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Old 05.04.2012, 08:46
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Looking For Work in Country

I'm an American student who will be graduating soon. I speak German fluently as well of a bit of French. Recently a Swiss family I know made the offer to let me stay with them for the 90 day duration that I can enter the Schengen zone visa free on a US passport in order to look for work, and told me that it was legal to enter Switzerland with a US Passport in order to do so.

I've been trying to double check the legality of this, as I had thought that non-EU citizens were not able to do so, but cannot find anything online.
Searching this website, I did manage to find one thread here Is It Illegal for some one on a Tourist visa to come here and look for work? on there forums that seems to argue the question for an Australian, but still couldn't find anything definitive.

Obviously I don't plan to overstay, and do know I'll have to leave to get a visa should I find work. I just need to know (before buying a ticket over) if I'd even be along to look for work. If anyone could speak to this and offer links to sites that state clearly one way or the other what the law is I'd really appreciate it.
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Old 05.04.2012, 10:17
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

With a US passport, you can come as a tourist and stay for 90 days. During that time, you can peruse the job market.
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Old 05.04.2012, 10:31
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

Just don't do what I saw once at the Swiss Passport control at Zurich airport:

Police officer: what is your intention for coming to Switzerland ?
Traveller: "Oh I thought I might find a job or do some further study".
Police officer: And how long do you plan to stay ?
Traveller: "Oh, I'm not sure yet..."
Police officer: "Where you will be staying in Switzerland"
Traveller: "No, I thought I might find a room or share a house with someone...

I kid you not...a USA 'student' 'tourist'...

Correct answers: - you are coming to Switzerland as a tourist, you plan to stay for up to 3 months, and you have somewhere to stay... You won't be allowed to work in Switzerland as a tourist, you need to have enough money to survive for those three months, and if you 'happen' to find a job, you will have to go out of the country, wait until the work permit is approved and then re-enter with the correct entry visa...

Whether it is easier to look for a job 'locally' or 'via the internet' I'm not sure - if the employer can satisfy the criteria to get the work permit, they already must have advertised across Europe and internationally so someone who is only looking 'locally' may not be interested at all if you don't already have a residency/work permission...
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Old 05.04.2012, 11:16
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

Staying here for three months as a tourist - no problem.

Technically, actively looking for work while on a tourist visa is not allowed. I don't know where it states this, but I've often heard it and I'm not surprised. To emphasize the seriousness of the Swiss and their employment market, one is not even allowed to volunteer without a valid work permit. Whatever you do, do not state an intention to find work to any Swiss authorities.

That being said, many people do it () without any problems. You should, however, expect to leave Switzerland and apply for a work permit from the US if you get any offers. I know someone () who waited six months for a permit to process while remaining in Switzerland, and in the end it was rejected.
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Old 05.04.2012, 11:39
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

Just a remark: The employment process in Switzerland seems to be painfully slow in many cases. I have friends who were invited for the first interview 6-8 weeks after they sent their application. With 90 days you may run out of time quickly...
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Old 05.04.2012, 12:22
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

what is your area of study? Lots of people looking for jobs in Switzerland right now, I'm afraid...
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Old 05.04.2012, 12:44
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

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what is your area of study? Lots of people looking for jobs in Switzerland right now everywhere always, I'm afraid...
fixed that for you
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Old 05.04.2012, 21:58
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

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what is your area of study? Lots of people looking for jobs in Switzerland right now, I'm afraid...
Unfortunately, though I will have a double degree, I don't think either is in something that will offer any guarantees on a job search, but as M. Ploymi pointed out, the job market everywhere is rather picked over. My thoughts were, with the offer of a place to stay for the time, that best case scenario I find myself a job in a great country, and worse case I would at least be able to visit the country, practice my German, learn some Swiss German, and have a better experience than if I had just arrived as a tourist on my own.

That all being said, it seems the general consensus here is that I can look, so I guess I'll go ahead and look at tickets. Thanks!
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Old 05.04.2012, 22:14
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/1/142.20.de.pdf

start with Art. 10 par. 1

Good luck!
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Old 05.04.2012, 23:00
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

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http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/1/142.20.de.pdf

start with Art. 10 par. 1

Good luck!

Cool - Just double checking on that to make sure I haven't read it wrong, Article 11 just reaffirms that you can't actually work without a permit, and 17 that you must leave to get the permit, supporting that as long as I leave to get a work permit and do not actually start any work until I get said permit I'm allowed to look (for the 3 allowable months under Article 10)?
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Old 05.04.2012, 23:51
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

Looking_To_Expat, you (US citizen) do not need a visa to come to Switzerland (however, you will most likely state your purpose of visit at the border).

Nowhere have I managed to find an explicit prohibition to search for employment while one is in the country or even sign an employment contract -- it is not permitted to carry out employment activity until you are in posession of a valid permit. In my opinion, what you do in those 3 months is up to you -- you would not be breaking any Swiss laws.

see here as well:
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/1/142.201.de.pdf

For those who come on a tourist visa, (in theory) secure employment, then things do not work out with the permit -- this could result in a ban from Schengen zone (reason: lied on visa application).
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Old 06.04.2012, 00:38
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

Thank you Aleydis the clarification. I really wasn't trying to be dense/difficult here, I just didn't wish to put myself in an illegal situation.
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Old 06.04.2012, 13:14
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Re: Looking For Work in Country

Fully understandable! Do be aware though that in the last few months that I've been trying to find work, I've come more and more often across a caveat in many job ads stating that posession of EU residency / valid work permit is a pre-requirement for the application being considered.
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