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Old 07.08.2015, 22:04
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EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

I am an EU citizen and hold a B-permit which I gained through my job. In the near future I will leave Switzerland for a work project outside of Europe. I will be working overseas for approx. 6 months and then spend another 1-3 months travelling, meaning that I will be outside of Switzerland for over 6 months.

My question therefore is: How can I maintain my B-permit and at the same time avoid having to pay for Swiss health insurance during my absence?

I have read somewhere that my employer can submit some kind of absence of leave request to the Swiss authorities. But would this also cover the period of time that I will spend travelling?

I really don't want to loose my permit as there will be a quote for EU citizens coming into Switzerland soon - I would rather not take the (though probably small) risk of being unable to return.
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Old 07.08.2015, 22:51
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

The maximum time you can be out of the country is 6 months at a time.

It may be possible to ask for your permit to be put on hold - you do this by asking your gemeinde/commune admin office for permission. One of the accepted reasons for allowing this is being sent abroad by your Swiss employer. Alternatively you could do the project for 6 months, return to Switzerland for a month say and then do your travelling, assuming your employer is happy with that. Working for a foreign employer on a project and then having a vacation will not be acceptable as usually the default answer the Swiss work to for putting a permit on hold is "no" and your permit would automatically become invalid after 6 months. But assignments abroad by a Swiss employer, military service and further education are the accepted reasons to put a permit on hold so speak to them about it.

I shouldn't worry too much about the quotas for EU nationals. Negotiations have hardly started with the EU yet and if they are eventually successful any proposed changes would have to be put to a referendum of the people to say yes or no. So nothing's going to change in the time you'll be gone.
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Old 07.08.2015, 22:53
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

You can only be out of the country for 6 months and keep your B permit.

If you keep your B permit, you must keep your health insurance!
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Old 08.08.2015, 07:50
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

Thanks Island Monkey & Medea Fleecestealer!

Couple more questions:

If I were to keep my B permit, does it mean I would have to pay taxes in Switzerland? (the country that I am moving to is a 3rd world country and they won't collect taxes from me)

And if I loose my B permit, can I keep my apartment (I would rent it out while I'm gone)? I am renting from one of the big agencies (Wincasa).
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Old 08.08.2015, 16:06
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

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Thanks Island Monkey & Medea Fleecestealer!

Couple more questions:

If I were to keep my B permit, does it mean I would have to pay taxes in Switzerland? (the country that I am moving to is a 3rd world country and they won't collect taxes from me)

And if I loose my B permit, can I keep my apartment (I would rent it out while I'm gone)? I am renting from one of the big agencies (Wincasa).
1. Keeping your B-permit means you are a resident here. That's what a B-permit is (residence and work permit). As such you have to keep paying insurance and taxes. If you request to put the permit on hold, and the request is approved, you're not a resident but will be when you come back.

2. Yes, you can keep your apartment, assuming the landlord agrees to you subletting it.

I don't know if this would work at all...but one idea would be to ask your employer to request the permit be on hold for 8 or 9 months for your assignment. Yes, you're only working for 6 months, but if the employer agrees maybe they would write your contract for the longer time period. You would work six months and take unpaid leave for the last one or two months. Again no idea if this would work but if all was legal and in writing it might be worth a shot.
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Old 09.08.2015, 08:52
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

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Thanks Island Monkey & Medea Fleecestealer!

Couple more questions:

If I were to keep my B permit, does it mean I would have to pay taxes in Switzerland? (the country that I am moving to is a 3rd world country and they won't collect taxes from me)

And if I loose my B permit, can I keep my apartment (I would rent it out while I'm gone)? I am renting from one of the big agencies (Wincasa).
You only pay taxes in Switzerland, as a B-permit holder, if you are actually working and earning money. If you are earning, you are taxed at source. If you are not working or earning anything here, then you won't be paying any income tax.

If your B-permit is cancelled because you inform the authorities of your temporary absence, this has no effect whatsoever on your ability to keep/rent an apartment here, Wincasa and the like are not immigration control. You can rent an apartment without being in possession of a permit or a job here for that matter.

If you absolutely set on keeping your B-permit whilst away, you would have to:
- not inform the authorities of your absence,
- retain your health insurance,
- retain an address (either your current one or give up your apartment and move your address (official residence) to an address of a friend or acquaintance in Switzerland by notifying the authorities of this, then move it again when you get back and find a new flat).

Last edited by plumtree; 09.08.2015 at 09:03. Reason: adding
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Old 09.08.2015, 09:58
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

This is Switzerland , you should know you cannot do anything without permission from the state and how dare you think of going and enjoying yourself travelling, enjoyment is only allowed if you have official permission in triplicate. Or do what we did leave and go to a country where enjoyment is permitted and encouraged.
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Old 21.08.2015, 23:22
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

May I ask a very related question? While it is okay to be out of Switzerland for 6 months, is it required to have an apartment in the country during that time? Will not having an apartment with a Swiss address have any negative impacts on insurance or anything else?
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Old 22.08.2015, 13:01
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Re: EU B-permit holder, absent for 7-9 months

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May I ask a very related question? While it is okay to be out of Switzerland for 6 months, is it required to have an apartment in the country during that time? Will not having an apartment with a Swiss address have any negative impacts on insurance or anything else?
You don't need to have a home or specifically an apartment here. You do need to move your residence to somewhere in Switzerland (like at a friend's place), whilst you're away. In theory you could leave your official/registered residence at the flat which presumably you want to give up for the 6 months or so, however it will be more obvious that you are not living there if you do this. What is probably essential is that you have an address at which you can still receive post whilst you are away.
This way you avoid having to give up your permit. You can be away for a long period of time, as long as you basically keep on top of the post, for example if there are any official communications from authorities etc. You could always have post redirected too.
What exactly do you mean by negative effects on insurance? What type of insurance?
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