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Old 21.04.2012, 18:00
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"90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

We are still in the States awaiting my wife's Type B work visa. As soon as it comes we are off to Switzerland. It could be any day now. However, my company is transferring me to Switzerland but needs to wait for my wife's work visa before they can begin the work on my visa (since I am coming in as a spouse). Originally, my company stated that I could work 90 days in Switzerland as a business trip while waiting for my visa to come in...I would still report to the US and be paid in US dollars during that time. Now, they are saying I can only work in Switzerland for 2 weeks and then have to leave until my visa comes in which could be 6 weeks or more after my wife's visa is ready.

We have a 5 and 7 year old and are moving to a country where none of us speak the language. Leaving my family for a month or more is upsetting to me. This isn't my companies fault as we were taking the job for my wife no matter what...even if my company would not jump through hoops for me. That they are even willing to jump through these hoops for me when I have worked for them for less than a year, is very generous of them.

The question is (legally as I don't want to jeopardize losing my wife's visa in the process), what are my options?

-- It seems I could stay up to 90 days as a business trip and then leave for a week or so when my visa is ready. After all, I find it impossible to believe that there are not people in Switzerland on business trips of more than 2 weeks or even people with vacation homes that stay more than 2 weeks and do some work while they are there. I will still have a US resident address (my mom's house).

--As I work out of my home office and just need a high speed internet connection, can I just jump the border to France (living in Neuchatel) every 2 weeks or so for a couple of days working out of a hotel there or even just for the weekend and return to Neuchatel on Mondays. Therefore never being in Switzerland for more than 2 weeks at a time until my visa is ready?

Thanks for any help, the thought of leaving my family during the beginning of this great adventure for an extended period of time is really hard for me to consider. And would go over very poorly on my kids as well.
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Old 21.04.2012, 18:17
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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We are still in the States awaiting my wife's Type B work visa. As soon as it comes we are off to Switzerland. It could be any day now. However, my company is transferring me to Switzerland but needs to wait for my wife's work visa before they can begin the work on my visa (since I am coming in as a spouse). Originally, my company stated that I could work 90 days in Switzerland as a business trip while waiting for my visa to come in...I would still report to the US and be paid in US dollars during that time. Now, they are saying I can only work in Switzerland for 2 weeks and then have to leave until my visa comes in which could be 6 weeks or more after my wife's visa is ready.

We have a 5 and 7 year old and are moving to a country where none of us speak the language. Leaving my family for a month or more is upsetting to me. This isn't my companies fault as we were taking the job for my wife no matter what...even if my company would not jump through hoops for me. That they are even willing to jump through these hoops for me when I have worked for them for less than a year, is very generous of them.

The question is (legally as I don't want to jeopardize losing my wife's visa in the process), what are my options?

-- It seems I could stay up to 90 days as a business trip and then leave for a week or so when my visa is ready. After all, I find it impossible to believe that there are not people in Switzerland on business trips of more than 2 weeks or even people with vacation homes that stay more than 2 weeks and do some work while they are there. I will still have a US resident address (my mom's house).

--As I work out of my home office and just need a high speed internet connection, can I just jump the border to France (living in Neuchatel) every 2 weeks or so for a couple of days working out of a hotel there or even just for the weekend and return to Neuchatel on Mondays. Therefore never being in Switzerland for more than 2 weeks at a time until my visa is ready?

