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Old 03.10.2006, 12:29
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L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Hi All

Wish I had come across this forum earlier!

I formed an SA in Geneva and have moved here permenently, I asked the formation agents to sort out permits for my son, my Wife and I, however I have got an 'L' permit.

As Iam obviously staying here for some time and am the MD of the company, can I apply for a 'B' pernit now?

The formation people (who I paid CHF3000 to for the permit) said the firts permit as an 'L' is 'easier'....

Any feed back would be appreciated.
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Old 03.10.2006, 12:36
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

I can't see your nationality in your profile, and you haven't said anything about it in the message. Aspects such as your nationality, qualifications, education, etc can have a big bearing on the ease of getting certain types of permits. If you supply more information forum members may be able to assist you more easily.
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Old 03.10.2006, 12:52
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

I don't think it's possible to move here "permanently" on an L permit. It's a short-term permit, see:

www.geneve.ch/permis/uk/autorisations_uk.asp

I have found the best and free advice is from you local town/city hall...
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Old 03.10.2006, 13:14
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Yes an L permit is only valid for 18 months however this can be relatively easily changed to a B permit on expiry given your circumstances irrespective of nationality. What I find interesting is that you have set up a company that requires at least 50% of the directors to be Swiss nationals ie an SA or Societe Anonym ie AG for the German speakers... This requires substantial commitment and you are the first I have known not to be automatically given at least a B if not a C.

What I can say is that those who organised this for you have not done a good job for you personally
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Old 03.10.2006, 13:19
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Quote:
As Iam obviously staying here for some time and am the MD of the company, can I apply for a 'B' pernit now?

The formation people (who I paid CHF3000 to for the permit) said the firts permit as an 'L' is 'easier'....
You can apply for any permit you like at any time but whether you get it is another story. The pain of the L permit is the restrictions it imposes in particular with respect to accomodation - type and location. If you are an EFTA L it is somewhat better but nevertheless restricted.

With respect to the formation people, to be blunt as far as the permit is concerned you have been done. It should cost you circa CHF 50 per person plus time to fill in the form. It would have been straightforward for you to go to a local town hall and tell them you want 3 permits and the registration form to set up an SA in their community. With such an introduction you would have found them MOST accomodating...

Last edited by mark; 03.10.2006 at 13:23. Reason: corrected gemeinde to community - gemeinde not likely to be understood by OP who is new arrival to french-speaking part
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Old 03.10.2006, 14:11
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

I had two L-Permits, and just recently moved to a B permit, so I'm familiar with a few points regarding these.

If you're an EU/EFTA citizen, an L permit is pretty close to a B permit (but not everyone agrees, like DVD-rental shops, landlords, etc.,). As far as I know L permits are only granted for a year at a time (in Sept 2005 they tried to issue me with one from 1st Sept to 15th Sept 2006 (end of my contract), but couldn't as this would be longer than 12 months). However, they can be re-issued/renewed yearly. If you're EU/EFTA then they can reissue them as often as desired, but if you're not then I think you can only have 2 L permits.

The immigration office told me when I was enquiring about now getting a B permit that even if I did end up with an L permit, when you've been on L permits for 2.5 years as an EU/EFTA citizen you are entitled to take a B permit and that this permit is outside of any quota regulations.

I suspect, but do not know, that the immigration authorities ration the B/L permits. If you're an EU/EFTA citizen, they may issue you with an L permit so that they can save the B permits for non-Europeans for whom the L permit would be a bigger handicap (this is based on experiences of a friend in UBS who has seen people coming in on various permits). They may issue L permits as first permits on the basis that you mightn't be so sure you really do want to stay forever.

You almost certainly cannot change permits until your current one expires (I think this is anoter part of rationing the permits). If you're from EU/EFTA, the quotas should have been removed by the time you are re-applying and you should get a B if you can demonstrate you will be working for more than a year in the country. In any case, you should apply for a B permit if you can demonstrate more than 12 months planned employment. If they run out of quota, they will issue you with an L anyway.
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Old 03.10.2006, 14:20
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Quote:
You almost certainly cannot change permits until your current one expires (I think this is anoter part of rationing the permits).
I changed from a B to C with four years left on my B. There were no eyebrows raised at all, so I'm not sure about the above statement.
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Old 03.10.2006, 14:21
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Quote:
You almost certainly cannot change permits until your current one expires
Yes you can this is no problem at all, although they might tell you otherwise. As an example if you look at the "new" EFTA B permits they are valid for 5 years. If you were already here 3 years when it was issued then you are able to "upgrade" to a C permit on application after owning the B permit for only 2 of the 5 years. I dare so loads of people on the forum have done this. The same applies for an L permit where you can also apply to have it upgraded on the grounds that it was wrongly issued and should have been a B anyway. If you are the owner of a Swiss registered incorporated company(i.e. AG or SA) you have the right to apply for a C permit from day 1.
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Old 03.10.2006, 14:26
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

It's good to share experiences like this.

My information was based on hearing the same policy line via HR (passing on their information from the immigration authorities) and then from me calling the authorities directly. If nothing else, it means somebody should be prepared to hear the line, even if in fact the "impossible" is possible.

