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Old 20.07.2011, 02:19
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Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

Hey everyone,

I'm currently in the process of trying to figure out how to be in Switzerland on a more permanent basis. I have a few questions and need a little advice.

I'm planning on learning German while I'm there (I was just in Switzerland these past three months and was taking classes) and I'm wondering if I can get a long-term student visa based on these lessons as I'm aware I can study there for three months visa-less. And if so, how do I apply for the visa? Do I need a letter from the school or do I just apply for the visa separately? It's not like the school "accepted" me based on certain criteria.

The bigger goal would be to gain employment there and get a working visa but it seems like it's impossible to get an employer to stick their necks out and sponsor you. (My idea was to get a teaching certificate and teach English but I'm not sure if I could get a visa from anyone.)

My boyfriend is Swiss and is finishing his education there and so it's important to me to find a way to be there with him for longer than three-months at a time, not to mention it's expensive to keep going back and forth.

I guess I'm just looking for some success stories and some advice on what would be the easiest way to return. I'm sure there are answers to my questions elsewhere on this board (I've already read quite a lot of helpful information) but I guess I'm looking for advice from people who were maybe in similar situations.

Thanks in advance, you guys.
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Old 20.07.2011, 02:41
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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Hey everyone,

I'm currently in the process of trying to figure out how to be in Switzerland on a more permanent basis. I have a few questions and need a little advice.

I'm planning on learning German while I'm there (I was just in Switzerland these past three months and was taking classes) and I'm wondering if I can get a long-term student visa based on these lessons as I'm aware I can study there for three months visa-less. And if so, how do I apply for the visa? Do I need a letter from the school or do I just apply for the visa separately? It's not like the school "accepted" me based on certain criteria.

The bigger goal would be to gain employment there and get a working visa but it seems like it's impossible to get an employer to stick their necks out and sponsor you. (My idea was to get a teaching certificate and teach English but I'm not sure if I could get a visa from anyone.)

My boyfriend is Swiss and is finishing his education there and so it's important to me to find a way to be there with him for longer than three-months at a time, not to mention it's expensive to keep going back and forth.

I guess I'm just looking for some success stories and some advice on what would be the easiest way to return. I'm sure there are answers to my questions elsewhere on this board (I've already read quite a lot of helpful information) but I guess I'm looking for advice from people who were maybe in similar situations.

Thanks in advance, you guys.
No interduction , no advise
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Old 20.07.2011, 07:40
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- nope
- nope
- and nope

You'll have to try another route. There are plenty of Brits on here who clearly teach; teaching English won't get you qualified over your EU competition.

3 months are "free". After that, you need a very uniquely marketable skill, a Swiss marriage certificate or a boat-load of money. For students, it needs to be a "real" school.

It'll also be about a year to get German really fluent.
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Old 20.07.2011, 20:34
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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- nope
- nope
- and nope

You'll have to try another route. There are plenty of Brits on here who clearly teach; teaching English won't get you qualified over your EU competition.

3 months are "free". After that, you need a very uniquely marketable skill, a Swiss marriage certificate or a boat-load of money. For students, it needs to be a "real" school.

It'll also be about a year to get German really fluent.
I appreciate your response, but can you really be so dismissive when it comes to the English teaching idea? That's like telling me that I couldn't Au Pair because there are lots EU members in Switzerland fit for the job. I actually met a few Au Pair's that weren't EU members and were based there solely on nannying.
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Old 22.07.2011, 07:34
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I appreciate your response, but can you really be so dismissive when it comes to the English teaching idea? That's like telling me that I couldn't Au Pair because there are lots EU members in Switzerland fit for the job. I actually met a few Au Pair's that weren't EU members and were based there solely on nannying.
Au pair is a whole different world, and a good number of them aren't actually declared.

Teaching English won't get you in. I'm sorry, but it's reality. There aren't really that many Canadians over here - there's a reason for that.

You could apply for a fiancée permit. You would have to marry within a year (from memory, could be wrong), though would need to prove sufficient assets (30,000 chf liquid in ZH).