Thanks for any help, the thought of leaving my family during the beginning of this great adventure for an extended period of time is really hard for me to consider. And would go over very poorly on my kids as well.
Your going to have a 'Shengen' problem after 90 days, I don't think you can return straight away.
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Old 21.04.2012, 18:32
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

Hi Fatmanfilms,

I'm not sure what "Shengen" means, but we don't expect my visa to take 90 days. We expect it to take about 6 weeks (so 42 days). I should add that I will be able to be in Switzerland on a "Family Reunion" visa at the same time my wife's Type B work permit comes in. It is when I can start working that is the issue.
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Old 21.04.2012, 19:01
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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Hi Fatmanfilms,

I'm not sure what "Shengen" means, but we don't expect my visa to take 90 days. We expect it to take about 6 weeks (so 42 days). I should add that I will be able to be in Switzerland on a "Family Reunion" visa at the same time my wife's Type B work permit comes in. It is when I can start working that is the issue.
Schengen Agreement
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement
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Old 23.04.2012, 14:19
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

I am a bit confused by your post as at first it seems you are piggybacking off your wife's permit, and then it seems your company is processing a separate permit/request for you.

Anyhow, if your wife is indeed guanteed a B permit (not L) and you are both non-EU, you would receive the same permit as her with the right to work as her spouse. Not sure why your company would want/have to make a separate request unless it is a special permit or she is not guaranteed a B.

Anyhow, you have 90 days to come in Schengen (CH and most of Europe) as a tourist before the tourist deadline. Going over to France does not solve your problem cause it is part of Schengen. If time gets tight, perhaps a trip to UK/Ireland (non-Schengen) could help, but then you need to be 90 days outside of Schengen.
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Old 23.04.2012, 15:00
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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Originally, my company stated that I could work 90 days in Switzerland as a business trip while waiting for my visa to come in...
Sounds shady. Under such a scheme where you're entering under visa waiver, any work being performed has to be paid by your non-Swiss employer.

If you're coming in under visa waiver then you cannot be paid by a Swiss company for work performed in Switzerland. That would require a work permit, without which, you'd be an illegal alien.
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Old 23.04.2012, 18:56
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

I think I am doing a poor job of explaining my situation...

To answer KenF, it isn't shady at all. That is absolutely not the intent of my company or myself. I am a homebased employee in the US. I report to my US manager. My company also has a business license in Switzerland (although only 2 employees there). To allow me to stay with the company, they have started to jump through the hoops to allow me to work there. When I finally have my work permit, I will report to my boss in England but be paid and adhere to all Swiss employment laws. The question is that while I wait for my permit to come through (~ 6 weeks), can I continue to work for my US manager and be paid by the US? I have been told 2 separate things, first is that I can only work there 2 weeks under US manager and then I must leave until my work permit comes through. The second is that I can work up to 90 days on a "Business Trip" while still reporting to the US. Again, nobody is trying to be shady in the least, if the law is 2 weeks and go, then I will do so.....we are just trying to figure out if that is the case or if there is a better option.

To answer RunningDeer, my wife is coming in on a type B visa, which I am told means that the job has to be offered to Swiss citizens, then EU citizens, and then rest of world. The paper work for her Type B is almost done. We were also told to apply for a "Family Reunion Visa" for myself and out kids. This is supposed to be complete at about same time as the Type B visa. According to my company (not experts in Swiss employee laws, but doing their best to figure it out), it is easiest if I apply as a spouse to a Type B visa employee. For example, if they were to attempt to make me a Type B visa, they would have to first offer my job to Swiss and EU citizens.....so the quickest route is to do it as a spouse to a Type B visa employee, which allows me to begin work within the Swiss system in 6 weeks or so after my wife has her visa. So I will have legal rights to be in Switzerland under "Family Reunion" visa any day now. However, I cannot work under Swiss part of my company for up to 6 weeks or so. Does this help explain and can you see the dilema? The question is for those ~6 weeks, can I stay in Switzerland working for my US manager being paid in US dollars while my work visa comes through or do I need to leave my family for an extended period of time? Can I work under the "90 day business trip" or would that not apply to me?
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Old 23.04.2012, 19:35
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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To answer RunningDeer, my wife is coming in on a type B visa, which I am told means that the job has to be offered to Swiss citizens, then EU citizens, and then rest of world. The paper work for her Type B is almost done. We were also told to apply for a "Family Reunion Visa" for myself and out kids. This is supposed to be complete at about same time as the Type B visa. According to my company (not experts in Swiss employee laws, but doing their best to figure it out), it is easiest if I apply as a spouse to a Type B visa employee. For example, if they were to attempt to make me a Type B visa, they would have to first offer my job to Swiss and EU citizens.....so the quickest route is to do it as a spouse to a Type B visa employee, which allows me to begin work within the Swiss system in 6 weeks or so after my wife has her visa. So I will have legal rights to be in Switzerland under "Family Reunion" visa any day now. However, I cannot work under Swiss part of my company for up to 6 weeks or so. Does this help explain and can you see the dilema? The question is for those ~6 weeks, can I stay in Switzerland working for my US manager being paid in US dollars while my work visa comes through or do I need to leave my family for an extended period of time? Can I work under the "90 day business trip" or would that not apply to me?
OK, this could totally not apply to you as you are both non-EU...but - we came here for my husband's job and he got a B permit. He is EU...automatically my B permit also allows me to work. There would be no need for me to separately apply for a work permit for me (non-EU) should I ever find a job. Now, again, this may not apply to you as you are both non-EU. I would call the consulate/embassy to sort things out, maybe?
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Old 23.04.2012, 19:49
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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I think I am doing a poor job of explaining my situation...

