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Old 28.08.2012, 17:02
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Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

A little bit of background: I am American architect moving to Basel Stadt starting in October. My New Zealander boyfriend would like to move with me and is searching for possible strategies to find either gainful employment, or a means to secure a residence visa in Switzerland. He is an artist with a NZ MFA.

Because we are not sure of our long-term plans with Switzerland, we are open to a variety of different visa types -- we are familiar with the possible of an Artist visa or a trainee visa, and while some of the stipulations of either visa are less than ideal (not being able to work in another capacity, or having to leave at the end of 18 months), we are willing to give anything feasible a shot! The only thing we have ruled out is the possibility of getting married, since my income will not be sufficient to sponsor a dependent visa.

I have searched the forums far and wide for any information regarding the "artist exception" or "artist visa" but I have not found any English information about it. I came by a vague mention of it, in German. Does anyone have more info what that might entail? I have heard it involves cultivating some sort of professional relationship with a local gallery or studio for an exhibition or representation, but I have been pretty unsuccessful at finding more details.

We would greatly value your advice on what you think is most realistic given the challenge of finding work as a non-EU citizen in Switzerland. Any contacts or resources would be much appreciated!
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:25
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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A little bit of background: I am American architect moving to Basel Stadt starting in October. My New Zealander boyfriend would like to move with me and is searching for possible strategies to find either gainful employment, or a means to secure a residence visa in Switzerland. He is an artist with a NZ MFA.

Because we are not sure of our long-term plans with Switzerland, we are open to a variety of different visa types -- we are familiar with the possible of an Artist visa or a trainee visa, and while some of the stipulations of either visa are less than ideal (not being able to work in another capacity, or having to leave at the end of 18 months), we are willing to give anything feasible a shot! The only thing we have ruled out is the possibility of getting married, since my income will not be sufficient to sponsor a dependent visa.

I have searched the forums far and wide for any information regarding the "artist exception" or "artist visa" but I have not found any English information about it. I came by a vague mention of it, in German. Does anyone have more info what that might entail? I have heard it involves cultivating some sort of professional relationship with a local gallery or studio for an exhibition or representation, but I have been pretty unsuccessful at finding more details.

We would greatly value your advice on what you think is most realistic given the challenge of finding work as a non-EU citizen in Switzerland. Any contacts or resources would be much appreciated!
I don't know much about this type of visa. But are you sure that you would not be making enough to justify a family reunification visa (i.e., get married)? I believe the income amount ("Lebensbedarf") needed is fairly low.
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:59
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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I don't know much about this type of visa. But are you sure that you would not be making enough to justify a family reunification visa (i.e., get married)? I believe the income amount ("Lebensbedarf") needed is fairly low.
Thanks for cluing me into that term! I have been searching on this forum but I can't find a list of the minimum sums required. A number I've seen floating around is having 20,000 CHF in backup assets...which I definitely don't have either. From the forum, it seems that people with around a 4K net monthly salary have no problem sponsoring a spouse. Unfortunately, my net salary is much lower -- I'm just an entry-level architect. I would love to hear from someone who has the actual Lebensbedarf numbers.
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Old 29.08.2012, 10:41
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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Thanks for cluing me into that term! I have been searching on this forum but I can't find a list of the minimum sums required. A number I've seen floating around is having 20,000 CHF in backup assets...which I definitely don't have either. From the forum, it seems that people with around a 4K net monthly salary have no problem sponsoring a spouse. Unfortunately, my net salary is much lower -- I'm just an entry-level architect. I would love to hear from someone who has the actual Lebensbedarf numbers.
If you say it is much lower than 4k per month, then it sounds illegal or at least wage dumping. Not sure how the employer would justify a permit, and the authorites would approve it, for such a low salary. Are you sure that you have or will receive a valid work permit?
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Old 29.08.2012, 11:32
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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If you say it is much lower than 4k per month, then it sounds illegal or at least wage dumping. Not sure how the employer would justify a permit, and the authorites would approve it, for such a low salary. Are you sure that you have or will receive a valid work permit?
hi runningdeer--my visa was approved on the federal level, so I think the wage is legal, but probably just on the lower end on the pay scale. I have come across a few posts on the forum by people who have had to bump up their salaries higher than mine in order to secure their visas.
Now that I think about it, saying that the net wage is much lower is a bit of an exaggeration--I was just thinking about disposable income after insurance, which would make it much lower after all.
What I had completely forgotten to factor in was the 13th month salary! That might make things a bit more doable.
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Old 13.08.2016, 14:09
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

