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Old 29.11.2010, 14:39
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How to keep C Permit with extended absence

I have scouted the forum and found some useful information on this topic, but nothing quite on point.

Next year my husband and I are eligible for the C Permit. We are non-EU citizens. We love Switzerland and would like to make it our long-term home. However, for various reasons, in the near future we may leave the country for 3-5 years.

My understanding is that we could potentially keep our C permits for up to 2 years, provided certain criteria are met. Clearly not our case.

So my question - is there a way we can leave the country for an extended period of time without losing our C Permit status? And if so, what costs are involved (conceptually, not numerically) - e.g., maintain health insurance, file tax returns, make minimum AHV payments? And what must we do logistically (maintain a postal address etc)?

Or is it just out of the question to think we could do this?

Thanks for your comments,
C
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  #2  
Old 29.11.2010, 15:24
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

It completely depends on the circumstances and the clarity of the intention to return. The best thing is to talk it over with the authorities.
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Old 29.11.2010, 16:25
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

I had a C permit and left for 2+ years, with the intention to return but no definite dates or definite contracts or anything. When I left I asked about keeping the C but they basically just said a flat "no". I think it would take some quite exceptional circumstances to make it possible to keep a C for 3-5 years not being a resident of Switzerland.

I might be wrong, I didn't push the question too hard because they said I'd just go back to a B permit if/when I come back, which for me is fine (I even save on the messy tax declaration pallava and just go back to Quellensteuer), but it sounds like your situation is different.
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Old 05.12.2010, 21:34
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C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

Hi Everyone,

Me and my partner, both with a C permit, would like to make a 6 months experience and volunteer in Brasil and Africa. According to what written in the down side of the permit paper we can stay out 6 months only. Does anyone know whether we have to notify it to the Swiss authority?

Thank you for the advice.
Cheers, Pinu
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Old 05.12.2010, 21:47
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

Go for the safe road. Gather the paper that make clear that it is for a given time and that you keep all your strings, house, money etc. That way, you make the dates official and you do not risk to get into trouble for a couple of days off the deadline. If the authorities tell you to cut it off with one week or so, do it. But they may give you an extention if you stay a little bit longer than exactly six months. At least, the whole thing is official.
Nice volonteer experience, good luck with it.
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  #6  
Old 05.12.2010, 23:10
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

Did you search the forum at all? We just talked about this last week. Check the back of your permit which should tell you how long you can stay out. You need to ask permission anyway. So go talk to your commune and they will tell you what to do.
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Old 06.12.2010, 07:22
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

you can ask for a C permit suspension for up to two years; you receive a letter that entitles you to get it back upon request (no games there, I did it twice). You can ask any duration, but given that you can ask it back any time, asking for the 2 years makes sense. If the 6 months you are thinking of have any chance of turning into 8 months, you are better off doing that.
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  #8  
Old 06.12.2010, 08:57
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

Permit C and Leaving Switzerland Temporarily
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Old 11.12.2010, 22:18
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

Make sure you apply through the official channels. I left Switzerland when my employer sent me to the USA on an expatriate contract, obviously my employer had no idea what they were doing because they didn't apply officially for my C permit to be frozen during my absence. When I returned after 2 years in the USA I changed job and moved to Kanton ZH, which complicated things further.

The Kanton completely ignored my previous status and sent me (and my family) B-permits that we promptly sent back with explanation letters and plenty of documentation proving that we were just temporarily expatriated for two years, during which we were still paying social security in Switzerland anyway! To no avail, the Kanton did not seem to respond to my pleas, and re-sent me the B-permits.

Finally, six months into this "litigation" with the Kanton, completely out of the blue I suddenly got a package in the post with our new C-permits! Why? I found out that my case had made it all the way to Bern, and only a decision at federal level sanctioned that we were rightfully entitled to our C permits.

I'm still amazed, my trust in the Swiss system is fully restored... but at Kantonal level you can sometime encounter some stiff little bureaucrats unable to understand complex cases that deviate from their standard rule book.

So be prepared for a fight...
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  #10  
Old 12.12.2010, 08:28
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

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I left Switzerland when my employer sent me to the USA on an expatriate contract, obviously my employer had no idea what they were doing because they didn't apply officially for my C permit to be frozen during my absence.
A tad unfair as it is up to the individual to apply for the leave of absence.

Good outcome though .
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Old 12.12.2010, 17:50
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

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A tad unfair as it is up to the individual to apply for the leave of absence.

Good outcome though .
Great minds think alike! I was thinking the exact same thing.

I'm happy the poster got his C permit back, but for everyone else: It YOUR responsibility to apply for the extension and deregister.
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Old 14.12.2010, 21:12
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Re: C permit - how long we can stay out of the country?

