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  #1  
Old 10.03.2011, 20:49
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Change in Plans

For those of you two read my initial thread, I was interested in becoming a Steadicam operator in Switzerland. Unfortunatley since that doesn't look like it will happen, I'm looking at a different career option instead. I started discussing it on my other thread, but I don't feel that it has a chance of getting seen by the right people burried in a discussion about film and videography, so I decided to make a new thread for my new plan

Currently one way or another I plan on attending a 4 year university in the US. This should give me a chance to perfect my German, and the long breaks durring the summer and winter (when I will come to Switzerland of course!) should give me time to work on my Schwiizertüütsc.

After that, following my new set of plans, I'm interested in potentially coming to Switzerland and going to law school here and studying Swiss business and immigration laws.

Then hopefully I would be able to get a job with a US/multinational company that could hire me through the US.

I'm sure though that this plan won't be as straight forward as it looks. So to start off, I have several questions.

1. Would it even be possible for me to come and study law in Switzerland? I'd have to get a permit on the spot, I wouldn't be entering the school with any kind of permits.

2. Would it be possible as a non-Swiss to get a job focused on Swiss law? I mean are there enough Swiss to fill those positions that a US company wouldn't bother getting a permit for somebody to manage their permits? (sounds dangerously redundant to me)

3. Do US companies with offices/branches in Switzerland have the ability to issue permits for non-Swiss employees the same way Swiss companies do? Or couldn't I get the right permits from a US company?

These next few questions are more on the topic of permits

4. Once you hold a permit (B) for a year or so, if you leave the company does the permit stay with you?

5. Does this kind of B permit upgrade to a C automatically (5 years for US citizens I believe) if you live uninterupted in Switzerland?

I'm also interested in hearing any faults/flaws you can find with the plan. I want to go into this as airtight as I possibly can.

Thanks!

Alex Kolb
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  #2  
Old 10.03.2011, 20:54
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Re: Change in Plans

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1. Would it even be possible for me to come and study law in Switzerland? I'd have to get a permit on the spot, I wouldn't be entering the school with any kind of permits.
I won't answer the other points as I think others probably know these things better than I do, but to this question, yes, there is such a thing as a student's permit. Possibly you wouldn't be allowed to work while holding such a permit, and time spent at university does not normally count towards your 5 years (or whatever the figure would be for you) required to obtain a C permit.

You probably can't get this permit on the spot though, and would have to apply well before you actually commence your training. I also believe that some age limits may apply.

Before you can apply for the permit though, you should apply at the law school you want to attend as being able to prove you are actually enrolled will make it easier to get thr permit. I think you must also prove that you have the financial means to support yourself once here.
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  #3  
Old 10.03.2011, 21:00
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Re: Change in Plans

Thanks for your response. I don't really care about working durring this time, or about having it count for my time living here, I'm just glad that studying in Switzerland is a possibility.

Knowing that much, would anybody care to comment on how one would go about applying internationally for a Swiss law school (assuming they had a 4 year degree already)? Would the student visa be provided automatically by the university, or would you need to apply for one on acceptance?

I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that this slightly more normal career route might be easier from a naturalization standpoint.
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Old 10.03.2011, 21:05
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Re: Change in Plans

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Thanks for your response. I don't really care about working durring this time, or about having it count for my time living here, I'm just glad that studying in Switzerland is a possibility.

Knowing that much, would anybody care to comment on how one would go about applying internationally for a Swiss law school (assuming they had a 4 year degree already)? Would the student visa be provided automatically by the university, or would you need to apply for one on acceptance?

I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that this slightly more normal career route might be easier from a naturalization standpoint.
The university does not normally help you in immigration matters beyond giving you the contact details of the relevant authorities and you would have to talk to them yourself. At least this is what I had to do when I enrolled in university.

