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Old 29.01.2013, 06:13
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Do we need a visa/work permit?

Hi all

My colleagues and I work for an Australian consulting company, and currently have a client in Switzerland.

We need to be working closely with them at their offices in Europe for 3-6 weeks at a time over the next few months, ideally in Zurich. This work will involve both meetings (which I understand would be treated as 'business' and not require a visa), as well as sitting at a desk working on spreadsheets, etc (which I understand means we will be 'working', which may require a permit?).

We will continue to be employed by our Australian employer, and receive our Australian salary.

Do we definitely need a work permit?
If so, what is the fastest/most reliable way to get this (our client says they can't get it for us, since our firm is employing us, not them)?

If anybody has an understand of the rules regarding this kind of situation, we would greatly appreciate your advice.

I look forward to your responses
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Old 29.01.2013, 07:07
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

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Hi all

My colleagues and I work for an Australian consulting company, and currently have a client in Switzerland.

We need to be working closely with them at their offices in Europe for 3-6 weeks at a time over the next few months, ideally in Zurich. This work will involve both meetings (which I understand would be treated as 'business' and not require a visa), as well as sitting at a desk working on spreadsheets, etc (which I understand means we will be 'working', which may require a permit?).

We will continue to be employed by our Australian employer, and receive our Australian salary.

Do we definitely need a work permit?
If so, what is the fastest/most reliable way to get this (our client says they can't get it for us, since our firm is employing us, not them)?

If anybody has an understand of the rules regarding this kind of situation, we would greatly appreciate your advice.

I look forward to your responses
Wouldn't the Swiss embassy/consulate in Autralia be able to help you out?
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Old 29.01.2013, 07:23
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

You would think so, but their advice conflicts with the advice our Swiss client received from their end.

Sydney consulate says our client must employ us and begin process through the canton immigration office, client says they are not employing us so we need to arrange our own work permit.

Surely foreign consultants must work for Swiss companies all the time! Hence why I posted here to see if anybody had similar experience
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Old 29.01.2013, 08:34
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

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You would think so, but their advice conflicts with the advice our Swiss client received from their end.

Sydney consulate says our client must employ us and begin process through the canton immigration office, client says they are not employing us so we need to arrange our own work permit.

Surely foreign consultants must work for Swiss companies all the time! Hence why I posted here to see if anybody had similar experience
Good question I don't know even I'm swiss. I'll check that out for you give me some time and I'll come back to you.

Ciao

Andy
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Old 29.01.2013, 08:41
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

90 days every 180 days in the country permitted in my opinion. You'll still be a permanent resident of Australia just temporarily executing tasks in Switzerland.

Do Aussies need a Schengen visa for entry?
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Old 29.01.2013, 09:06
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

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90 days every 180 days in the country permitted in my opinion. You'll still be a permanent resident of Australia just temporarily executing tasks in Switzerland.

Do Aussies need a Schengen visa for entry?
You're not allowed to take up gainful employment under the tourist regs so the Swiss might not be happy with this. No, no visa needed for the up to 90 days stay, but yes if longer.

I can only suggest you e-mail here:

www.answers.admin.ch/

Which is the contact for the official www.ch.ch website and see what advice they can give you. I would also contact the Zurich immigration officials to see what they have to say. As you will be working in their area, their decisions might be the most valid ones.
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Old 29.01.2013, 09:11
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

they're working for a legal entity in Australia. You're telling me that everyone we have brought, say, from the US to do work for the "same" company in Switzerland for many weeks needs a work permit? I'm talking UBS, Big Four - I've never seen any short-term permits there.

Remember the Swiss company is buying a product or service from abroad. If there is overstaying (> 90 days) then you'll need something.

There is no change of who employs the people nor their place of permanent residence as far as I see. Do you see something different?
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Old 29.01.2013, 09:14
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

I don't know, I'm only pointing out that under a tourist stay you're not allowed to take up gainful employment. It doesn't specify further than that hence my suggestions to contact those who should know to get a definitive answer. I'm sure there is a way around it, it's just finding out what it is.
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Old 29.01.2013, 09:24
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

Since you're going to be here on business and not vacation/visiting, I assume you'll need a permit or other approved documentation that says you're going to be going back and forth for business regularly. Otherwise if you are here more than the 90 days allowed out of 180 for tourists you could run into problems. Plus I think you have to tell the guys at immigration the purpose of your visit, so you would want documentation to match.

