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Old 20.07.2020, 13:20
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Medea Fleecestealer Medea Fleecestealer is offline
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Re: Options/Paths To Permanent Residency and Citizenship for a USA citizen

Some more info for you. To get a job here this is what any potential employer must do

Also there are requirements for you in there as well. If these can't be met then you wouldn't get a permit via employment.

Owning a company here doesn't grant residency rights so that won't really help you either.

Nor will being a millionaire particularly. If you don't want to work then it is possible to get a permit if you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the rest of your life without working. How much is enough only the canton in question could tell you. So that would rule out running your company here or in the States since that permit doesn't allow employment.

Other things to consider relate to being American. Firstly, getting a basic account here isn't easy since your choices are pretty much restricted to UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance. Maybe if you're wealthy enough a few more might consider you, but Americans in general are persons non gratis as far as banks here are concerned. You can blame the US's FATCA law for that. It also means that getting anything like an investment account or a mortgage may be impossible. To open an account here you'll need to agree that the bank can send the account details on to the IRS. Otherwise no bank account for you.

Related to the above, you need to realise that as an American citizen you're obliged to continue filing US tax returns no matter where you live in the world and could owe the US tax on top of any Swiss ones. You will also need to file FBAR's each year detailing your foreign, i.e. outside of the US, accounts if the aggregate total comes to more than $10,000 at any time of the year.

The only way to avoid this is to give up your American citizenship. To manage that you'd need to have another one: Swiss/EU because it's not a good idea to be stateless.

Also note that the above re banks passing info to the IRS applies worldwide; it's not just a Swiss thing. If you want to open an account anywhere outside of the US you're going to have to agree on your details being passed on.

To clarify the permits for you:

Permits are granted for residency. Whether they also allow employment as well depends on the reason they were granted. Unless you're a Swiss citizen you must have a permit to reside here.

An L permit is granted for less than a year.

A B permit is for more than a year.

C permit: This is a requirement to be able to apply for Swiss citizenship.

Years spent here on an L permit do not count towards citizenship as far as the residency requirement goes. For non-EU nationals you need to be living here for 10 years before you can apply for a C permit, although there is an option to apply after 5 years if you meet the requirements.

Citizenship: C permit required and must be well integrated into Swiss life. Here's the French page re the requirements since the new laws came in on 1st January 2018.

Those are the Federal requirements. Cantons and communes also have their own requirements such as how long you have to have resided in said canton/commune, etc.

Bear in mind that it's not a quick procedure, sometimes it can take years before citizenship is granted.
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