Alternative is to actually get married; you'll get a B-permit that way.
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Old 22.07.2011, 15:41
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

What is your background anyway?

Out of the 50 people in our office, 2 are Canadian - me and another guy. Both of us has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. He and I both tried to look for stuff in Switzerland with only our BSc / BEng with no luck.

As for English, all the people in the office speak better English than me or the other Canadian. Just to echo the other users, it's difficult to in by teaching English. Most of the Swiss I know already speak it fluently.

Also be aware that you can't simply fly back to Canada and then get back on the next plane back after 3 months. You better do your research on that. Something about 180 day rule.
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Old 22.07.2011, 15:49
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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What is your background anyway?

Out of the 50 people in our office, 2 are Canadian - me and another guy. Both of us has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. He and I both tried to look for stuff in Switzerland with only our BSc / BEng with no luck.

As for English, all the people in the office speak better English than me or the other Canadian. Just to echo the other users, it's difficult to in by teaching English. Most of the Swiss I know already speak it fluently.

Also be aware that you can't simply fly back to Canada and then get back on the next plane back after 3 months. You better do your research on that. Something about 180 day rule.
As I've noticed here, a bachelors degree is not considered a working degree. Here you need a Masters to be considered a graduate and ready to work.

I would suggest you pick up a degree/skilled diploma which the Swiss can use. Permits will be easier to obtain.

Perhaps taking on a more structured higher-education here, and you can get a study permit?

I was in the same situation with my SO when I was planning to come over as the Swiss did not accept the marital status we had in Canada. Solution was, leave her and the relationship back home.

Get officially married and you'll be in much better shape!
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Old 22.07.2011, 15:50
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

Probably easier for your boyfriend to join you in Canada after finishing his education. You being able to stay here without getting married is not looking good. If you are highly qualified in something then that is a different matter.

Sorry, but it isn't going to be easy.
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Old 22.07.2011, 15:58
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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As I've noticed here, a bachelors degree is not considered a working degree. Here you need a Masters to be considered a graduate and ready to work.

I would suggest you pick up a degree/skilled diploma which the Swiss can use. Permits will be easier to obtain.

Perhaps taking on a more structured higher-education here, and you can get a study permit?

I was in the same situation with my SO when I was planning to come over as the Swiss did not accept the marital status we had in Canada. Solution was, leave her and the relationship back home.

Get officially married and you'll be in much better shape!
Thanks for the advice but I'm already working here. Good advice for the OP though!

Though, the conversion about marriage to get the permit is a tricky one. I hinted at this to my gf and she was pretty upset afterwards. But that's a whole other story.
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Old 24.07.2011, 12:29
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As I've noticed here, a bachelors degree is not considered a working degree. Here you need a Masters to be considered a graduate and ready to work.
Absolute nonsense.
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Old 24.07.2011, 12:43
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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Au pair is a whole different world, and a good number of them aren't actually declared.

Teaching English won't get you in. I'm sorry, but it's reality. There aren't really that many Canadians over here - there's a reason for that.

You could apply for a fiancée permit. You would have to marry within a year (from memory, could be wrong), though would need to prove sufficient assets (30,000 chf liquid in ZH).

Alternative is to actually get married; you'll get a B-permit that way.
From where did you get all this information? What is a "fiancé permit? Where did you find the criteria that CHF 30K is sufficient to be granted residency in this country?

Not many Canadians in Switzerland eh..? There are actually more Canadians here than Austrians, apparently.

It would be hard for the OP to get a job as an English teacher but certainly not impossible.
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Old 24.07.2011, 12:52
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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Probably easier for your boyfriend to join you in Canada after finishing his education.
Don't you believe it...I am married to a Canadian and just upping sticks and going to live there is not an option either.
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Old 25.07.2011, 10:01
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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From where did you get all this information? What is a "fiancé permit? Where did you find the criteria that CHF 30K is sufficient to be granted residency in this country?

Not many Canadians in Switzerland eh..? There are actually more Canadians here than Austrians, apparently.

