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Old 22.07.2016, 21:17
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American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

Hello, I am an American student currently working on my masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Once I have completed my degree I am interested in moving abroad. Switzerland caught my eye because of its high quality of life, and the fact that its not part of the EU. I am aware that without a family connection my only means of attaining residence and eventually citizenship is through employment. As an Aeronautical Engineer, what are my chances of finding a job in Switzerland? I am currently studying German so I would prefer to live in an Area where that is the primary spoken language, but my Fiance is studying French so being in a French speaking Area would not be the end of the world for her and I.
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Old 22.07.2016, 21:37
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

Well, Switzerland does have an aircraft industry: http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/. You'll no doubt also get lots of information on this forum regarding your nationality and its impact on the general aspects of life in Switzerland. In fact, I can hardly bear to watch as it is all revealed to you.
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Old 22.07.2016, 22:04
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

It isn't impossible, but it will be very, very difficult for you.

Consider that Switzerland wants to hire Swiss workers. If an advertised job does not produce any qualified Swiss candidates, then they will look to the EU. If the EU does not produce anyone, THEN they will look outside the EU. You are at the bottom of the pecking list.

In order to broaden your chances, you may want to check out boat manufacturers as well (assuming that your skills can transfer).

The language will prove difficult, as a Swiss company usually operates in the local language. If you go with German, then you'll find that Swiss-German should also be understood (I'm thinking of casual office banter)

And if you do get a job, you will still have to deal with the banks (they often refuse to open a bank account for an American) and you will have to file your US taxes every year.


That being said, good luck!
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Old 22.07.2016, 22:05
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

Close your eyes then me.anon because here it comes.

Welcome to the forum ericwintjen.

As a newly graduated student with no experience - nil. There will be plenty of Swiss/EU national who have the same background and they're ahead of you in the jobs queue.

As an American abroad you face problems getting a bank account here or anywhere else, will need to file US tax returns/FBAR forms and could owe the US tax on top of your local taxes. That's the short version. For more info google "FATCA" or search the forum here - there's more than enough info on this to make any good old American guy/gal weep.
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Old 22.07.2016, 22:17
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

Medea, please do post your link about the non-EU hiring process that employers need to go through. I know you feel like a broken record but I think it's important for non-EUs wanting to come to Switzerland to have realistic expectations.
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Old 22.07.2016, 22:27
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Well, Switzerland does have an aircraft industry: http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/. You'll no doubt also get lots of information on this forum regarding your nationality and its impact on the general aspects of life in Switzerland. In fact, I can hardly bear to watch as it is all revealed to you.
According to a usually reliable source, Pilatus Aircraft engineers are largely non-Swiss and work primarily in English. This seems to be confirmed by the open positions for engineers on their careers' page:

http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/#78

Another Swiss company involved in the aircraft industry is RUAG, owned by the Swiss government. RUAG produces aircraft components, maintains Swiss Luftwaffe airplanes and also makes the Dornier 228 (albeit in Germany):

http://www.ruag.com/de/aviation/aviation-home/

Should the Swiss government ever finally select and fund a new fighter aircraft, there will probably be work here on that project too. At least that was the plan for the Saab Gripen, which, although it had been approved by the government, was subsequently voted down in a referendum.

Edit:
There is also a drone company in Switzerland:

http://umsskeldar.aero/

Last edited by Mullhollander; 22.07.2016 at 22:46.
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Old 22.07.2016, 22:51
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Medea, please do post your link about the non-EU hiring process that employers need to go through. I know you feel like a broken record but I think it's important for non-EUs wanting to come to Switzerland to have realistic expectations.
Sounds like there should be a page of Mandatory Reading for anyone posting "I want to move to Switzerland. Can I get a job?" type questions
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Old 22.07.2016, 22:52
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Medea, please do post your link about the non-EU hiring process that employers need to go through. I know you feel like a broken record but I think it's important for non-EUs wanting to come to Switzerland to have realistic expectations.
It's not that 3Wishes, more that the OP said he already understood the problems he'd have employment-wise. But here it is anyway.

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

And here's the IRS info:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...g-requirements
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Old 22.07.2016, 23:02
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Sounds like there should be a page of Mandatory Reading for anyone posting "I want to move to Switzerland. Can I get a job?" type questions
We have all sorts of stickys, but every person feels his or her situation is unique, and to be fair everyone hope for a positive, encouraging answer.

