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Old 09.03.2021, 23:56
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An unemployed spouse

Hello, we've arrived to Vaud more than a year ago and as I've noticed as it often happens my spouse has been unable to find a job since then. We are not giving up on this although it looks pretty bad. I could provide more context on her profile but it is probably irrelevant for my questions.

I would like to ask you,

- retirement: initially I was asked by authorities to provide an info on my salary which I did and then they concluded that it was sufficient for my spouse to be also covered; how does it work - will my spouse have some kind of a minimal pension even in the most negative scenario - if she never finds an employment here? there are yet a few decades ahead of us before we retire yet it'd be interesting to learn more about it
- job hunting: is there some sort of a public service aimed to help residents find a job more or less matching their profile if they have been unable to do so for a longer time? I guess there is no such service, but if there is my next question would be if there is a negative impact on our naturalization in future if my spouse uses such a service?

We're on a type B (EU/EFTA) 5 years long permit.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 10.03.2021, 06:22
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Re: An unemployed spouse

Generally, your spouse would be entitled to a widow's pension from the state and a similar thing from your private provision (pillar 2).

https://www.ch.ch/en/pensions-for-th...-and-children/

ch.ch is a good source of information: https://www.ch.ch/en/retirement-provision-system/

I'm not aware of a public system for job hunting, but generally actions by your spouse to find a job would not be looked upon negatively for permit or naturalisation. The thing which matters is the financial stability of the household which is fine if you're working.
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Old 10.03.2021, 06:47
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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- retirement: initially I was asked by authorities to provide an info on my salary which I did and then they concluded that it was sufficient for my spouse to be also covered; how does it work - will my spouse have some kind of a minimal pension even in the most negative scenario - if she never finds an employment here? there are yet a few decades ahead of us before we retire yet it'd be interesting to learn more about it.
Yes. Since you are employed you will be paying her retirement contributions as well as your own from your salary. Everyone who lives in Switzerland must contribute towards the State pension from the age of 20 until they reach retirement age (64 for women, 65 for men currently). More info here:

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/2.03.e

I haven't worked at all in Switzerland, but I do get a small Swiss pension now I've reached retirement age.
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Old 10.03.2021, 07:17
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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Yes. Since you are employed you will be paying her retirement contributions as well as your own from your salary.
No.

If you pay more than 2x the minimum for yourself, there is no extra to pay for your spouse.

Tom
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:04
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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job hunting: is there some sort of a public service aimed to help residents find a job more or less matching their profile if they have been unable to do so for a longer time? I guess there is no such service, but if there is my next question would be if there is a negative impact on our naturalization in future if my spouse uses such a service?
Office regional de Placement (Regional employment office). They have coaches and a large database on unfilled positions. Maybe even some useful advice. https://www.vd.ch/themes/economie/em...-de-placement/

I don't think using the employment office services counts as social aid, so no problems for later changes in residence status. Any experience from other EFers?
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:19
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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- job hunting: is there some sort of a public service aimed to help residents find a job more or less matching their profile if they have been unable to do so for a longer time? I guess there is no such service, but if there is my next question would be if there is a negative impact on our naturalization in future if my spouse uses such a service?
There are public services, but usually only after you have paid into the system for awhile (i.e. IV, RAV etc).

What is your partners job experience in? Perhaps some EFers can provide some advice...many of us have been in the same situation.

There are numerous job coaches in Switzerland, but many of them are worthless and it is quite an expense without much result. However, a good coach can make all the difference. Can any EFers recommend one? I could, but she is hired almost exclusively for my former corporation...

In Switzerland, there are numerous recruiting agencies. Taking a short term contract job is a great first step into the job market. Websites like Glassdoor & LinkedIn are excellent too for pinpointing available jobs with your relevant experience.

Best wishes, it took me about 1.5 years to get fully into the job market after following my spouse here...I've been gainfully employed ever since, just takes a bit of compromise and hard work.
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:23
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Re: An unemployed spouse

Thanks for useful replies, and more question in the same context: is my spouse obliged to fill an annual tax form when having no income?
- I am taxed at source, however I am submitting a simplified tax form to make some small returns (transport to work, meals) and inter alia I mention there that my spouse has no lucrative activity - could it suffice for her?
- I am also curious if zero income needs to be reported if I do not submit a tax form that is optional for me currently

I asked the same question to the tax office and was ignored although they did not ignore other questions. Perhaps it was a weird question.
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:28
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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Thanks for useful replies, and more question in the same context: is my spouse obliged to fill an annual tax form when having no income?
- I am taxed at source, however I am submitting a simplified tax form to make some small returns (transport to work, meals) and inter alia I mention there that my spouse has no lucrative activity - could it suffice for her?
- I am also curious if zero income needs to be reported if I do not submit a tax form that is optional for me currently

I asked the same question to the tax office and was ignored although they did not ignore other questions. Perhaps it was a weird question.
I'm no tax expert, but she should be on your tax return as your spouse, where you can document her no income.
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:32
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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What is your partners job experience in? Perhaps some EFers can provide some advice...many of us have been in the same situation.
She has 2 years of experience in Fund Accounting, foreign Masters in Economics and foreign Bachelors in Management. Her French is about B1, so so, she has been learning it from the scratch for a year since the time we arrived. She has had 2-3 interviews so far depending on what can be counted as such.
It seems like she receives rejections because,
- the niche of FA is not in demand here, most of such opportunities are in Luxembourg, London, Dublin
- for other administrative & financial roles (no matter what) she is probably under-qualified and there are probably many native French speakers competing
- for intern positions they only seem to want fresh grads which is kind of fair to them anyways
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:36
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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There are public services, but usually only after you have paid into the system for awhile (i.e. IV, RAV etc).
This may be a problem :/

Anyway, roaming around the Vaud ORP site found this video in English which is more or less the advice you'll get from EF:

- Tell everyone you know you're looking for a job. It's not the thing to be shy about, shout it from the rooftops. You never know who knows someone who is looking to engage a new team member.