It would be hard for the OP to get a job as an English teacher but certainly not impossible.
Why are you questioning stats that have been posted many times on the subject as if I just made them up?

A fiancée permit is where a legally entitled resident can be granted a permit for their partner on the promise of marrying within a limited time frame, provided they can prove sufficient means. In Zürich, I believe that time period is 1 year, but I know that the amount is 30,000 CHF from looking into this myself and observing colleagues doing the same. I had confirmed the amount and time period for ZH canton as of June '10.

Why would you compare Austria? You're not considering any of the variables except, I assume, language - I don't see the relevance.

There aren't many Canadians. I didn't say none, I said not many. And yes, that's for good reason - the secondary school is all but completely unrecognized, there is a significant difference in real purchasing power between the two countries (obviously varying between regions as Canada is very diverse) and the average Canadian may not be the most specialized or suited to international movement (numbers show that a large percentage of qualified specialists migrate from Canada and the philosophy generally found among Canadian employers (industry exclusive) is not as "certification-centric" as many other nations). Aside from that, your link really just proved my point - 309 Canadians in the country that bothered to sign up for that site... is that a lot? What you're measuring there, is more the likelihood that a given nationality will seek out social networking based on nationality, online. Keep in mind that EU-Canadian passport holders are counted in that - they wouldn't face the permit challenge and as such are immaterial for the current issue. I saw many, many examples of people in Canada who wanted to move here, but failed.

But sure, so as to not destroy your happy-land - yeah, she could get job teaching English, why not, communist-utopias could work too. But, with no teaching degree (keeping in mind the average level of English here, which is much higher than that found in Thailand or other such "usual" destinations where teaching English is an option to support oneself and usually requires low, or no certification) and being dependant on the employment for a permit (not to mention that this all has to be done within the three month window), there's about an ice cube's chance in hell; of course, nothing's impossible.
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Old 25.07.2011, 11:28
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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Thanks for the advice but I'm already working here. Good advice for the OP though!

Though, the conversion about marriage to get the permit is a tricky one. I hinted at this to my gf and she was pretty upset afterwards. But that's a whole other story.

That was meant for the OP, I just quoted you to agree with the B.xx comment
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Old 25.07.2011, 11:52
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I'm a Canadian and I came over with my then-Swiss boyfriend almost 6 years ago. We went to the Gemeinde and told them we planned to marry in Canada a year and a half later, didn't show anything regarding finances, showed I was covered under my parents health insurance until my Swiss insurance kicked in and my permit arrived 5 days later. Six months after that I got a job, with only a BA, permit available the day after my company filed the paperwork. I really believe it depends on the person you deal with at the Gemeinde. It's not impossible, but seems for some they've had lots of problems. I think your best bet is to go to the Gemeinde where you will live and see what they say.
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Old 25.07.2011, 12:03
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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Absolute nonsense.

Gonna have to disagree here. Ask many professors here at ETH and they'll tell you, you're not an ETH grad until you have your masters. Try and find an engineering job with a bachelors in engineering, many will say you're not an engineer yet.

Can you get a job with a bachelors degree. Definitely. Is is absolute nonsense? I think you need to look at the definition of "absolute" and "nonsense"--work on those
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Old 25.07.2011, 12:35
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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Why are you questioning stats that have been posted many times on the subject as if I just made them up?

A fiancée permit is where a legally entitled resident can be granted a permit for their partner on the promise of marrying within a limited time frame, provided they can prove sufficient means. In Zürich, I believe that time period is 1 year, but I know that the amount is 30,000 CHF from looking into this myself and observing colleagues doing the same. I had confirmed the amount and time period for ZH canton as of June '10.
The OP did not state that she intended to marry her boyfriend so a fiancée permit, at least at this point, is irrelevant.

I'm not questionning any stats, I am asking why you are suddenly assuming they will get married...

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Why would you compare Austria? You're not considering any of the variables except, I assume, language - I don't see the relevance.

