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Old 21.10.2014, 11:24
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Can I retain my C permit while living/working in Canada for a couple of years?

Hi!

I originally obtained a B permit after marrying a Swiss woman. We have been separated, but not divorced, for almost 5 years. When my B permit expired we were already separated and when I applied to extend my permit I was given a C (though only valid for the canton of issue, which at the time was Bern). At the beginning of the year I moved to Zürich to start a new job. I had to reapply for the C permit and received a new one valid only for Zürich. My permit says "Familienangehöriger" on it, which I find a bit unsettling. Does this mean that if/when I divorce my ex I will lose the right to this permit?

My current Swiss girlfriend of 4+ years was recently accepted into her dream graduate program in Canada—where I'm from. We have been talking about living there for quite some time, but neither of us is ready to make a "forever" type of commitment. I know that if I don't do anything my C permit expires after only 6 months abroad! I also know this is extendable up to 4 years, but I don't know the details. Does anyone know more about this, or where I could find out more? My main question and concern is whether or not I can go back to Canada for 1 or 2 years, work and live there, and retain the option to come back to Switzerland and continue living here with my C permit. How would this work with taxes and residency?

If anyone has done a similar thing or knows more I would greatly appreciate any insights you may have.
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Old 21.10.2014, 11:36
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Re: Can I retain my C permit while living/working in Canada for a couple of years?

First question, the rule is that if you get a permit C before divorce, then the divorce will not affect your permit (you will just change to a regular C without the text "Familienangehöriger").

Second question. There are some conditions where you can put your C permit on hold due to reasons such as mandatory military service, further education or professional obligations. But in your case it is for reason of your gf so I doubt it is a valid reason. Anyway, every canton implement different rules. You need to ask your local authorities about it.
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Old 21.10.2014, 13:41
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Re: Can I retain my C permit while living/working in Canada for a couple of years?

happyrobbie's right. You won't lose your C permit if you divorce.

https://www.ch.ch/en/right-to-reside...th-or-divorce/

However, I very much doubt you'd be able to put it on hold for a few years. The usual accepted reasons are if your Swiss company sends you to work abroad, military service or further education. Talk to your commune admin office about it though as they're the ones who would have to approve the hold on your permit.

If your permit can't be put on hold and you don't marry a Swiss/EU national in future then you're back to square one as a non-EU national trying to get through the non-EU hiring rules if you want to work here again. Your previous B/C permits won't count for anything.
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Old 21.10.2014, 14:01
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Re: Can I retain my C permit while living/working in Canada for a couple of years?

Are the authorities aware that you are now separated?
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Old 21.10.2014, 14:08
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Re: Can I retain my C permit while living/working in Canada for a couple of years?

In Zurich you can put your C permit on hold but you need to request it from the Migrationsamt and give a reason. Just keep in mind this is not to be done at the time of deregistration but at least a couple of months beforehand. You should go to your Kreisburo and they will give you the details of what to say and where to send the letter.
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