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Old 02.08.2015, 23:47
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Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

Hi There!
Im hoping some of you might be able to guide me.... We are a family of 4 Husband 55 y/o, Wife 45 y/o, 2 boys 12 y/o, and 6 y/o. An opportunity came up for my 12 year old to play soccer in Switzerland for this upcoming year. There are very strict FIFA (Soccer Federation) guidelines for minors from other contries playing soccer. Basically we need to obtain Visas for something other than Student, and cannot mention that the reason we would like to come is Soccer. We really want our two children to experience the beautiful culture and language but need to move there for the right reason and it cannot be student visas. My husband is 55 on 9/24 and is self employed/semi retired. Funds are not an issue, and we do not want to work while there. Any suggestions from anyone on how to apply for the visa???? I would so much appreciate any advice? thank you so much
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Old 03.08.2015, 00:01
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

You'd have to apply for a residence permit based on your wealth... but it's not easy to get a permit to live in Switzerland as a non-EU, there would be no guarantee.

Where is Switzerland would your son play? It might be easier to get permission to spend a year in France or Germany if it is close to the border.
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Old 03.08.2015, 00:42
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

Don't underestimate just how expensive life is here.

Living in Germany would be cheaper - in theory.
But only if somebody gets a job (and thus health-insurance for the whole family).
Else you'd have to rely on private insurance - and that would cost potentially more than what you'd save by living in Germany...
Well, at least that's what I fear. You'll really want to do that math on this one.

I'd budget 100k at least. Doesn't mean you'll use up all of that, but just to be on the safe side...

One thing that comes to mind: Could your son live at an exchange-family for that year? I know it sounds absolutely cruel (I really doubt I could have done that, but then I was a sissy (sort of) at age twelve...). And I don't even know if that's legal at age twelve.
Does he speak the language of the part of the country where he's supposed to play? Does anybody from your family?
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Old 03.08.2015, 09:09
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

Since there would be no employer on this end requesting the residency permits for you, you are going to need a Swiss attorney in whatever canton you want to live in to guide your requests through the system.

It will be very time consuming, months and months and months, and may end with a bad result. I hope you are not on a deadline with this soccer thing.
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Old 03.08.2015, 09:25
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

I see from your profile you say you are Italian American. Does this mean you have/can claim Italian nationality? If so, then if you do that you would then be able to move here without problems, providing you can financially support yourselves without working. EU nationals have the right to live/work in Switzerland and are not subject to the same rules as non-EU nationals. If all of you can claim the citizenship then you won't need to get Type D visas to enter Switzerland long term either.

However, there are a few other things to consider being Americans. First is that you will still need to file US tax returns and could owe the US tax on top of Swiss ones. Second you will need to sign a W-9 form to open any bank account here so said bank can pass the account info on to the IRS and any account/s that comes to over $10,000 at any time of the year must be reported on a FBAR form.

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

There are also the language issues. Your 6 year old will probably pick up the language at school and the Swiss are well organised for providing extra tuition in public schools for this - but the 12 year old may struggle even with the extra help. Do you really want to put him through this? If thinking of private schools they'll cost around 30,000 to 35,000 francs a year each on top of the 100,000 ranier_d mentioned.

If you have the nationality issued sorted then I suggest you contact the migration office of the canton you plan to live in to ask them what figure they'd consider is enough to get you a permit.
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Old 03.08.2015, 18:40
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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I see from your profile you say you are Italian American. Does this mean you have/can claim Italian nationality?
I would suspect that this is yet another case of an American describing their heritage rather than what actual passports they possess. It's a "thing" in America to claim heritage as nationality and/or citizenship. I suspect that if you asked 50% of the people living in New Jersey, they would identify as "Italian-American" with very few of them having dual citizenship.

Nevertheless, there is a back-door way out of this family's dilemma. If they could procure just the one permit for the soccer kid on some kind of L/student/soccer/scholarship status, then the rest of the adults could take turns as 90 day tourists. For example, if they can get just the one child legal status, mom could come for the first 90 days, dad the next, grandma the next and then mom could come back to round out the year.