To pick a law school, I'd just study their relative websites (plus factors such as location, reputation etc) and pick the one that suits you best. The websites should inform you about courses on offer and also tell you how to enroll (including any prerequisites that might be a problem for you, not having gone through the Swiss school system). I guess most if not all law courses will be in the local languages so you'd do well to learn the relevant language first.
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Old 10.03.2011, 21:09
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Re: Change in Plans

Thanks again. Very helpful information!

I'll begin looking early at the different schools so I can prepare myself financially and lingually.

I'm very glad to hear that it's not as excrutiatingly difficult to go to a Swiss school as I thought.

Also do you know the Swiss standpoint on foreign students? Do you have to come from some prestegious school or be very wealthy/well connected to get in as a foreigner, or will doing well at a state college and applying yourself be good enough?
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Old 10.03.2011, 21:15
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Re: Change in Plans

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Also do you know the Swiss standpoint on foreign students? Do you have to come from some prestegious school or be very wealthy/well connected to get in as a foreigner, or will doing well at a state college and applying yourself be good enough?
Speaking from my own university experience, it can sometimes be a problem to get your school certificates etc recognised, and indeed I know of students for who they weren't recognised and they had to sit some sort of replacement exam) but once you're past all that and at university nobody really cares where you come from or whether you're rich or poor. Many Swiss I met at university are still close friends today and I never felt that as far as my fellow students were concerned, that me not being Swiss had any negative effect. Especially seeing that on the first day of term everybody is new and nobody knows anybody else so you're all in the same boat and its up to you to make the right friends.
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Old 10.03.2011, 21:22
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Re: Change in Plans

Thanks. As far as recognizing the certificate or not though they don't usually care about the name of the school? I've gotten accepted into a great school(UC Berkely) , but nothing like Princeton or Yale that tends to be internationally recognized.

If I DO have to sit through a placement test, so be it. If I'm really qualified to be going to Swiss law school, I don't think it would be too much of a problem.

Thanks again so much for all this information. The education part is the biggest step to get past, and going itno it prepared will help a lot.
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Old 10.03.2011, 21:28
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Re: Change in Plans

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Thanks. As far as recognizing the certificate or not though they don't usually care about the name of the school? I've gotten accepted into a great school(UC Berkely) , but nothing like Princeton or Yale that tends to be internationally recognized.

That's a good piece of information.

When I applied for university here, they finally resolved the acceptance of my leaving certificate when the principal of my school wrote a letter explaining what I could do with that certificate and what universities I could enrol for at home. So if you can prove that you could have got into Berkely then that is a big bonus in getting it recognised over here. Best thing is to write to the universities that appeal to you and explain the situation to them and they can tell you what you need to prove.
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Old 10.03.2011, 22:11
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Re: Change in Plans

Probably time for a sanity check:

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1. Would it even be possible for me to come and study law in Switzerland? I'd have to get a permit on the spot, I wouldn't be entering the school with any kind of permits.
No. You must arrange a permit and entry visa prior to attending university.

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2. Would it be possible as a non-Swiss to get a job focused on Swiss law? I mean are there enough Swiss to fill those positions that a US company wouldn't bother getting a permit for somebody to manage their permits? (sounds dangerously redundant to me)
Almost certainly not - although there are a few foreign legal specialists in Switzerland concentrating on foreign tax law etc so maybe there are possibilities in that direction. You'd be better getting a law degree in the USA before touting for work here though. Also, permits don't often require legal bodies - the HR dept can handle them .


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3. Do US companies with offices/branches in Switzerland have the ability to issue permits for non-Swiss employees the same way Swiss companies do? Or couldn't I get the right permits from a US company?
No companies issue Swiss permits. The Swiss givernment issues Swiss permits. Funnily enough . You can get a work permit for a foreign branch of a company in Switzerland but it is likely to be temporary.

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4. Once you hold a permit (B) for a year or so, if you leave the company does the permit stay with you?
B Permits are renewable on an annual basis. There are two types. One is open and you can change employers, the other is closed and you cannot. Which you get depends on several factors inclouding your employment contract.

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5. Does this kind of B permit upgrade to a C automatically (5 years for US citizens I believe) if you live uninterupted in Switzerland?
10 years automatic, 5 years possible if requested and granted - which is nearly always for US citizens.

