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Old 27.02.2011, 19:15
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L Visa - Restrictions??

Hello,
I am U.S. citizen living in NYC and working in the Reinsurance Industry (20 years experience). I've recently received an offer from my company to move to Zurich to work at Headquarters. For some reason, I obtained a L visa instead of what I was expecting (B). I was advised that the company does not have any control on that but may be at renewal, I should be able to obtain a "B". This situation is a deal breaker for me as my wife would not be able to work under this type of Visa.

Can anyone tell me what other restrictions/limitations we would have under an L visa (such as leasing car/houses, mobile phones etc)?? are there possibilities that my company goes back to the Swiss Authorities to re-evaluate this? Is it difficult for someone to find a work in accounting/consulting with a dependent L Visa

Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 28.02.2011, 00:15
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

I would suggest you to spend some time going through following forums posts:

http://www.englishforum.ch/permits-visas-government/

Non-EU Permits - a few bullet points.

Please try to read more recent posts which would have more updated and recent information.

I am from Sydney and was given L permit (non-EU) for 12 months when I arrived back in 2009. Indeed, your wife will not be able to automatically work on her "dependant" L permit. She will need to find a company similar to yours who can sponser her and then to convert her "dependant" L permit to the one similar to yours.

Company has to spend lots of money, time and efforts to sponser someone from Non-EU (rules changed since late 2008). After doing that, still it is possible that authorities will reject to convert her permit based on limited availability of quotas. Hence, it is always difficult to find "willing" sponser and lots of luck. Such process could take up to months.

It is not impossible but very difficult.

Also, I would suggest to consult your HR in the company and ask them about implication of L permit in details. I would also recommend to get everything in writing from them !

Hope this helps.

Sam
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Old 28.02.2011, 00:23
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

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Hello,
I am U.S. citizen living in NYC and working in the Reinsurance Industry (20 years experience). I've recently received an offer from my company to move to Zurich to work at Headquarters. For some reason, I obtained a L visa instead of what I was expecting (B). I was advised that the company does not have any control on that but may be at renewal, I should be able to obtain a "B". This situation is a deal breaker for me as my wife would not be able to work under this type of Visa.

Can anyone tell me what other restrictions/limitations we would have under an L visa (such as leasing car/houses, mobile phones etc)?? are there possibilities that my company goes back to the Swiss Authorities to re-evaluate this? Is it difficult for someone to find a work in accounting/consulting with a dependent L Visa

Thanks so much for your help.
The typical permit lottery scheme; it looks like the Non-EU B yearly permit quota for Kanton Zürich has "been exhausted". The only possible explanation from my point of view is that you moved to Switzerland in the wrong time of the year. Keep pushing your HR department to have it upgraded to a B.

I find it very difficult to understand the permit system for non-EU nationals. In theory, only people with certain skill sets that cannot be found in the EU or CH labor market are granted B Permits. However, I know scores of entry-level employees from non-EU countries in various SMI and huge multinationals being given B Permits the day they move into Switzerland, straight out of university. I have also seen many high-qualified executive level non-EU folks being given L Permits upon arrival.
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Old 28.02.2011, 07:24
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

If you had read the forum through all the various threads, you would have found that many non-EU people are getting L permits for two years, before being converted to a B, or being sent home again.

Getting a work permission for a dependent spouse on an 'L' permit is a hurdle, but I managed to do it with an employer in Zurich, so it's not impossible. Your employer will have to show that they can't source anyone in Switzerland or the EU to do the job - but in my case my employer had had the position advertised for over 12 months, so it wasn't a problem.

As far as I can tell, your HR has no control over the quotas - you will get the L for two years, and then the B. If you get a B earlier than that, you can just count yourself lucky. We found out that our 'L' permits were actually pre-approved on the 'system' for two years, from the beginning, so renewing after the first 12 months was just a formality, but it was more stressful going back the second year when we knew that a rejection might mean having to leave the country...

There are other people who get 'B' permits immediately on arrival, but they seem to be the 'time limited' variety - rather than open B permits that allow continuous renewal and the spouse to work freely.

Best of luck - I'm happy to give lots of encouragement to any trailing spouse because I know I found it extremely stressful....I think a lot of travelling women have children about now - we brought an 8 month old with us, so it was easier to 'justify' being stuck at home for that first year, but I much prefer paid work!
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Old 01.03.2011, 04:22
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

Thanks so much for all your help.
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Old 01.03.2011, 06:44
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

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The typical permit lottery scheme; it looks like the Non-EU B yearly permit quota for Kanton Zürich has "been exhausted". The only possible explanation from my point of view is that you moved to Switzerland in the wrong time of the year. Keep pushing your HR department to have it upgraded to a B.
How can you say that the Kanton Zurich B permit quota is already exhausted. do you have any data or information to prove this point.

99% of Non EU gets L permit for first 2 Year even if they have unlimited contract with the employer.
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Old 02.03.2011, 06:20
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

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How can you say that the Kanton Zurich B permit quota is already exhausted. do you have any data or information to prove this point.

99% of Non-EU gets L permit for first 2 Year even if they have unlimited contract with the employer.
I said "it looks like", stating a possibility, not a factual statement which requires proof. L Permits are usually given out when cantonal quotas for B Permits are exhausted.

I would like to see some proof from you that 99% of Non-EU nationals get L Permits. This is mathematically impossible as the Swiss Federal Council sets the quotas at the Federal level every calendar year. For 2011, there will be 5000 Non-EU L Permits (certain L Permits like super short and limited ones fall outside of the quota system) and 3500 Non-EU B Permits (not sure if the project specific permits are included here?).

I have seen quite a lot of young Non-EU entry level business graduates receive unlimited B Permits before, and they held passports from countries one wouldn't brag about to be honest.
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Old 02.03.2011, 07:36
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

According to this link, for 2010 after they increased the quotas in the second half of the year, the numbers were 3000 B permits and 8000 L permits.

The previous year 2009 the numbers were a total of 4000 B permits and 7000 L permits.

Switzerland joined schengen and the visa rules changed dramatically in 2008 so there's no point talking about what used to happen before then...

http://global-immigration-news.total...december-2010/

Quote:
"As a reminder, work permit quotas generally apply only to first-time applicants seeking to take up employment in Switzerland, and the B-Permit quota also applies to those seeking to convert an L-Permit into a B-Permit. Work permit extensions are not subject to the quotas. Prospective non-European national workers may also be eligible for four-month work permits, which are not subject to a quota but have other restrictions, including limits on the ability to extend status from within Switzerland."

Our experience as Non-EU is that we were issued L permits for the first two years, and we were told that they had been pre-approved for two years, for an open unlimited work contract, and a friend of ours from the USA was issued a B permit but with an end date of 2 years on the contract.
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Old 02.03.2011, 07:38
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Re: L Visa - Restrictions??

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L Permits are usually given out when cantonal quotas for B Permits are exhausted.
I would disagree with this statement. I think you will find that the kantonal and federal authorities have a different criteria in place for how they allocate either L or B permits. Certainly, we were told that there is a legal requirement that after two years on an L, with an open work contract, if the visa is renewed you are given a B, so they must at least hold some B quotas for this purpose.
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