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Old 03.01.2020, 05:40
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IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who has contributed to this site. It's been a treasure trove of valuable information and an incredible resource thus far.

Onto the point: My goal for 2020 is to relocate from the US to Zurich by the end of August. What can I do to maximize my chance for success and/or what tips can you share that worked for you?

Details:
US citizen, late 20's, no previous or exiting CH work permit, no criminal record, no dependents, data strategist on an innovation R&D team in healthcare IT.
I'm aware I'm a third state citizen and will be competing against tens of thousands of people for the ~8500 work visas and the odds are not what I would typically call 'good'. I'm also aware that the FNIA adds a language requirement to all B & C permits, which would likely require A1 for B and B1 for C. I have about 6 months of babbel training, probably around 150 hours of basic conversational German sounding like a toddler but no language certificate at this time.
I hold a B.Sc. & M.Sc. in geospatial information science with 4 years of academic research experience and 4 years of healthcare IT experience. All of my work history is heavily targeted toward data & analytics. I am well versed in clinical information management, revenue cycle, business intelligence, predictive analytics, and data architecture. I have limited working knowledge of extended reality, user experience, hydrology, and population management.
I have applied to several dozen jobs and haven't gotten a single follow up email or call, which is semi-anticipated, so I'm trying to change up my method and significantly increase my applications. Applying for jobs will be my second job. To my knowledge, the healthcare IT scene is quite small. My current employer specializes in electronic medical records and ancillary healthcare IT segments such as rev cycle, medication administration, 'smart' rooms, and logistics. Seeing as Siemens exited the market several years ago I'm willing to transition industries (e.g. HCIT > finance, pharma, etc).

I can't think of anything else to mention at this time but I'll make edits as necessary.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 03.01.2020, 19:47
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

Welcome to the Forum. I don't have many suggestions but here are a few.

1. When applying to jobs here, make sure your CV is in the "Swiss" format - photograph, nationality, marital status, hobbies, etc. Any potential employer needs to think they must have YOU, not some Swiss or EU citizen or another non-EU. The employer has to spend time and money to go through the hiring process, so show them why you're worth it.

2. Work on your language skills and get a certificate to prove them. This will help you to apply and interview in German and also gives you a slight leg up over the other thousands of non-EU applicants that don't speak German.

3. Research what companies do the type of work you do or would like to do and keep applying to them.

Several dozen is a drop in the bucket. When people are on unemployment here, they're expected to apply to at least 10 jobs per month. If you're not doing at least that many, you're probably not applying enough and the odds of getting a favorable response are much lower.
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Old 03.01.2020, 22:14
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

These are some ideas about working in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria for US/ non-EU citizens:

1. Young Professionals Traineeships in Switzerland:

US Citizens can apply for "young professional" traineeships up to age 35. See this link:

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

2. Germany: a US Citizen can move to Germany without a visa and register within 90 days as self-employed. Details at this link:

https://www.germany.info/blob/179460...ancer-data.pdf

3. Germany: as of 2020, Germany is allowing easier access to its labor market for non-EU citizens. See this link:

https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/...ing-in-germany

4. Netherlands: under the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT), US Citizens can establish businesses/ become self-employed. See this link:

http://daft.amsterdam/

5. Austria Red-White-Red Card: Americans are one of the top users of the special Red-White-Red Card for non-EU immigration to Austria. See this link:

https://www.migration.gv.at/en/types...t-immigration/
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Old 04.01.2020, 04:12
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

that is hugely helpful. thank you! i had no idea about the red-white-red program or the recent changes to german working laws.
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Old 04.01.2020, 08:58
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

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I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who has contributed to this site. It's been a treasure trove of valuable information and an incredible resource thus far.

Onto the point: My goal for 2020 is to relocate from the US to Zurich by the end of August. What can I do to maximize my chance for success and/or what tips can you share that worked for you?

