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Old 18.05.2015, 06:29
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IT/Engineering Jobs as a Canadian

Hi Guys,

I am a Canadian citizen, and some of my relatives have moved to Geneva recently, and I want to move to there or Switzerland in general (or cities in France nearby so I can be close to them). I am an engineer with software and systems engineering (IT) field of 10 year + experience.

- What are the chances to be able to find a job there with my situation and not being a european area member?

- What are the websites that have the most activities and posting for IT/engineering?

- What path should I take ie apply from Canada or moving there for few months etc will help? Also if not be able to find a job, would i be able to do a 1year masters in university and work after, (worse come scenario)?

- I believe Canada and swiss have a agreement for young professionals under 35 for a 1yr work visa but I think it would need a job offer first. Has anyone tried this?

Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it.
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Old 18.05.2015, 07:58
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: IT/Engineering Jobs as a Canadian

Not easily, priority is given to Swiss/EU nationals so you come last in the hiring queue. It's time consuming and expensive for employers to prove they can't find a Swiss/EU national to do the job so you need to be highly skilled/experienced to stand any chance.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html

Yes you could come over for up to 3 months as a tourist and look for work, but you would have to leave Switzerland again while the application is going through because you need to apply for a Type D visa to enter Switzerland long term legally and that has to be done in your home country which is Canada. Only if the permit application made by the employer is approved would the Type D visa be issued to you.

Try these websites:

www.jobs.ch
www.jobup.ch
www.monster.co.uk (yes they have jobs in Switzerland advertised, you just have to persuade the location setting to change - it can be stubborn sometimes exit and then try again)

Yes, you could study for a Masters and you would then have 6 months to find a job here. Again this depends on acceptance by the university and the granting of a permit/visa to do so which means you still have to go back to Canada for the visa application part. If you can't find a job within the 6 months then you have to leave of course.

I think some people have been successful with the exchange scheme, but again the emphasis is on you to find an employer who's willing to apply and I think they have to do a similar justification for employing you as they would for a longer term position.

As for France, well rules are similar as far as non-EU nationals are concerned, although it seems being in IT you might stand a better chance.

http://www.workpermit.com/france/france.htm
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Old 19.05.2015, 08:05
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Re: IT/Engineering Jobs as a Canadian

Thanks Medea Fleecestealer for all your very useful information. I had a few job interviews so that is promising so far. Which canton would be the best to look into for IT and engineering jobs? Someone told me the NGOs in Geneva are a good start and they hire from outside more.

Do you know what would be the procedure to getting to say University of Geneva to do a masters of computer science? Would the tuitions be the same as local residence? Will the course be english and is there a lot of paper work to get admitted?

Also say I have a job offer and working in Switzerland, how long until I can get a PR or citizenship?

Thanks again.
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Old 19.05.2015, 09:01
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: IT/Engineering Jobs as a Canadian

Masters courses are mostly in English here, though there may be some of it in French too. You can find out more here:

http://www.unige.ch/international/index_en.html

Note that most Masters will require a Bachelors in the subject to have been done first. If you have a degree from a Canadian uni that may be acceptable otherwise they may want you to do a Bachelors and that will most likely be taught in French.

Permanent residence for non-EU nationals takes 10 years. Citizenship under the current rules requires 12 years, but this is in the process of being changed to 10 years - the new law is due to come into effect late 2016/early 2017 at the moment. There are also canton and commune residence requirements in addition to the federal ones. This gives a good summation of current and future requirements:

http://lenews.ch/2015/04/22/7-step-g...wiss-passport/

I believe that most IT companies are based around either Basel or Zurich - which would mean you eventually needing to speak German for permanent residence (Zurich) or citizenship in these cantons.

Be careful if considering working for an NGO if permanent residence and/or citizenship is your ultimate goal. Under current regs time spent with a carte de legitimation or Ci permit count towards naturalisation and this will continue under the new law. But they will not count towards getting a C permit and as a C permit will be obligatory for citizenship you would not be eligible to apply for this. Organisations such as the UN and CERN have expressed their concerns about the change, but so far there doesn't seem to be any movement on the C permit requirement for citizenship purposes. And if you want to change to a non-NGO job any new employer would still have to prove under the non-EU hiring rules that they can't find a Swiss/EU national. For long term/open ended positions you would probably be issued with a B permit, despite having some/many years with a carte de legitimation/Ci, and would then need 10 more years before being able to apply for a C permit.
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