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Old 17.10.2017, 01:37
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Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

Hi,

myself and two of my friends are considering moving to Switzerland. As an EU citizen, this is not a problem for me. However, we have one American among us. After checking (english speaking) job markets it seems like there is at least a little out there for him.

These are things he could do:
IT tier 3 support
IT project management
Scrum master
Release Manager
Product Support Engineer
IT Support Specialist

The question now is: How realistic is it to acquire a coveted work visa in that area of work? I know that one needs to be a "qualified worker", and I believe he clears that obstacle.
However, how easy will it be to actually find something where they want to hire a non-EU citizen?

(In case it is relevant: Looking at Zurich, Lucerne, Zug area.)
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Old 17.10.2017, 01:41
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

(Also: He's working for an American insurance company atm.)
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Old 17.10.2017, 13:12
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

Not particularly since I guess there are plenty of Swiss/EU nationals who can do those jobs. A Swiss employer has to prove they can't find one of those before they'd be able to hire your friend.

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

There are also quota limits on the number of permits for non-EU nationals and some cantons have run out of these already including Zurich.

https://www.thelocal.ch/20170830/thr...-eu-foreigners

Even if he can find an employer willing to apply for a permit, if there are none left he simply won't get one.
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Old 17.10.2017, 13:40
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

Looks promising for him but depends on whether his skills and experience are hard to find here, which certifications he has, years of experience, etc. I am non-EU and was able to obtain a work permit and job. Which area of IT does he do Tier III support?
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Old 17.10.2017, 14:05
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

It will be easier for him in Germany. Maybe you can all move there.
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Old 17.10.2017, 22:40
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

Thanks for the answers so far!

My friend is doing tier 3 support, mostly with Microsoft products, general hardware/software/network, and mobile devices.

We are also looking at Germany and other places - but there's an interesting job offer potentially coming my way from Switzerland, so we are trying to do a "sanity check" if he could get a job there as well or not.

The immigration laws mention "highly qualified workers" - but what does actually mean? Does that only include PhDs and top managers for example? Or would a profile like the one of my friend also fall into this category? Hard to judge from the outside, so I thought I'd ask here.

Maybe a better question would have been: With what kind of jobs / qualifications have people scored visas in Switzerland before?
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Old 17.10.2017, 22:50
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

From what I can tell in my research, highly skilled usually includes a college degree.

As far as getting hired.. that's tough. Most companies would rather not have to go through the whole visa process. They would much rather higher someone off the street. With that said, i have read that there is an IT shortage (this could just be anecdotal).

However, most of the time they'll go through a staffing company to fulfill their needs. That may be the best bet, look at Ibm, Tech Mahindra, and other IT outsourcers. They might be able to place your friend into a job in Switzerland.

Just my two cents from a guy that's getting a job in Switzerland through his current IT company.
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Old 17.10.2017, 23:07
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

Thanks! That sounds like some interesting insight. The tip with the staffing company sounds like a good one!
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Old 18.10.2017, 00:02
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

IT support? Even in 3rd level I have yet to encounter anyone NOT being able to converse in German at B2 level at the very least (98% are Swiss, Germans or speak German at excellent levels)

Sure, English is often used in such environment. But unless he works for an "international company" (read: highly toxic work environment.. ) even at international companies with a lot of English speaking staff, in IT support you better speak German. Just my experience though..

And yeah. I somehow doubt no CH or at least EU national could do such job.. (basically to get such special permit he would have to earn A LOT. certainly more than 100k per year, which is already decent income for IT support 2nd/3rd tier unless heavily specialized, which he doesnt seem to be)

not wanting to be the bad news messenger, but this isnt going to be easy. Lot of US nationals try to secure jobs overseas since late last year
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Old 18.10.2017, 00:25
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

The directness is very much appreciated! Shame that Trump also manages to ruin American lives in Switzerland...
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Old 18.10.2017, 07:16
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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The directness is very much appreciated! Shame that Trump also manages to ruin American lives in Switzerland...
You may want to know that this was all in place way before that guy got to be the POTUS. It was already difficult for years to get a permit as a non EU
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Old 18.10.2017, 08:36
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