Good suggestion to start with admin.ch. You can also try contacting the cantonal authorities of the canton you'll be going to.

One last tip, slightly unrelated - if you ever take such trips to the U.S., do NOT say you are there to work when you are at the immigration line. Say you are on a business trip. They have totally different meanings to the authorities there.

Let us know what you find out!
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Old 29.01.2013, 10:07
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

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Do we definitely need a work permit?
If so, what is the fastest/most reliable way to get this (our client says they can't get it for us, since our firm is employing us, not them)?
I don't know about non-EU specifically so I can't advise on your case, but what I think you are (like me, though I'm EU) is a service provider. In finding out the rules you most probably will find the term "prestataire de services" very useful.

Be careful - the rules for EU and non-EU are different.

Neil
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Old 29.01.2013, 10:17
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

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they're working for a legal entity in Australia. You're telling me that everyone we have brought, say, from the US to do work for the "same" company in Switzerland for many weeks needs a work permit?
Same company, probably not though not being in that situation I have not researched it. Different company with a service provider agreement, yes, something is needed. For EU you can do a short-term registration which obviates the need for a permit. Not sure about non-EU.

Neil
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Old 29.01.2013, 10:51
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

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Same company, probably not though not being in that situation I have not researched it. Different company with a service provider agreement, yes, something is needed. For EU you can do a short-term registration which obviates the need for a permit. Not sure about non-EU.

Neil
I got an answer for you but it is not so easy to handle. First of course you need a permit no doubt L would be enough. There is still one point unclear to me I'll send you PM with all details asap
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Old 29.01.2013, 12:23
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

Hi again

I'm back with additional information for you. See below.

1. Your case is called AnobAG (Arbeitnehmer ohne beitragspflichtigen Arbeitgeber) in english employees w/o contributory employeer.
Ask the consulate staff about AnobAg conditions when you contact them again they should be aware of it
2. You do need a permit if you work more than 8 days a calendar year and visa of course.
3. The consultants have to be registered as AnobAG with AHV (old age and survivors insurance)
4. You must clarifiy with the local tax office if your consultants are rid of withholding taxes or not.
5. Check also if the consultants are taxable.
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/0_672_915_81/a15.html
6. If point 5 applies consultants must fill in a tax return. In this case taxes must be regulated before departure.

It depends on the agreement between your client and you. Properly speaking it is your job to organise. In this particular case it would make sens to retain a local swiss company providing such services.

Now I would certainly check again with the swiss consulate in Sydney about AnobAG as your company is Non EU.

Let me know how you proceed and in case you need more detailed info.
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Old 30.01.2013, 01:35
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

Thanks Anro, that is incredibly helpful!

So it looks like we will need a permit and we have engaged external consultants to fast track this. However, it may still take a month (consulate will take 2-4).

Does anyone have any bright suggestions about how we might operate in the meantime?

We are considering basing ourselves out of Italy/Netherlands/Germany until the application is approved and commuting to Zurich 2 days a week for meetings (since this will be legitimate 'business' travel, and would probably go unnoticed anyway if we travel by train)
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Old 30.01.2013, 02:20
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

Hi again Anro

One more thought, would it make a difference if our Australian firm were contracted by our Swiss client's Australian subsidiary?

i.e. all contracts, transactions and 'employment' were held in Australia
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Old 30.01.2013, 06:09
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

Not sure fully on the answer however the test is the number of days in a period you spend. As you have stated it may exceed 6 weeks at a time.

I work for a multinational and I know we have regular visits from staff who live in the UK who are still required to have a permit but not sure what type it is. If you were only coming for a few days then you would simply call it business meetins but you state its likely to be weeks and maybe more hten 6 which is what bumps you i to the permit territory.

You may find that a business visa is what you are looking for and it would potentially need to state multi entry, if you read the following link it explains to some extent. It may also require a confirmation of travel and ability to cover costs

http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/...eo/bustif.html
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Old 30.01.2013, 07:39
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Re: Do we need a visa/work permit?

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Hi again Anro

One more thought, would it make a difference if our Australian firm were contracted by our Swiss client's Australian subsidiary?

i.e. all contracts, transactions and 'employment' were held in Australia
Hi NP1

No it does not, what matters is that your consutants will work in Switzerland for a longer time period
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