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Old 18.03.2014, 22:12
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Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year?

Hello everyone,

I am an Italian guy with a B permit (in July I will get a C permit) and my Japanese girlfriend, currently living in Japan, applied to the UZH university for a Master course starting in August 2014. Unfortunately she was not accepted being her studies judged "incompatible" with the Swiss university.

I suggested her to apply for an intensive German course (25 lessons a week) for at least one year , in order to learn the language and apply for a Phd (given only in German) the following year. I could also support her financially for the whole duration of her stay and provide enough financial stability for both.
However reading on the Aargau immigration office web site(Immigration office Aargau) I saw it is stated that the time of departure must be indicated if the student does not follow a Swiss university or Hochschule.

Does this mean that when we fill the residence visa form we have to specify already when the course finishes meaning she will have to leave the country?
Couldn't we explain the reason to follow the German course is due to her goal to apply for a Phd and therefore with an horizon longer than one year only? Or this would be seen in a negative way?


My worries are that if we do not specify the date of leaving, they might reject the request. Considering also that at that stage we would have already paid a whole year of language school.
Moreover is it true that with a student visa, she can work maximun 18 hours a week?

Can anyone give advises by personal experience? We would live in Aargau canton and she would most probably attend this course at the benedict school in Zurich.

Thanks
Francesco
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Old 19.03.2014, 12:10
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

I know this is not the question but I'm wondering, does your gf want to jump straight from a bachelor's degree to a German-only-Phd with one year of German lessons? If her current background isn't compatible with a MA course or degree then maybe it won't be that easy.

I cant comment on the specifics, but yes, you will very likely have to specify when the language course is ending. They won't care that she plans to apply for a Phd and stay one year or more from now, until you have final documentation from a university that she's accepted into a program authorities won't care about that. Sure you can explain, it won't affect her permit situation. You are just gonna have to take it step by step. Many people, even foreigners who are married to Swiss citizens, have to renew their permits annually. I don't see why it's a problem to put on an end date for the language school and apply again once she has secured a more permanent situation. That's the reality for everyone who wants to come here *just* to be with a boyfriend etc.

You say you can support her, so I'm assuming she can't come here under her own financial steam - authorities will want to see hard proof of the financial support you claim to offer, like pay slips, and you will have to commit legally to supporting her (something that might extend past the longevity of your relationship if you split up). Also, if she's officially financially supported by you she may run into problems getting public funding for a phd in the future so you should research all of those options carefully. If you don't like all this, getting married is of course an option if you're serious about this relationship - it may be the 'easiest' way for her to come and stay here.

Go talk to the immigration authorities. They may be confusing and bureaucratic but they won't bite. Explain the entire situation. Find out what the consequences of the different options are to both of you.

And yes, for students there's generally a 15 hour weekly maximum on work hours.
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Old 19.03.2014, 12:48
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

Many thanks MissCosmopol for your helpful answer. In Japan she already attended a bachelor and master degree in teaching English and literature. The idea of applying to a phd comes from the fact that these programs are less bound to a set of exams like in a master course. They rather follow a research project or topic, leaving more freedom. But as you rightly suggested, I will collect more information about it.

About the financial support, the "cover" time range should be according to the student permit, in this case one year. A colleague of mine, has been requested to provide to have 50'000 USD for her stay during a one year period in Switzerland. Therefore this should not be a problem, at least for the first year.

Independently form the immigration issues, I can see my gf as future wife, therefore the wedding aspect would be possible in any case. However being Italian this won't solve completely the things. She would become part of EU due to Italian citizenship, but still needing a residence permit.

Many thanks for your help. I will keep on collecting more details.
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Old 19.03.2014, 13:14
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

She will not automatically become an Italian citizen after marriage. She'll have to wait 3 years I believe. But she will not have a problem with the permit as you are an EU citizen and as your wife she will have the same permit as you through family reunification.

I don't know how long you are have been together but I caution you to not jump down this path just for the resident permit. I know more people than I want to count who have had marriage fall apart because they didn't really know each other and needed to get married to stay together in a different country.

Apply for the student visa, list the dates as was said above, you need the dates. Then see how things go after a year.

Whatever happens, good luck!
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Old 19.03.2014, 13:22
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

On a student visa she can work a maximum of 20 hours a week.
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Old 19.03.2014, 13:28
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

I'm not sure about Italian citizenship, but if you are a permit holder to Switzerland and you're married, your gf/wife in that case, would definitely be allowed to reside here on basis of your permit. Either way, I just mentioned marriage to list all the possibilities I could think of. Making a move to CH for love is a challenge for many relationships in itself. Getting married before you're ready will only add to the hardship.

I see, so it was just a course - I happen to be studying a MA in the humanities in Switzerland myself, and getting into a funded phd study is beyond difficult. I know countless people with stellar academic performances who didn't get to do a phd. The few people I know who did get funding got it because their supervisors knew the right people and more or less chose their phd-subject for them. Otherwise it's a choice to basically work for free for 3 years or more.

Anyways, if money ins't an issue which is what I'm getting from your reply, then don't worry about it. I'd just take it step by step, start with the language school for one year and take the permit that this gives her. When it's up, you take it from there. You'll work it out.
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Old 19.03.2014, 14:22
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

Thank you all for the answers.

The plan of marry her would come in place only after (at least) one year living together. I discussed with her and we will apply for a year student visa and plan for the future from there.
I did not know the Phd would be so difficult here in Switzerland, but good point to keep it in mind. Maybe she will apply for a teaching "hochschule" or looking for a job.

One last thing that made be perplex is that the documentation and attached documents for the student visa have to be written in German, otherwise they will be rejected. Is it really true?
This can be easy for the school registration statement, since the school resides in Switzerland, but what about personal CV and documentation? Having them translated from Japanese to German could be a quite tricky part.

Thanks again!!
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Old 19.03.2014, 15:26
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

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...Maybe she will apply for a teaching "hochschule" or looking for a job...
Do a search here on EF for teaching qualifications. In many cases she would need to either get her qualifications recognized here, or take additional courses to get the proper certification.
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Old 19.03.2014, 15:58
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Re: Is it possible to renew the student VISA after attending German school for 1 year

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Thank you all for the answers.

The plan of marry her would come in place only after (at least) one year living together. I discussed with her and we will apply for a year student visa and plan for the future from there.
I did not know the Phd would be so difficult here in Switzerland, but good point to keep it in mind. Maybe she will apply for a teaching "hochschule" or looking for a job.

One last thing that made be perplex is that the documentation and attached documents for the student visa have to be written in German, otherwise they will be rejected. Is it really true?
This can be easy for the school registration statement, since the school resides in Switzerland, but what about personal CV and documentation? Having them translated from Japanese to German could be a quite tricky part.

Thanks again!!
Translations from English to German (or French in my case) are sometimes not required. However, from Japanese to German will most definitely be.
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