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Old 15.01.2014, 14:04
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B permit expiring, aid worker abroad but still "living" in Geneva

Hello everyone,

I am an EU national who moved to Switzerland in 2009 and worked for a small swiss NGO for 2 years in Geneva, during which time I was taxed at source. I received my B permit, and I rented an apartment. In February 2011 I changed jobs and went on an international mission (I am an aid worker). Because of the short notice I did not have time to unregister and "leave" officially, and in any case I was only supposed to be away for a couple of months. However, contracts were extended and I have been working in disaster and conflict countries since 2011. I continue to pay my rent every month, I pay my health insurance and my apartment insurance even though I have not actually 'lived' in Switzerland since then. My B permit is now about to run out and when I called the OCP to ask what to do to renew it I was told I should have informed them that I had changed employer. I am also not clear whether I should have been paying income tax during this period as I have not been in the country. I hope to move back to Switzerland later this year/early 2015 but I am not sure at this stage whether I could even renew my B permit, or if I would have to pay any fines etc for not having paid any tax in Switzerland for the past 3 years.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 15.01.2014, 15:01
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Re: B permit expiring, aid worker abroad but still "living" in Geneva

I really don't know Charlie81, but on a B permit you're only allowed to be out of the country for 6 months maximum, otherwise it should have become invalid. Is your current employer Swiss? It may make a difference if the answer is yes, but even then only C permit holders are allowed to put their permits on hold for up to 4 years with canton/commune approval. Did the OCP say nothing else except to talk about not letting them know about the employer change?

At the moment there is a quota limit on EU-17 nationals getting a 5-year B permit. If the quota limit is reached then one-year L permits are issued instead. The restriction is due to end on 31st May this year, but there are a couple of referendums on limiting migration which will be voted on this year so that could possibly cause problems, depending on which way the votes go.
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Old 16.01.2014, 06:49
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Re: B permit expiring, aid worker abroad but still "living" in Geneva

Thanks Medea,
So it seems as though I wouldn't be able to renew the permit then as I have not been in country for 3 years. My employer is not swiss. The lady at the OCP said she would transfer me to someone else then I was taken to the main menu and haven't been able to speak to someone since. My concern is then that I'm paying insurance and renting a flat in Geneva and the income tax question. I'll see if I can get through to the OCP and post any info I get in case others have a similar situation...
Thanks
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Old 16.01.2014, 08:17
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Re: B permit expiring, aid worker abroad but still "living" in Geneva

Yes, that's best Charlie81. Only the OCP can definitively say what your current status is, given that you've been doing all the right things to keep your "home" here. As an EU national it shouldn't be too difficult to get a new B permit providing you don't return before the quota restriction ends in May and assuming "no" votes prevail in both referendums. Once the OCP clarifies your status, then maybe you should have a word with the Geneva canton tax office to see what they say.

If you can post back any results/decisions it would be helpful just in case someone else finds themselves in the same/similar position in future. Insights into commune/cantonal thinking in these type of situations is always useful.

Good luck.
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Old 13.07.2015, 21:38
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Re: B permit expiring, aid worker abroad but still "living" in Geneva

Hello everyone,

I would like to know, how the situation turned out in the end. The reason is - believe it or not - I am quite in the same situation.

I am EU citizen, contract from abroad. The thing is, that I don't really have a residence permit in my working country (i.e. I am on a visitor's visa) and have to leave the country every month, commonly known as visa runs. So I got one week off for the visa run per month, and I usually come back to Zurich, where I have an appartment from when I was a student.

I have had a B permit for 4 years, which has changed last year to an L permit, as I was looking for a job. Went for internship abroad (<6 month), that changed into a normal contract (limited duration though), so also me I had very little time to arrange anything. Now my L permit will finish soon, and I don't know on what to do.

I guess I can just keep the flat as a "holiday home" and therefor unregister. But that would mean that I have no official residency anymore anywhere in the world. And I'd like not to loose the 5 years to change into a C permit maybe some time soon.
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Old 13.07.2015, 21:51
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Re: B permit expiring, aid worker abroad but still "living" in Geneva

As said above, your B permit was only renewed on the basis of you living and working in Switzerland- it can't be still valid if you have been abroad- and won't count towards your C permit. Where have you been paying taxes for all this time?

I really do wonder what happened to Charlie81- as all his unpaid taxes would have had to be settled 0)
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Old 18.09.2015, 10:20
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While living in Switzerland, I was a student, and was paying my taxes by Quellensteuer.

I wanted to add one more thing: the matter has been settled for me now, as I found a new position in the EU and completely left Switzerland.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 18.09.2015 at 22:53. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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