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Old 20.07.2020, 08:48
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Options/Paths To Permanent Residency and Citizenship for a USA citizen

As you have seen, it is difficult for a non-EU citizen to move to Switzerland. Wanting to move here because you are unhappy in the US/with the state of US governance, is simply not enough.

Americans especially are particularly toxic right now - if not officially then socially. And I say that as an American. If you manage to make it over here, do not expect an open-armed welcome.

The routes to residency are generally a sponsored work visa, generally only available to those with special skill sets in high demand that cannot be filled by a CH or EU citizen, marriage to a Ch or EU citizen, study in a recognised course, albeit this is a limited time visa, or as a UHNW who will not undertake work in Switzerland.

FYI, bringing a company here does not necessarily mean that you will get a residency permit. Your company generally has to be a serious contributor.

You mention you are a millionaire. But seven figures is generally not enough to interest the authorities*. If you are UHNW, though... have your people call their people to get the ball rolling. Seriously - this visa is for the select few and decisions are made case by case.

You will notice I have used qualifiers like 'generally' a lot - that's because in Switzerland there is a whole lotta YMMV.



*The old joke:

An American walks into a Paradeplatz bank carrying a briefcase. He furtively approaches the teller and whispers:

"I have a million dollars cash in this briefcase, and I'd like to open an account".

The teller, in a normal voice, says:

"Sir, there is no need to whisper. Poverty is no shame in Switzerland."


So... what is your education, what skills do you have that might be scarce in Switzerland, or do you qualify as UHNW?

Have you looked at other European countries? There are schemes in other countries that are easier for an American to access.

And one last comment: I know the grass looks greener in just about every other place on the planet at this moment - but do be aware that in Switzerland all that glisters is not gold. It has it's positives and it's negatives, just like anywhere else, and many Americans struggle to find their feet here due to very different cultural norms. If you do find a way to qualify for residency here, do be aware that one reason it's in better shape than the US right now is exactly those cultural differences. You will have to change.


Also be aware that if you make it here, citizenship is not simply a matter of time. You might never be granted citizenship.



By the way, as you are targeting Geneva, do you speak French? Or German or Italian? If you don't start working on that now. If you do manage to find a way in, competency in the Swiss languages of your area will be needed to maintain your stay here.


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ETA:

Sorry for the repeated info, many posters type faster than I do...
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