-1.18139383
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Old 24.07.2015, 15:01
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Would the German Blue Card grant the necessary residency status in Germany though to qualify for a G? In France you need to have French permanent residency status as well as living in a border zone. Is it the same for Germany?
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Old 24.07.2015, 15:37
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Good question: the Wiki page uses the term "dauerhaft", which I interpret to mean permanent.



German Blue Card is a permit for four years:

"Permission for staying for 4 years
The EU blue card is valid for the duration of the working contract but at the beginning there is a maximum of 4 years. When receiving the EU blue card for the first time it is valid for a maximum of 4 years or for the time of the working contract plus 3 months. Owners of the EU blue card get permission to stay after 3 years if their contract is still valid. If it is the case that the owner of the EU blue card can prove a language knowledge at level B1 the permission to stay can be given after just 2 years."


If four years is not considered "dauerhaft", it might be possible for a German Blue Card holder to work from Germany with the Swiss company as its customer and not as a employee with Grenzgänger status.
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Old 24.07.2015, 17:24
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

I'm not able to edit/ add to my above post so will add my comments here:
1) Due to fact that German Blue Card is for four years and not permanent, I am no longer optimistic that it would be acceptable to use it to apply for a Swiss G Grenzgänger permit.
2) If you're interested in pursuing a German Blue Card, you might wish to search on the toytowngermany.de message board and other expat message boards for Germany for relevant discussions.
3) At this time I do not have any other work permit ideas to discuss.
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Old 25.07.2015, 09:31
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

@belyakoff
An Indian software developer, with a four-year German Blue Card and working in Germany, reported that he was able to obtain a Swiss B permit for a new job in Switzerland. He had only been working in Germany for about one year. See this thread:

Chances of getting a B work permit for an Indian national living in Germany
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Old 25.07.2015, 18:11
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

Interesting, I'll have to explore the Blue Card option further. Thanks tons for your input!
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Old 12.09.2015, 07:25
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

belyakoff,

Hi Compatriot,
Any update on your case? I am in the same boat.
When does your company plan to re-apply for a permit?
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Old 24.09.2015, 12:47
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

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Hi Compatriot,
Any update on your case? I am in the same boat.
When does your company plan to re-apply for a permit?
Hey, mate!

Sorry, I didn't get to reply sooner. The latest I've heard from my potential employer, they tried in early September, but they told me that there are noticeable difficulties with all the refugees from Syria, Eritrea, etc. coming into the country. So they'll try again closer to the end of the year. Mind you, this is what they're telling me. I can't vouch for it being the complete truth.

Any luck on your end?
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Old 24.09.2015, 16:25
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

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Hey, mate!

Sorry, I didn't get to reply sooner. The latest I've heard from my potential employer, they tried in early September, but they told me that there are noticeable difficulties with all the refugees from Syria, Eritrea, etc. coming into the country. So they'll try again closer to the end of the year. Mind you, this is what they're telling me. I can't vouch for it being the complete truth.

Any luck on your end?
Hi belykoff,

It seems that I am in the same situation. My work permit is on the final stage. In normal situation, it will only take a week to issue the visa authorization letter, but I have been waiting for over a month for it. The HR told me there was a heavy workload in the Immigration office and I had to wait for more time
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Old 01.10.2015, 01:01
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

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Hey, mate!

Sorry, I didn't get to reply sooner. The latest I've heard from my potential employer, they tried in early September, but they told me that there are noticeable difficulties with all the refugees from Syria, Eritrea, etc. coming into the country. So they'll try again closer to the end of the year. Mind you, this is what they're telling me. I can't vouch for it being the complete truth.

Any luck on your end?
Thanks for update! I hope they do not stop issuing work permits with all these refugees. My employer is preparing the documents and applying shortly, so I have all the road ahead.

I wish you to get you permit finally!
I will keep you posted.
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Old 01.10.2015, 08:25
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Re: Working permit quota for non-EU resident

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Hey, mate!

Sorry, I didn't get to reply sooner. The latest I've heard from my potential employer, they tried in early September, but they told me that there are noticeable difficulties with all the refugees from Syria, Eritrea, etc. coming into the country. So they'll try again closer to the end of the year. Mind you, this is what they're telling me. I can't vouch for it being the complete truth.

Any luck on your end?
That may be the excuse they're using, but I doubt it's a fact. As far as I know permits for refugees, etc, fall outside of the quota allocations. After all part of the conditions is to be highly skilled/qualified and not all refugees will fall into that category. Plus according to this article in The Local Switzerland granted asylum to 6,199 people - which is almost the full non-EU allocation of 6,500 a year. If it were truly the reason no one else would be getting a permit to live/work here.

http://www.thelocal.ch/20150123/asylum-seekers
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