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Old 17.02.2011, 12:40
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Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

I am planing to finisih my PhD at ETH Zurich in Feb 2012. I hold a non EU passport. I might be residing and seeking a job in Switzerland for 6 months after my graduation (by exploiting the new law which allows non EU fresh graduates of Swiss universities to live and hunt for jobs in Ch after). Can I get 'unemployment benefits' while I'll be seeking a job? If yes, for how long? And how much - given that my annual salary was X CHF?
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Old 17.02.2011, 12:45
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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I am planing to finisih my PhD at ETH Zurich in Feb 2012. I hold a non EU passport. I might be residing and seeking a job in Switzerland for 6 months after my graduation (by exploiting the new law which allows non EU fresh graduates of Swiss universities to live and hunt for jobs in Ch after). Can I get 'unemployment benefits' while I'll be seeking a job? If yes, for how long? And how much - given that my annual salary was X CHF?
If you didn't contribute... how could you get something....? You would like to have other people to pay for you?

Edit: This is a genuine question, as I don't know how it does work. Thanks to Mathnut who explained it to me.

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Old 17.02.2011, 12:54
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

I believe I have contributed since I must have done it by law (some portion of my salary has been apparently cut for the contribution) - though I am not sure, how can I check it?
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:00
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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If you didn't contribute... how could you get something....? You would like to have other people to pay for you?
Nil, PhD students normally do a nominal amount of work for the department they are studying in (some teaching, grading exams, that sort of thing - as well as your research output which is considered to increase the department's prestige) and we are paid a nominal salary in return. It's nothing to make the finance crowd sit up and take notice, but it covers a basic student lifestyle quite nicely - and more to the point, it means we pay taxes, pension, unemployment just like anybody else. So I don't know the answer either but it's a reasonable question.
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:05
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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I believe I have contributed since I must have done it by law (some portion of my salary has been apparently cut for the contribution) - though I am not sure, how can I check it?
The best way is to go the respective admin office at ETH and ask for your 'Lohnausweis' (a salary statement issued for tax purposes) for year 2010. Given that we're already past mid-February, they should have it ready for you. There you're looking for a line no.12 Quellensteuerabzug. If there's any figure there (for a PhD in Switzerland it should be around 1000-1200Sfr), it means that you have contributed.

The next step would be to go to the unemployment office (UO) in your Gemeinde. Keep in mind that this is by no means an easy task to get unemployment benefits. You will have to be actively looking for jobs once registered with the UO and go for appointments with them.

Good luck
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:09
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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Nil, PhD students normally do a nominal amount of work for the department they are studying in (some teaching, grading exams, that sort of thing - as well as your research output which is considered to increase the department's prestige) and we are paid a nominal salary in return. It's nothing to make the finance crowd sit up and take notice, but it covers a basic student lifestyle quite nicely - and more to the point, it means we pay taxes, pension, unemployment just like anybody else. So I don't know the answer either but it's a reasonable question.
Ouf! Thanks for the explanation! Because the OP said he made X chf, I took it as 0, nothing nada! So he will be paid during his PHD. And I believe taxes will be paid from this amount?

Could be good to find out the amount he can receive after because I am guessing a PHD doesn't provide the student to roll on gold.

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Old 17.02.2011, 13:21
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

Thank you. Thanks for clarifying that the procedure of getting unemployment benefits is far from trivial. I hope, I will find a job after graduation, but just in case, I'd like to hedge myself by having some income while searching. By the way, is a solid knowledge of German is required in order to deal with the 'unemployment benefits' procedure? The working language at my potential jobs will be clearly English.

*Is it worth applying for unemployment benefits right before graduation, provided that no job is seen in the horizon?

I found the documents, it is indicated 3,573 CHF in the Quellensteuerabzug no.12.

* Can I conclude how much money I will be granted from the 'unemployment benefits'?
*For how long they can pay me?




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The best way is to go the respective admin office at ETH and ask for your 'Lohnausweis' (a salary statement issued for tax purposes) for year 2010. Given that we're already past mid-February, they should have it ready for you. There you're looking for a line no.12 Quellensteuerabzug. If there's any figure there (for a PhD in Switzerland it should be around 1000-1200Sfr), it means that you have contributed.

The next step would be to go to the unemployment office (UO) in your Gemeinde. Keep in mind that this is by no means an easy task to get unemployment benefits. You will have to be actively looking for jobs once registered with the UO and go for appointments with them.

Good luck
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:22
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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If you didn't contribute... how could you get something....? You would like to have other people to pay for you?
How exactly do you contribute Nil?
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:25
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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How exactly do you contribute Nil?
Funny that you ask, I pay taxes.
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:30
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

Vlad,

That's not a bad figure you've got there. Not bad at all for a PhD student.

Technically you could already start looking now, before your graduation. There are many useful links on EF that will guide you as to 'where should one look'. I personally don't think you'll be able to apply for the benefits now since you've got a source of income. But you should check that nevertheless. (See Gling-glo's response to that below).

The unemployment benefits can amount to roughly 2,000 Sfr (maybe a bit more). BUT you can always ask for some qualification or language courses. So you could try to get by on that money, look for a job and learn a national language in the meantime. German would be beyond helpful.

