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Old 03.09.2007, 07:28
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Family Reunification (Parents)

I've got a question that's bugging me quite a bit, and I was hoping someone might be able to help me out on this one.

I'm an EU citizen, and will be moving to Geneva shortly to work. If things go well, I'll be able to secure a good contract and get the 5 year B permit.

My question is -- with this B permit, what can I do to bring one of my dependent parents (*non-EU* citizen) to reside with me? And just in case, would this be possible with an L permit as well?

Thanks in advanced for any help on this topic. It's hard to find information about this precise situation anywhere...
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Old 03.09.2007, 15:05
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

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I've got a question that's bugging me quite a bit, and I was hoping someone might be able to help me out on this one.

I'm an EU citizen, and will be moving to Geneva shortly to work. If things go well, I'll be able to secure a good contract and get the 5 year B permit.

My question is -- with this B permit, what can I do to bring one of my dependent parents (*non-EU* citizen) to reside with me? And just in case, would this be possible with an L permit as well?

Thanks in advanced for any help on this topic. It's hard to find information about this precise situation anywhere...
If you are an EU citizen you can bring dependent relatives with you upon application. You need to be aware that you are making a serious financial commitment in doing this. The rules apply for all dependents and not just for parents. You will only get an L permit if your contract is for a period of less than 12 months in which case you might find it rather sticky to get permits for dependent relatives but it is still for an EU citizen possible.
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Old 03.09.2007, 15:56
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Excellent! Thanks for the info Richard. Yep, I'm sure there must be quite a bit of commitment money-wise, but I'm sure I can pull through with a good salary.
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Old 11.04.2008, 23:13
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Does anyone know the rules if both child and parents are non-eu?
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Old 09.08.2008, 15:00
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

I was looking for this information; Family Reunification (Parents and/or Sister). But the thread seems deserted.

I am originally from India and recently got swiss passport after marrying to swiss woman for 5 years. Now I'm planning to bring my parents (Tibetan refugee in India) here to live with us. Is there any ways that I can bring them here and if there is; how long will be the process. And my 17 year old sister (also living in India) wants to study and eventually settle here. I'm looking for bachelor degree (commerce) college here in Zürich or nearby for her. But I'm afraid that her Class Xll certificates from India won't be recognise here and the fees seems to be quite high. Any more info regarding these will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 09.08.2008, 15:57
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

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I was looking for this information; Family Reunification (Parents and/or Sister). But the thread seems deserted.

I am originally from India and recently got swiss passport after marrying to swiss woman for 5 years. Now I'm planning to bring my parents (Tibetan refugee in India) here to live with us. Is there any ways that I can bring them here and if there is; how long will be the process. And my 17 year old sister (also living in India) wants to study and eventually settle here. I'm looking for bachelor degree (commerce) college here in Zürich or nearby for her. But I'm afraid that her Class Xll certificates from India won't be recognise here and the fees seems to be quite high. Any more info regarding these will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
I know someone, in a similar situation, who succeeded in bringing a dependent father to stay here. The process could be long and tedious. Obviously, you must submit financial guarantees for all payments and expenses your parent incurrs. And the parent must renounce any claim on Swiss social security.

First step is to contact your commune. The Canton issues the permit. Good luck!
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Old 11.08.2008, 00:05
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Thanks Goldtop

I told my wife to call them tomorrow and hope to hear good news. If i may ask; the someone you know with the situation is also Tibetan with the parents their in India. If so, then I would get better help from him/her than the staff from of our local townhall, I suppose! Anyway, I'll post here if anything progress from here.

But any useful info with regards to getting admission for students from India in Bachelor degree course here in Zürich or nearby?
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Old 11.08.2008, 09:49
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

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Thanks Goldtop

I told my wife to call them tomorrow and hope to hear good news. If i may ask; the someone you know with the situation is also Tibetan with the parents their in India. If so, then I would get better help from him/her than the staff from of our local townhall, I suppose! Anyway, I'll post here if anything progress from here.

But any useful info with regards to getting admission for students from India in Bachelor degree course here in Zürich or nearby?
1. Nationality of parent is irrelevant. Main criteria are that you are Swiss, you submit guarantees and immigrant parent is not "undesirable" , i.e. criminal.

2. Prerequisite for Swiss university admission is completion of Swiss school leaving certificate "Matura". Hence, first step is to learn for and write that exam, which will be in German/French/Italian. Subsequently, admission is possible to any Swiss University. Certain faculties, e.g. medicine, have only limited capacity and impose the "numerus claussus". Hence, there is also an Entrance exam before acceptance for those studies.
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Old 11.08.2008, 23:09
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

My wife called them (Gemeide's staff) and answer is; yes I can BUT its quite a lenthy and troublesome process!