In any case, my experience is entirely limited to moving from L permits to B.
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Old 03.10.2006, 14:35
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation coming from inexperienced HR people, and even a lot of misinformation coming from government employees themselves (like those working in the community offices). If you look through some of our threads you'll see we've done the whole L/B/C permit thing about every way it could be done, but on the whole the information (when taken as an aggrogate) is pretty accurate.

In the case of this thread, the questions were specific to a director of a company. I tend to agree with Richard that the B permit should have been applied for in the first place - it's often the case that HR people simply go for the L first off because it is the path of least resistance in terms of time, effort and money. The same trick was tried on me when I first got here and I nipped it in the bud by having a little "chat" with HR. I then got a B.
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Old 03.10.2006, 17:07
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Thanks for all you info.

Regarding my status, I am EU (English) and have set up the co with 200,000CHF have a Swiss director on board the business is in banking and I am qualified.

Basically what I can take from this is that I am stuck with an 'L' unril it expires and then I should apply for a 'B'. Thanks for this, I think I may be revisting the formation agents for some free service on this next year..
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Old 03.10.2006, 17:26
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

No, from what the others said you might not be stuck with the L.

I'd recommend making direct contact with your local town-hall. Tell them what you're doing, that you'd like a B (it makes some things easier, and they'll understand this) and see where it goes from there.
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Old 03.10.2006, 18:18
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

EU get "L" permits because they have exceeded the "B" quotas of 15300 "B" permits from 1 Jun 2002 to 31 May 2007. After that, no more quota.

The EU "L"s are different to non EU ones.
Full Swiss canton mobility, full job mobility, set up a business etc

HR generally may not know this.

Companies, being very conservative and also not knowing the rules, may not know this and just assume you're a strawberry picker or chalet maid, thus no mobile phone contract etc.

I even had to "discuss", well argue, at my Gemeinde (local government office) about what papers I needed as a British citizen to get a permit. They wanted my assurance of work thingy from the Swiss embassy that non-EU must have to start work here.

Phone the Migrationsamt to ask the rules - they are the only people you can trust to answer you correctly - that includes taking what I just wrote with a pinch of salt

FYI Mark (sorry if you already knew):
I changed from a B to C with four years left on my B. There were no eyebrows raised at all, so I'm not sure about the above statement.

As part of the EU bilateral agreement, the qualifying period for a "C" changed from 10 years to 5 for EU citizens.

And as a further curveball, there are quotas per Gemeinde. So, move to Hickswil with the hillbillies and teuchters and you can get a "B" right off but be stared at as the only foreigner in town

Both SWMBO and I have "L" despite full time jobs

Attached: (nothing)

Last edited by gbn; 04.12.2007 at 05:59. Reason: Reattachment
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Old 03.10.2006, 19:50
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Majority of the board of directors must be domiciled in Switz and must be CH or EU nationals. Take a look at the ObligatonenRechts (obligatory laws) somewhere on admin.ch

To get a B permit u need to have job of length greater than 365 days. Your company should appoint you for a 3-year term which should meet that requirement. Make sure that the three-year appointment term is reflected in your Articles.

This is Zuerich. I dont know if the rules differ at your end of the country.

Disclaimers apply to this advice. Check with your Handelregister (company registry). They are suprisingly helpful.

Hope this helps
dave

Quote:
What I find interesting is that you have set up a company that requires at least 50% of the directors to be Swiss nationals ie an SA or Societe Anonym ie AG for the German speakers... This requires substantial commitment and you are the first I have known not to be automatically given at least a B if not a C.

Last edited by mark; 04.10.2006 at 10:13. Reason: translating untranslated german terms. Poster is a new arrival in french speaking parts - how will he understand german words? Please refer to policy on use of foreign words for more details.
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Old 03.10.2006, 19:56
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Quote:
To get a B permit u need to have job of length greater than 365 days. Your company should appoint you for a 3-year term which should meet that requirement. Make sure that the three-year appointment term is reflected in your Articles.
.. if sufficient quota remaining

What about this:
http://www.geneva.ch/establishing_company.htm [Geneva town website]
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Old 03.10.2006, 19:57
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Company formation of an AG (SA) if you do it yourself as we did, should cost about 2400chf, with Handelreg and notary fees etc. This was not a simple formation as there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing over our board, and Statuten (Artcle of Associaton).

I was quoted 8000chf by a formation agent for a simple company and a further 5000chf a year for a nominee swiss director (no longer needed if directors EU and resident)

Once you know the process, its easy. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!

dave



Quote:

With respect to the formation people, to be blunt as far as the permit is concerned you have been done. It should cost you circa CHF 50 per person plus time to fill in the form. It would have been straightforward for you to go to a local town hall and tell them you want 3 permits and the registration form to set up an SA in their community. With such an introduction you would have found them MOST accomodating...
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Old 04.10.2006, 10:52
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Re: L Permit Confusion [permit for director of Swiss-based company]

Thanks for all your help guys, I am a lot more informed by about my options now, appreciate it.
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