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Old 21.05.2014, 11:56
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Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

After nearly five years of being on a medical certificate and unemployed the time has finally come to renew my permit...

I currently have a B permit (avec activité lucrative). I moved here in summer 2009, worked for 3 months, was signed off sick and eventually lost my job (I think my reference gives the date as mid-March).

I haven't actually applied for a permit renewal yet. However I was hospitalised this year, and the staff wrote to the service de population giving their medical opinion that it would be medically harmful for me were my permit not renewed. I don't have a copy of the letter as they forgot to give it to me and now the hospital acknowledges the existence of the letter but each individual doctor denies they wrote it and so won't give permission for me to have a copy...

I moved communes in April and the new commune saw my permit expires at the beginning of August and asked if I could apply for a new permit early and were told 'No'.

However a week ago I got a letter from the service de population entitled 'Votre conditions de séjour' thanking me for the documents I sent at their request. More confusion as I have no recollection of either receiving a letter from them (and I'm good at keeping copies of all paperwork) or sending them anything. I do have memory blanks from my hospital stay though so it's quite possible I did send something off and have forgotten it.

Anyway, this letter referred to the letter from the hospital and asked me to send off my assurance invalidité request, details of my current back-to-work programme and a statement from assurance invalidité confirming the deadline for the handling of my file. I did my best to get hold of and send off these documents.

So now I'm confused as to whether my permit renewal is being considered or not, and also wondering what I should expect to happen next. The commune told me I would need to apply for a permit renewal in June or July. Should I do this or wait for the service de population to get back to me? It seems to me this is a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

To complicate matters further I'm currently in correspondence with the UK to see if the National Insurance there will provide for me financially here or reimburse the Swiss for all that's been spent on me - I'm not exactly sure which.

And I saw my (general) doctor yesterday, whose been treating me for several years, and she told me she didn't think I'd ever be fit to work again... unless it was in a protected environment.

Any ideas? Anything at all?
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Old 21.05.2014, 13:39
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

Is there any way you can contact the service de population for clarification? Maybe not on all details but just to see if your renewal is already in the works and therefore you don't need to duplicate your efforts at the commune level? I've not heard of anyone being told to wait to renew when the timing was within a few months. It's generally a good idea to apply early, i.e. before the permit has a chance to expire.
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Old 21.05.2014, 14:39
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

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Is there any way you can contact the service de population for clarification? Maybe not on all details but just to see if your renewal is already in the works and therefore you don't need to duplicate your efforts at the commune level? I've not heard of anyone being told to wait to renew when the timing was within a few months. It's generally a good idea to apply early, i.e. before the permit has a chance to expire.
I've been trying to get through to the service de population since the 12th May for clarification - no success. Their phone lines are permanently engaged. I e-mailed them asking for clarification and for extension - they didn't reply until today, when I'd already sent the documents off. And you can only go in person if its to do with visas.

I was surprised when the service de population told the commune I couldn't renew my permit early - from what I've read on here I thought it was fairly common practice. Especially since in my case I've moved 3 times in the last year and the address on my permit is still my first one as they've never managed to get a new permit to me before I've moved again so it seems a bit silly to apply for a change of address so soon before my permit expires.

I'm waiting to be allocated a 'curateur' to help me with all my administrative stuff, so perhaps they may be able to help... it's been a month now.
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Old 21.05.2014, 14:44
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

If you are trying to remain here as an invalid, and your "Assurance invalidité" request has indeed been properly applied for, you might still wait for 12 months or longer for a decision from the "Assurance invalidité". In the mean time your renewal for the B permit will probably be refused as you haven't worked.

As your doctor thinks you might never be able to work again, I think you should apply to your commune for an " Aide personal" which is a legal guardian. It costs you nothing, but ensures someone knowledgeable is overseeing your legal and financial affairs. I am sure your doctor can help you apply for this. (Edited: just read that you are waiting for this, a "curateur" in Swiss french)

I believe your parents are in Britain, would it not be simpler to simply return to them? (Or maybe they are the cause of your problems?)
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Old 21.05.2014, 14:48
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

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If you are trying to remain here as an invalid, and your "Assurance invalidité" request has indeed been properly applied for, you might still wait for 12 months or longer for a decision from the "Assurance invalidité". In the mean time your renewal for the B permit will probably be refused as you haven't worked.

