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Old 06.11.2014, 04:32
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B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

Hello

I am an EU citizen and plan on moving to Switzerland (Geneva or Vaud) in early 2016 for job seeking. My wife is a non-EU citizen.

My understanding based on my past question to the forum and reading of past posts if that I have to move first. Basically, as an EU citizen I have 3 months I can look for a job without a permit and another 3 months I can look for a job with an L job-seekers permit. This makes 6 months total.

I would like my wife to come and join me in Switzerland by the end of my six months. I understand that spouses of EU citizens automatically get the same permit as their spouse. This will be a problem for her to find her own job if I either can't find a job by the end of the 6 months or only have a short-term L permit by then.

So... if I don't find a B-permit-granting job the end of the 6 months, could people advise me on the likelihood of being granted a B permit (that means my wife could work/be attractive to employers to work) if I either:

1. Apply for a self-employment B permit through submission of a business plan. I have worked quite a lot as a environmental consultant in the past, although I have never made CHF 50,000 a year in doing so.

2. Apply for a B-permit as a person of "sufficient financial means". It is likely that we will have the equivalent of over 300,000 CHF by 2016, although it is not kept in Swiss bank accounts. Is this enough? Will all I have to do is show bank statements and then "BOOM!" we both get B permits for 5 years allowing us to also work (this is key as we don't actually plan to be retired and spend down our savings). The idea here would just give us more breathing room/employability to find jobs.

Thanks for your feedback and advice. This forum is one of the most useful I have found in information about CH.
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Old 06.11.2014, 08:21
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

https://www.ch.ch/en/becoming-self-employed/

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu-gruenden/03476/03575/03577/index.html?lang=en

I think a problem could be that you'd need more than just a business plan. In some cases - and it depends on the type of business of course - you would also need to show that you have several clients who want to use your service for you to be considered self-employed and not just an employee of the one company using your services. So an IT consultant for example would need to show that they work for Microsoft, Apple and Google say, and not just Microsoft. If they had only Microsoft for a client the Swiss authorities would consider them an employee of Microsoft and not as being self-employed. The differences affect how various taxes and insurances are paid.

If you did go self-employed what form of company are you thinking of?

As far as the sufficient funds idea goes, that's mostly aimed at retirees and any permit wouldn't include the right to work. Whether it's possible to change it later I don't know, but I doubt it. You'd have to check with the migration office of the canton you plan to live in or contact the FOM to see what they say.

https://www.ch.ch/en/retirement-or-study-switzerland/

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home/ueberuns/kontakt.html

Remember that the L permit can be extended for up to a year providing you have the necessary funds to keep looking for work. It would be done in 3 months intervals, but could give you a max of 15 months (3 months job seeker registeration and 1 year on L) to find something assuming the Swiss authorities agree to keep extending it.

Also don't forget to keep an eye on any decisions made by the Swiss government regarding immigration control. The recent vote to curb immigration means they have to come up with something by late 2015/early 2016 at the latest, but I assume it will have to be put to the people to vote on. That's assuming of course that it doesn't get overturned in the meantime by another initiative.
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Old 06.11.2014, 08:24
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

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......we will have the equivalent of over 300,000 CHF by 2016, ......and then "BOOM!" we both get B permits for 5 years ......
that sounds interesting !! Looking for some replies....

Last edited by sva; 06.11.2014 at 08:25. Reason: unnecessary mild expletive
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Old 06.11.2014, 08:33
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

Much thanks for the quick reply and for the useful information! Indeed, I will contact the cantonal authorities for more details but perhaps return to the forumites one more time to see about a bit more specifics...

1. So you say for the self-employment permit, I need to show several clients. Do you mean current clients in Switzerland, or will showing a history of clients from other places suffice? My work is in environmental consulting - environmental policy analysis, programme design and evaluation, that sort of think --> hence Geneva.

2. If I get a B permit through self-employment, will my non-EU's spouses' permit include an unlimited right to work?

3. My understanding reading the forum recently is that residence based on sufficient financial means being limited to retirees etc. is mostly for non-EU citizens, for EU it can be for anyone. Is this reading correct?

4. Are you sure that if I get a B permit through "sufficient means" that my non-EU spouse's permit will not include a right to work? Some other comments indicated that all B permits connected to EU citizens automatically include a right to work regardless of how they got them.

And much thanks on the info on extending the job-seeking permit for up to 1.3 years! Did not know that and adds some flexibility although I would not like to be away from my wife for that long...
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Old 06.11.2014, 08:59
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

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Much thanks for the quick reply and for the useful information! Indeed, I will contact the cantonal authorities for more details but perhaps return to the forumites one more time to see about a bit more specifics...

1. So you say for the self-employment permit, I need to show several clients. Do you mean current clients in Switzerland, or will showing a history of clients from other places suffice? My work is in environmental consulting - environmental policy analysis, programme design and evaluation, that sort of think --> hence Geneva.

