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Old 06.09.2015, 17:30
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Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

Dear members,

Quick question; my wife is from outside of the EU, I am Dutch/German. We used to live in Germany (September 2014 till June 2015) and have been living in Switzerland since July 2015.

I already received my B-Permit.

My wife's permit for Germany will expire coming week - it was valid for one year. She has not yet received her Swiss B-permit.

Is she allowed to travel abroad, i.e. leave the country and come back? Will there be any complications at the border?

Any advice is much appreciated!
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Old 06.09.2015, 17:57
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

Hi Fred,

I'm a non-EU married to an EU national and I've been living in CH on a familial regroupment permit for more than ten years. Twice I've had to travel abroad while waiting for a physical permit to arrive. In both cases I simply asked at the commune for a letter of attestation verifying that my permit was being processed. The first time they charged me 17.- CHF and the second time the lady gave it to me for free out of pity because she said it was unreasonable that I'd had to wait so long for my renewal, and that it was the commune's fault, not mine. (True story!)

Travelled to the UK and back both times no problem with this piece of paper, both British and Swiss customs were happy to accept it. Maybe your wife could ask for the same?

(NB: Note that with my passport/nationality I do have free movement as a tourist within the EU anyway, so depending on where your wife is from this solution might or might not be quite so easy.)
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Last edited by HeatherM; 06.09.2015 at 18:12.
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  #3  
Old 06.09.2015, 18:17
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

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Hi Fred,

I'm a non-EU married to an EU national and I've been living in CH on a familial regroupment permit for more than ten years. Twice I've had to travel abroad while waiting for a physical permit to arrive. In both cases I simply asked at the commune for a letter of attestation verifying that my permit was being processed. The first time they charged me 17.- CHF and the second time the lady gave it to me for free out of pity because she said it was unreasonable that I'd had to wait so long for my renewal, and that it was the commune's fault, not mine. (True story!)

Travelled to the UK and back both times no problem with this piece of paper, both British and Swiss customs were happy to accept it. Maybe your wife could ask for the same?

(NB: Note that with my passport/nationality I do have free movement as a tourist within the EU anyway, so depending on where your wife is from this solution might or might not be quite so easy.)
Thanks for the reply. She's from Brazil.

I am guessing even if she runs into any "trouble" at the border, as a Brazilian national she still has the right to stay 90 days out of 180 days without any visa.

How long did it take before your permit arrived?
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Old 06.09.2015, 18:31
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

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How long did it take before your permit arrived?
First time (arriving in CH), around 10 weeks. The second time (renewal after 5 years), almost 6 months. But I live in a large and famously slow commune, friends in nearby villages often receive documents back within the same week. Permit processing speed really depends on where you live.

But I would guess that seeing as your wife can enter EU countries as a tourist without a permit she should be okay with an attestation letter. And with any luck her "real" permit will arrive soon.

Best,

H.

Last edited by HeatherM; 06.09.2015 at 18:51.
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Old 06.09.2015, 18:56
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

I live in Rheinfelden, Aargau. I was told that the summer months are especially slow, which is understandable.

However, in Germany it took them less than four days, from application to picking up the permit.
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Old 06.09.2015, 21:02
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

If your wife is here as a "tourist" effectively then you have to be careful of the 90 day rule. If she arrived in July then her 90 days are going to run out by the end of September if not before. Travelling out of the country for a few days and then coming back will not reset the clock.

Get an attestation letter from your canton migration office, that's the best way to avoid any problems.
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Old 06.09.2015, 21:26
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

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If your wife is here as a "tourist" effectively then you have to be careful of the 90 day rule. If she arrived in July then her 90 days are going to run out by the end of September if not before. Travelling out of the country for a few days and then coming back will not reset the clock.

Get an attestation letter from your canton migration office, that's the best way to avoid any problems.
But technically speaking, that would mean she wouldn't be able to really "move around".

We're in Rheinfelden, near Basel. We literally live 200 meters from the German border, meaning that everytime we go shopping on the German side, she's there illegally.

I've asked for one of these letters before at the municipality (not the immigration office, I know). They told me such a thing didn't exist. She needed one for her insurance. Her insurance wanted to be sure that she actually registered here in Switzerland and that she applied for a permit. The insurance didn't want to believe that her B-permit still hadn't arrived. All the municipality could give me was the "proof of registration" with a new date on it (dated 17th of August).

I'm confused. This would mean that any non-eu citized married to a EU-person has no right to travel until the canton decides to get to work and publish their permit, which, according to what I've read here, can take anywhere between 2 weeks till 6 months. Is it really such a lottery?

EDIT: She doesn't have any entry stamp in her passport, stating that she arrived in July 2015, so not sure when that 90 day count would start?!

We have plane tickets booked for a vacation (within the EU) this months, booked months ago, and I'm sure there won't be any issue when returning, but it's not a pleasant feeling leaving and coming back unsure if they will pull you out of the cue and make a fuss.
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Old 06.09.2015, 22:01
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

I'm afraid, yes it is very much a lottery here it seems. Every time I read of a delay in getting a permit or a tax refund I'm glad I live in a canton that's on the ball and deals with these things quickly and efficiently.

The proof of registration should do the trick though. It shows your wife has registered, even if she doesn't have her permit yet. Still, to be on the safe side I would still check with the cantonal migration office and get something from them as well. Make sure she takes the document/s with her when you go on holiday so she can show it/them if she needs to.
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Old 15.10.2015, 20:36
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

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Dear members,

Quick question; my wife is from outside of the EU, I am Dutch/German. We used to live in Germany (September 2014 till June 2015) and have been living in Switzerland since July 2015.

I already received my B-Permit.

My wife's permit for Germany will expire coming week - it was valid for one year. She has not yet received her Swiss B-permit.

Is she allowed to travel abroad, i.e. leave the country and come back? Will there be any complications at the border?

Any advice is much appreciated!
Personally, I don't think travelling without a valid permit is a good idea.
I will be marrying my girlfriend at the end of the month. She is a Swiss Citizen and I am Australian. Even though, I am allowed to remain here on my Passport for three months. Till my spouse permit comes through, I was told, it is advisable to travel anywhere.
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Old 15.10.2015, 21:16
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

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Personally, I don't think travelling without a valid permit is a good idea.
I will be marrying my girlfriend at the end of the month. She is a Swiss Citizen and I am Australian. Even though, I am allowed to remain here on my Passport for three months. Till my spouse permit comes through, I was told, it isn't advisable to travel anywhere.
Ftfy - fixed it for you.
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Old 16.10.2015, 01:27
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

Medea, completely off topic, (sorry OP), but I just had to tell you that we were driving through Misery 3 or 4 week-ends ago on the way to Le Landeron and stopped for lunch at the auberge there at the roundabout. We had the most incredible giant paella-sized bowl of shrimp in cognac sauce that came with salad and frites for, if I remember correctly, 17 fr per person. Just wanted to give a little shout-out to your village and tell you what a treasure you have there!
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Old 16.10.2015, 08:42
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

Glad to hear you enjoyed it TheSpouse. We haven't been down there since it changed hands 2/3 years ago - we're not ones for eating out much, but we will get there eventually. Crevettes a Gogo is their signature dish. I think the people who run the auberge now may have moved from a restaurant in Germels - there used to be a sign for crevettes a gogo in that village, but I haven't seen it in a while. They have plans for an expansion - application for renovation and 5 logements were up on our commune noticeboard a while ago so sounds as if they're doing well.
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Old 16.10.2015, 16:07
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Re: Can Non-EU Wife Travel without Permit (still pending)?

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Ftfy - fixed it for you.
Thanks
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