I am exactly looking for the same information about long term "artist visa".I can't find anything on the web.Anyone experienced about this typye of visa?
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Old 13.08.2016, 15:38
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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I am exactly looking for the same information about long term "artist visa".I can't find anything on the web.Anyone experienced about this typye of visa?
Depends on what you mean by long term. The maximum permit period for artists, etc, is 8 months.
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Old 13.08.2016, 17:35
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

Well by long term I mean like B permit.Because every 8 months I have to renew my visa isn't it?do you have any information about the terms and conditions about artist visa?
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Old 13.08.2016, 17:52
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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Well by long term I mean like B permit.Because every 8 months I have to renew my visa isn't it?do you have any information about the terms and conditions about artist visa?
If the artist permit is for 8 months, I highly assume you have to leave after 8 months. And it for sure will not be a B permit?

And it is not a visa, it is a permit. A visum is necessary to enter the country, a permit to stay on the country.
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Old 13.08.2016, 18:02
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

Sure visa/permit are different but in my case it is complicated.Because I'm an artist who wants to get a B permit,but the country allows for 8 months visa.Or can ı apply for a B permit as an artist?As far as I know I can't get a self employed permit or visa because I don't live in switzerland.
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  #11  
Old 13.08.2016, 18:06
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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Sure visa/permit are different but in my case it is complicated.Because I'm an artist who wants to get a B permit,but the country allows for 8 months visa.Or can ı apply for a B permit as an artist?As far as I know I can't get a self employed permit or visa because I don't live in switzerland.
Again you are mixing up things. A visa is not a permit. And it is not complicated.

Simply (and very generally) said, if you are from the EU and can find a job that pays a certain amount, you can stay here.

If you are not from the EU, it is very difficult as companies need to prove they cannot find a EU or CH person.

As an artist, you can enter the country with a visa (if you need one) and then you get a permit for 8 months. I´d say your chances of getting a B permit as an artist are slim, also assuming you are non EU.
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Old 13.08.2016, 18:37
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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Well by long term I mean like B permit.Because every 8 months I have to renew my visa isn't it?do you have any information about the terms and conditions about artist visa?
No, as Roegner says it's for 8 months maximum and then you have to leave.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/content/dam...ngen-aug-f.pdf
Section 4.2.2

Unfortuntely countries tend to use visa and permit to mean the same, but for Switzerland a visa is a stamp in your passport that allows you to enter the country for more than 90 days legally, the 90 days being the maximum time you can be here as a tourist without needing a visa if you come from a country that has that option.

A permit grants you the right to live and work here. For an EU national all that's required to get an L (less than a year) or a B (more than a year) is a Swiss employment contract. For a non-EU national it's much more difficult as priority is given to Swiss/EU nationals and employers have to prove they can't find one of these people to do the job before they'd be allowed to hire a non-EU national. The criteria may be a bit different for artists, etc, but the 8 month maximum period is all you'd be allowed. The potential employer would apply for a permit on your behalf and you would apply for the Type D visa at the Swiss embassy/consulate where you live. If the permit is approved then you'd get the visa stamped in your passport and have a certain period of time when it's valid for you to enter Switzerland.
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Old 15.08.2016, 10:40
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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No, as Roegner says it's for 8 months maximum and then you have to leave.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/content/dam...ngen-aug-f.pdf
Section 4.2.2

Unfortuntely countries tend to use visa and permit to mean the same, but for Switzerland a visa is a stamp in your passport that allows you to enter the country for more than 90 days legally, the 90 days being the maximum time you can be here as a tourist without needing a visa if you come from a country that has that option.