I got to prove them that I can bear all the cost for my parents living here in Switzerland. Plus, the reason for reunification must be really impressive!!! I hope all will go well.

About the college admission for my sister, I'm talking about admitting in Bachelor degree (commerce) College with English medium. More info about these will highly appreciated.
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Old 12.08.2008, 19:08
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

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My wife called them (Gemeide's staff) and answer is; yes I can BUT its quite a lenthy and troublesome process!

I got to prove them that I can bear all the cost for my parents living here in Switzerland. Plus, the reason for reunification must be really impressive!!! I hope all will go well.

About the college admission for my sister, I'm talking about admitting in Bachelor degree (commerce) College with English medium. More info about these will highly appreciated.
The Swiss Cantons finance and administer the pertinent Swiss Universities. The medium of instruction, at the Bachelor level, is always the official language of the Canton where the University is situated. I'm not aware of any official Swiss University teaching undergraduate courses in English.
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Old 03.07.2009, 12:43
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

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I've got a question that's bugging me quite a bit, and I was hoping someone might be able to help me out on this one.

I'm an EU citizen, and will be moving to Geneva shortly to work. If things go well, I'll be able to secure a good contract and get the 5 year B permit.

My question is -- with this B permit, what can I do to bring one of my dependent parents (*non-EU* citizen) to reside with me? And just in case, would this be possible with an L permit as well?

Thanks in advanced for any help on this topic. It's hard to find information about this precise situation anywhere...
Please let me know how this has worked out for you and your family. I am in a similar situation: B Permit holder who has been here for two years, need to bring my 70 year old mother over to live form the U.S., and am trying to gather up as much information as possible before beginning the process. Any experiences you can share will help.
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Old 11.02.2016, 18:53
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Any updates here? How long did the process take overall?

Also, is it possible to apply for such a visa, but then not use it right away (or only use it, e.g., 50% of the year?) or does some minimum residency need to be maintained in order for it to remain active?

As of now, parents are in good health, and god willing this will continue, but for if/when they are ready to move in with us would ideally not want unnecessary further delays.
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Old 11.02.2016, 19:09
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Ecelis,, are your parents EU citizens?

Are you a CH or EU citizen?

It makes a significant difference.
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Old 11.02.2016, 19:11
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

My husband and I are non-EU, in switzerland with C permits (both working, him on indefinite contract, me on renewable contract).

Parents are also non-EU.
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Old 11.02.2016, 20:27
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

The bad news: There is no right of family reunion extending to parents for non-EU citizens, in fact it is very much discouraged by many communities and cantons. If one's parents need help, it is expected that you go home rather than bring them here.

However, based purely in anecdotes from the folks in similar situations during the time we tried to bring the ILs here, it seems that policies and practices, as well as attitudes, vary widely. The decision and process seems to be individual, no two people I have spoken to have faced the same hurdles. So take one person's story as nothing more than background info.

Now, if your parents are extremely wealthy, as in gazillionaires, they can likely cut a deal for residency. But the rest of us mere mortals have a long and winding road ahead.

I've written several threads on my experience, I'll get back to you with links after I go and deal with the canine crisis that seems to be brewing in the next room.

More later....
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:14
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

ecelis, they do seem to be tightening up on the rules for dependents in general, both for EU and non-EU nationals. One of the main criteria is that dependents have to be financially dependent on the petitioner even before an application for reunification is made. So unless you already financially support your parents they wouldn't qualify unless they're wealthy enough to cut a deal as Meloncollie says.

Also if you have siblings living in the same country then the Swiss authorities would expect them to take up the care of your parents rather than you bring them here. The same would apply if one parent is poorly, the other parent is expected to take care of them, not you bring them here.

As Meloncollie will probably tell you once her canine crisis is resolved, the application process can take years.

If you do apply and are successful, then the visa has to be used within a certain period. If they are coming here to live, then they're coming here to live now, not maybe do so in a few months or years' time.
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:57
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Here are some older threads that might shed some light:

Non EU B Permit Holder: How to call Parents in CH to live with me

What will I do when the parents get even older?

How can I arrange for my parents stay with me?

moving an elderly relative to Switzerland for part of the year - things to consider?

Advice pls --could I get my mum (82 yrs old, non-EU) residency here?


There are others as well discussing EU parents, which is a very different can o' worms. A search on 'eldercare' brings several of those up.

EU folks can live here as long as they can support themselves. Non-EU folks have no right to live here, and if we are granted a stay here we do not have the right to bring extended family with us. But nonetheless some of those threads contain good information on the 'everyday' issues that bringing an elderly person to live here entails, so are worth a gander.