To answer KenF, it isn't shady at all. That is absolutely not the intent of my company or myself. I am a homebased employee in the US. I report to my US manager. My company also has a business license in Switzerland (although only 2 employees there). To allow me to stay with the company, they have started to jump through the hoops to allow me to work there. When I finally have my work permit, I will report to my boss in England but be paid and adhere to all Swiss employment laws. The question is that while I wait for my permit to come through (~ 6 weeks), can I continue to work for my US manager and be paid by the US? I have been told 2 separate things, first is that I can only work there 2 weeks under US manager and then I must leave until my work permit comes through. The second is that I can work up to 90 days on a "Business Trip" while still reporting to the US. Again, nobody is trying to be shady in the least, if the law is 2 weeks and go, then I will do so.....we are just trying to figure out if that is the case or if there is a better option.

To answer RunningDeer, my wife is coming in on a type B visa, which I am told means that the job has to be offered to Swiss citizens, then EU citizens, and then rest of world. The paper work for her Type B is almost done. We were also told to apply for a "Family Reunion Visa" for myself and out kids. This is supposed to be complete at about same time as the Type B visa. According to my company (not experts in Swiss employee laws, but doing their best to figure it out), it is easiest if I apply as a spouse to a Type B visa employee. For example, if they were to attempt to make me a Type B visa, they would have to first offer my job to Swiss and EU citizens.....so the quickest route is to do it as a spouse to a Type B visa employee, which allows me to begin work within the Swiss system in 6 weeks or so after my wife has her visa. So I will have legal rights to be in Switzerland under "Family Reunion" visa any day now. However, I cannot work under Swiss part of my company for up to 6 weeks or so. Does this help explain and can you see the dilema? The question is for those ~6 weeks, can I stay in Switzerland working for my US manager being paid in US dollars while my work visa comes through or do I need to leave my family for an extended period of time? Can I work under the "90 day business trip" or would that not apply to me?
For your main question, about whether you can work for a US-based employer, I am not totally clear. I have heard about people telecommuting and getting paid in US dollars, and this is okay. But - I agree with drmom that you will more likely get a better answer on this if you ask the Swiss government.

For the rest - just to clarify, visa is not a permit. Your wife's company is applying for work authorization for her, which will allow her to get a visa (the thing in her passport that allows her to enter the country to reside that she gets from the consular authorities in the US). Once she enters the country, she then registers and gets a residence permit. This is hopefully a B permit, but could be an L permit - just to warn you. You get a family regroupment visa, which allows you to enter, and then you get the same residence permit type as her. A B permit would allow a company to hire you without showing they couldn't find someone Swiss or EU to take the position. An L permit would not give you that ability - a company would have to jump through the hoops and might get denied.