Details:
US citizen, late 20's, no previous or exiting CH work permit, no criminal record, no dependents, data strategist on an innovation R&D team in healthcare IT.
I'm aware I'm a third state citizen and will be competing against tens of thousands of people for the ~8500 work visas and the odds are not what I would typically call 'good'. I'm also aware that the FNIA adds a language requirement to all B & C permits, which would likely require A1 for B and B1 for C. I have about 6 months of babbel training, probably around 150 hours of basic conversational German sounding like a toddler but no language certificate at this time.
I hold a B.Sc. & M.Sc. in geospatial information science with 4 years of academic research experience and 4 years of healthcare IT experience. All of my work history is heavily targeted toward data & analytics. I am well versed in clinical information management, revenue cycle, business intelligence, predictive analytics, and data architecture. I have limited working knowledge of extended reality, user experience, hydrology, and population management.
I have applied to several dozen jobs and haven't gotten a single follow up email or call, which is semi-anticipated, so I'm trying to change up my method and significantly increase my applications. Applying for jobs will be my second job. To my knowledge, the healthcare IT scene is quite small. My current employer specializes in electronic medical records and ancillary healthcare IT segments such as rev cycle, medication administration, 'smart' rooms, and logistics. Seeing as Siemens exited the market several years ago I'm willing to transition industries (e.g. HCIT > finance, pharma, etc).

I can't think of anything else to mention at this time but I'll make edits as necessary.

Thank you in advance.
Why do you want to move to CH?
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Old 04.01.2020, 09:24
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

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Why do you want to move to CH?
And why Zürich in particular? With the listed skills I'd have thought Roche or Novartis in Basel would be a good target.
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Old 04.01.2020, 11:15
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

And I'll throw in: Why the August deadline?

What I'm hinting at, and perhaps the two posters above might be as well, is given your specific targets and willingness to change careers in order to get here, is there a non-work related reason driving your move?

For instance, if there is a relationship behind the drive to move, that could be an easier path for non-EU citizens than a work permit.

But if your desire is purely work related, keep concentrating on finding that job offer. For a non-EU, the barriers are indeed high, and given that the economic and political situations are increasingly immigrant-unfriendly, getting higher all the time. But experts who bring niche in-demand skills to the table or other value that cannot be found among the pool of CH/EU citizens still make it over.

(But if your desire is purely work related, are you sure Switzerland is really the place you want to be?)

All the best...

Last edited by meloncollie; 04.01.2020 at 15:27.
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Old 04.01.2020, 11:40
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

If you have never been to CH then do that first. It's possible the reality here does not match your Fantasy?
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Old 04.01.2020, 18:51
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

I'm disillusioned with the US, in particular the narrative of being a bastion of freedom and democracy, and have been for the better part of the decade. I want to disassociate myself and my contributions from here which is why I'm targeting the move. I'm finally able to do so responsibly after my first attempt at relocation via master's @ ETHZ didn't result in success. The single greatest attraction for Switzerland is the neutrality and isolationist policies that you've taken on, although that is a moving goalpost as they have taken sides on EU/UN/etc. That said, the recent drone strike just further drives the point home to me that I do not want to be here.



The August deadline is when my current apartment lease in the US expires. A practical but semi-arbitrary reason.



I've visited Switzerland (Zurich, Zug, Bern) once for about a week and while it did not live up to all the hype I had built up, it was an amazing experience. The streets were clean, public transit was on time, people left me alone, the country is centrally located so I was about 1 train ride from anywhere in continental Europe. I know all countries and cities have their share of problems but the positives appear to outweigh the negatives at this time. I'm not particularly attached to Zurich, but AFAIK it's the largest Germanic city with a significant IT presence. My attempts at French went very poorly compared to German which is why I'm looking at the eastern part of the country. Zurich appeared to be my best option, but I'm open to other regions if my chances of success are better.
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Old 04.01.2020, 19:00
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

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I'm disillusioned with the US, in particular the narrative of being a bastion of freedom and democracy, and have been for the better part of the decade. I want to disassociate myself and my contributions from here which is why I'm targeting the move. I'm finally able to do so responsibly after my first attempt at relocation via master's @ ETHZ didn't result in success. The single greatest attraction for Switzerland is the neutrality and isolationist policies that you've taken on, although that is a moving goalpost as they have taken sides on EU/UN/etc. That said, the recent drone strike just further drives the point home to me that I do not want to be here.



The August deadline is when my current apartment lease in the US expires. A practical but semi-arbitrary reason.



