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Old 23.02.2020, 22:29
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Re: Non EU-PhD at Swiss uni-on RAV with a job seeker's L permit-Extension/alternative

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Ah, shoot, that's not very encouraging. Thanks for linking the document, though. I did hear of a case where arguing the RAV angle actually worked, so I will try it anyway, although that wasn't in Zurich.
Oh by all means do try it, I wish you best of luck! Those are only federal guidelines, there is a non-zero probability that you can persuade the canton and it will get waved through by SEM, bureaucracy also makes mistakes in your favor sometimes (though, sadly, rarely )

Regarding the grace period it usually works this way: you can talk to Migrationsamt right before your permit expires and they usually will give you another 2-3 weeks to wrap things up and depart. They'll stamp a C or D visa in your passport for that so you can depart the Schengen area without a valid permit.
If you don't do that and let your permit expire without deregistering, they'll send you a letter by registered post ordering you to leave within 2 weeks and containing a card that will be stamped and taken from you on the border to confirm and record your departure. If you ignore that I guess that's when the guys with handcuffs come in
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