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Old 25.07.2015, 22:38
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Non-EU student visa vs. EU spouse reunification


My wife and I will be moving to Zurich this fall. I am a USA citizen and my wife is French. My wife starts a post-doc Oct 1. Through a combination of talking with the consulate, reading this forum, and HR. We have figured out the family reunification process (we think). We also have confirmed with both that there should be no problem even though we are a lesbian married couple.

Our understanding of the process is-
We will go to the Swiss consulate here in San Francisco and apply for a D visa for me. The consulate said if the visa isn't processed by the time we leave that I can enter on a tourist visa, and the USA consulate will transfer my visa to a consulate in France or Germany.
Right now we are only missing a temporary address to apply. (I will post separately about questions regarding this!).

This week I was offered a PhD position at ETH so if I wanted to I could get a student visa instead of getting a visa through EU family reunification.

I was wondering if anyone could answer any of my questions-
1) Which is less restrictive a non-EU student visa or a EU B-permit (gotten through family reunification)?
2) If something happens with my spouses work contract, would it be difficult to go from a EU-B permit to a non-EU student visa?
3) Does anyone have any opinion on the future quotas or political moments that would make one of these more favorable than the other?
4) My understanding is that with my spouses B-permit, I would be able to work and get paid as a PhD student? can anyone confirm this?

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