2. If I get a B permit through self-employment, will my non-EU's spouses' permit include an unlimited right to work?

3. My understanding reading the forum recently is that residence based on sufficient financial means being limited to retirees etc. is mostly for non-EU citizens, for EU it can be for anyone. Is this reading correct?

4. Are you sure that if I get a B permit through "sufficient means" that my non-EU spouse's permit will not include a right to work? Some other comments indicated that all B permits connected to EU citizens automatically include a right to work regardless of how they got them.

And much thanks on the info on extending the job-seeking permit for up to 1.3 years! Did not know that and adds some flexibility although I would not like to be away from my wife for that long...
I think you would need to show you have some potential clients here lined up who would employ you once you had a self-employment permit. Being able to show you've successfully done it before will help of course.

Yes, she would be able to work if you get a B permit - self employed or employee type.

My point is that anyone who comes in as a sufficient means applicant will not receive the right to work on their permit as far as I know. Given that your wife would get the same permit as you, if yours doesn't include work neither would hers. But I'm really not up on that side of the permits so checking with the canton/Federal authorities would be the best course if that's the route you want to take.

Your wife doesn't have to wait that long. She can come with you right from the start if you wish, you'd just need to meet the conditions of having a big enough place for both of you by Swiss standards and have sufficient funds to support her. Whether she moves straightaway or comes in a few months is up to you.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta

She will need to get the appropriate visa for her to enter Switzerland long term.
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Old 06.11.2014, 10:31
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

Okay. I will contact the catonale authorities for more advice, especially regarding (1) the amount needed to be "sufficient financial means", (2) if (as you say) that B permit wouldn't include a right to work including for EU citizens, and (3) if it doesn't, whether or not it would be easily changeable to a working B-permit.

Or, if any Forumites want to chime in on the last point - Is it easy to change from a B non-working to a B working permit once in CH as the spouse of an EU-citizen (assuming with a job offer)? Or at least easier than a non-EU getting a permit from scratch?

Thanks for all the info in any case. I'm probably overthinking this as we are talking about things that will occur in 1 year, and multiple scenarios including assuming I won't be successful job searching, but I tend to plan and always good to know permit situations before making plans that aren't feasible!
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Old 06.11.2014, 11:07
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

Do let us know what they say about the permits and their possible variations. It's always good to have the info for others who may want to know in future. As I said, I'm not really clear on whether it's easy to change a non-work to a work so if you get clarification that would be great to have.
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Old 25.12.2014, 10:09
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

I went through this process in 2012 and can provide some insight. I'm also an EU citizen and have a non-EU partner. I am here on a 5 year B-permit (self employed) in Canton Zurich.

Before coming to Switzerland, I registered a company with the relevant authority and register for AHV through SVA. AHV registration is a bit complicated. After initial processing, you are given a temporary letter that suffices Immigration, allowing you to set up office. After you have your B-permit and begin working, you must take copies of invoices (purchasing and client) to AHV to complete registration.

One thing that I can tell you is that in Switzerland, consulting is not considered self employment. I was told by SVA that to be self employed, I had to supply some sort of product.

You will need to demostrate that you will make enough money to support your family without burden to the Swiss government. A lawyer had told me that my minimum expected income would need to be 60,000fr/year.

The process took 3 months and my partner was given the same permit: 5 year EU B Permit.

We also considered going the wealth route, but I can tell you 50,000 is not enough. The minimum wealth amount is not publicized, but you need to have enough to sustain yourself and your wife through the entire 5 years of the permit.

Best of luck!!
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Old 25.12.2014, 11:04
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

No, 50,000 certainly wouldn't be enough. Given that the general figure to work to is CHF100 per day you would need around CHF182,500 to cover 5 years for just one person. Say you can get away with a little less for the second and call the daily figure CHF150 you're talking CHF273,750 for 2 people for 5 years. Of course, each canton decides what it considers sufficient so you'd need to check with them for what they'd require.

Consulting is more difficult to justify as self-employment as usually it depends on how many clients you have. If you're only consulting for one company then yes, the Swiss will not consider you self-employed, but an employee of that company. But if you can prove you have several clients you're consulting for then self-employment status is possible.
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Old 25.12.2014, 15:07
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

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Hello

2. Apply for a B-permit as a person of "sufficient financial means". It is likely that we will have the equivalent of over 300,000 CHF by 2016, although it is not kept in Swiss bank accounts. Is this enough? Will all I have to do is show bank statements and then "BOOM!" we both get B permits for 5 years allowing us to also work (this is key as we don't actually plan to be retired and spend down our savings). The idea here would just give us more breathing room/employability to find jobs.

Thanks for your feedback and advice. This forum is one of the most useful I have found in information about CH.
If you would like to come the easy way you would use the sufficient financial means which will lead to a B permit without the right to work. You would need sufficient funds (50K euro), get yourself Assura assurance and an address. Getting an address is not as easy as you need a permit to rent a place and you need a place to get a permit.

The moment you find work you go to the commune and change the permit de sejour to a permit de travail. You will need your contract etc.

