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Old 20.06.2021, 06:36
NederlandseAmerikaan NederlandseAmerikaan is offline
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Dear Medea Fleecestealer and Axa,

Thank you so much for your very helpful and informative messages!

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For family reunion some money in the bank will be asked. The money should be larger than what's needed to sustain the husband with no job and two children for 1 year. ... we can check later what's the minimum amount to get a family reunion permit with no job. It's only 1 year, so it's doable.
If you could find those minimum amounts, or a link to where those amounts are listed, that would be super helpful, thank you!

I should perhaps also mention that I myself am a PhD student at a US university; I'm just working on writing my dissertation, so I don't have to be at the university in the US and can accompany my family to Switzerland. But getting a paying job in addition to working on my dissertation will be difficult. This is an incentive for me to finish my dissertation quickly!

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EU nationals always have the right to come to Switzerland, regardless of family circumstances. While your wife will need a Type D visa to enter Switzerland for more than the 90 day tourist limit, neither you or the children will need them. You can enter with her without problems. And you can certainly apply for the family reunification permits at the same time as hers is applied for, in fact it would be better to do so. If she takes up the job offer she should ask the university to apply for these along with her application. The embassy/consulate would just not bother with the Type D's for you and the kids once the permits are approved.
This is a huge relief; thank you!

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US citizens are persons non gratis here for most banks; they will not accept your wife and maybe you as well if you want a joint account. Only UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance will consider you and that only for a basic checking account. This is due to the US's FATCA law which came into force a while back. She/you will need to fill in W-9 forms allowing the bank to pass your bank info on to the IRS to be able to open an account here.

Also as a US citizen (and you as a Green Card holder I assume) will still have US tax filing obligations no matter where you live in the world. Start your research on that here. While it's easy for you to avoid this by getting rid of your Green Card (a form to fill in, but make sure to take a copy of it as it's the only proof you have given up the card), the only way for your wife to avoid it is to renounce her citizenship.

It's best not to have joint bank accounts.

There will also be FBAR forms to fill in online detailing your bank info.
We are not rich fat cats, and so I'm not afraid of FATCA and FBAR, but I know that many non-US banks find the FATCA requirements so onerous that they would prefer not to have US persons as customers. I'm sure we'll need a Swiss bank account for the deposits of my wife's salary, so thank you for the suggestions about which banks accept US citizens. A basic checking account will be sufficient for accepting those salary deposits, right?

BTW, I'm not a US green card holder; our children and I are dual US-Netherlands citizens, and none of us has any desire to give us our US citizenship. But I am fully aware that we'll have to pay (or at least file) taxes on all income worldwide to the US, even on income that has already been taxed by Switzerland. Filing two sets of tax returns is not too bad; I just hope that the Swiss income will not be doubly taxed too badly. As for the FBAR form, I've needed to fill those out before, and they're not too difficult.

But given that both my wife and I are US citizens (even though I am also an EU citizen), is there still a problem with a joint bank account? I mean, the bank will have to do FATCA reporting, and we'll have to do FBAR reporting, no matter whether our account is joint or only in my wife's name, right?

In any case, thank you once more, Medea Fleecestealer and Axa, for your extremely helpful responses! I'm so glad we found this forum!

Nederlandse Amerikaan
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