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Old 16.01.2017, 21:59
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Options for my Non-EU spouse to get a dependent permit that allows work?

Hi everyone,

I've been planning a move to Switzerland for a while now, and I am currently across the border in good old Deutschland.

I'm EU15, but my husband is non-EU, which as many of you might have experienced: is a hassle and then some when it comes to moving to Switzerland. And this is where I need your assistance: I have a few questions about the permit, which at this moment is the real sticky issue and is the only reason we aren't living there already.

So, what options are at our disposal? According to this link, if I have a residence permit (L and B are both ok?) then I should be able to bring him over as long as I can prove that I have a house large enough and if self-employed, that I can support us. But does anyone have any experience with the authorities rejecting family reunification for EU citizens with L/B permits?

Would either permit allow my husband to live with me? The B permit would be better, granted, but not sure how likely I am to score a work contract longer than 1 year. In either case, if I changed jobs, would we both lose our permits?

I take it getting a G visa actually would entail the same process. That is, while my husband can legally reside and work in Germany as the spouse of an EU citizen, he still can't get a permit to Switzerland without me getting one first or without any potential employer jumping through all the loops to hire a non-EU.

Also, is getting a permit feasible if I can prove that I have sufficient means to support us? What are average numbers? 60k EUR? 100K? That is, can we self-sponsor our permit? Failing that, does working several part-time/freelance jobs work? I currently work online a few hours a week, if I increased those hours, would that help secure a permit?

My biggest concern is that I'll get a job, set everything up in Switzerland and then find out that my husband can't get a permit to join me.

Anyone had success with a similar situation or have any tips/advice to share on how an EU citizen can settle and bring a spouse with a dependent permit that allows them residency and work?

Thank you!
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Old 16.01.2017, 22:27
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Re: Options for my Non-EU spouse to get a dependent permit that allows work?

You're overthinking/worrying about this too much. As an EU national your spouse will get the same permit that you get - L or B depending on length of contract. While it will initially be for residence only he has the right to work as your dependent and all he needs to do is find an employer, get a signed contract, notify the gemeinde/commune where you live that he's now employed and that's it - he can start work.

If you change jobs within Switzerland it makes no difference.

A G permit would not allow him to work in Switzerland as you both would still be living in Germany. So yes, non-EU hiring rules would apply in his case as he effectively wouldn't have a Swiss permit. G permits only apply to the workers, not to their dependents as well.

If you work enough hours and earn enough to support you both then you can get permits. You have to be careful though, if you're only working for one company as a freelance in Germany you're likely to be seen as an employee of said company if you're living and working here and this affects who pays for what in the way of insurances. Depending on what you actually do you may need 2/3 different clients to be considered truly freelance/self-employed.

As for how much, that may depend on which canton you decide to live in. The general rule is to use CHF100 per person per day. Best thing to do is contact the cantonal migration office where you want to live and explain what you do as a self-employed person, how much you earn/could earn, how you see your business growing, etc, and ask how much you'd need initially to move over here and what sort of earnings they'd expect you to make to be financially self-sufficient.
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Old 17.01.2017, 10:16
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Re: Options for my Non-EU spouse to get a dependent permit that allows work?

Do people need to be married? Is that a condition? Because my boyfriend hold a British permit and went to the geminde to see what can be done and they said (and that's not a joke!) 'We don't do such things. ' ????????
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Old 17.01.2017, 10:21
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Re: Options for my Non-EU spouse to get a dependent permit that allows work?

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Do people need to be married? Is that a condition? Because my boyfriend hold a British permit and went to the geminde to see what can be done and they said (and that's not a joke!) 'We don't do such things. ' ????????


Yes. Or you can apply for a concubine permit, if your Kanton has that, but then you will be financially responsible for him for 5 years.


Alternatively, and much simpler, as a EU Person (if he is from the EU) your boyfriend can just come here and search for a job?
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Old 17.01.2017, 11:09
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Re: Options for my Non-EU spouse to get a dependent permit that allows work?

As roegner says basically. If Zurich canton offers the concubine permit (not all cantons seem to) and if you can financially support him for 5 years then he can get a permit. But probably easier, depending on what work he does, is for him to simply come over and try and find a job here since he's an EU national.

The canton may well be reluctant to consider concubine applications since the emphasis is on prioritizing jobs for people who already have permits to live/work here. Your boyfriend can be here for up to 3 months without registering as being a resident while he looks for work and if he finds a job in that time then he just takes the employment contract, rental contract/agreement from your landlord/agency that he can move in with you and his passport and some passport photos to the gemeinde/cantonal migration office and applies for his Swiss permit. If he doesn't find a job within 3 months then if he wants to continue job hunting he'll need to register as being a resident and show he can support himself for the next few months while he continues his job search. He'll get an L permit for another 3 months. He'll also need to arrange Swiss health insurance as he would now be a resident of Switzerland.
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Old 17.01.2017, 23:34
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Re: Options for my Non-EU spouse to get a dependent permit that allows work?

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As an EU national your spouse will get the same permit that you get - L or B depending on length of contract. While it will initially be for residence only he has the right to work as your dependent and all he needs to do is find an employer, get a signed contract, notify the gemeinde/commune where you live that he's now employed and that's it - he can start work.
Thanks Medea! That's actually excellent news as I thought I would need to have a B permit to bring with me, and L would not be sufficient. He's not with me in Germany, I came over by myself to learn German and make some headway in getting stuff set up over the next couple of months, but being away from each other also hasn't helped me with the overthinking/over worrying.

Lets see how the next few months pan out
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Old 18.01.2017, 08:23
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Re: Options for my Non-EU spouse to get a dependent permit that allows work?

No, for an EU national the permit type doesn't matter as much. So long as you earn enough you should be fine. L permits are issued for contracts of more than 3 months and less than a year, B permits for contracts of a year or longer. Obviously if you can get a job of a year or more and get a B permit it would be better as the permit will be valid for 5 years, whereas the L will only be for the year max then would have to be renewed by either having another job, an extension of your current job or you'd have to apply for a 3 month job seeker L permit again. Employers would prefer a B permit too, many are now advertising that only B/C permit holders need apply. This seems to be the result of the Swiss government needing to try and curb immigration from the EU due to the February 2014 referendum so they've been encouraging employers to try harder to hire people who already live and work here, most of whom will have either B or C permits.
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