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Old 07.04.2008, 02:14
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Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

Hi,

I have been reading with interest your discussions about work/residency permits but unfortunately, none of your situations are very similar to mine. I hope someone can help me ...

I have just been offered a job in Switzerland, and have been trying to work out what the situation for my partner would be. We have been living together for many years, but are not married. We are both non-EU (Australians). I assume I will be able to get a B-permit to work in Switzerland. I just heard from the Swiss embassy that it may be difficult to gain authorisation for my partner to stay, as de facto relationships are not recognised in Switzerland. Does anyone know how difficult it will be to get my partner a visa, or know any way to get around the Swiss rules (apart from marriage!)? Also, I hear the rules have recently been changed on work permits, does anyone know where I can get detailed information about the new requirements Swiss visas/work permits? The information on the Swiss embassy in Australia's website, and Swiss immigration's website, are pretty scant.

Cheers
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Old 07.04.2008, 03:12
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

I suggest you should think in get married. Switzerland is a very conservative country.
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Old 07.04.2008, 08:02
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

Ewwwww.
You are in a slightly worse situation than I was.
My girlfriend being swiss, and myself Australian, we basically had the same problem.
Switzerland is pretty strict with giving out work permits, and now that EU permit holders can get in there without too much trouble to work it's even harder for other people to get a job there whom do not have a permit.
Does your girlfriend have a degree? This can often get you a permit if you have a degree in something that is in demand. Life will be much easier for you if you have this. Other than that, she can study and get a work visa that way but her working hours are a bit reduced.

However, I entered switzerland, and they NEVER stamped my passport. This happened every time when I left and came back, I got no stamp. I was never checked, I was never asked for a passport...I even ASKED for a stamp one time and didn't get one....
So you could try to run the gauntlet this way. All I did was keep my latest travel ticket so if I ever did get pulled up I had some proof as to when I entered the country (even tho it wasnt the very latest) so if anything happened I at least had 3 months from the time of being 'caught out'.
I stayed on there for 3 months extra above my visa allowment, and never had a problem.

Finding work there is extremely hard, I suggest if she wants to try to be sponsored to start looking now. look thru agencies such as FreeMan
http://www.freeman.ch/
because they can cut the wait time on permits way down as the government makes special allowances for them to recruit outside CH.
I think also you can make a 'spousal' visa but you do have to have a date set to marry and I think it needs to be within 12 months (although not 100% sure on this time line). If you have this, she gets all the rights as a partner but you are of course 'engaged' Of course that means nothing if the two of you say its just a non-formal way of dodging the system you can always cancel an engagement...There are rules to follow on this one as you need a letter from a celebrant saying you will marry at X-date.
Of course then if it reaches the date, and you cancel she loses all her rights. I'm not sure on being able to extend that period...it might be VERY non-flexible.

Good luck!
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Old 07.04.2008, 08:28
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

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Ewwwww.
You are in a slightly worse situation than I was.
My girlfriend being swiss, and myself Australian, we basically had the same problem.
Switzerland is pretty strict with giving out work permits, and now that EU permit holders can get in there without too much trouble to work it's even harder for other people to get a job there whom do not have a permit.
Does your girlfriend have a degree? This can often get you a permit if you have a degree in something that is in demand. Life will be much easier for you if you have this. Other than that, she can study and get a work visa that way but her working hours are a bit reduced.

However, I entered switzerland, and they NEVER stamped my passport. This happened every time when I left and came back, I got no stamp. I was never checked, I was never asked for a passport...I even ASKED for a stamp one time and didn't get one....
So you could try to run the gauntlet this way. All I did was keep my latest travel ticket so if I ever did get pulled up I had some proof as to when I entered the country (even tho it wasnt the very latest) so if anything happened I at least had 3 months from the time of being 'caught out'.
I stayed on there for 3 months extra above my visa allowment, and never had a problem.

Finding work there is extremely hard, I suggest if she wants to try to be sponsored to start looking now. look thru agencies such as FreeMan
http://www.freeman.ch/
because they can cut the wait time on permits way down as the government makes special allowances for them to recruit outside CH.
I think also you can make a 'spousal' visa but you do have to have a date set to marry and I think it needs to be within 12 months (although not 100% sure on this time line). If you have this, she gets all the rights as a partner but you are of course 'engaged' Of course that means nothing if the two of you say its just a non-formal way of dodging the system you can always cancel an engagement...There are rules to follow on this one as you need a letter from a celebrant saying you will marry at X-date.
Of course then if it reaches the date, and you cancel she loses all her rights. I'm not sure on being able to extend that period...it might be VERY non-flexible.