As your doctor thinks you might never be able to work again, I think you should apply to your commune for an " Aide personal" which is a legal guardian. It costs you nothing, but ensures someone knowledgeable is overseeing your legal and financial affairs. I am sure your doctor can help you apply for this.

I believe your parents are in Britain, would it not be simpler to simply return to them? (Or maybe they are the cause of your problems?)
I'm hoping not to remain here as an invalid... it just seems that I'm not able to cope with the back to work programmes, which raises the question of if I can work.

I'm going to ask my psychiatrist what she thinks of my doctor's opinion.

I think the "aide personal" is the same thing as a curateur, which as I'm said I'm waiting for.

No, my parents live here, which is one of the (many) reasons I want to stay here. After I left the UK a close friend told my parents that it was a good thing I'd gone as my support network in the UK couldn't cope with my needs anymore. I don't think I've worn out my welcome here yet...
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Old 22.05.2014, 20:12
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

Just an update - I received notification today that I have been granted a 'curatelle' and that a social worker and professional curateur has been assigned to me to assist me with all my administrative steps. The people here at the foyer are going to contact him next week to arrange an initial meeting - hopefully he can help me through the maze!
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Old 12.06.2014, 13:18
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

Ok, it's now been three weeks since I received notification that I have a legal guardian. He wrote to me (a form letter) a week ago saying he would 'be in contact' and to contact him if I had any questions.

So I sent him an e-mail about my situation and asked him to contact me as a matter of urgency.

Still no reply.

It's now mid-June and I'm getting concerned that I may be leaving my permit renewal a bit late...

Service de la population have not responded to my request to be sent copies of the alleged earlier correspondence.

On the positive side, I finally saw the letter the hospital sent. Very strongly worded indeed. Which I think is good.

Any further thoughts? I can't push my legal guardian any more... I don't want to leave my permit renewal for much longer... yet I don't want to confuse the situation.
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Old 12.06.2014, 13:38
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

How about contacting the organisation or office that assigned the legal guardian, indicating he is not responsive. See if they know if he's on vacation or some other issue. If you get no where, ask for another one to be assigned perhaps.

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Ok, it's now been three weeks since I received notification that I have a legal guardian. He wrote to me (a form letter) a week ago saying he would 'be in contact' and to contact him if I had any questions.

So I sent him an e-mail about my situation and asked him to contact me as a matter of urgency.

Still no reply.

It's now mid-June and I'm getting concerned that I may be leaving my permit renewal a bit late...

Service de la population have not responded to my request to be sent copies of the alleged earlier correspondence.

On the positive side, I finally saw the letter the hospital sent. Very strongly worded indeed. Which I think is good.

Any further thoughts? I can't push my legal guardian any more... I don't want to leave my permit renewal for much longer... yet I don't want to confuse the situation.
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Old 12.06.2014, 17:22
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

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How about contacting the organisation or office that assigned the legal guardian, indicating he is not responsive. See if they know if he's on vacation or some other issue. If you get no where, ask for another one to be assigned perhaps.
Thanks for the suggestion. I think he must be monitoring EF as he e-mailed this afternoon!

However I don't think he understands the word 'urgent' as the appointments he's offering are between a fortnight to three weeks from now... which as my case worker here has to be available (and he's doing continual professional development at the moment), takes things very close indeed.

Am starting to feel quite panicky.
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Old 19.07.2014, 14:00
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

Just opening this thread to ask a question...

Still no news on my permit renewal. My legal guardian has now 'taken over' the paperwork side of things and has told me all I will need to do is to go down to the commune office when I'm told to.

However my permit now expires in a fortnight and I'm wondering what actually happens if it's not renewed by that date.

Will I still be able to stay in Switzerland?

I know I can't LEAVE Switzerland as I may not be allowed back in.

Someone at the foyer where I'm currently living casually mentioned today that there may be a problem with social aid supporting me if I don't have a permit...

Help!