I've visited Switzerland (Zurich, Zug, Bern) once for about a week and while it did not live up to all the hype I had built up, it was an amazing experience. The streets were clean, public transit was on time, people left me alone, the country is centrally located so I was about 1 train ride from anywhere in continental Europe. I know all countries and cities have their share of problems but the positives appear to outweigh the negatives at this time. I'm not particularly attached to Zurich, but AFAIK it's the largest Germanic city with a significant IT presence. My attempts at French went very poorly compared to German which is why I'm looking at the eastern part of the country. Zurich appeared to be my best option, but I'm open to other regions if my chances of success are better.
And here its 99.9999% unlikely that you will be gunned down by a crazy
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Old 05.01.2020, 12:29
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

I would never move here as a single man in my 20's who doesn't speak Swiss German. Socializing is difficult enough without speaking the native dialect. People here form their social circles early in life and it can be frustrating to be on the outside looking in. Also, the dating scene is difficult as a lot of dating is done through social circles and, Zurich being a banking and tech hub, attracts a lot more single men than single young women. Personally, I would look into London (amazing place for a young guy both socially and professionally) or Germany (Berlin has a growing tech scene and is super cheap) if you want to learn German. Switzerland is a great place to raise a family and I would consider it after you have married and are looking to start a family.
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Old 05.01.2020, 14:06
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

Geneva is a much better city for younger people than Zurich and it is much easier to learn the language and meet people.
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Old 05.01.2020, 15:09
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

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I would never move here as a single man in my 20's who doesn't speak Swiss German. Socializing is difficult enough without speaking the native dialect. People here form their social circles early in life and it can be frustrating to be on the outside looking in. Also, the dating scene is difficult as a lot of dating is done through social circles and, Zurich being a banking and tech hub, attracts a lot more single men than single young women. Personally, I would look into London (amazing place for a young guy both socially and professionally) or Germany (Berlin has a growing tech scene and is super cheap) if you want to learn German. Switzerland is a great place to raise a family and I would consider it after you have married and are looking to start a family.
Better Australia. You can get laid there every night!
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Old 05.01.2020, 15:24
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

The Times are over , that berlin is a cheap place to live in.

https://www.wohnungsboerse.net/immob...se-Berlin/2825
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Old 05.01.2020, 18:42
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

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Better Australia. You can get laid there every night!

Yeah.....but look at what results from all this casual sex
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Old 05.01.2020, 20:59
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

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I'm disillusioned with the US, in particular the narrative of being a bastion of freedom and democracy, and have been for the better part of the decade.
Being dissatisfied with your current situation, is not a good reason to come to Switzerland. As for freedom and democracy, it is very different here, the emphasis is on the group and the community not the individual and that means that you will have to get into line as opposed to doing your own thing. You won't get to vote for a very long time and when you do, it will not count for much because the magic formula means the government never really changes.

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The single greatest attraction for Switzerland is the neutrality and isolationist policies that you've taken on, although that is a moving goalpost as they have taken sides on EU/UN/etc.
Switzerland has always been neutral on the side of the West, just like Ireland and Sweden. And things like taking our seat at the UN etc, is a recognition that we can no longer operate in isolation, if for no other reason than the other states expect us to shoulder the shared responsibility and buying our way out of it is no longer going to fly.

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I've visited Switzerland (Zurich, Zug, Bern) once for about a week and while it did not live up to all the hype I had built up, it was an amazing experience. The streets were clean, public transit was on time, people left me alone, the country is centrally located so I was about 1 train ride from anywhere in continental Europe.
They left you alone because you were a tourist not living in their community... it is very different when you like in an apartment in Zurich and must follow the house rules just like everyone else, failure to do so will result in complaints to the landlord, the police and so on...
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Old 05.01.2020, 21:01
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

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The Times are over , that berlin is a cheap place to live in.

https://www.wohnungsboerse.net/immob...se-Berlin/2825
Comparatively, although the Berlin Senate is doing its best to make the city unattractive.......
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Old 07.01.2020, 08:05
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

So takeaways thus far:

  • Germany & Austria have much more immigrant friendly visa policies
  • Zurich doesn't have as diverse an employment field as I anticipated
  • Broader Switzerland is more realistic, but not probable
Is that correct?





Assuming I'm unwilling to quit on the idea: what entities would be more beneficial to look into than others? e.g. Swisslinx vs indeed, job agencies, etc. Try for Irish or Austrian citizenship, then move to CH as an EU citizen? Get a job with an international who has an office in CH and internal transfer?
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Old 07.01.2020, 09:40
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

Wait... you have access to Irish citizenship? If you do, then yes, pursue that.
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Old 07.01.2020, 09:50
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Re: IT Professional US>Zurich LF Advice

As others have tried to set out, Switzerland ticks differently. Perhaps you'd like to get a copy of the latest edition of David Hampshire's Living and Working in Switzerland, which is a standard book that has helped many newcomers.

Another good resource for general procedures is the Swiss government website www.ch.ch.
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