Good luck!
This forum does not condone any suggestions to break the law.

Aussie does not seem to realise that unlike Australia, the USA & UK, Switzerland does not have sealed borders and often entry and exit of the country appears very lax - sometimes with border crossing unmanned and 1000s of places where you can simply walk in and out of the country.

However what Switzerland does have is registration of residents. You are obliged to register at your local community office within 8 days. Additionally, Landlords must advise the office of new tenants.
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Old 07.04.2008, 08:38
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

Not that this entirely helps - but my fiance and I are both from the US and despite what most people said would happen - my B work permit went through and she was given a B residence permit (we'll figure out getting her a job once we're over there). Even the embassy didn't think it'd happen for hers but sure enough, we got the approval from the "Service de la Population" last week.

I did have to add in several letters and forms to my/our applications though for it to happen - #1 I had to write a letter saying I'd financially support her. Then this is where it doesn't help you so much - I had to write another letter saying I intended to marry her. Now what I don't know is if they really check up on that after I submitted that information...
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Old 07.04.2008, 08:41
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

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. Now what I don't know is if they really check up on that after I submitted that information...
I would say the chances are rather high ...
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Old 07.04.2008, 08:55
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

Well you'd think that...but from the pain that my company went through dealing with at least one of the offices in Lausanne - you'd have to question it - they're open at best 4 days a week and on those days - they're open for something like 5 hours a day and if you try calling, you get a message saying essentially "we're busy so call back later". Even the woman I spoke with several times at the Swiss Embassy in Atlanta groaned when they found out the office that was holding things up and said how horribly slow and inefficient they were. (they had told my company they had "approved" the residence permit portion of our visas - then they basically just forgot to submit the information so the embassy could issue the single entry visas to us - it took some 2 weeks till anyone could be reached back at that one office)

(for the record - I'm getting married in June though )
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Old 07.04.2008, 08:57
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

"However what Switzerland does have is registration of residents."

Yes, but she is NOT a resident, and is not bound to register. I was there on a tourist visa, and no matter how many times I tried to actually get some proof of entry and take it to the immigration department, they simply were not interested. I made 4 trips there, each time they said, but if you don't have a stamp then there's no proof. So I asked for a stamp and they said they can't stamp it.....What's a guy to do?

Look, seeing as I recieved a groan for recounting my own personal experience, bottom line is,
The government is unpredictable when it comes to issuing Visas. They have the power, and no one here can answer with any accuracy what may happen from case to case. There is just no way anyone can know what the outcome will be as the gov. will consider all of the factors involved (and it could mean that they simply ahve reached their quota for the year of letting foreigners get work permits) So register early, and try to get a job early. I tried closer to september and I was told all permits had been issued for the year, and even if a job was available I wouldnt be able to recieve a permit until the next year.

Last edited by Aussie; 07.04.2008 at 09:13.
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Old 07.04.2008, 09:39
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

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. So I asked for a stamp and they said they can't stamp it.....What's a guy to do?
I worked for about six years at the airport here and have never heard about someone being refused a stamp when they asked for it. Maybe you're the exception that confirms the rule
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Old 07.04.2008, 09:41
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

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Look, seeing as I recieved a groan for recounting my own personal experience, bottom line is,
The government is unpredictable when it comes to issuing Visas. They have the power, and no one here can answer with any accuracy what may happen from case to case. There is just no way anyone can know what the outcome will be as the gov. will consider all of the factors involved (and it could mean that they simply ahve reached their quota for the year of letting foreigners get work permits) So register early, and try to get a job early. I tried closer to september and I was told all permits had been issued for the year, and even if a job was available I wouldnt be able to recieve a permit until the next year.

Not quite - the rules and regulations that are laid down mean that is is normally possible to predict the result based on information provided - not 100% but we have a pretty good record on the EF.

As far as I can tell, in your particular situation, you are trying to do things the wrong way round. First you need a job offer. The company then applies for the permit. Assuming the job is highly skilled and the company has a real requirement and cannot find a local resource then it is pretty much certain that you would get a work and residence permit.
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Old 07.04.2008, 12:11
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

Switzerland is not as conservative as many seem to think. I have seen many examples of unmarried partners being given resident permits as long as the working partner has the means to support his/her other half. Perhaps this is another example of regional/cantonal differences?

Just go for it! Make the application* and if it doesn't work, then consider marriage or living as an illegal!




(*This doesn't sound quite right... It that really correct English?)
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Old 08.04.2008, 01:46
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

Hey I have an idea, why don't we turn this into a "Bash Aussie" Thread.

You can sit there and call me a liar all you like, but unless you were there with me the 4 times I went and asked you can't really make that judgement can you?