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It's not that 3Wishes, more that the OP said he already understood the problems he'd have employment-wise.
Thanks! I read his post as he understood the issue trying to get citizenship, but it wasn't clear (to me) he realized the employment hurdles that come before one even considers applying for citizenship.
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Old 22.07.2016, 23:04
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

If it is not too late and depending where the OP's priorities lie, he could simplify matters by getting a replacement fiancee with stronger Swiss connections.
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Old 23.07.2016, 11:14
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

To obtain employment in Switzerland, non-EU citizens normally must be considered highly qualified. According to a Swiss law firm, this means the non-EU citizen generally needs a master's degree, professional experience, comprehensive language skills and a starting salary of at least CHF 100'000. See pp. 11-12 of this document (English):

https://www.vischer.com/fileadmin/us...tzerland_2.pdf

In Europe, Germany and Netherlands have possibly the most friendly policies regarding relocation and employment of US citizens. Austria also has an attractive program for highly skilled workers from non-EU countries. See post #22 at this link:

Moving Without Job
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Old 23.07.2016, 11:58
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

The aviation market is small and tight, many firms use agency contractors rather than permanent employees for new roles, and many require specific licences, and whilst they do take English speakers, they normally require a proficiency in German (in the German part of CH). There are many more already qualified and experienced aero engineers that are Swiss, or unemployed with a valid permit in place, than there are permanent vacancies. So a newly qualified engineer, with no practical experience, weak German, and non EU, sad to say it's not a very rosy picture for you.

Post qualification, gaining some type licences and practical experience to bolster your CV would increase your chances..... good luck.
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Old 23.07.2016, 13:37
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

I'm curious - why Switzerland? Have you already spent considerable time here?

As others have mentioned, Switzerland is not an easy place for Americans these days, especially those who are just starting out, newly qualified in an foreign education system that might not be valued here. So you already start out with two strikes against you. It's not impossible, but you do need to understand how steep the hill you are setting out to climb actually is.

I worry when I see posts like yours, as we see so many Americans pop in to EF, wanting to immigrate due to a very... shall we say... unrealistic view of what they think Switzerland is. Your 'not in the EU' comment leads me to wonder if you might be thinking along certain political lines. Hopefully you are not one of those starry-eyed folk, hopefully you are not looking through overly rose-colored glasses.

But if immigration to Switzerland is a definitive goal for you, it is important that you understand how very different the real Switzerland is from the myth that is bandied about in the US media. Both sides of the US political divide seem to have equally wrong ideas about Switzerland, by the way.

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I am aware that without a family connection my only means of attaining residence and eventually citizenship is through employment.
Also be aware that as difficult as it is for a non-EU person to obtain a residence visa here, if you do manage it there is still a long and uncertain road to citizenship. Swiss citizenship is not a check-box application. No, you can meet all the stated criteria, you can be a good taxpayer, keep your nose clean, speak the language well, contribute significantly to the economy, provide jobs for the Swiss - and still be voted down by your fellow townspeople. There are no guarantees.

Not to dissuade you from pursuing your dream - heck, young people should be dreamers - but I would just advise you to do so with your eyes wide open, to make sure you fully understand what the dream you are chasing actually entails.

Wishing you all the best. And I do mean that.

.

Last edited by meloncollie; 23.07.2016 at 16:23.
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Old 23.07.2016, 14:56
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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There are no guarantees.
Unless you marry a Swiss.

Tom
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Old 23.07.2016, 15:01
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Unless you marry a Swiss.

Tom
Even that is not a guarantee for either continued residence or citizenship if you divorce before obtaining a C permit or citizenship.
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Old 23.07.2016, 15:16
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Unless you marry a Swiss.

Tom
Not always. My friend, happily married to her Swiss husband for 8 years, all of which resident in Switzerland, language and 'Politik und Gesellschaftstest' certificates in hand, was rejected for facilitated naturalization.
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Old 23.07.2016, 15:20
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Not always. My friend, happily married to her Swiss husband for 8 years, all of which resident in Switzerland, language and 'Politik und Gesellschaftstest' certificates in hand, was rejected for facilitated naturalization.
Why?

Tom
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Old 23.07.2016, 16:23
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Why?

Tom
I asked this as well last time MC mentioned. I find it very hard to believe there was nothing behind this story.... Even Michelle Bachmann who never set foot in CH was granted facilitated naturalization!

I'd be interested to hear the reasons that were cited and then what happened during the appeal.
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Old 23.07.2016, 16:28
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

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Why?

Tom
Also standing by for the story
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Old 23.07.2016, 16:37
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Re: American Aeronautical Engineer looking for job in Switzerland

As it's not my story to tell, I will first need to ask my friend for permission.

But I've pointed this out so that one understands that even facilitated naturalization isn't always a given.

(But as the OP has a US fiancée, one would think that route is closed to him anyway.)
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