- Unsolicited applications. Just send as many cover letters + CVs to any employer that looks interesting. I contacted the company I work now a few years ago, they kindly said no. 6 months later they asked me to apply. My wife gave a 2 test course at some place and got the job offer more than a year later.

- Embrace failure: last time I sent 20+ unsolicited applications and I only got 1 answer saying no thank you. I've heard stories about people applying more than 50 times before landing a contract. Funny thing, a month ago we received an unsolicited application and my manager is thinking about it. So, you never know.

- Recruiting agencies are also important. They win if they place you, so they want to hear from you. Maybe the conditions are not optimal, but it's a literal foot on the door to have the 1st CV line in CH.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TEypR4N_U
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:47
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Re: An unemployed spouse

Most of the world’s sports governing bodies are based around the Lausanne area. Maybe she could try them for admin type roles. I would love to work for a sport association, but I live too far away.

There is a list here, but you have to google each one individually to see which are in Lausanne https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ts_federations
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:47
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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She has 2 years of experience in Fund Accounting, foreign Masters in Economics and foreign Bachelors in Management. Her French is about B1, so so, she has been learning it from the scratch for a year since the time we arrived. She has had 2-3 interviews so far depending on what can be counted as such.
It seems like she receives rejections because,
- the niche of FA is not in demand here, most of such opportunities are in Luxembourg, London, Dublin
- for other administrative & financial roles (no matter what) she is probably under-qualified and there are probably many native French speakers competing
- for intern positions they only seem to want fresh grads which is kind of fair to them anyways
This is great, thanks for sharing - she can most definitely find a job!

I recommend that she expand her search zone outside of Lausanne - she could potentially commute 1 - 1.5 hours at the beginning just to get that first experience. Have her apply to multinational corporations where English is the main spoken language, there are plenty in your region and start networking. Commodities trading is big in your area, have a look at those companies. She should also found out who the contracting agencies are that work mainly with these corporations & she should introduce herself.

I took a low level administrative job with zero foreign language skills at the time at one of the biggest corporations in Switzerland. I was able to quickly work my way up ... she can do this! I have confidence.

P.S. 2-3 interviews is nothing, there may be many more before she finds her place, but it will happen as long as she keeps trying.
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Old 10.03.2021, 10:52
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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This is great, thanks for sharing - she can most definitely find a job!

I recommend that she expand her search zone outside of Lausanne - she could potentially commute 1 - 1.5 hours at the beginning just to get that first experience. Have her apply to multinational corporations where English is the main spoken language, there are plenty in your region and start networking. Commodities trading is big in your area, have a look at those companies. She should also found out who the contracting agencies are that work mainly with these corporations & she should introduce herself.

I took a low level administrative job with zero foreign language skills at the time at one of the biggest corporations in Switzerland. I was able to quickly work my way up ... she can do this! I have confidence.

P.S. 2-3 interviews is nothing, there may be many more before she finds her place, but it will happen as long as she keeps trying.
Eh I think we've tried to apply for nearly every fin/admin opportunity on the coastal line Geneva -> Montreaux, and also to some in Yverdon
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Old 10.03.2021, 11:09
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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Eh I think we've tried to apply for nearly every fin/admin opportunity on the coastal line Geneva -> Montreaux, and also to some in Yverdon
Then keep trying...it takes many many tries sometimes & then one day out of the blue, it happens.

I got my first job when a VP at Roche picked up a stack of CV's and said to the admin of the team, "Call everyone in this pile & invite whoever answers in for an interview tomorrow." I happened to answer the phone (which I don't usually) while at happy hour with a girlfriend...I nailed the interview the next day and have been working in Big Pharma ever since (as a Political Science/History major working in the arts previously with no scientific background).

Another girlfriend of mine worked as a vet tech for years in the US, she didn't speak one word of German and for two years, she struggled to find work after following her husband here. Her pet cat got severely injured in an accident, she built a nice relationship with the vets at the renowned vet hospital her cat was being treated in, and is now one of their best and most seasoned vet techs.

Don't give up!

P.S. Also look in Bern
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Old 10.03.2021, 11:23
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Re: An unemployed spouse

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Then keep trying...it takes many many tries sometimes & then one day out of the blue, it happens.

I got my first job when a VP at Roche picked up a stack of CV's and said to the admin of the team, "Call everyone in this pile & invite whoever answers in for an interview tomorrow." I happened to answer the phone (which I don't usually) while at happy hour with a girlfriend...I nailed the interview the next day and have been working in Big Pharma ever since (as a Political Science/History major working in the arts previously with no scientific background).

Another girlfriend of mine worked as a vet tech for years in the US, she didn't speak one word of German and for two years, she struggled to find work after following her husband here. Her pet cat got severely injured in an accident, she built a nice relationship with the vets at the renowned vet hospital her cat was being treated in, and is now one of their best and most seasoned vet techs.

Don't give up!

P.S. Also look in Bern
Thank you for nice words and advises, and, yes, at this stage it seems like a similar kind of miracle needs to happen )
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Old 10.03.2021, 13:39
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Re: An unemployed spouse

I asked the tax office in Lausanne again and they replied that my spouse simply did not have to a file a tax return (when having no income), just if anyone finds this thread in future
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