Every time I have made comment on these forums I get a groan or get attacked. What is it with you hostile people? Why take everything so seriously for one, and why can't you just accept that people have differring opinions and ideas?

Getting pretty sick of having to defend or justify everything I say.
I don't come here to attack others or to have to defend every post I make. If you don't like it too bad, if I say something that is truly just plain wrong feel free to post your opinion, but please refrain from attacking me over my beliefs, or the legitimacy of my post. You don't need to post a reply just to "put me in my place" I know I am already obviously on the bottom of your amazing list and high moral codes that you use to judge people by who post something you dont quite 100% agree with.

I posted MY EXPERIENCE so that he could read what happened for someone in a similar situation. You can NOT know what that was, only myself and my girlfriend know, so next time you wanna call me a liar you can stick it sunshine! I never recommended he follow a course of action or take the same path I had to take, I merely recounted my experience.

Some of you don't realise how freaking lucky you are.
For those of us who don't believe that Marriage is the answer, and who are living in de-facto style relationships from different nationalities have a VERY difficult time maintaining their relationships. You spend alot of time apart from one another, and there is always stress as to how long you can stay and visa requirements. if you haven't lived in this situation how are you POSSIBLY judging the actions of someone that has to make these choices? You can't. So give your judgement a rest and post something useful instead of attacking me. Just plain sick of it.
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Old 08.04.2008, 01:59
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

I also had the passport not stamped many times in Zurich, even asking for that. I'm Chilean.
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Old 08.04.2008, 02:05
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto parnter

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Not quite - the rules and regulations that are laid down mean that is is normally possible to predict the result based on information provided - not 100% but we have a pretty good record on the EF.

As far as I can tell, in your particular situation, you are trying to do things the wrong way round. First you need a job offer. The company then applies for the permit. Assuming the job is highly skilled and the company has a real requirement and cannot find a local resource then it is pretty much certain that you would get a work and residence permit.
Not true Swissbob.
For one, why would someone disclose ALL information that the government requires on the EF? I sure wouldn't, so you don't have the same information that they require for the application.

In my situation, I was there on a holiday visa, and tried to stay, and yes thats not the most preferable way to find a job, but not everything can be done with 20/20 hindsight. I tried making applications before arriving but my french at that stage was pathetic, and also finding contacts for the right field is quite difficult.

I am a "dessinateur en batiment" I have 8 years experience, I work on some of the most prestigious high rise projects here, helped build White City in the UK, etc etc but I have no degree, as this (at the time I went through) was an apprenticeship style of learning. My profession in switzerland is in high demand. I could NOT get a job. I could NOT get a permit. It's not always so black and white like you seem to mention it is. The reality is you just can't know every possible problem that can arise and as such you can't know the answer to every possible combination of problem. you can't predict with any accuracy what the likelihood is of her getting a work permit, he hasnt even mentioned what field she works in.....

I wish them good luck, it's very difficult, and government red tape is frustrating and stressful. i hope it goes smoothly for you, but prepare for the worst case scenario and have a plan B, chances are you will need to fall back on it at some stage.
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Old 09.04.2008, 02:24
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

At Geneva Airport, I personally was refused an exit stamp and I also saw a non-EU friend refused when he asked. I've also talked to several others who were refused when they asked. I didn't get stamps in Zurich either, but I didn't ask those times.

I'm not sure what this means. What I have noticed is that the officers staffing immigration wear uniforms of the local police force (Geneva and Zurich). Still, I'd expect that their procedures are set on a country-wide basis.
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Old 05.06.2008, 14:03
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

Dear Forum,

A friend of mine was given a stamp at Kloton, but had to beg.

I am off work today sick and in front of a computer. Somehow I stumbled on one of Aussie's threads and then read his 'groaned at' posts. I think I did this because he had been banned and I was interested to find out why.

Why? Who decides? Has he sneaked back with a different registration?

Cheers

John
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Old 17.06.2008, 16:20
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

Dears,

I didn't notice this topic before John Mc awoke it up again.
I think that despite of fact that Aussie`s thoughts were maybe not so politically correct (maybe not so black and white), these ideas can enrich the forum and make the environment more democratic, otherwise it will look so sweet as GenevaTimes.
Actually I also didn`t understand why Aussie was banned.

B.
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Old 21.01.2009, 13:26
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

un bann Aussie, even though he's probably living back in Brisbane now.... at least we can hear his experiences. He was not out of line.
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:13
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

Click on Aussies profile and you'll see why he was banned.
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Old 21.01.2009, 19:14
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Re: Work/residence permit for non-EU de-facto partner

That's neat, I didn't know you could do that.
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