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Old 22.01.2008, 08:31
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Work Visa vs Work Permit

Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and hope I can get some help with something. My husband has taken a job to run a small startup co. in Zurich. We're moving from the US. Given that they are a small startup there is no HR dept. or any relo company helping us through the move like we're used to having with the large multinational company he used to work for. We're on our own this time and it's our first international move. I thought I was on top of things and was only aware of needing a work permit and residence permit which is being taken care of by the company. What I'm gathering by reading this forum is that we also need an entry and/or work visa. It appears this is required prior to arriving into Switzerland. My questions are: Do I apply for this/these at the Swiss Consulate in my home state? Is the entry visa the same thing as a work visa. My husband will be the only one working so perhaps he gets the work visa and me and my daughter get entry visas. Please help me to clarify this and also if you know how long it takes to get such visas. Our work and residence permits should be done any day now. If I had known we needed this, I would have started it at the same time. I hope someone can straighten me out. Thanks so much.
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  #2  
Old 22.01.2008, 10:03
swissbob
 
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Re: Work Visa vs Work Permit

Your company should do this for you as part of the work permit application process. You will need to get the visas stamped outside Switzerland. If the company has no HR dept or is otherwise not used to handling the application then they should engage a third party to ensure things go smoothly.

One question, what makes you think that your permits "should be done any day now". Have you received any official communication?
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Old 22.01.2008, 18:39
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Re: Work Visa vs Work Permit

Thanks very much swissbob. The CEO has hired a 3rd party to handle the work permit, etc. so I assume they should know about getting us the work visa also (is it called a work visa or entry visa?). If I won't be working, will my husband be the only one who gets the work visa? I assume so. Then does that mean me and my daughter will just get an entry visa of some sort? I'm clueless. We've been so in the dark on the whole process and they don't answer our questions very adequately. I think the CEO was just trying to ease my husband's concerns when he said we should hear something any day now. It's been almost 2 months since we applied. Is it true it typically takes 3 months? I don't mind the wait as I've got so many things to tend to here in the US before I leave. One other thing that I am curious about (pardon my ignorance as I've only traveled abroad a few times and never lived outside the US) when you say the visas must be stamped outside Switzerland, what does that mean? Do we take them to the Swiss consulate here in our country or is it done on US soil at the airport the day we depart to actually move? I'm so clueless. Any advice or help on how the process works is so very much appreciated. Thanks and have a good day.
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Old 22.01.2008, 19:29
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Re: Work Visa vs Work Permit

So what happens is once you are approved for your visas, you will take or mail your passports, with prepaid return envelopes to the Swiss consulate general that is handling your paperwork. You will leave it for 1-3 days while they stamp it. Then they either mail it back via your envelope, or you can pick it up. You may then move.

From what I understand. You do not need an entry permit specifically. The visas from the employer will cover your entry, work, and residence. Once you get to Switzerland (CH), you must registar with the local authorities within 7(?) days. And submit your paperwork for your actual physical permit. All the stamp in your passport is saying is that you are cleared and approved. It can take months to get the actual permit card once you are here.

And as always on a prolonged stay, it is wise to register with the US consulate over there. And also have multiple copies of birth certificates and Driver Lis. kept is seperate places. If your wallet is stolen, they have an easier time helping you out they know you already exist.

2 things to know as an American. Your drivers liscense is good in CH for up to one year from arrival. You may exchange it prior to the 1 year deadline, as long as it is VALID. If you are due to expire this year, re-up before you leave and save yourself many headaches. Also, if you have any bank accounts in the US. According to the Patriot Act, after 6 months abroad, they CAN (not saying will) be closed and remaining money frozen until there is a hearing. I had to put my money in my moms name and have her transfer it to me when I opened my account here. I do not think the rule applies to any type of portfolio accounts. Rather just checking and savings accts.
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Old 22.01.2008, 23:21
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Re: Work Visa vs Work Permit

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From what I understand. You do not need an entry permit specifically. The visas from the employer will cover your entry, work, and residence..

That is not quite correct. There are two different required items in order to enter Switzerland to be employed.

One is the application for the work permit, which is made by the employer, and approved by the Federal Migration office upon input from the cantonal Aliens' Bureau and Economic Bureau.

However this application per se does not entitle you to enter Switzerland - it is a prerequisite in order to apply for a particular entry visa that allows you to enter in order to be employed. This application is treated by your local Consular Office / Embassy on the back of the approval of your work permit on one hand and the usual forms you are required to submit to them on the other.

These are two entirely different documents, the purpose of the visa being that it prevents people coming here supposedly as tourists whereas in reality they intend to enter the workforce.
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  #6  
Old 23.01.2008, 07:47
swissbob
 
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Re: Work Visa vs Work Permit

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....you must registar with the local authorities within 7(?) days......
8 days .

The stamp you get in your passport is the entry visa. Your work permit comes later, after you have registered in Switzerland.
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Old 19.06.2008, 12:21
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Re: Work Visa vs Work Permit

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8 days .

The stamp you get in your passport is the entry visa. Your work permit comes later, after you have registered in Switzerland.
Any idea how long it takes to get hold of the permit after registration? Do the officials send it via post, or is collection in person required?
Thanks
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Old 19.06.2008, 12:22
swissbob
 
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Re: Work Visa vs Work Permit

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Any idea how long it takes to get hold of the permit after registration? Do the officials send it via post, or is collection in person required?
Thanks
You collect it in person. It will take from 1 week to 3 months.
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