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Old 28.10.2020, 12:44
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Unemployment benefits for a student

Hello all,


I am a PhD student (non-EU) in Switzerland. I received a scholarship for three years and then I was employed as a regular PhD student/Assistant (60%) at the university for fourth year. Then again for the fifth year.



Due to university rules (1+2+2), they offered me a two year contract for the fifth year but we made a verbal commitment that I will finish my work in one year. And they asked me to resign after fifth year (from 31.12.2020). So did I.



Now, I have submitted the first draft of my thesis already but due to covid and stuff, the evaluation and thesis defense may take some extra time and I might have to stay four to six months longer.


I have my residence permit until 05.09.2021, due to that 2 year contract.


My question is, am i eligible for unemployment benefits?

And how early should I contact unemployment office?


Please guide me. Many thanks in advance.


Best wishes.
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Old 28.10.2020, 13:17
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Re: Unemployment benefits for a student

You can contact them whenever you want but usually they can only give you advice until you have a termination notice in your hand.
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Old 28.10.2020, 13:33
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Re: Unemployment benefits for a student

To determine whether you might be eligible for unemployment compensation, please see FAQ #2 at this link (English):

https://www.arbeit.swiss/secoalv/en/...edien/faq.html

The issue that many non-EU students face is that they have a restricted permit such as a "residence permit B, education with gainful employment". RAV/ Caisse may not consider a job-seeker with this permit to be "placeable" since it is restricted to a specific purpose and does not allow any other gainful employment.

The below linked article concerns a non-EU citizen who completed his PhD at the University of Basel. Although he had paid into the unemployment insurance fund for five and one-half years, he was denied unemployment compensation because his permit "residence permit B, education with gainful employment" was restricted to a specific purpose and did not permit any other gainful employment:

https://www.20min.ch/story/er-verkla...d-188563983575
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Old 28.10.2020, 14:19
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Re: Unemployment benefits for a student

You're entitled to unemployment benefits because you've been contributing every month to them by a salary deduction. Albeit, to get them you need residence in Switzerland. Your current student with work permit ends the day your employment contract with the university ends. So, you need to get a new residence permit starting on 01.01.2021 while getting income from unemployment benefits.....this is the challenge.

First, did you ever signed a document stating you'll leave Switzerland upon completion of studies? In theory the end of the contract with the university is the completion of studies. If this document is remembered by cantonal authorities, big trouble.

At the end of my PhD I also had a lot of incertitude. At the time I consulted the permanence des avocats de Neuchâtel. The advise was to land a job contract as soon as possible (plan A). Plan B was to get a 6 month L permit on the grounds of looking for a job after completing a PhD in CH with income supported partly on savings and partly on unemployment benefits....and the lawyer would help with this because there's a great change a request like this can fail.

My uneducated guess is that if you try to get unemployment benefits after the university contract ends, the chômage office will just say no based on an expired residence permit. You situations is complicate, I'll get a groan here but talk to a lawyer in Lausanne and get some advise. The permanence des avocats is not that expensive because it's like an NGO focused on giving advice on if a lawyer can help or not, or which lawyer can help you. Due to covid video meetings are available https://www.consultationjuridiqueduv...0aAv-qEALw_wcB
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