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Old 18.07.2011, 02:56
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Work Visa

Hello,

So, from what I read, as an American, I need company in Switzerland to sponsor me for my application for a work visa, correct?

Is this harder then one would think? I'm beginning to think it is impossible as I'm having a difficult time finding a job. We will be arriving in Switzerland in the end of August. I have been trying to look to get the work visa process starting, but nothing so far. Is there something else I should be doing?

Also, I read that I can be in Switzerland as a tourist for 3 months... and then I would have to register as a "job seeker" so that I could stay another 3 months. Is this correct? After those 6 months, how long do I have to leave Switzerland before I can come back? Is there a different form of a Work Visa that I can start on now without having a company sponsor me? Are there different types?

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 18.07.2011, 03:13
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Re: Work Visa

In your profile, it says that your family is from Italy. I suggest you first try very hard to get an Italian passport. With an EU passport, you will have easy access to the job market here. With a American passport, it's extremely an employer that would be willing to sponsor you a work permit. It's a couple months process, and they would have to prove to the Swiss authorities that they were not able to find anybody in Switzerland or European Union. If you search the forums, you should find answers to all your questions.
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Hello,

So, from what I read, as an American, I need company in Switzerland to sponsor me for my application for a work visa, correct?

Is this harder then one would think? I'm beginning to think it is impossible as I'm having a difficult time finding a job. We will be arriving in Switzerland in the end of August. I have been trying to look to get the work visa process starting, but nothing so far. Is there something else I should be doing?

Also, I read that I can be in Switzerland as a tourist for 3 months... and then I would have to register as a "job seeker" so that I could stay another 3 months. Is this correct? After those 6 months, how long do I have to leave Switzerland before I can come back? Is there a different form of a Work Visa that I can start on now without having a company sponsor me? Are there different types?

Thank you!
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  #3  
Old 28.07.2011, 04:11
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Re: Work Visa

Yes, I tried to look into every way possible for me to get an Italian passport. 1) they don't have appointments in Chicago until 2012. 2) it can take years for the whole process... and sadly 3) I tried to look through each blood line, and it appears that all ties to the Italian citizenship have been cut because the family member was naturalized before I was born, therefore 'cutting' the blood lines. I've read lots of websites about this, and it doesn't seem like there is anyway I am going to be able to go that route.

I am working with a company right now that is interested in me. They are getting back to me on whether or not they will be able to sponsor me for the position. I'm hoping they can. I'm still waiting to hear back, but I was referred to them by someone here in the states, so I'm hoping that puts me in a good spot. They seemed very interested in me, now I just have to cross my fingers that they are going to grant me a visa. Then, he said it would still take a couple months before it would go through, but that's fine. It's not like I can't find stuff to do in Switzerland!
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  #4  
Old 28.07.2011, 15:28
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Re: Work Visa

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Hello,

So, from what I read, as an American, I need company in Switzerland to sponsor me for my application for a work visa, correct?

Is this harder then one would think? I'm beginning to think it is impossible as I'm having a difficult time finding a job. We will be arriving in Switzerland in the end of August. I have been trying to look to get the work visa process starting, but nothing so far. Is there something else I should be doing?

Also, I read that I can be in Switzerland as a tourist for 3 months... and then I would have to register as a "job seeker" so that I could stay another 3 months. Is this correct? After those 6 months, how long do I have to leave Switzerland before I can come back? Is there a different form of a Work Visa that I can start on now without having a company sponsor me? Are there different types?

Thank you!

You can stay for 3 months within a period of 6 months (more precisely 90 days within a period of 180 days). So if you come as a tourist and stay for 3 months straight, you have to leave and you cannot enter for another 3 months; then the clock gets reset. Mind that it is 90 days exactly and that if you overstay (even if it is just a day or two) you risk getting a stamp in your passport that will forbid you entry to the entire Schengen zone (mosto of the EU + Switzerland and a few other non-EU countries) for 2 years!

Also, I've been told repeatedly that a tourist visa cannot be "converted" into a work visa. If you stay a bit in Switzerland, and find work, you'll have to go back to the USA while the papers are being done. Then once they are done, you go to the nearest Swiss consulate/embassy and you get a "D" visa in your passport and a date by which you must enter Switzerland. Btw, while your papers are being processed, you must not be in Switzerland. Once you get the "D" visa, you can go to Switzerland immediately (the time you spent as a tourist no longer matters at this point). Then you come here, enter with the visa, afterwards go to the local administrative office and get your ID (until you do this you have to stay put in Switzerland; no travelling; this can take up to 2 months, but usually is shorter than 1 month).

Here you can find different types of permits for foreigners:
http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/...t_eu_efta.html

The L permit is if you are staying less than a year; the B permit is for multi-year stays and is renewed every year; the C permit is a "permanent" residence permit.

L permits are easier to get than B permits. If the company offers you a contract for less than 12 months, and you are fairly qualified, you should be able to get an L permit. Then, if you wish to stay longer, the company can offer you a multiyear contract and then start to procedure to convert your L permit to a B permit - but this can take several months and there is no guarantee you will be accepted. Also, if your L permit runs out while the B permit process is ongoing, you can usually get the L extended and continue working during that time.

If you get a multiyear contract offer immediately, you must immediately get a B permit, and this is probably more difficult and time-consuming than the L.

Remember that work permits must be approved by 2 levels of government (Canton and Federal) which have basically discretionary power to refuse you. Even you fulfill all conditions laid out in some document somewhere they can still say no.

I know a guy who has been well-employed in Switzerland for years, fulfilled all laid out conditions, but when he applied to change his B permit to a C permit, he was rejected, no particular explanation given.