You will need sufficient funds for rent, impots, etc as the state will not support you in any way
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Old 25.12.2014, 18:41
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

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If you would like to come the easy way you would use the sufficient financial means which will lead to a B permit without the right to work. You would need sufficient funds (50K euro), get yourself Assura assurance and an address. Getting an address is not as easy as you need a permit to rent a place and you need a place to get a permit.

The moment you find work you go to the commune and change the permit de sejour to a permit de travail. You will need your contract etc.

You will need sufficient funds for rent, impots, etc as the state will not support you in any way
(Sigh) Did you read any of the above posts? 50,000 Euros won't be enough to secure a 5 year B permit, you more than likely can't change a residence by sufficient funds permit to a working one (after all if it were that easy everyone would be doing it) and you don't need a permit to rent a place though it certainly helps.
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Old 25.12.2014, 19:13
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

I mean the canton would accept 50K and the other things I mentioned. It would not be enough to olive here for the 5 years I agree.

It is surely not difficult to change from permit de sejour to a permit de travail. I have seen it done several times. You do need an address though. Good that you can rent without a permit (I never rented in Switzerland). My experience is with buying and you cannot buy without a permit.
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Old 05.01.2015, 05:48
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

Hello

Thanks for the additional helpful replies. Seems to be that the jury is "still out" on whether consulting is considered self-employment. My reading from other websites as well is that it can be, as long as you have more than one client and can show proof of this. But perhaps it depends on the canton- I am most familiar with Geneva and Vaud.

Not sure where the 50,000 figure came from - I am looking at closer to 300,000 CHF in savings by the time of the move. If the "magic figure" is CHF273,750 for 2 people for 5 years this may be considered barely just enough. And then, the issue is the difficulty in converting from permit de sejour to a permit de travail when that time comes.

Thanks for all the assistance and I think at this point I would have to see what will fly once I get on the ground, and after contacting the canton office.
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Old 20.11.2015, 19:13
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

Hello,

Things are coming along. I've read through the other postings and it seems like registering a GmbH and then employing myself may be a possible approach. For the self-employed route, I have no guarantee of getting 3+ clients in a short period of time and for reasons of my wife's non-EU situation I want to get a B permit as soon as possible so she can better look for jobs.

A couple of follow up questions then:

1. I understand that I need a swiss-resident director to register a GmbH. Can I come and register as a job-seeker and then use this to register the company, or does this approach not work because I would be under an L permit?

2. If I need a swiss-resident director, what services/law firms/companies could you recommend where I can (from overseas ideally) incorporate a company and then get/sign a contract to be my company's employee so that I can get a B permit immediately upon my move into Switzerland?

3. Is it easier to do this in Geneve or Vaud? I could live/be incorporated in either place.

Why not just get a regular job you ask? Well, of course I am trying, but the reality is in my field short-term contracts are very common. I have no problem doing these as a EU citizen but I need a ongoing, non-interrupted B permit for my wife's sake.
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Old 30.06.2018, 10:58
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

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I mean the canton would accept 50K and the other things I mentioned. It would not be enough to olive here for the 5 years I agree.

It is surely not difficult to change from permit de sejour to a permit de travail. I have seen it done several times. You do need an address though. Good that you can rent without a permit (I never rented in Switzerland). My experience is with buying and you cannot buy without a permit.

I was also wondering what would be required for me to convert my permit de sejour to a permit de travail, if either my wife or I wanted to do some extra work in the future. I'm hoping it won't be a problem. We would have already proven that we can be self sufficient anyway. It'm mainly just my wife who said that she might want to work in the future.
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Old 30.06.2018, 11:15
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

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I was also wondering what would be required for me to convert my permit de sejour to a permit de travail, if either my wife or I wanted to do some extra work in the future. I'm hoping it won't be a problem. We would have already proven that we can be self sufficient anyway. It'm mainly just my wife who said that she might want to work in the future.
What is your nationality, what type of permit do you have now?
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Old 30.06.2018, 13:13
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

I am a UK citizen with a B permit - through self funded means - so I don't have the work permit yet. My wife has the same permit and is an EU citizen from Sweden. I'd like to know what the process would be if my wife wanted to work at some point in the future. Thanks
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Old 30.06.2018, 15:26
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

If you're here under the retiree/non-work rules I don't think you can. But check with your cantonal migration office to find out for sure.
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Old 30.06.2018, 15:50
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

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If you're here under the retiree/non-work rules I don't think you can. But check with your cantonal migration office to find out for sure.

hmmm... that's not what some people said here above.
I'd like to hear from someone who did it or knows for sure.
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Old 30.06.2018, 16:14
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Re: B permit through self-employment or "sufficient financial means"

Most of the above is talking about being self-employed from the start, not changing from residential only to work rights as well.

Since this seems to be the criteria for coming here without work.

http://www.isyours.com/e/immigration...ire/index.html

I can't see the Swiss granting a work permit with that sort of income already. But again, talk to your cantonal migration office to be sure. Remember the Swiss are tightening up on granting of all types of permits so that might affect any change too.
 




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