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Old 21.12.2017, 16:11
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Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

Hey everyone!

I'm a US citizen (3rd party national) whose partner is a Swiss resident (C permit) and a French citizen. I have a PhD in Chemistry and I've been searching for jobs in Switzerland for about a half a year now. I've had a handful of interviews, but so far no job offers. I'm reaching out to see if anyone has any contacts or connections in pertinent fields (industry, hospital, medical, pharmaceuticals, academia, food, engineering, etc.) that wouldn't mind giving me some advice or what not.

We ideally would live in the Western part of Switzerland (probably no further east than Basel/Bern), but that is just a preference (we would be fine in the German-speaking part). The only foreign languages I speak are basic French and Spanish.

Let me know if you have any questions and I appreciate any help!
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  #2  
Old 21.12.2017, 16:42
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

Try some of these links and see if you can find something to apply for.

The problem you have is being a non-EU national. Priority is given to Swiss/EU nationals when hiring so you're last in the queue. There are strict rules employers have to follow.

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

If you don't have the years of experience to back up your degree you may struggle to find an employer willing to try for a permit for you. Another problem is the Swiss people voted to curb immigration from the EU in 2014. Although the Swiss government hasn't brought in permit quota limits for them, same as non-EUs, more and more emphasis is being put on hiring people who already live here and have a permit that allows them to work.

Another problem you personally are going to run into is being American here. Because of the US's FATCA law only a few banks will even consider you for a basic salary/checking account and you will need to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account details on to the IRS (will apply to your gf too if you have a joint account). You're also obliged under US law to continue filing US tax returns no matter where you live in the world and could owe the US tax on top of local taxes. Any foreign, i.e. outside of US, accounts also have to be reported on an FBAR form if the aggregate figure comes to more than $10,000 at any time of the year.
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  #3  
Old 21.12.2017, 19:36
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

Thanks a lot for all the specifics, especially in regards to the bank account. I recognize my chances are low (as my empirical data shows), I'm just hoping having some contacts/connections will increase those odds in helping me land that job offer. I'll pass this information along to my partner too! Thank you!
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Old 01.01.2018, 16:40
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

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Try some of these links and see if you can find something to apply for.

The problem you have is being a non-EU national. Priority is given to Swiss/EU nationals when hiring so you're last in the queue. There are strict rules employers have to follow.

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

If you don't have the years of experience to back up your degree you may struggle to find an employer willing to try for a permit for you.
Permit should not be the problem in this case. Yowdahman's partner has EU passport and the swiss C permit, which means he should have gotten an open 5-year B permit (is that correct Yowdahman?). According to AuG Art. 21-2c, he is then classified as "inlšndischer Arbeitnehmer" and the queue you mentioned does not apply to him.

I think the real issue is language knowledge. I would suggest to improve your french till at least B1, better B2. Otherwise you will only have limited opportunities in multinationals, where the standard language is english. Also consider german if your background is pharma (because of Basel area, obvously).

Also, Yowdahman, does your PhD degree come from the swiss Uni or from abroad? Having swiss education also puts you out of the mentioned queue.

Also, if you are a fresh PhD I would then consider doing 1-2yr of post-doc in Lausanne/Geneva area, while taking intensive french. So you will not waste your time and be much better prepared.

Cheers,
Andy.
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  #5  
Old 01.01.2018, 16:57
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

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Permit should not be the problem in this case. Yowdahman's partner has EU passport and the swiss C permit, which means he should have gotten an open 5-year B permit (is that correct Yowdahman?). According to AuG Art. 21-2c, he is then classified as "inlšndischer Arbeitnehmer" and the queue you mentioned does not apply to him.

I think the real issue is language knowledge. I would suggest to improve your french till at least B1, better B2. Otherwise you will only have limited opportunities in multinationals, where the standard language is english. Also consider german if your background is pharma (because of Basel area, obvously).

