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Old 03.05.2012, 00:51
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Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

We need to get a one-year student visa for my adult daughter (U.S. citizen). The immigration office in Zürich said she needs to attend school for 20 hours per week to get the visa.

One option is to enroll her in an intensive language course. The language option entails 4 hours of language class per day, 5 days a week. That would be impossible for my daughter to undertake at this time.

So, I was wondering ... are there any "easy" schools* in Zürich with programs
  1. that are not too intense
  2. and where the language of instruction is in English
  3. and will satisfy the student visa requirement?
*post high-school level

For example, I found the International University of Switzerland which has a business program. Are there any other schools like that in Zürich? For art or culinary arts or basket-weaving or ?

Some background info: The rest of the family is moving from the U.S. to Zürich for one year --no problem with our visas-- but they won't let our daughter accompany us because she is legally an adult (18yo). For various personal reasons we (1) cannot leave her behind and (2) are not interested in furthering her education at this time, but we need to satisfy the student visa requirement somehow. It's the only way they will let her stay in the country with us for one year.

I would be most grateful for any ideas/suggestions/thoughts. Thank you.
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Old 03.05.2012, 10:24
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

IMHO, instead of finding lucrative ways to let her come along: what does your daughter want to do?

There are LOTS of things to do in and around Zurich, not only entertainment wise but also schooling wise and there are lots of those which take at minimum 20 hours a week and I assume that you do not want her hanging around the house 24/7 for a year. Depending on her previous education and interests check out the recognized universities on what she want might want to do.
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Old 03.05.2012, 10:28
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

Find her a nice swiss boy and get her a fiance's visa
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Old 03.05.2012, 11:05
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

I'm curious ... why would studying German 20 hours a week be impossible at this time?

Personally, if the problem is not impossible to solve, I'd enrol her in the language school - that way, she not only has a year with you in Switzerland, she learns to speak the local language as well. If the school's timetable is friendly, she could do afternoon trips to places close to Zürich for fun. With the school holiday breaks (which I assume the language school would also offer) she also has plenty of time to explore Europe!

Sorry I can't help with other options ...
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Old 03.05.2012, 12:07
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

if 20 weeks of language courses are too much for her, why do you think that another school would be not too much?? Just curious.

Have you thought about hotel manamgement programmes?
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Old 03.05.2012, 12:47
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

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I'm curious ... why would studying German 20 hours a week be impossible at this time?

Personally, if the problem is not impossible to solve, I'd enrol her in the language school - that way, she not only has a year with you in Switzerland, she learns to speak the local language as well. If the school's timetable is friendly, she could do afternoon trips to places close to Zürich for fun. With the school holiday breaks (which I assume the language school would also offer) she also has plenty of time to explore Europe!

Sorry I can't help with other options ...
Except that language schools generally don't allow you to obtain a B-permit, unless your learning it at a Bachelor/Masters level, or if your "full-time" studying it which is about the same.
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Old 03.05.2012, 18:22
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

>>> I'm curious ... why would studying German 20 hours a week be impossible at this time?

My daughter has severe auditory processing disorder (her ears can hear, but her brain has trouble processing the sounds so the end result is garbled). She has trouble enough following a conversation in English, her native tongue, let alone in a foreign language. A couple of hours of German lessons once or twice a week she can handle. Four hours a day will simply overwhelm her.
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Old 03.05.2012, 18:27
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

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>>> I'm curious ... why would studying German 20 hours a week be impossible at this time?

My daughter has severe auditory processing disorder (her ears can hear, but her brain has trouble processing the sounds so the end result is garbled). She has trouble enough following a conversation in English, her native tongue, let alone in a foreign language. A couple of hours of German lessons once or twice a week she can handle. Four hours a day will simply overwhelm her.
That explains a few things. Have you explained this situation to the immigration office and that your daughter thus effectively falls under your care still even though she is an adult?

If you could have a doctor sign off on something like a paper that states that or even better a more legal kind of document that she is fully under your care and your responsibility I would not be surprised if they could be lenient for your case and approve a permit based on those premises.

I suggest that you first contact your embassy, that is the US embassy in Switzerland and ask them what they suggest to do in such a situation.
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Old 03.05.2012, 18:41
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

>>> Have you thought about hotel manamgement programmes?

Yes, but they are mostly in or near Geneva. I haven't found any in Zurich.

I've tried looking for culinary academies in Zurich, but haven't found any. I think she would really enjoy learning to cook and bake and make chocolate confections or whatever. She is also artistic, so a fine arts academy would be great too. She would actually enjoy doing these types of activities for 20 hours a week.

Due to the auditory processing disorder (see earlier post), putting her through 4 hours of language lessons every day would be torture.

The boyfriend idea by @runningdeer is very creative, but her dad nixed that one immediately!!!
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Old 03.05.2012, 18:51
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

If your daughter is dependent on you, and not able to be independent, then I'd definitely try another approach with the authorities. However, my suggestion would not be the US embassy in Switzerland, but instead the Swiss consulate general in the USA closest to where you currently live.

It's possible to bring a dependent family member into the country, if you have the funds to support them. You could also try for a 12 month 'tourist' visa for your daughter where you provide a financial guarantee.

But if she is on a tourist visa she can't work and she can't study, so it could be very boring....
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Old 03.05.2012, 18:56
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

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She is also artistic, so a fine arts academy would be great too. She would actually enjoy doing these types of activities for 20 hours a week.
try checking www.zhdk.ch they have courses that could fit right up o what you need and quite a few are in English too.
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Old 03.05.2012, 22:28
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

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>>> I'm curious ... why would studying German 20 hours a week be impossible at this time?

My daughter has severe auditory processing disorder (her ears can hear, but her brain has trouble processing the sounds so the end result is garbled). She has trouble enough following a conversation in English, her native tongue, let alone in a foreign language. A couple of hours of German lessons once or twice a week she can handle. Four hours a day will simply overwhelm her.
Thanks for the clarification - hope you can easily get things sorted for her to come with you! I'd definitely go the dependency route with the authorities, looking at the Swiss consulate nearest you ...
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Old 04.05.2012, 08:54
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

Thank you everyone for your responses. You have all been very kind and helpful. Hopefully, we will find a way to resolve my daughter's visa situation.
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Old 04.05.2012, 14:30
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Re: Easiest way to qualify for a student visa - Zurich?

I have heard that the Migros language school is very good and probably the best price you will get. Do know other students that had to do the same thing.
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