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Old 15.12.2013, 22:11
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RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

I have been working in Switzerland full time as a postdoc for 3 years now, paying my fair share into the system. Few months ago, my contract was expiring and I was advised to register for RAV just in case I don't find a job in time.

I did and everything was ok, except that in the end the immigration office decided to not give me a permit for staying without work because I was here on a study/work permit!!? RAV didn't bother to say anything. It feels very wrong to me and unfair...as to why do I pay into the unemployment scheme if I am not entitled to get any benefits? Very unfair. Also, I know of other postdocs who have an EU passport who have been supported by RAV.

Since then I got a short contract extension which is about to expire, so back to the market soon. My question, has anyone had a prior experience like this? is it clear that RAV doesn't support non-EU with special contracts (like work&study, postdoc..etc)? and immigration doesn't give visa extension to non-EU which makes getting RAV support impossible?

thanks
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Old 15.12.2013, 22:30
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

You hit the nail right on. The difference is EU versus non-EU. I assume as a post doc you're considered as being tied to your employer and when the contract runs out so does your permit. Unless you can find another job quickly that's the end of it. You can't stay here to job hunt as it's not allowed under the non-EU rules. An EU in a similar situation would be allowed to go on unemployment because they can be here as a job seeker. If you were on a permit that didn't end when your contract does then you'd probably be able to sign on for unemployment until you find another job.
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Old 15.12.2013, 22:40
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

Thanks, I can undertand that. But why do they discriminate against non-EU when I contribute as much as anyone else to the system? Isn't this like an insurance/social policy that one pays into! It doen't feel right to me.
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Old 15.12.2013, 23:41
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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But why do they discriminate against non-EU when I contribute as much as anyone else to the system? Isn't this like an insurance/social policy that one pays into! It doen't feel right to me.
I see your point, and also imho it hurts the general principle of equality.

However, and that's the difference, the mentioned EU-people are citizens of states which have agreements with Switzerland, and they and their ancestors invested (by paying taxes, e.g.) in those institutions now able to sign and to respect those treaties.
Yours didn't. Yes - again I see the point that also in case you and your parents wanted you had no chance to do so.
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Old 15.12.2013, 23:43
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

It has not always been like this for all non-EUs.

I don't know specifically about post docs, but in previous years they have been renewing non-EU permits up until the time when the benefit period has run out.

Recently it seems though they have been denying these extensions. I believe, you have a certain amount of time to appeal this decision. But again, check if this different for post doc permits.

It wouldn't hurt to ask at the RAV and see what they say.
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Old 16.12.2013, 00:01
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

I believe it depends on what kind of permit you have. L or B. I assume not C-Permit?
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Old 16.12.2013, 00:06
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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Yours didn't.
I pay taxes and still do. To make it fair, I should have been expemted from paying into any social scheme knowing that the outcome is pre-determined.
Your argument can go a long way to justify so many inequalities around the world. Also, non-EU who have permits not tied to one employer can get the RAV benefits...so how is that about ancestors?
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Old 16.12.2013, 00:08
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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I believe it depends on what kind of permit you have. L or B. I assume not C-Permit?
As for postdocs, I have a B permit, but tied to the emplyer and it is work & study. That brings the other question, how is a "postdoc" job classified as study?
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Old 16.12.2013, 00:43
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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Your argument can go a long way to justify so many inequalities around the world. Also, non-EU who have permits not tied to one employer can get the RAV benefits...so how is that about ancestors?
Cut that aspect out. I brought it up as an extension of who financed those institutions that now guarantee the beforementioned agreements with Switzerland.
If you were an EU citizen, you would have paid your taxes in EU probably. And it's those states' citizens CH granted special rights in terms of movement, labor and settlements. Not to others'.
On the other hand, why this should be linked to RAV benefits once a person is in CH, I do not fully perceive the principle behind it neither. Probably, as Medea mentioned, as your permit was linked to your employer or school. Once missing that link, in the eyes of institutions your right to be in the country has come to an end, unless you won't find another employer willing to go through the nasty procedure of hiring non-EU citizens. If RAV could pass as such a link, I doubt that. However, as MiniMia suggested, ask them what to do and hurry up.
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Old 16.12.2013, 01:24
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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However, as MiniMia suggested, ask them what to do and hurry up.
Thanks for the advice. But, I have been to RAV and asked many questions but got no answers. I have registered with them months in advance before my first contract expired, and they said everything was ok, and they would apply for visa extension on my behalf. Later the "berater" changed his story and said I must apply by myself. I did and the immigration denied me the visa, and RAV didn't act, case closed. I must say they (or at least that berater) are useless. By the way, I had a native swiss German speaker with me to translate, so there way no language barrier.