(I'm EU by the way. But I don't know if the 'three months to job hunt' rule applies because I'm not certified as being medically fit to work.)
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Old 19.07.2014, 14:04
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

As far as I know, as long as there was no official decision not to renew your permit, you're sort of "on hold". It would be the case too if you'd placed an appeal (which happened to a friend of mine).
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Old 19.07.2014, 14:22
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

Thanks. So I can stay... but may need to enquire about social aid.
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Old 19.07.2014, 14:57
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

Perhaps your "curateur" is a not professional in the sense that he is trained to be a curateur. In the canton de Vaud there is a century's old law (dating from before social services existed) where citizens are selected by the government to become "tuteur" or "curateur" of people in need.
If the person selected is designated as a "tuteur" then not only do they take care of the pupil's finances / taxes etc. they also cover other aspects of life. If they are designated as a "curateur" they only cover the finances.


If the curateur has been newly appointed, and you are his first pupil, then it may take time for him to handle the learning curve.
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Old 19.07.2014, 15:06
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

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Perhaps your "curateur" is a not professional in the sense that he is trained to be a curateur. In the canton de Vaud there is a century's old law (dating from before social services existed) where citizens are selected by the government to become "tuteur" or "curateur" of people in need.
If the person selected is designated as a "tuteur" then not only do they take care of the pupil's finances / taxes etc. they also cover other aspects of life. If they are designated as a "curateur" they only cover the finances.


If the curateur has been newly appointed, and you are his first pupil, then it may take time for him to handle the learning curve.
My curateur is a professional. The judge specified in her decision that I needed one precisely because of my complex permit situation. He's working along side the legal department in the office des curateurs on my permit renewal.

However the downside of having a professional curateur is that you're not the only person on his case list.
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Old 19.07.2014, 15:14
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

It is also the main holiday season where everything slows down to a grind.

Would your parents not consider going back with you if social help and/or permit is denied? It maybe your best bet. Supporting you to help you go back to work is very different to supporting you for next 30 to 40+ years, especially if status changes from social help to AI- which is perhaps 3 or more times the cost. I feel really feel for you, but looking at your case dispassionately, I can see why the Commune/tax payer may wll not be so keen (sorry if I am honest here).
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Old 19.07.2014, 15:43
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Re: Permit renewal when on work permit but long-term unemployed / sick

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It is also the main holiday season where everything slows down to a grind.

Would your parents not consider going back with you if social help and/or permit is denied? It maybe your best bet. Supporting you to help you go back to work is very different to supporting you for next 30 to 40+ years, especially if status changes from social help to AI- which is perhaps 3 or more times the cost. I feel really feel for you, but looking at your case dispassionately, I can see why the Commune/tax payer may wll not be so keen (sorry if I am honest here).
My parents could't come back with me. They have too many commitments here.

I'm not entitled to an AI pension and my request for Employment Support Allowance from the UK has just been denied as they mis-read some crucial information about the start date of my illness (they thought it only started in CH) and do not understand how AI works (i.e. that you go on reintegration programmes before you get any benefits). I spent most of Thursday morning photocopying UK medical certificates and medical reports and documents on how AI works and details of my current reintegration programmes and writing a two-page letter before carting the whole lot down to the post office and spending a fortune on stamps to ensure it reaches the UK by the deadline they set me to get back to them if I want them to reconsider their decision. As this process has been going on since November 2011 I'm not holding my breath.

In a way, I'll be astonished if my permit is renewed - however as I think I mentioned the hospital wrote a very strongly worded letter warning of very serious consequences if it wasn't renewed. And perhaps the fact the fact that AI have already invested a serious amount of money in trying to get me back to work will tip the scales for at least another year - after all, if they send me back now, all that money will go down the drain, but if they are patient it may be a good investment.

Sadly I'm in a vicious circle that while things externally are so unsettled I'm very emotionally unstable, which doesn't help the reintegration programme. After Thursday I went in on Friday, only to have to tell them I needed to go home again before I'd even started work.

Not to mention the fact that my psychiatrist is struggling diagnose certain disorders because she can't tell if the symptoms are down to external factors or are actually due to a psychiatric problem, which of course means she can only treat the symptoms not the cause.

Thankfully I have a huge amount of support where I am so I'm not a burden on my family.

And to focus on the positive, exciting things are happening with my book next week... but I'll post about that on Monday.
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