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Old 03.09.2011, 09:38
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found a job, seeking L->B permit conversion advice with new employeer

I've spent months searching for a new job. I have a PhD from the ETH and now two years of experience at the ZHAW (smaller local university). I've done projects with Swiss companies, but was still very much in an academic environment. It's been my goal to work in industry and have a job that requires lots of communication and some management tasks.

Now, I've managed to get a job with a large international consulting company. it looks like a great job and will give me the industry experience that I need. I just got the offer yesterday and it's also very good.

We've decided on a start date of Oct 1, but I'm not sure that this is realistic since the application for my new work permit has not been submitted. I'll type some facts below that might be helpful and I would appreciate comments or advice from anyone on how likely we are to succeed in getting the work permit or if there is anything that I can do to help the process.

What's also on my mind is that I absolutely cannot miss my sister's wedding in the USA which means I need to leave CH for a few days around Oct 10th. The new employeer has said this is not a problem but am I allowed to leave CH while my work permit application is in process and my residence permit has expired.

I've called all of the offices in Zurich several times and I'm getting different answers from different people. i.e. The Migrationsamt says I cannot change my permit to a new employer. The Arbeitsamt says I will get a permit if I fill the requirements (specialized job, salary, etc) and they say the Migrationsamt will then also let me stay. The Migrationsamt says they will veto the permission given by the Arbeitsamt. And all of these answers are also slightly different depending on who I speak with in each office.
  • American
  • First arrived in CH in 2006 on student B permit, had this for 4 years
  • Got a 1 year contract and 1 year L permit with current employer
  • Got another 9 month contract and 9 month permit with current employer
  • Permit expires at the end of September, 2011
  • Current permit says name of current employeer and "Stellen- und Berufswechsel bewillingungspflichtig". Thought this means that I cannot switch to a new employeer without a new permit.
  • Have also registered a couple months ago for a student permit and enrolled for a teaching certificate at the ETH. This would be for 1 year. Now that I have a job offer, I would prefer to work rather than study. This student permit application is still in process.
  • New job will be an unlimited contract, specialized job that uses skills from my PhD, has a decent salary

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 04.09.2011, 08:21
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Re: found a job, seeking L->B permit conversion advice with new employeer

It is not possible for non EU L permit holders to change their permit to a new employer.

Your employer must apply for a work permit for you in the normal way.

Technically, you should leave the country while this happens. If your current work permit expires you must leave anyway.

Your application will be subject the non-EU quota system (unlike going from an L to a B with the same employer) and you will most likely get an L permit for the first 2 years if you are successful.

As for timing, this will all take some months.

Should your student permit be granted then, of course, you would be able to stay but then your new work permit application would be viewed dubiously by the authorities - after all, the rules are there to stop this sort of thing.

The information the authorities are providing is, as usual, contradictory. However, it is the information they exchange with your new employer that would be definitive.
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