Also don't know where your friend is based, but if not outside the US then he needs to know some facts about life outside of that country. Americans will find it difficult to get a bank account here due to FATCA. Only UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance will even consider him for an account and to open one he'll need to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account details on to the IRS. Any foreign, i.e. outside of US, bank account has to be reported on an FBAR form if the aggregate sum is more than $10,000 at any time of the year.
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Old 18.10.2017, 09:07
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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Also don't know where your friend is based, but if not outside the US then he needs to know some facts about life outside of that country. Americans will find it difficult to get a bank account here due to FATCA. Only UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance will even consider him for an account and to open one he'll need to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account details on to the IRS. Any foreign, i.e. outside of US, bank account has to be reported on an FBAR form if the aggregate sum is more than $10,000 at any time of the year.
If you have a valid work permit and address of residence then getting a bank account is easy, and no-one should object to filling out W-9 forms.

The worst thing would be paying dual tax as an American citizen.
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Old 18.10.2017, 09:22
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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The worst thing would be paying dual tax as an American citizen.
Which most do not have to due due to the income and housing exclusions.

The worst for most people is the mountain of paperwork to be filled out yearly just to show that you don't owe any taxes.

Tom
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Old 18.10.2017, 09:26
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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You may want to know that this was all in place way before that guy got to be the POTUS. It was already difficult for years to get a permit as a non EU
Decades, actually.

It hasn't gotten harder for non-EU, rather it got easier for EU after FMOP was accepted, it used to be as hard for them as non-EU.

Tom
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Old 18.10.2017, 09:50
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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Which most do not have to due due to the income and housing exclusions.

The worst for most people is the mountain of paperwork to be filled out yearly just to show that you don't owe any taxes.

Tom
Yeah that's also part of what i meant, just the process surrounding it that you have to prove either way.
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Old 18.10.2017, 10:37
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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The directness is very much appreciated! Shame that Trump also manages to ruin American lives in Switzerland...
Please keep your propaganda away!

The world does not revolve around americans, or Trump.
In fact, if you had a little bit of honesty and integrity, you would check the facts. Which are very clear, the difficulties which have Americans abroad (dual taxations, etc...) have been introduced way before Trump, by "the other side".

You will find that these difficulties are equally impacting non Americans, in fact, numerous foreigners (non Swiss people) to various degrees.

And the context of that country, makes these difficulties even more noticeable than bigger surrounding countries.

Having said that, if you want to show a little respect for your country, and represent Americans abroad in a better way, then I suggest you come to another country with a little bit more respect and a little bit less "american issues" focused.

In short, nobody cares you are american here*, you'll have plenty of difficulties like numerous other people.

*beside the banks and taxman, of course, good luck with that
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Old 19.10.2017, 01:19
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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Please keep your propaganda away!
That was a tongue-in-cheek comment in reply to another tongue-in-cheek comment.

And I'm not American.
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Old 19.10.2017, 06:16
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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That was a tongue-in-cheek comment in reply to another tongue-in-cheek comment.

And I'm not American.
You really didn't do yourself a favor with that comment, even if it was tongue-in-cheek. Aside from the ridiculous and completely nonsensical "argument", Switzerland doesn't have an obligation to make "American lives easier" - as opposed to ruining them - just like no country has any obligation to make the lives of any non-nationals easier in any way. Even less so as said American doesn't even live here, so there is really nothing to ruin in the first place.

As Tom correctly points out, it has not gotten harder for non-EUs, but easier for EUs. Pre-free movement of people between EU/CH, every non-national had to go through the hiring process that non-EUs go through these days. But if you're set on saying it's become harder for non-EUs, blame the EU for that.

That aside, to be eligible for a permit, non-EUs have to be a seasoned manager of sorts (whatever that may mean), highly specialized, qualified and an employer needs to prove there's no EU/CH citizen able to do whatever job they are considering a non-EU for. That's unlikely for 90% of all jobs and a 3rd-level IT support doesn't sound like it'd fulfil any of the criteria. A college degree is standard (even a Masters) and pretty much a minimum requirement, not a maximum. All of this can also be read in approx. fifteen thousand threads on this forum.

So no, probably not happening - for your American colleague that is. And I'm not even going to ask why the three of you a) want to move to a new country together (a strange plan for three colleagues) and b) why Switzerland is on the radar in the first place when there are more obvious and maybe easier choices.
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Old 19.10.2017, 07:30
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Re: Job market chances - non-EU - IT Support

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and b) why Switzerland is on the radar in the first place when there are more obvious and maybe easier choices.
As so often, probably money money money?
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