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Great minds think alike! I was thinking the exact same thing.

I'm happy the poster got his C permit back, but for everyone else: It YOUR responsibility to apply for the extension and deregister.
Oh come on, both of you!

I was an executive working for a large international firm that sent me on an expatriate assignment. They hired HR specialists and lawyers on both sides of the ocean to take care of all the paperwork - it was not MY job to spend days researching the intricacies of Swiss expatriation law!

I guess if you are planning to go on a 3-year hiatus for your own pleasure, then yes it is your responsibility to sort out the details of your expatriation.

But it wasn't my case, so please spare me the snide comments - I was not going to the USA on pleasure and it was my company's responsibility to provide for all my needs. They didn't, because they didn't have a clue, and they didn't know how to do their job. End of story.
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Old 21.12.2010, 12:10
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

Hi C,

I'm in a similar situation, as far as I can find out, the relevant rules if you have a C permit are here

http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/dam/...regelung-d.pdf

on section 3.4.4. page 23.

here is a rough summary
...
if you apply within 6 months of leaving the Switzerland, it might be possible to get permission to stay away for 4 years.

stays abroad whose nature is temporary are to be given particular consideration (for example military service, further education or a contract from a swiss employer that has a time limit)
...

I also read somewhere (maybe in rules from the local/ticino foreigner police, no longer online) that they consider how long you have already had your C permit, but i cant find that information at the moment.... can anyone else shed some light on this?

I also find it strange that they let you (almost expect you to) go away for up to six months before you put in the request, I wonder if this is so that you can decide if the foreign trip is what you want to do... I would love to be able to not pay health insurance during this time.
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  #14  
Old 22.12.2010, 06:51
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

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Hi C,

I'm in a similar situation, as far as I can find out, the relevant rules if you have a C permit are here

http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/dam/...regelung-d.pdf

..
Also check out the other C permit absence thread. Some good examples in there.
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Old 22.12.2010, 11:45
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

thanks Swissbob,

just to clarify a couple of points, also outstanding from the thread you linked to.

the four year limit for stays abroad (and the document I linked to) applies to both EU and non-EU citizens, (according to Magyir this was extended from 2 years some time after 2005.)

I mentioned that the authorities might consider how long you have already had a c-permit in their decision to give allow you to return after a stay abroad. I was confusing this with another item - 3.4.7.5 in the linked document. This applies to people who did not ask for a permission to suspend their permits before leaving Switzerland, and who in some limited cases may be allowed to get their old permit back.

I'm going to call the authorities today and ask about the application procedure. I'll post again if I find out anything useful.
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Old 22.12.2010, 17:53
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

The procedure i was told over the phone today (it could vary by canton)
is to send the following to my local foreigner police office

1. A letter of motivation detailing why you would like to have permission for an extended stay abroad (can be up to 4 years)
2. Attached employment contract (or presumably official confirmation of a higher education / training, or military service)
3. contact address / person who can contact you in Switzerland

in my canton there is no form to be filled out.
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Old 29.08.2011, 11:18
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

C permit deferral for "educational" purposes abroad
What happens if one enrols in a university abroad to further their professional education (C permit deferral granted on that basis) and after a few months abroad a great company comes around and gives one a great job. Do the Swiss authorities check if one is still studying?? Are we obliged to stick with studying and forgo the possibility to "learn" while on the job and forgo a great career opportunity?

Things change in life and if one gets a great job opportunity while studying abroad....
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Old 30.08.2011, 10:11
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Re: How to keep C Permit with extended absence

i very much doubt that the authorities keep tabs on you while you are studying, i guess there's a chance they could ask for your certificate or proof of study when you return.

If it's such a great opportunity then I'm sure you can find another company to sponsor your return to Switzerland anyway, and then there's always a chance you will not to come back.
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Old 26.03.2014, 07:47
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C permit .. Time away and Process to come back

Hi

Could you help me with yet another C permit related question please. I know that for certain reasons (health , education etc), one could stay away from Switzerland for up to 4 years. During this time if one wants to come back, does he already need to have a job before he can claim his/her C back?

I am considering doing my higher study abroad but looking at post internships etc, can be upto 3-4 years away time

Or can one come back , claim the C and then start looking ?

Does someone have experience in this regards?

Thx
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  #20  
Old 26.03.2014, 08:01
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Re: C permit .. Time away and Process to come back

You should be able to come back and claim it without needing a job - at the moment. But the reasons for getting acceptance to put a permit on hold are quite narrow. Being sent abroad by your Swiss company, military service or in some cases further education are the usual ones. Whether any measures brought in as a result of the recent immigration vote will affect this is anyone's guess.
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