My main question here; is there anyone who has gone through the same situation and found a way? It feels so unjust, and could take it to a court if it has a chance.
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Old 16.12.2013, 10:10
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

I had a USA friend who, when she finished her Swiss University PhD, had three months of RAV support while she searched for a job, and when she didn't find one she left the country because she could no longer stay.
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Old 16.12.2013, 12:20
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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I pay taxes and still do. To make it fair, I should have been expemted from paying into any social scheme knowing that the outcome is pre-determined.
You are right and I couldn't agree more. I asked the exact same question sometime ago in a discussion with a colleague... if non-EU are not entitled for unemployment benefits then why force them to pay in the first place? It is simple, don't deduct from my salary and I don't want your RAV, period!

I am sorry for you, but am afraid it is unfair as it is and you'd have to swallow it and go on.
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Old 16.12.2013, 12:23
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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except that in the end the immigration office decided to not give me a permit for staying without work because I was here on a study/work permit!!? RAV didn't bother to say anything. ... the immigration denied me the visa, and RAV didn't act, case closed.
Well, it is not the RAV's authority to say anything about immigration eligibility. In fact, it would be very wrong by RAV to instruct you about any immigration issues, don't you think so, neither?!

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... the immigration denied me the visa, and RAV didn't act, case closed.
Again, very reasonable. Period.

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As for postdocs, I have a B permit, but tied to the emplyer and it is work & study.
Well, you say it by yourself. Your immigration permit was restricted to your job. Nothing less, nothing more. After this you have to leave again, or find another permit, which would be totally independent from the first. You knew it, when you signed it, no reason to complain now/afterwords, at all.

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I must say they (or at least that berater) are useless.
You should have been groaned for this! How childish! - And not really expected by a PhD holder ... well.

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It feels very wrong to me and unfair...as to why do I pay into the unemployment scheme if I am not entitled to get any benefits? Very unfair.
Well, the AL deductions are "just" a financing scheeme of the unemployment fond. Just because you paid a part of it, does not entitle you to profit from it (that's not the law). But you can, when you get another job and lose it (soon) again, then the previous AL payments (from your postdoc "leave") will be taken into account in order to calculate your unemployment benefits, of course.
Compare it to the VAT you pay for every purchase you make. Do you think this entitles you to become Swiss, just because you finance the Swiss authorities - of course not. These are the rules, and you simply have to follow them, anywhere on this world ... well, at least at all those places, where they (the rules) are implemented and executed according to the law.

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But why do they discriminate against non-EU when I contribute as much as anyone else to the system? Isn't this like an insurance/social policy that one pays into! It doen't feel right to me.
Again, see financing scheeme remark above. And discriminating is a strong, morally heavy word you use! Did you consider this? And are you sure that you (from which country?) are entitled to throw the frist stone!?

BTW: where are you from? And let me ask this question: Would your country, to somebody from Switzerland on a temporarily (yes! since it was tied to your job) postdoc leave in your country, entitle him/her to get unemployment benefits???
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Old 16.12.2013, 12:58
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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BTW: where are you from? And let me ask this question: Would your country, to somebody from Switzerland on a temporarily (yes! since it was tied to your job) postdoc leave in your country, entitle him/her to get unemployment benefits???
To be fair to the OP, RAV is an insurance, not social security contribution.
Let's say you bought a car insurance and had an accident, which led to your license taken away from you.
Then the insurance company came and said: well, you are not allowed to drive now, so we will not pay for the claims.
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Old 16.12.2013, 13:06
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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Well, the AL deductions are "just" a financing scheeme of the unemployment fond. Just because you paid a part of it, does not entitle you to profit from it (that's not the law). But you can, when you get another job and lose it (soon) again, then the previous AL payments (from your postdoc "leave") will be taken into account in order to calculate your unemployment benefits, of course.
This is an important point, and one that should be kept in mind despite the frustration of not being able to claim RAV now.