A permit grants you the right to live and work here. For an EU national all that's required to get an L (less than a year) or a B (more than a year) is a Swiss employment contract. For a non-EU national it's much more difficult as priority is given to Swiss/EU nationals and employers have to prove they can't find one of these people to do the job before they'd be allowed to hire a non-EU national. The criteria may be a bit different for artists, etc, but the 8 month maximum period is all you'd be allowed. The potential employer would apply for a permit on your behalf and you would apply for the Type D visa at the Swiss embassy/consulate where you live. If the permit is approved then you'd get the visa stamped in your passport and have a certain period of time when it's valid for you to enter Switzerland.
Thank you for your answer we are thinking the same about this issue.8 months living in switzerland as an artist should not be called as "visa" in my opinion.At the same time L permit is up to a year like very similar to my 8 months visa but it is called as a "permit".what ever it is permit or visa the dilemma as an artist is that I am a freelance working person.So there won't be an employer for me.So I think I should ask if an artist can get a B permit.
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Old 15.08.2016, 10:48
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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Thank you for your answer we are thinking the same about this issue.8 months living in switzerland as an artist should not be called as "visa" in my opinion.At the same time L permit is up to a year like very similar to my 8 months visa but it is called as a "permit".what ever it is permit or visa the dilemma as an artist is that I am a freelance working person.So there won't be an employer for me.So I think I should ask if an artist can get a B permit.
Yes, an artist can get a B permit provided that artist has a work contract and makes enough money. As a freelancer this will be much much much more difficult.
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Old 15.08.2016, 11:27
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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Yes, an artist can get a B permit provided that artist has a work contract and makes enough money. As a freelancer this will be much much much more difficult.

so It seems I should make a contract with gallery and set my conditions in different way than a freelancer.Also thank you for your replies.I think this conversations will help artists much.
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Old 15.08.2016, 11:44
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so It seems I should make a contract with gallery and set my conditions in different way than a freelancer.Also thank you for your replies.I think this conversations will help artists much.
In the end, a lot will depend on whether you have an EU passport. If not, it will be very difficult as an employer needs to show he/she cannot find a Swiss or EU person.
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Old 15.08.2016, 12:06
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

Deniz, what are your ultimate goals? To perform or showcase your art in Switzerland, or to live in Switzerland?

(And perhaps a larger question - why Switzerland? Switzerland isn't usually thought of as a top artistic mecca. There are other countries where you might find an easier road... )

Why you want to be here might influence how you go about looking for ways to obtain a permit to do so...

Another thought - have you looked into graduate school possibilities? (I have no idea how creative /artistic programs in Swiss higher education rate, though...)

---

I could not find a similar document for canton Bern (you have listed your location as Bern so I assume that is your goal), but below is a link to a good document on the requirements and process for applying for an artist visa in canton Zurich. (In German).

I have no idea if requirements vary by canton - just about everything in Switzerland does - but as you research possibilities, this might give you more background and understanding of the situation:

http://www.ma.zh.ch/internet/sicherh...r_Internet.pdf

Wishing you all the best...
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Old 15.08.2016, 12:18
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

I'm assuming you're non-EU as the question wouldn't arise if you're an EU national. You can come and live and work here without problems if that's the case, providing you can earn enough to support yourself. The 8 month limit is only for non-EU nationals.

If non-EU well, basically you can forget a B permit. A gallery might be able to swing the artist permit, but no way would they be able to get a B permit for you.

Forget the word visa, it doesn't apply. Whether it's for 8 months, a year or longer it's a permit. The visa is only for entry purposes and will not be granted without prior approval of a permit if you're a non-EU national.
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Old 15.08.2016, 13:30
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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I'm assuming you're non-EU as the question wouldn't arise if you're an EU national. You can come and live and work here without problems if that's the case, providing you can earn enough to support yourself. The 8 month limit is only for non-EU nationals.

If non-EU well, basically you can forget a B permit. A gallery might be able to swing the artist permit, but no way would they be able to get a B permit for you.

Forget the word visa, it doesn't apply. Whether it's for 8 months, a year or longer it's a permit. The visa is only for entry purposes and will not be granted without prior approval of a permit if you're a non-EU national.
It's a complicated issue because an artist is basically self employed person,but as far as I understand B permit is very related to financial status.
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Old 15.08.2016, 13:32
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Re: Information on Artist Visa or "Artist Exception"?

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It's a complicated issue because an artist is basically self employed person
Really? Maybe you but there are hundreds of artists that are employed, in theaters, orchestras, music schools etc etc. So a lot depends on whether you can get a job with a work contract which could lead to a B permit.

And again, are you EU? If you are not, it will be very very difficult.
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