Now I won't repeat my story, it's told in the other threads. But I will stress: the process, what is required of you, the decision are all individual. There really is no road map. You may be lucky and live in a 'compassionate' community that would look more favorably on your application. Or you might live in a community that is concerned about the financial impact where unless your parent brings a whole lot of taxable assets (or you are paying mega millions into the tax coffers) your application might not be viewed in a favorable light.

No one can say what will happen. At this point, you should speak to your Gemeinde; try to get a measure as to how they view the question - and then start formulating your strategy from there.

One thing for sure - you do need to consider the financial aspect very carefully. Proving that you can guarantee that your parent will never become a burden on the taxpayer will likely be important.

Take a gander at those other threads, and if you have specific question post them here.

This is the most difficult part of chosing to live away from family - our duties to our parents often clashes with bureaucracy.

If it is clear that your parents will need you in years to come, do work on a plan B. Either plan to return to your home country, or do the juggling act that OH and I did for many years. I don't recommend the latter - traveling back to the US every few weeks was exhausting, expensive, and a poor substitute.

I wish you all the best.
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Old 11.02.2016, 22:27
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Another thing to consider is how would they cope in a strange, new environment at their age. I assume they don't speak a Swiss language so they'd be very isolated in their day-to-day living with you both out working. How are they going to make new friends to replace the ones they leave behind?
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Old 12.02.2016, 10:40
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

Thanks so much everyone for the links and the advice.

My main worry at this point is proving dependence, as we have two siblings in the same country as parents. Siblings are sisters, who are not financially independent nor would it be culturally acceptable for them to be the main source of support -- but I doubt these cultural differences would be appreciated by the canton in way of argument. Anyone have experience with proving dependence in such cases?

Moving back is unfortunately not an option -- it's a catch-22 -- moving back requires a significant salary cut which would then leave us unable to provide for their care.

I do seriously appreciate the concerns on their happiness in moving here, which is why ideally we wanted the permits in place so that it could happen only when it becomes absolutely necessary, but I see that this is not possible. In the meantime they visit 3 months out of the year and slowly build some connection to the country. Dad loves to travel and is quite resourceful in new environments, Mom could care less about travel but is very socially robust and could make friends with a kangaroo! Then again, as of now it is a visit -- mindset might be different if it is long-term. *sigh*

Current plan B is I move back with the kids for some months / years (), until we can all move to the US where I know I can bring them, and where they also have a strong community, but this would just be a bearable lose-lose situation.
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Old 12.02.2016, 11:15
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Re: Family Reunification (Parents)

OH is (was) the only child of physically incapacitated parents, at the time in their 80s.

Again with the caveat that this is only what we faced, you might find an entirely different attitude and process in your community and canton:

When we first broached the idea of bringing the ILs here we were told that they could not be considered dependent on us because both were still alive, and thus one theoretically could care for the other.

That their health did not allow this would not be taken into consideration. We were told that we must wait until one had died, leaving the other completely alone with no other living relatives anywhere in the world.

If any family members existed, in any country, the argument that the parent is dependent on us failed. MIL's sister was still alive, again negating our argument, despite the fact that she too was elderly and physically incapable of providing care.

It was not a question of who could best care for the parents, that was not Switzerland's (or more accurately this village's) concern. The overriding concern was to limit immigration of 'non contributors'.

But again... You might well find that your community takes more compassionate view than mine did. I do know of one person who was able to bring both elderly parents, despite having many siblings living in the home country, despite the parents needing the standard community nursing home subsidy, despite that the sponsoring Swiss resident was unemployed at the time. (Although he had a good employment record prior to this, and found another job later.) Exactly the opposite of my experience, so go figure. But I know of more people who were denied, so again, you cannot assume that one situation will shed light on yours.

I certainly understand the difficulties. We could not bring the ILs here, yet OH needed to keep working to finance their care back home. We could not abandon our responsibilities here and move back to the US to take up our responsibilities there. Lose-lose as you say.

We just bit the bullet, set things up as best we could and raided our retirement nest egg in order to fly back and forth every few weeks for several years. Ya do whatcha gotta do, it's the cost of living far away when duty calls.

After MIL went into hospice we started the process again, this time to try to bring FIL here 'when needed'. We felt we received a less negative reception this time, as circumstances had changed. But we will never know the outcome, FIL died during the process and we withdrew the application.

In our village a consideration that seemed to loom large was 'How will Switzerland benefit from allowing this application?' You might think this through as you start the process... What do you contribute to your community, financially and otherwise, that would be lost if you were forced to leave?

But again, not to sound like a broken record... Your community might take an altogether different view, you might have a much easier road than we did... as seen by my acquaintance who was able to being both parents here on purely compassionate grounds.

I know the struggle you face all too well, and sincerely wish you and your parents all the best.

Last edited by meloncollie; 12.02.2016 at 12:39.
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