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I'm also interested in hearing any faults/flaws you can find with the plan. I want to go into this as airtight as I possibly can.
The legal business in Switzerland is very much a closed shop. Right schools, right (SWiss) universities, friends in high places sort of thing.
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Old 10.03.2011, 22:59
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Re: Change in Plans

Thanks for your info. I suppose it's important to get a reality check. Well, that's two jobs down, one more try to go. Unfortunatley I don't see the Swiss aviation industry as being very open...

Ah well, I can always come to Switzerland when I am old and wealthy.
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Old 11.03.2011, 07:38
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Re: Change in Plans

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Thanks for your info. I suppose it's important to get a reality check. Well, that's two jobs down, one more try to go. Unfortunatley I don't see the Swiss aviation industry as being very open...

Ah well, I can always come to Switzerland when I am old and wealthy.
Funnily enough, I know more foreigners working in the aviation industry than Swiss . Same applies to electronics and IT (not support).
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Old 11.03.2011, 10:03
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Re: Change in Plans

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The legal business in Switzerland is very much a closed shop. Right schools, right (SWiss) universities, friends in high places sort of thing.
Not necessarily. In some areas such as patent law you may find the odd foreigner.

Also, there are companies who are screaming for people who can do international law or US law, especially in the financial sector.
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Old 11.03.2011, 13:38
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Re: Change in Plans

Perhaps then if I went about it in a different way?

If I was to go get a degree in the US in US or international law, would it be possible to find a job without terrible difficulty in Switzerland?

The main important factor is that I can find a company that can issue me a renewable B permit, and not simply a shot-term work permit.

Thanks!
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Old 11.03.2011, 14:15
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Re: Change in Plans

Even if you finish a degree in the US, it's going to be very difficult, as
companies here definitely would want to hire somebody who has a
number of years of actual working experience, and not just a degree.

I recall reading recently, (although I cannot find the source now), that as of this year, graudates of swiss universities will now get 6 months visas to look for work, and if they are non-EU, they have the same rights as EU during that period. (Anyone, correct me if I am wrong).

If you are hired by a US company in the United States, it's indeed easier
for them to transfer you to their Swiss branch.


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Perhaps then if I went about it in a different way?

If I was to go get a degree in the US in US or international law, would it be possible to find a job without terrible difficulty in Switzerland?

The main important factor is that I can find a company that can issue me a renewable B permit, and not simply a shot-term work permit.

Thanks!
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Old 11.03.2011, 15:59
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Re: Change in Plans

Thanks for the information. Seeing as international law is a possibility, there are two routes I could go by: working in the US after getting a degree, then seeking a job in a Swiss company, or working in the US, then getting job with an American company in their Swiss division.

From those of you who have experience with things like this, which way would be the best, keeping in mind my goal to get a inter-job transferable B permit.

Thanks very much for this information!
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Old 11.03.2011, 17:58
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Re: Change in Plans

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Thanks for the information. Seeing as international law is a possibility, there are two routes I could go by: working in the US after getting a degree, then seeking a job in a Swiss company, or working in the US, then getting job with an American company in their Swiss division.

From those of you who have experience with things like this, which way would be the best, keeping in mind my goal to get a inter-job transferable B permit.

Thanks very much for this information!
By the time you've done all that the law will have changed .

Come back and ask your questions when you've got a useful qualification and some experience.
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Old 11.03.2011, 18:15
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Re: Change in Plans

Thanks. I realize there will be some changes in the specifics, but I' assuming that there will still be a demand for people well-studied in international law (I hope! )

So I guess a better question to ask is what kind of company needs these kinds of lawyers more? Swiss companies (based in Switzerland, I'm not doing all this work to go to Argentina with SWATCH!) who do work in other countries, or other countries who do work in Switzerland?

Thanks everybody for your help. You've given me the confidence that one day I will be able to live in Schweiz.

Let's just hope the SD stays unrepresented!
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