Also, Yowdahman, does your PhD degree come from the swiss Uni or from abroad? Having swiss education also puts you out of the mentioned queue.

Also, if you are a fresh PhD I would then consider doing 1-2yr of post-doc in Lausanne/Geneva area, while taking intensive french. So you will not waste your time and be much better prepared.

Cheers,
Andy.
That isn't how it reads to me. It comes across that Yowdahman at least is still in the US hence no permit. Partner may be as well at the moment since they said "would live in western Switzerland", not are living in western Switzerland.

Of course it's a whole different ball game if the OP has a Swiss permit and that point needs to be made very clear right at the top of their CV if that's the case.

If this is a case of Yowdahman being in the US and partner here then the first thing to do is go for family reunification - assuming the partner has sufficient funds to support them both. That way they get the permit which then removes the non-EU hiring criteria.

But without clarification from Yowdahman on the actual situation not much more advice can be given.
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Old 01.01.2018, 17:02
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That isn't how it reads to me. It comes across that Yowdahman at least is still in the US hence no permit. Partner may be as well at the moment since they said "would live in western Switzerland", not are living in western Switzerland.
Ah, yeah, Location actually says "USA"

So then reunification and relocation should be the first step to do, then the job search.

I guess the spouse must be in CH, otherwise where the C permit comes from? It is discontinued after 6 months outside CH...

We need more info, Yowdahman

Last edited by 3Wishes; 01.01.2018 at 17:08. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 01.01.2018, 17:11
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

Frankly, if you're getting inteviews, it's just a matter of time. Or your interview skills.
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Old 01.01.2018, 19:18
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

Well, I know some people (PhD chemists) who get quite a few interviews, but are still unemployed and RAVving for over a year now. It is also possible I will become one of them soon
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Old 05.01.2018, 18:14
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

Hey everyone! Thanks for the helpful replies! For the clarification everyone is looking for, we both are located in the USA and my partner is a Swiss resident with C permit. She asked the government for that leave of abscence so she still has the permit even though she is in the states. The only issue with the reunification program is that we are not registered partners and that only works for that type of partnership. Therefore, the first step would be to go and do something like that I think?

My university was in the states and I am fresh out of my PhD program for more information. So far, if I had a connection in a Swiss company who could apply for visas, I would think I would be able to get a job pretty easily.
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Old 05.01.2018, 18:32
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

No, it doesn't. For hetrosexual unmarried couples some cantons offer what's called a concubine permit. To get this she would have to agree to be financially responsible for you for 5 years. However, I don't know if you'd be allowed to work with that permit or if her canton even offers it. That's available under family reunification.

Otherwise, the answer is the usual one. Marry and get rid of all your permit problems in one go. Because as well as being the last in the hiring queue anyway, more emphasis is being put on hiring people who already have permission to live/work here, either because they're Swiss nationals or have a Swiss permit. If you're same sex, then you need to make a registered same-sex partnership.

The Swiss voted back in Februardy 2014 to curb immigration from the EU. Quota limits similar to those for non-EU nationals were expected, but the EU caused a ruckus saying it infringed the Free Movement Agreement so the Swiss government eventually decided on making hiring people already living here more of a priority.
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Old 05.01.2018, 18:53
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Re: Looking for contacts/connections for Swiss Employment

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Hey everyone! Thanks for the helpful replies! For the clarification everyone is looking for, we both are located in the USA and my partner is a Swiss resident with C permit. She asked the government for that leave of abscence so she still has the permit even though she is in the states. The only issue with the reunification program is that we are not registered partners and that only works for that type of partnership. Therefore, the first step would be to go and do something like that I think?

My university was in the states and I am fresh out of my PhD program for more information. So far, if I had a connection in a Swiss company who could apply for visas, I would think I would be able to get a job pretty easily.
Just a caution, make sure they don't nullify her C permit after 6 months. It happens automatically if you don't pass by switzerland at least for a while once per 6 months.

Time to get married =)
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