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Old 13.08.2015, 16:27
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I am currently very interested in ETH Zurich, and say I get a PostDoc, for a total of 8 years meaning.

PhD - 2-4years, PostDoc-3-4 years. (ETH Zurich), Total: 6-8 years in Switzerland.

Is there a chance that this makes me eligible for a Permanent Residence Status or a swiss citizen? (I am just curios, thank you!)

As a nonEu Student.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 13.08.2015 at 21:18. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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Old 13.08.2015, 19:03
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

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I am currently very interested in ETH Zurich, and say I get a PostDoc, for a total of 8 years meaning.

PhD - 2-4years, PostDoc-3-4 years. (ETH Zurich), Total: 6-8 years in Switzerland.

Is there a chance that this makes me eligible for a Permanent Residence Status or a swiss citizen? (I am just curios, thank you!)
Naturalisation as a Swiss citizen requires 10 years' residency (as of the new law due to enter into force in 2017) and also a permanent residency permit which requires 10 years' residency (or 5 for some nationalities), however, time spent studying in Switzerland as a non-EU student does not count towards the 10 years residency requirement for getting a permanent residency permit.

So the answer, sadly, is no.
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Old 13.08.2015, 19:15
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

Simply put, no.

To get a C permit (your "PR"), you need a job which will require a job and a employment B permit first. You wont get that as a PhD student or a postdoc. Such positions will get you a student B permit.

Though many people believe otherwise, the Swiss immigration system does not have loopholes, especially for non-EUs, sorry.

Edit: after completing a higher ed. degree in CH, you need to hold a employment B permit for only two years before you are eligible for a C.
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Old 13.08.2015, 19:39
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

That is a bummer unfortunately. I'm not from a third world country and not desperate to exit, but as a kid I used to live in Norway and visited Switzerland for a week and absolutely loved it there.

Sorry if I sound a bit desperate, but is there anyway to live and work in Zurich (or any other city in Switzerland) after a Postdoc at ETH (Zurich) for example?

Again, sorry for sounding desperate, but I would like to experience Switzerland (and actually live long term once there). Thank you all!
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Old 13.08.2015, 20:35
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

I believe that you will need to find a company or Uni to sponsor your permit, just as would be necessary for any other non-EU person to begin working in Switzerland. Whether you will be able to do this depends dramatically on your field and the local need for your skills. Having a degree from a Swiss University, especially ETH, should be helpful on this point, but there are no guarantees.

But in my experience, people go to ETH for a PhD because they found a compatible research group. And indeed they do have some nice groups. But if that isn't your focus when choosing an institute, I worry that you attitude might not be right for a PhD, must less a postdoc.
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Old 13.08.2015, 20:37
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

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I am currently very interested in ETH Zurich, and say I get a PostDoc, for a total of 8 years meaning.

PhD - 2-4years, PostDoc-3-4 years. (ETH Zurich), Total: 6-8 years in Switzerland.

Is there a chance that this makes me eligible for a Permanent Residence Status or a swiss citizen? (I am just curios, thank you!)
The solution might sound a bit drastic, but one possible way out would be to marry a Swiss.
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Old 13.08.2015, 22:14
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

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...I used to live in Norway and visited Switzerland for a week and absolutely loved it there...I would like to experience Switzerland (and actually live long term once there)...
Maybe it's just me, but I think you're getting ahead of yourself. Visiting here is not the same as living here. Many of the complaints we see here on the Forum are from folks who found the reality of living in Switzerland didn't match the fantasy. It's not that living here is bad. But it's not for everyone. The bureaucracy can be tiring, particularly for non-EUs and I anticipate it will only get worse given last year's vote to curb immigration. For some people the language barrier is too annoying.

Go for it if that's what you want, but go in with your eyes open.
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Old 13.08.2015, 23:18
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

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The bureaucracy can be tiring
What bureaucracy?

Tom
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Old 13.08.2015, 23:23
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

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That is a bummer unfortunately. I'm not from a third world country and not desperate to exit, but as a kid I used to live in Norway and visited Switzerland for a week and absolutely loved it there.

Sorry if I sound a bit desperate, but is there anyway to live and work in Zurich (or any other city in Switzerland) after a Postdoc at ETH (Zurich) for example?

Again, sorry for sounding desperate, but I would like to experience Switzerland (and actually live long term once there). Thank you all!
The obvious way would be to do really well while at ETH, gain relevant skills in domains important to Swiss industry and then find a job here. You`ll have to be better than most for the employer to think that its worth the hassle of applying for a permit for you.

But you seem to have this backwards. You want to do a PhD/postdoc at ETH, one of the highest ranked universities in the world, so you can live in Switzerland.

A PhD at an ETH is four years of hard, hard work. And if the work doesnt motivate you above all else, you will crash and burn fast, and all the pretty scenery here wont make up for it. If life here doesnt live upto your expectations it will only make your work harder.

So come to ETH if you think a lab offers the chance to work on problems you are really interested in. Else best look for other ways to experience Switzerland.
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Old 14.08.2015, 08:31
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

Please be aware that time spent in Switzerland is only one of the starting points towards citizenship. Each canton sets it's own criteria, and these vary, as do local interpretation of cantonal policies. The basic requirements often include language certification, passing the society and politics test, and most important of all, 'successful integration'. This last is undefined - can mean anything, everything, or nothing, depending on local attitudes.

There are no guarantees that 'doing your time' here will gain you the red pass.

But as other posters have already said, cart before horse. The reason to embark on a PhD program is that you have found a good fit with an institution and professor, that the program matches your academic passion. Anything else must be secondary.
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Old 14.08.2015, 22:45
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

Hello,

In general, I was interested in ETH for undergrad, found it wasn't the best, so I will not attend for undergrad but certainly I am hoping for ETH Zurich in grad school. (PhD).

In the 8 years I am allowed to stay (study + postdoc) if i find a job in between, what is a possible procedure, or is there none because of the 8 years "contract" type of thing?
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Old 16.08.2015, 16:20
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Re: Possibility as Swiss Citizen/PR (PhD Student)

You can certainly bail early from a PhD or postdoc.

It is rare to do a postdoc in the same school that you do a PhD. Depending on the field, it is rare to do a postdoc at all if you aren't aiming for an academic position.

If your heart is set on a PhD and a world class university seems possible, then by all means apply to ETH, EPFL, MIT, CalTech, etc, and then choose between what you get into.

My advice is that, if your heart is set on living in Switzerland, figure what education you need to impress Swiss companies in your field. They will look at a degree from ETH with a little favoritism, but I wouldn't expect it to entirely dominate your application.

P.S. Swiss citizenship is one of the hardest to get in Europe. Moving between European countries is easy and unlikely to become really hard - especially if you have a PhD.
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