There aren't many Canadians. I didn't say none, I said not many.
It's actually not a terribly relevant point, though is it? The OP wants to come to Switzerland to be with her boyfriend, not start a mass stampede out of Toronto.

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But sure, so as to not destroy your happy-land - yeah, she could get job teaching English, why not, communist-utopias could work too. But, with no teaching degree (keeping in mind the average level of English here, which is much higher than that found in Thailand or other such "usual" destinations where teaching English is an option to support oneself and usually requires low, or no certification) and being dependant on the employment for a permit (not to mention that this all has to be done within the three month window), there's about an ice cube's chance in hell; of course, nothing's impossible.
I'm not in "happy land", I just thought that for someone armed with zero facts or useful information apart from your opinion and observations, you were showing things in an overly negative light.
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Old 25.07.2011, 14:09
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

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The OP did not state that she intended to marry her boyfriend so a fiancée permit, at least at this point, is irrelevant.

I'm not questionning any stats, I am asking why you are suddenly assuming they will get married...
Nobody said they would. She wants a permit, that looks to be one of the few options; unless she wants to justify political asylum. I don't think it's an unreasonable step to assume that if the relationship is strong enough to move across the world, it may be a bit more that a one-night stand.

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I'm not in "happy land", I just thought that for someone armed with zero facts or useful information apart from your opinion and observations, you were showing things in an overly negative light.
Right, numbers times and official stance on the matter from the official bodies is nothing more than a negative opinion. Carry on then.
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Old 25.07.2011, 14:28
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Right, numbers times and official stance on the matter from the official bodies is nothing more than a negative opinion. Carry on then.
Which "official bodies" and where does it state it? I could counter you by saying "In my experience, you only need CHF 15.50 and know the words of the national anthem to get a permit to stay here. It must be true because it happened to my friend."

It holds about as much water as your argument.

But we won't let fact get in the way of good old unsubstantiated hearsay, will we?
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Old 25.07.2011, 14:56
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Re: Canadian Seeking Relocation Advice/Info

Are you for real?

What's the point of a forum to share information on experiencing the Swiss' particular brand of bureaucracy if this is the kind of "rebuttal" one receives. I'm not claiming that the Swiss are deathly allergic to blueberries or that the reason you can't flush after 22:00 is due to the cooler earth more easily eroding, thus exposing all the stashed gold in the mountains to prying alien eyes... or anything of the sort.

Quote:
Which "official bodies" and where does it state it? I could counter you by saying "In my experience, you only need CHF 15.50 and know the words of the national anthem to get a permit to stay here. It must be true because it happened to my friend."

It holds about as much water as your argument.

But we won't let fact get in the way of good old unsubstantiated hearsay, will we?
If that's your statement, you'd be lying, plain and simple. I didn't say it was a friend's experience, I said I had looked into it myself. Not by asking friends and colleagues, but actually phoning the appropriate offices. Please read the whole post before cooking up some half-cocked reply. Next you'll be telling me that the Swiss cows are really forgotten cold-war soviet bloc sleeper cells.

I was personally at local Gemeinde and Migrationsamt offices many times in trying to get my wife over here with me. In the process we had to become familiar with many of the immigration, naturalization and employ-ability regulations on the informal, federal, cantonal and communal scale. Does this make me an expert, clearly not. Does it equip me to answer a very simple inquiry, absolutely. I can very confidently state, with no fear of being mistaken, that what I have said is true.

To reiterate, as a non-EU (in this case Canadian) with no higher educational degree (absolutely no offence to certified English teachers intended at all, but when one from Canada (and others) proposes to support ones endeavours abroad by "teaching English", it can be safely assumed that they possess few, if any marketable skills; please correct me if I'm wrong though) you will have next to no chance in obtaining a working permit of your own merit. Not no chance, but as you will have to compete with very qualified Swiss followed by the entire EU stock before you can be considered, you really have next to no chance. Therefore, it is advisable to pursue alternative means. Of course, I have a feeling the OP already knew this, hence the student visa request.

I do look forward to your next episode of "evil-conspiracies gazette" style interrogation though, so at your leisure.
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