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Old 23.01.2017, 06:19
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Non-EU master student visa to full time Visa

Dear All,
I need realistic advice for my canadian friend whom had a job interview recently. Currently she is doing her master's in Luzern and willing to live and work in Zurich. She had a interview with a big international firm and hopeful that she will get the position. The only thing is that she doesn't have much work experience just mainly as a part time English teacher and she doesn't speak german. What are the chances of her student visa changing into a full time work permit? I was told that it got harder recently... any advice would be appreciated. Apparently the company said that they have experience training international students and can help with the visa
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Old 23.01.2017, 07:37
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Re: Non-EU master student visa to full time Visa

Very unlikely. As someone who hasn't even graduated yet she comes nowhere near meeting the non-EU hiring criteria outlined here

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

She can't change the permit anyway, the company would have to apply on her behalf and prove they can't find a Swiss/EU national who can do the job.

Having said the above, if the company believes they can get her permit changed then it may be possible. Most companies who hire non-EU nationals have a pretty good idea whether or not they're going to waste time and money applying so won't do it until they think they have a good chance to succeed. If they're willing to try and that's what she wants to do then let them apply on her behalf. Just don't quit the study course until she's had confirmation that a new permit has been approved.

As she's at a Swiss uni when she graduates she'll be on a more or less equal footing with Swiss/EU nationals for the first 6 months after graduation when it comes to being considered for a job here.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...abgaenger.html
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Old 23.01.2017, 10:37
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Re: Non-EU master student visa to full time Visa

I don't follow. She's studying for her Masters but now has an offer for a full-time job and wants to "change" her permit?
A) changing doesn't work, ever. The company can APPLY for a work permit for her, which she probably won't get as she's nowhere near qualified for one, at least not if she has not graduated, see next point.
B) what happens to her Masters? Why doesn't she just finish that, graduate and then go for a permit? With a degree from a Swiss uni, she'll have favorable conditions for 6 months post-graduation and should be able to obtain a work permit quite easily.
C) I would never trust any company that says "they have experience" with people that really obviously do NOT qualify for a permit. I've seen plenty of line managers pretend they know their sh* when they really didn't and make promises they couldn't keep. The rules on non-EU hires have always been strict (well, since EU and Free Movement of People came to be that is). She fulfils none of the criteria necessary for a non-EU to obtain a work permit (unless again, point B applies), so whatever the company says, I would certainly absolutely not rely on it.

Lastly, what you're loooking for is information on permits, not on visa. Visa are to enter a country, permits are to stay and/or work. Subtle, but important difference.
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Old 23.01.2017, 10:46
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Re: Non-EU master student visa to full time Visa

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B) what happens to her Masters? Why doesn't she just finish that, graduate and then go for a permit? With a degree from a Swiss uni, she'll have favorable conditions for 6 months post-graduation and should be able to obtain a work permit quite easily.
Regarding this point, in practice it doesn't work. I know from personal experience and from two other Non-EU students that I personally helped. Finishing your studies here in theory should make it easier to get a work permit but when we've spoken with the employers (in university and business) all of them said it was way too much hassle to deal with it. When all of us tried to switch to the job-seeking permit, the canton put hit it's breaks heavily on us and basically told us to go find work somewhere else (which in the case of the others, is what happened). No permit was issued, and everyone says your no better off than an any other Non-Eu person.
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Old 23.01.2017, 13:27
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Re: Non-EU master student visa to full time Visa

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Regarding this point, in practice it doesn't work. I know from personal experience and from two other Non-EU students that I personally helped. Finishing your studies here in theory should make it easier to get a work permit but when we've spoken with the employers (in university and business) all of them said it was way too much hassle to deal with it. When all of us tried to switch to the job-seeking permit, the canton put hit it's breaks heavily on us and basically told us to go find work somewhere else (which in the case of the others, is what happened). No permit was issued, and everyone says your no better off than an any other Non-Eu person.
The job seeker permit should have been issued. If they refused you should have complained to SEM. Providing you have the financial resources to support yourself while you job hunt the permit can't be refused as far as I know.

Job-wise it depends on what sort of job you would be looking for. The criteria is that it must add economic and/or scientific importance to Switzerland. If your degree wasn't something that was likely to do that, then yes it probably would be a lot of hassle for any potential employer.
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Old 23.01.2017, 13:42
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Re: Non-EU master student visa to full time Visa

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The job seeker permit should have been issued. If they refused you should have complained to SEM. Providing you have the financial resources to support yourself while you job hunt the permit can't be refused as far as I know.

Job-wise it depends on what sort of job you would be looking for. The criteria is that it must add economic and/or scientific importance to Switzerland. If your degree wasn't something that was likely to do that, then yes it probably would be a lot of hassle for any potential employer.
Thanks for the reply. I just wanted to give her real advice, as I saw some friends whom eventually had to leave the country due to the permit issue. And yes, thanks for correcting the misunderstanding regarding visa. I didn't want to sound bitter to her, but she seemed to keep her hopes up too high - Another friend of mine went through the process some years ago when the company was willing to get the permit for him but was rejected by the buro. However, managed to secure a spot. Recently I did see that it did get harder and didn't want her to just rely on "words" from the HR. All very much appreciated.
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Old 23.01.2017, 13:46
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Re: Non-EU master student visa to full time Visa

Well, as said they should have a good idea of whether they'd be successful or not in applying. If they want to do it then let them try. So long as she doesn't give up her study until the permit is confirmed - or not - she won't lose out. If the answer is yes, she has a new job and if the answer is no, she can still complete her Masters.
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