I have also heard about company's transferring employees within offices and not having as much trouble visa/permit-wise, but I don't know as much about that.

Hope that is helpful and if anyone has any corrections, go at it!
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Old 23.04.2012, 19:53
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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To answer RunningDeer, my wife is coming in on a type B visa, which I am told means that the job has to be offered to Swiss citizens, then EU citizens, and then rest of world. The paper work for her Type B is almost done. We were also told to apply for a "Family Reunion Visa" for myself and out kids. This is supposed to be complete at about same time as the Type B visa. According to my company (not experts in Swiss employee laws, but doing their best to figure it out), it is easiest if I apply as a spouse to a Type B visa employee.
It is easy for you to get work permission if your spouse receives a B work permit. However there is no guarantee and the paperwork doesn't necessarily discriminate between B and L permits (i.e. one may well apply for a B but receive a L instead because quotas for Bs have been exhausted).

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The question is for those ~6 weeks, can I stay in Switzerland working for my US manager being paid in US dollars while my work visa comes through or do I need to leave my family for an extended period of time?
You are mixing up several things. Your family reunion visa will be issued at the same time as your wife's entry for work purposes visa. Once you get to Switzerland and only if your wife has received a type B work permit you can apply in turn for work permission. You cannot work before permission is received.

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Can I work under the "90 day business trip" or would that not apply to me?
Nope. Telecommuting and getting paid in the US is illegal.
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Old 24.04.2012, 06:33
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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It is easy for you to get work permission if your spouse receives a B work permit. However there is no guarantee and the paperwork doesn't necessarily discriminate between B and L permits (i.e. one may well apply for a B but receive a L instead because quotas for Bs have been exhausted).



You are mixing up several things. Your family reunion visa will be issued at the same time as your wife's entry for work purposes visa. Once you get to Switzerland and only if your wife has received a type B work permit you can apply in turn for work permission. You cannot work before permission is received.

Nope. Telecommuting and getting paid in the US is illegal.
Well, although I generally agree with you, I think there is a difference in this case and that is because he is working for a US company which has a presence in CH. And in this case I think he can in fact work for the US company while he is on a "business trip". This is often how things were done when our employees from Argentina would get sent to Switzerland for meetings, training, short projects. Now, how long can he do this, I don't remember. I'll have to ask. It is very possible that it's 90 days because I met quite a few colleagues who had stayed in CH for 3 months. Someone remind me to ask!

Now there does seem to be some confusion in this story because not only is he eligibile for the family reunification visa, it seems his company is also willing to jump hoops to get him his own work permit.

Personally, I would wait and see if the wife gets a B then his company will not need to go through hoops for him he can just work on the dependent permit. However, some might argue it might be worth while for him to have his own permit in case the wife's job is terminated, or she hates it etc.
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Old 24.04.2012, 10:02
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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Well, although I generally agree with you, I think there is a difference in this case and that is because he is working for a US company which has a presence in CH. And in this case I think he can in fact work for the US company while he is on a "business trip". This is often how things were done when our employees from Argentina would get sent to Switzerland for meetings, training, short projects. Now, how long can he do this, I don't remember. I'll have to ask. It is very possible that it's 90 days because I met quite a few colleagues who had stayed in CH for 3 months. Someone remind me to ask!
In general you are right :-) however not in this particular case as he enters the country on a family reunification visa which expressly precludes him from carrying out work unless permission is received. If he had come on his own either through a visa waiver or on a proper business visa.
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Old 24.04.2012, 20:43
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Re: "90 day business trip", while waiting for work visa or other options?

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In general you are right :-) however not in this particular case as he enters the country on a family reunification visa which expressly precludes him from carrying out work unless permission is received. If he had come on his own either through a visa waiver or on a proper business visa.
IF he comes in on the FU visa. This isn't sure yet and it's won't have been finished yet. That is why I think he should just dump the FU process and go with his own company getting him his own visa.
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