Here is more info about work permits:
http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/...gehoerige.html
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  #5  
Old 30.07.2011, 10:08
swissbob
 
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Re: Work Visa

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Also, I've been told repeatedly that a tourist visa cannot be "converted" into a work visa. If you stay a bit in Switzerland, and find work, you'll have to go back to the USA while the papers are being done...... Btw, while your papers are being processed, you must not be in Switzerland.......
Technically but in practice not necessary. There are man in this forum that have managed by collecting their visa from the French or German Swiss consulates.

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....... afterwards go to the local administrative office and get your ID (until you do this you have to stay put in Switzerland; no travelling
Not so.

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The L permit is if you are staying less than a year;
Not at all - L permits can also be renewed on a yearly basis .

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the B permit is for multi-year stays and is renewed every year;
or even for a one year stay - it all depends .

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L permits are easier to get than B permits.
This would only apply to short term (up to 4 months) L permits. For an L permit covered by the quota scheme the procedure is exactly the same as for a B permit.


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If the company offers you a contract for less than 12 months, and you are fairly qualified, you should be able to get an L permit. Then, if you wish to stay longer, the company can offer you a multiyear contract and then start to procedure to convert your L permit to a B permit
The gov't is cracking down hard on this type of thing - chances of success currently very slim.

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If you get a multiyear contract offer immediately, you must immediately get a B permit
Not so. An L for the first 2 years is becoming the norm.

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, and this is probably more difficult and time-consuming than the L.
Not really.

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I know a guy who has been well-employed in Switzerland for years, fulfilled all laid out conditions, but when he applied to change his B permit to a C permit, he was rejected, no particular explanation given.
An explanation has to be given - guess your acquaintance didn't fully inform you .
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  #6  
Old 30.07.2011, 11:51
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Re: Work Visa

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I am working with a company right now that is interested in me. They are getting back to me on whether or not they will be able to sponsor me for the position. I'm hoping they can. I'm still waiting to hear back, but I was referred to them by someone here in the states, so I'm hoping that puts me in a good spot. They seemed very interested in me, now I just have to cross my fingers that they are going to grant me a visa. Then, he said it would still take a couple months before it would go through, but that's fine. It's not like I can't find stuff to do in Switzerland!
Just to be clear, even if the company decides to apply for the permit, they will still have to show that there was no one available from the EU/CH who could take up the job. Now given the number of people who have been let go in the financial sector over the last few years it is going to be a difficult sell, unless you are professionally qualified (say a CPA) and have some specialist knowledge that is not available locally.

Good luck with that,

Jim.
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  #7  
Old 31.07.2011, 19:10
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Re: Work Visa

Lots of great information, however, I am now a bit confused. Someone told me that I can stay for 3 months in Switzerland, then leave for a day, and come back for another 3 months. THEN, another place I have read that I can stay as a tourist for 3 months, the. I would have to register as a job seeker for the ability to stay another 3 months. This is all if I have not been offered a job before I leave the US. Which is true, and then reading the responses in this forum, I can stay as a tourist for 3 months (90 days) then would have to leave for another 3 months. When you say leave, do you mean Europe or Switzerland? Also, do I have to apply for a "tourist visa"? Or is that assumed upon my arrival until I obtain another kind of visa.

Also, my boyfriend is in the process of getting his student visa. He applied for it already in Chicago, but it's still in process. Can we or rather, can I do anything with that? Say... If we were to get married, in the US, would that allow me longer stay based off his student visa? Again, these are just ideas, and I'm trying to get as much information as possible before we leave. Which, I just booked our tickets... Is going to be the 25th of August... So now, it's crunch time. Help?
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  #8  
Old 31.07.2011, 19:56
swissbob
 
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Re: Work Visa

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Someone told me that I can stay for 3 months in Switzerland, then leave for a day, and come back for another 3 months.
No, you would have to leave for 3 months.

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THEN, another place I have read that I can stay as a tourist for 3 months, the. I would have to register as a job seeker for the ability to stay another 3 months.
Possible if you hold an Italian passport. If USA only then no.

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I can stay as a tourist for 3 months (90 days) then would have to leave for another 3 months. When you say leave, do you mean Europe or Switzerland?
Any Schengen state i.e. most of Europe but not, for example, the UK. One of the negative effects of Schengen. Unless you hold an Italian passport of course.

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Also, do I have to apply for a "tourist visa"?
No, the USA is in the visa waiver scheme.

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Also, my boyfriend is in the process of getting his student visa. He applied for it already in Chicago, but it's still in process. Can we or rather, can I do anything with that?
No.

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Say... If we were to get married, in the US, would that allow me longer stay based off his student visa?
Normally yes but not guaranteed.

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So now, it's crunch time. Help?
Tried searching?
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  #9  
Old 31.07.2011, 20:16
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Re: Work Visa

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Hello,

So, from what I read, as an American, I need company in Switzerland to sponsor me for my application for a work visa, correct?

Is this harder then one would think? I'm beginning to think it is impossible as I'm having a difficult time finding a job. We will be arriving in Switzerland in the end of August. I have been trying to look to get the work visa process starting, but nothing so far. Is there something else I should be doing?

Also, I read that I can be in Switzerland as a tourist for 3 months... and then I would have to register as a "job seeker" so that I could stay another 3 months. Is this correct? After those 6 months, how long do I have to leave Switzerland before I can come back? Is there a different form of a Work Visa that I can start on now without having a company sponsor me? Are there different types?

Thank you!
You may want to indicate which company is in question here. The relative size of the company and its importance to the overall Swiss economy (especially its tax contribution to the Canton in question) can have a tremendous impact on the Permit approval process for non-EU citizens. The likes of Novartis, Nestle, Credit Suisse, UBS, Glencore, Zurich, ABB and Roche will have an enormous advantage compared to the likes of Sutter AG.
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