As to your last question: that depends on your specific case. Of course they will not go over the period your visa is valid for.
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:32
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

You should be able to get unemployment benefits. I can't remember exactly the amount, but I think it is about 70-80% of a reference salary based on the average for the last 6 months of employment.

You'll have to register at the unemployment office and show that you are actively applying for jobs, that is 1-2 job applications per week. Keep in mind that you should start applying for jobs 3 months before your current position ends otherwise you might not get any benefits for the first month of unemployment. It's enough to have 2-3 applications, just something that shows that you are looking.
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:42
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

If you contributed to the unemployment insurance for 12 out of the last 24 months you will get unemployment benefit. Why would they deny it simply because you were a student? As long as you contribute and are available for work you will get it.

I would feel mighty robbed to have contributed and not receive it
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:50
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

So my annual salary is so far 78,000 CHF (about 5,400 per month after taxes) - is there some simple formula which is used to derive the 'unemployment benefits income' per month? As Gling-glo claims, it should be 70-80% of the salary - which makes a lower bound of about 3,800 CHF per month - which is way more than 2,000 CHF as suggested by Femme T...
* Any hint on the correct number?

* So, basically if the visa is given for 6 months - I will be eligible to get the unemployment benefits for so long...? Sounds good.



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Vlad,

That's not a bad figure you've got there. Not bad at all for a PhD student.

Technically you could already start looking now, before your graduation. There are many useful links on EF that will guide you as to 'where should one look'. I personally don't think you'll be able to apply for the benefits now since you've got a source of income. But you should check that nevertheless. (See Gling-glo's response to that below).

The unemployment benefits can amount to roughly 2,000 Sfr (maybe a bit more). BUT you can always ask for some qualification or language courses. So you could try to get by on that money, look for a job and learn a national language in the meantime. German would be beyond helpful.

As to your last question: that depends on your specific case. Of course they will not go over the period your visa is valid for.
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:54
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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So my annual salary is so far 78,000 CHF (about 5,400 per month after taxes) - is there some simple formula which is used to derive the 'unemployment benefits income' per month? As Gling-glo claims, it should be 70-80% of the salary - which makes a lower bound of about 3,800 CHF per month - which is way more than 2,000 CHF as suggested by Femme T...
* Any hint on the correct number?

* So, basically if the visa is given for 6 months - I will be eligible to get the unemployment benefits for so long...? Sounds good.
As far as I know the unemployment office should extend your work permit until the 18 months has passed.

You will get 70-80% depending on your circumstances.

The best people to ask about this is the unemployment office though

Edit: 78k! Whoever said PhD students are underpaid
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Old 17.02.2011, 13:57
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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So my annual salary is so far 78,000 CHF (about 5,400 per month after taxes) - is there some simple formula which is used to derive the 'unemployment benefits income' per month? As Gling-glo claims, it should be 70-80% of the salary - which makes a lower bound of about 3,800 CHF per month - which is way more than 2,000 CHF as suggested by Femme T...
* Any hint on the correct number?

* So, basically if the visa is given for 6 months - I will be eligible to get the unemployment benefits for so long...? Sounds good.
My calculation was based on min. 3,000 a month, which is what a good PhD friend of mine was getting in GVA. Since your salary is higher (kuddos!), Gling-glo's & Porsch's pointers are more precise. You should take that as a reference. (But please do check with the officials nevertheless!).

Btw, do try to use your native language to your advantage. Refer to headhunters that specialize in language skills and monitor the job websites of your home country for opening abroad. This alone increases your chances of finding a job here.
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Old 17.02.2011, 14:00
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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Edit: 78k! Whoever said PhD students are underpaid
They sure are in Geneva and Ticino!
Good for the Zurich guys though
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Old 17.02.2011, 14:00
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

What do you mean by this? I did not know anything about it.

To the best of my knowledge, once an individual finishes his PhD and his residence permit is expired, he\she is obliged to quit CH, unless he\she has obtained\renewed his permit by some means\manipulation. Since 1st of January, graduates from Swiss universities are allowed to extend their residence permit (soon after graduating) for another 6 months in order to exploit this time and hunt for a job...

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As far as I know the unemployment office

should extend your work permit until the 18 months has passed.
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Old 17.02.2011, 14:01
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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They sure are in Geneva and Ticino!
Good for the Zurich guys though
I dunno I know someone at University of Geneva earning something like 46k and paying 600 per month in student accommodation.

PhD students in Switzerland are paid quite nicely IMO
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Old 17.02.2011, 14:03
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

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What do you mean by this? I did not know anything about it.

To the best of my knowledge, once an individual finishes his PhD and his residence permit is expired, he\she is obliged to quit CH, unless he\she has obtained\renewed his permit by some means\manipulation. Since 1st of January, graduates from Swiss universities are allowed to extend their residence permit (soon after graduating) for another 6 months in order to exploit this time and hunt for a job...
Like I said the best people to ask are the unemployment office. As far as the new 6month law, I think that applies to undergraduate or master's students who haven't contributed to the system.
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Old 17.02.2011, 14:09
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Re: Unemployment benefits - After the PhD

Thanks a lot! Does anyone know how can I contact the unemployment office? What be OK if I send them an email in English - or German is more preferable in this context?

V.I
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