Of course, no one is going to rent them an apartment with no adults having residency status, but, if they are truly wealthy then they could just stay in a hotel for a year.
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Old 03.08.2015, 19:55
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

Thank you all so much for your responses! Wow it sounds like a lot of work. So in answer to the questions: We are not that wealthy, its just we have our own business and can support ourselves there without getting a job there. We cant get a soccer permit because of the FIFA REGULATIONS, you MUST move to Switzerland for reasons other than soccer to be able to play. The FIFA federation states that the PARENTS must move there for reasons other than the children so student visas are out too. We are USA Citizens and as someone stated probably al of NJ is ITALIAN descent! but our passports are from USA. I am working on getting an attorney from Zurich. Ideally we would need to live in Waisellen as the international school and soccer are right there. We would love this experience for our family and our son would love to play soccer there for a year as you cannot compare USA to Switzerland soccer. Does anyone know anything about my husband possibly retiring there? would that be an easier way. I read that if he is semiretired than the family can join him ? Thank you all so much for your help! Sue
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Old 03.08.2015, 20:00
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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We cant get a soccer permit because of the FIFA REGULATIONS, you MUST move to Switzerland for reasons other than soccer to be able to play. The FIFA federation states that the PARENTS must move there for reasons other than the children so student visas are out too.
So why are you moving, again?

Tom
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Old 03.08.2015, 20:25
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

I am confused, OP. Are you retiring here or are you coming for 1 year? Those are two very different things.

There are ways for wealthy people to retire here. Consult your attorney(s).
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Old 03.08.2015, 20:44
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

It's probably a very slim chance you can live in Switzerland (as Americans) without being married to a Swiss or coming for a specific job or you're very wealthy.
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Old 03.08.2015, 21:31
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

Hi Tom
Initially this started out as my son being invited by the Swiss Soccer Scout but then we looked at it and thought it would be an amazing experience for our kids to study abroad for a bit and my son can learn soccer from the best as well.
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Old 03.08.2015, 21:32
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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Thank you all so much for your responses! Wow it sounds like a lot of work. So in answer to the questions: We are not that wealthy, its just we have our own business and can support ourselves there without getting a job there. We cant get a soccer permit because of the FIFA REGULATIONS, you MUST move to Switzerland for reasons other than soccer to be able to play. The FIFA federation states that the PARENTS must move there for reasons other than the children so student visas are out too. We are USA Citizens and as someone stated probably al of NJ is ITALIAN descent! but our passports are from USA. I am working on getting an attorney from Zurich. Ideally we would need to live in Waisellen as the international school and soccer are right there. We would love this experience for our family and our son would love to play soccer there for a year as you cannot compare USA to Switzerland soccer. Does anyone know anything about my husband possibly retiring there? would that be an easier way. I read that if he is semiretired than the family can join him ? Thank you all so much for your help! Sue


Not sure how much an attorney would help. You'd do better to contact the Zurich migration office directly and ask them about any possible ways to do it.

Migrationsamt des Kantons Zürich
Berninastrasse 45
Postfach
8090 Zürich
Tel.: 043 259 88 00
Fax: 043 259 88 10
Internet

Retiring here isn't any easier unless he can afford to support you all so you're back to the financial question again.

You do realise that you have to pay the school's fees as well don't you? That'll be in the region of 23-28,000 francs per child depending on which school you're talking about and that doesn't include the registration fees and additional outside of school activities.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 03.08.2015 at 22:03. Reason: fixed quoting?
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Old 03.08.2015, 21:47
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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You do realise that you have to pay the school's fees as well don't you? That'll be in the region of 23-28,000 francs per child depending on which school you're talking about and that doesn't include the registration fees and additional outside of school activities.
So, 150k+ in cash needed for a year.

(plus three months deposit for an apartment, forget a house)

Tom
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Old 04.08.2015, 13:00
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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Does anyone know anything about my husband possibly retiring there? would that be an easier way. I read that if he is semiretired than the family can join him ? Thank you all so much for your help! Sue
The "Swiss Authorities Online" portal has this brief description of non-EU citizens who wish to live in CH without "gainful employment":

https://www.ch.ch/en/retirement-or-study-switzerland/

EF recommendations to Americans wanting to live/ work in CH often mention determining whether they are eligible for EU citizenship via descent. Common EU citizenship by descent schemes include: Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta. There may be others.

If you want your children to experience living in Europe, but not necessarily Switzerland, you could review the opportunities presented by the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty (DAFT). This treaty allows Americans to set up a business in the Netherlands and obtain a work/ residence permit for that country.

