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Old 21.12.2011, 23:38
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Leaving Ireland for Zurich

Guten Tag,

I live in Ireland but I have considered moving to Zurich due to the very high unemployment rate of 14.5% in my home country. I have a BSc degree and limited work experience as a recent college grad, yet I cannot aquire a job here. Most college grads I know are happy to live off welfare due to Government screwing up the job market

Myself, I am willing to work extremely hard provided I can get a start. Entry level will do just fine due to my age. The EU-15 countries include Ireland on the federal immigration info list, so am I correct in asserting that Irish citizens do not require residence or work visa's? Should I apply first to the cantonal authorities in Zurich or to the Federal Swiss Government?

Sorry for the confusing post, but I am really tired of my own country at this point. Swiss people may be suspicious of Irish people currently, but I hope starting over in Switizerland isn't a fantasy. My background is quite clean except for some college blunders. Is it possible to work and study part time in switzerland? I wish to enhance both my educational and work prospects. Further study at home is very expensive: 12,000 euro upwards.

Actually, I really admire the swiss people, and would not hesitate to integrate legitimately as a contributing working member How difficult and involved is swiss immigration for an expat relocating from Ireland? Of all foreign countries I have considered, Switzerland looks to be the nicest.

Thank you.
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Old 21.12.2011, 23:55
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

Hi TheGoldenRatio and welcome to the forum!

I'm pretty sure, actually, I know, that I cannot answer all your questions but as somebody who just left Ireland after 13 years there to come live in Switzerland I can tell you one thing, plan your move wisely!

First question for you: do you speak German?

Second question: how will you afford to live in a very expensive city such as Zurich while looking for a job?

Do you know that you can only stay 90 days (without leaving the country at least once) which basically means you have 90 days to find a job or go elsewhere? I know because my girlfriend is in the same situation but at least she has me to live off!

I moved to Switzerland AFTER getting a job here and this is what I would advise trying to do first as coming here and hoping to find a job may prove a very expensive mistake...

Not trying to break your spirit! Just think about it long and hard and do as much research as possible!
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Old 22.12.2011, 00:12
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

A bit more info on that "90-day rule" I was talking to you about. It actually seems like you can simply ask for a short-term residence permit to keep looking for a job after the 90 days are up!

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Do I first have to secure employment in Switzerland or may I immigrate before?

EU/EFTA nationals may enter Switzerland for job-searching purposes. No permit is required for stays of up to three months. If no job can be found within this time, the appropriate local or cantonal authorities will grant a short-term residence permit (type L permit) valid for another three months' job search. If after this period your job search has remained unsuccessful, you may request for your short-term residence permit to be extended. Extensions are granted up to one year. However, this short-term residence permit does not authorize EU-2 nationals to start a job. They will need to apply with the cantonal labor market authority for a residence permit (see point 2).
See here for more info.
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Old 22.12.2011, 00:23
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

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Hi TheGoldenRatio and welcome to the forum!

I'm pretty sure, actually, I know, that I cannot answer all your questions but as somebody who just left Ireland after 13 years there to come live in Switzerland I can tell you one thing, plan your move wisely!

First question for you: do you speak German?

Second question: how will you afford to live in a very expensive city such as Zurich while looking for a job?

Do you know that you can only stay 90 days (without leaving the country at least once) which basically means you have 90 days to find a job or go elsewhere? I know because my girlfriend is in the same situation but at least she has me to live off!

I moved to Switzerland AFTER getting a job here and this is what I would advise trying to do first as coming here and hoping to find a job may prove a very expensive mistake...

Not trying to break your spirit! Just think about it long and hard and do as much research as possible!
I really appreciate the sound advice. Without question, Zurich is a really expensive city. But so is Dublin - Granted, I would take these figures with a healthy amount of skepticism, but the difference is not completely staggering.

German - Not yet Though I am learning it properly simply because I hear the swiss people can be grumpy when non locals speak english all the time. A working knowledge could be aquired, but you probably need fluent german or french in switzerland, right? I only speak english fluently at present. Your second point makes much sense. I should never plant to move to Switzerland without a job contract lined up.

More correctly, I will keep your advice in mind. Moving country is never easy, so I will keep that in mind. Probably worth all the research and difficulty though. A new college grad in Ireland can expect to make 238 Euro a week if they are lucky - http://www.jobbridge.ie/ Appreciate the feedback man
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Old 22.12.2011, 00:37
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

Don't underestimate the cost of Zurich it is in the top 10 most expensive globally. if you are here with no income looking for a job and are not competent in german/swiss german you will be on the lower priority since english will be the priority mainly only in multinational companies.

The job market here depends on your field, the market is smallish and you will be at a big disadvantage unless you are competent in german. I would recommend to be competitive you need to be B1-B2 plus on european languages for german, This level typically means you can communicate without using english competently

I have travelled through Dublin and food/drink there is dirt cheap compared to Zurich.

Accomodation comparison Zurich will not be less then Dublin!!
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Old 22.12.2011, 00:46
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

I have to echo Wallabies' comments re: cost of living in Zurich. I went there for my interview and stayed for 24 hours. Coming from Dublin, I thought things would be about the same but OMG, I was shocked!

