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Old 21.06.2017, 22:53
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Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

Hello,

I am new to this forum and already have been through other threads. I could not specifically find an answer to my situation. It will be great to have your response!!

I have been offered a PhD student and Research Assistant position in Uni Bern. I have read various threads here and got really confused on the visa process. The HR told me that the Uni would apply for the Visa. Does that mean, they are going to apply for a National D Visa? This contradicts with some of the threads I read here, which stated that I need to separately apply for a D Visa at the Swiss Embassy in my home country (Non-EU); which is even part of the VFS website as the PhD positions are considered in special categories demanding the candidate to apply for a D Visa.

On the other hand, I was also told to obtain the Residence Permit after arriving at Bern. I want to know will I be given a Work Permit type B as indicated by the other members here.

Please clarify!
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Old 22.06.2017, 00:03
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

The university will apply to the Swiss immigration authorities to authorize your entry and residence. When granted, you can apply for a D visa at a Swiss consulate in your current country of residence. The D visa allows you to enter the country for long term residence.
Then, after you have arrived in Switzerland, you'll register with your local population office and the cantonal immigration authorities will issue you a residence permit, which for non-EU is a biometric ID card.

You will most likely get a B permit tied to your university and PhD position.
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Old 22.06.2017, 09:36
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

It's the confusion over the use of the word visa. For Switzerland and the EU for that matter a visa only allows you to enter a country, it doesn't give you residency. You only get that with a pre-approved residence permit.

As NichtsBesonders says, if the permit is approved you apply for the visa at the Swiss embassy in the UK since that's where you're resident and it'll be stamped in your passport. You then have a certain amount of time to make the move here. Once you've arrived you go to the cantonal migration office to start the process of getting the pre-approved permit issued which will take several weeks. It will be tied to your work at the university which means you can't change jobs and cannot do any other job at the same time. If the position is for a year or more you'll be issued with a B permit, if less than a year you'll get an L.
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Old 22.06.2017, 10:57
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Many thanks!!

Hello,

I have one more quick question regarding the visa to be applied.

According to Swiss Confederation website(eda.admin.ch), there are two separate sections for entry Visa requirements: National D Visa for Students for more than 90 Days and Work Permit for More than 120 Days with Authorization.

The document checklist for both these are quite different. For example: Student National D Visa asks for IELTS, letter to leave Swiss after studies, CV, financial proofs etc. On the other hand, the visa checklist for work permit with authorization asks for authorization issued by the cantonal authority, passport and a photograph.

In my case, I believe the later of the above has to be considered as I will be PhD student and research assistant. However, I am not sure if the Visa given is D by default as I will not be specifically applying for a D Visa.

I have read some threads in this forum that some of the candidates applied for a D Visa. The checklists being different raise doubts!!

Please clarify in case you know.

The links are given below for reference:
https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/i...-national.html
https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/i...k-permits.html

Thanks,
Scie

Last edited by 3Wishes; 28.06.2017 at 22:29. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 28.06.2017, 22:07
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

There is some confusion as anyone from a non-EU country coming to Switzerland long-term needs to get a D visa anyway -- it is a clearance to enter Switzerland for a long term stay.

In your case the applicable checklist is the first one (National D Visa for Students for more than 90 Days). The second one is for people going to Switzerland for purposes of gainful employment, which you as a PhD student are not.
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Old 28.06.2017, 22:14
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

Oh Okay. The university has not mentioned to me about applying for a D Visa yet. I was just informed that the Uni would apply, the process would take 6 to 8 weeks, and I would be able to get the Visa from nearest Swiss representation abroad.

So, if my understanding is right, the D Visa would take a maximum processing time of 3 months after the student applies locally. Probably, then I need to update HR on this
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Old 28.06.2017, 22:20
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

I'm pretty sure that if the Uni starts the process on their side, then by the time it's finished you pretty much have to go to the consulate to have your visa stamped.
You'll still need to collect all those docs per the checklist, but what matters is that you will have been already approved as a result of your Uni going through the process.

I think the 3 month timeframe applies if you initiate the process yourself, as then the authorities need to reach out to the university to figure out who the hell you are and that can be slower than the university coming to them first
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Old 28.06.2017, 22:21
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

A visa is all you personally can apply for. The permit to allow you to come here to live and study has to be applied for by the uni. If/when the permit is approved, then you apply to the embassy/consulate for the Type D visa and you should get it done within a few days since the permit is approved. If won't take 3 months from when you apply.
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Old 28.06.2017, 22:28
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

Wow!

Thanks to both of you..sounds good and a sigh of relief
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Old 12.04.2018, 12:34
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

Hello, Scie, I am currently in the same situation as you were a year ago, and your threads in the forum seem to be the most relevant to me. Basically, I got a PhD position at UniBern, my contract is scheduled to start on June 1, and I was asked by the Uni to submit the D-visa application. Do I get it right that you went through the same thing last year? Did you apply for the student visa or some other kind of visa? Did they require all the documents set for the student visa (incl. motivation letter, diplomas, etc) or was the letter from Uni Bern enough? Sorry for bugging you, it's just the embassy is not answering my calls, so I decided to ask a question here as a last resort Thanks!
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Old 16.04.2018, 21:25
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Re: Visa for PHD student and Research Assistant

Hi

Yes, you need to apply for a D visa that is a student visa. You may have to submit all the documents as part of the last embassy checklist together with the application confirmation letter from the university; which may specify that the uni submitted the documents to the canton and the canton is now expecting you to apply for a d visa from your home country. If an English language certificate is mandatory as part of your application then you may as well have to get a letter of exemption from the uni saying you either have ielts or probably you had your education in english or that which is relevant in your case that satisfies your entry requirements to PhD. I hope this helps.

Regards
Scie
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