Germany allows Americans and several other nationalities to move there without a visa which then needs to be applied for at about 90 days. More information can be found on the message board toytowngermany.com on how this works.

You should be aware that the Obama administration declared war on the Swiss banks about five years ago and Americans living and working in CH have been caught in the cross-fire. The US government characterizes our local bank accounts as "cross-border" and has sought to fine the local Swiss banks for dealing with us. As a result, the population of Americans has started to decline in CH, possibly also helped by the stagnant Swiss economy.
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Old 04.08.2015, 13:52
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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We are not that wealthy, its just we have our own business and can support ourselves there without getting a job there.
Sue, you have to realize that for non-EU citizens - who have no intrinsic right to residency here - simply being able to support yourselves is not enough to pique the authorities' interest. A non EU citizen trying to negotiate a deal based on wealth generally needs to bring assets of significant benefit to Switzerland. So how much is enough?

There is an old Swiss joke:

A foreigner walks into a Swiss bank, carrying an attache case. He looks around furtively, approaches the teller and whispers:

"I have a million dollars in this case, and I want to open a Swiss bank account."

The teller replies:

"But sir, there is no need to whisper. Here in Switzerland it is no shame to be poor."

Obviously an exaggeration but as with all jokes built on a grain of truth. You need to be quite wealthy to negotiate a deal outside the usual non EU permit routes.

There are companies that purport to smooth the way for UHNW folks, but for the rest of us mere mortal non-EU folks the barriers are very high.

As you look at negotiating a deal, you need to concentrate on how Switzerland can benefit from your stay here.

---

The reason that it's is so difficult for a non-EU person to come to Switzerland is that immigration is a political hot potato. There is growing anger among Swiss voters against immigrants. As Switzerland becomes more and more overcrowded and perception of quality of life here declines, that anger has been directed against immigrants, a visible target - and against the politicians that supported looser immigration policies.

Because of the bilateral treaties with the EU nothing can be done about EU immigration, so the response has been to cut the number of non-EU folks as close to the bone as possible.

There are a limited number of non-EU permits available, in all categories. Companies scramble to get these permits so that they can hire the staff they need. Your family, not working, and thus not paying significant tax - take up quota but don't contribute in the normal sense.

Again, you have to think in terms of how your stay here will benefit Switzerland.

---


And just an 'integration' point : It's football here.

---

Hope it all works out for you and your family - but you need to be realistic.
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Old 04.08.2015, 14:25
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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... There are very strict FIFA (Soccer Federation) guidelines for minors from other contries playing soccer. Basically we need to obtain Visas for something other than Student, and cannot mention that the reason we would like to come is Soccer. We ...need to move there for the right reason and it cannot be student visas...
Other folks have already addressed the difficulty in getting a permit as a non-EU. This was the bit that caught my eye. What sort of dodgy setup is this, that FIFA says you have to sort your own permits and they can't be student permits and you can't mention soccer/football. Sorry, but this sounds really odd, and would make me think carefully before uprooting the family.
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Old 05.08.2015, 13:28
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

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Nevertheless, there is a back-door way out of this family's dilemma. If they could procure just the one permit for the soccer kid on some kind of L/student/soccer/scholarship status, then the rest of the adults could take turns as 90 day tourists. For example, if they can get just the one child legal status, mom could come for the first 90 days, dad the next, grandma the next and then mom could come back to round out the year.
Another thought: Many children of wealthy foreign families attend boarding schools in Switzerland. If this is really about getting the child to Switzerland look into boarding schools. Then there is no need for the rest of the family to come, you can limit your visits to what is allowed as a tourist in the Schegen zone.

But I am curious - if your child, at 12, plays at the level where you are willing to uproot the family to further his training - why are you looking at Switzerland? Why not countries with far better youth football programs?


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What sort of dodgy setup is this, that FIFA says you have to sort your own permits and they can't be student permits and you can't mention soccer/football. Sorry, but this sounds really odd, and would make me think carefully before uprooting the family.
Dodgy? FIFA?
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Old 05.08.2015, 14:00
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

I can't get my head around the fact that FCWallisellen is sending football scouts to New Jersey.
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Old 05.08.2015, 21:41
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Re: Want to move from US to Switzerland for 1 year

I would agree, who would ever send a scout from Switzerland to NJ.... My son actually played at IMG in florida and thats where we met the Switzerland Coach and Scout at IMG as that is where they are always at.
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