In Dublin, I was "comfortable" with my Irish salary. In Zurich I was poor! EVERYTHING cost WAY more than in Ireland! This really shocked me as I had the rip-off Ireland mentality and assumed Zurich couldn't be much worse...

As for the languages, forget about it if you don't have German! I'm lucky to have the French but only 2 weeks here and I realise I'm going to need to learn it (and I'm in Biel which is 40% French / 60% German!).

So get learning!
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Old 22.12.2011, 00:54
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

Sound and logical advice people. I will get started on German and maybe reconsider Zurich or another Canton once I get my language skills up to scratch. It's a toss up between French and German, but German it is

Thanks again for the advice. I will research carefully before making any more plans. Software Development is my area, but my lack of German/French would hurt quite a bit. That is indisputable. Thank you.
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Old 22.12.2011, 03:21
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

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Thanks again for the advice. I will research carefully before making any more plans. Software Development is my area, but my lack of German/French would hurt quite a bit. That is indisputable. Thank you.
Your basic problem is not lack of IT jobs in Ireland, it is lack of experience and it is the same over here, even more so. The reality is that as a new graduate you will be third in line after Swiss graduates and IT apprentices. It is possible to get IT jobs over here without great language skills, but not without experience. You will probably find it to be the same in most places, so try and get some experience at the same time as you are learning a language, even if it is an internship.
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Old 22.12.2011, 04:48
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

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Your basic problem is not lack of IT jobs in Ireland, it is lack of experience and it is the same over here, even more so. The reality is that as a new graduate you will be third in line after Swiss graduates and IT apprentices. It is possible to get IT jobs over here without great language skills, but not without experience. You will probably find it to be the same in most places, so try and get some experience at the same time as you are learning a language, even if it is an internship.
Nice and frank. Honestly, I would prefer to stay in Ireland as it's my home, but the job market remains very tight. I was led to believe you could simply walk into a job with any sort of degree, but experience seems to trump education outside of non purely academic Institutions it would appear.

Probably best to just work for 6 months straight at home, learn some German, and work on my side projects until then. Zurich Switzerland, maybe someday. I can do further study, but as Jim has outlined, real world experience is probably a safer bet when you are attaching a real salary to a position.

Seems to me that Swiss employers favour solid experience over little work experience but lots of Academic qualifications. Contrary to the common mantra taught throughout my hometown that you are nothing without a degree It can't hurt to have one, but it isn't actually essential from just browsing the job offers available.

Appreciate the advice to all posters who have offered advice. Thank you for your input.
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Old 22.12.2011, 06:49
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

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Seems to me that Swiss employers favour solid experience over little work experience but lots of Academic qualifications. Contrary to the common mantra taught throughout my hometown that you are nothing without a degree It can't hurt to have one, but it isn't actually essential from just browsing the job offers available.
To some extent this is a pretty accurate statement althought it may depend on the field. However if this is any help the idea of long job titles and business cards is very different here. Instead the preference is a job title that is what you are and business cards don't prove a lot.

Qualifications help however Switzerland has a reputation for preferring a delivery and can do approach. You at least have the attitude in the right place and that can only help, I guess the strong percentage of foreigners here shows Switzerland is very willing to obtain skills from outside its boundaries however this means you have strong competition.
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Old 22.12.2011, 07:35
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

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Qualifications help however Switzerland has a reputation for preferring a delivery and can do approach. You at least have the attitude in the right place and that can only help, I guess the strong percentage of foreigners here shows Switzerland is very willing to obtain skills from outside its boundaries however this means you have strong competition.
I agree with this. From researching the culture of Switzerland, there is a heavy emphasis on professional work experience. They can pick the best candidates who won't be a liability to an employer by virtue of a proven track record, something a freash faced college grad won't have. People like me can be risky to hire, who would have thought?

At least you guys tell it as it is. Given my record, I have to compete agaisnt working professionals with perhaps decades of experience for possibly the best salaries in the world. I never lie to myself, so I have to get real here and face the facts. Switzerland is a highly professional based working culture.

Maybe in couple of years or so. Thanks again for the advice, I will keep it in mind and continue to learn German while proving my ability through an internship or whatever.

Peace.
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Old 22.12.2011, 10:46
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Re: Leaving Ireland for Zurich

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I agree with this. From researching the culture of Switzerland, there is a heavy emphasis on professional work experience. They can pick the best candidates who won't be a liability to an employer by virtue of a proven track record, something a freash faced college grad won't have. People like me can be risky to hire, who would have thought?
During a recession it is always the same, other countries may not be hit as hard as Ireland, but none the less there are candidates on the market with experience and they will get picket up first. It can take 12 months or more before a graduate can be really productive in the work place and during that period you're an expense to the employer - an expense he does not want to carry in a recession if he has the choice. So you need both qualifications and experience.

I know the JobBridge program has a lot of negatives about it, but in the case of IT it does get you past the "no professional experience" issue and there are jobs out there for experienced professionals even in Ireland.

A final word, don't confuse "side" projects with professional experience - they are fine for learning skills, but they are not a substitute for professional experience.
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