The fault, I think, lies in not being explained right from the get go that the permit will likely not be extended after it expires. This I think is the fault of HR/HR-like responsible people in universities and in companies. Many things are called a B permit, and one assumes that one B permit holder has the same rights as another, but that is most emphatically not the case. Very few B permit holders are aware of the differences.

The OP is frustrated and venting, as he was not prepared for this outcome. It's hard to just uproot and go, especially if this was unexpected (see my point above). I understand the frustration.
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Old 16.12.2013, 13:18
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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if non-EU are not entitled for unemployment benefits then why force them to pay in the first place? It is simple, don't deduct from my salary and I don't want your RAV, period!
It's not as clear-cut as you make it sound - unemployment benefits are linked to the type of permit, not (only) to nationality.
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Old 16.12.2013, 13:23
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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To be fair to the OP, RAV is an insurance, not social security contribution.
Let's say you bought a car insurance and had an accident, which led to your license taken away from you.
Then the insurance company came and said: well, you are not allowed to drive now, so we will not pay for the claims.
Well, you would be correct, if you follow the words only. But in fact, YES! It is a social security contribution, nothing else, by law and by nature, at least in Switzerland. Everybody can profit from it as long as you are eligible. You are not free to buy it or not and you cannot choose the insurance.

... if your inherently implied distinction between insurance (in the sense of a buyable service from a private provider) and social insurance (defined, implemented by law and executed by state-related agencies) is valid, at all.

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Let's say you bought a car insurance and had an accident, which led to your license taken away from you.
Then the insurance company came and said: well, you are not allowed to drive now, so we will not pay for the claims.
If this would be written that way in the contract or be part of the insurance' terms and conditions, and if it does not violate laws, well then it would be valid, yes, of course! But you would probably be not very reasonable to sign such a contract.
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Old 16.12.2013, 13:34
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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It's not as clear-cut as you make it sound - unemployment benefits are linked to the type of permit, not (only) to nationality.
Indirectly - only - you are correct.

But the right to get unemployment benefits is not related to any permits, in the strong sense, but by the fact that you must be able to look for a new job while living in Switzerland. If not, you are not eligible! And since the OP has to leave after his/her current temporarily restricted job (OP had to know this from the beginning!), she/he does not lose the right to benefit from unemployment support, not even in the future, but only if she/he is able to comply with the given AL rules/laws, e.g. having residence in Switzerland besids many others.
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Old 16.12.2013, 13:35
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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Well, you would be correct, if you follow the words only. But in fact, YES! It is a social security contribution, nothing else, by law and by nature, at least in Switzerland. Everybody can profit from it as long as you are eligible. You are not free to buy it or not and you cannot choose the insurance.

... if your inherently implied distinction between insurance (in the sense of a buyable service from a private provider) and social insurance (defined, implemented by law and executed by state-related agencies) is valid, at all.



If this would be written that way in the contract or be part of the insurance' terms and conditions, and if it does not violate laws, well then it would be valid, yes, of course! But you would probably be not very reasonable to sign such a contract.
I would say that the RAV is created and functions as an insurance for the Swiss.
When I had a financial analysis done, it was in fact counted as an insurance.
Like LiquidPaper mentioned, what seems to be the issue with the OP is how this is implemented for non-Swiss citizens.
Unfortunately, none of this was explained during hiring.

Now, if you buy something that is advertised as "hamburger", but you get a "hot dog" instead, I am sure you won't be too happy, even though it maybe stated in fine prints that the hamburger may be in a shape of a hot dog.
This is the reason I understand the frustration of the OP.
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Old 16.12.2013, 13:51
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Re: RAV support for no-EU postdoc?

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It's not as clear-cut as you make it sound - unemployment benefits are linked to the type of permit, not (only) to nationality.
If the permit type and nationality combination doesnt allow benefits to be claimed, then dont deduct unemployment insurance from salary. I dont see any complication in this.

Universities regularly employ non-EU postdocs like the OP on student B permits since it reduces the paperwork. Why the immigration authorities accept this is anybody's guess.

I finished my Phd with months left on my B permit, after over four years of paying into unemployment insurance. While job hunting, the RAV flatly refused to grant me any benefits, since I had been a "student".

Edit: Conversely, I have seen examples of non-EUs on this forum getting permit extensions based on RAV after working for years on non-student B permits. So the problem seems to be universities employing people who arent studying on "student" permits.

Last edited by Kosti; 16.12.2013 at 14:03.
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