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  #41  
Old 03.07.2019, 21:03
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

I never ever said that. The reason that he is over there is for medical reasons and thats it. I was trying to be honest by saying despite his medical treatment we would like him to finish his schooling as currently he has nothing. He hasnt competed Swiss schooling nor has he competed HS. Thats all I said.

The fact is that all the surgeries could be done here. There is just a lack of expertise. This is the only reason (and the recommendations from his Doctors) why we sought treatment in the US the hospitals/ doctors have much more experience dealing with my sons type of injury as there are more cases there than here. As this is dealing with my sons future to be able to see correctly we wanted to have the most experienced, and highly regarded Dr to perform the operations to come. After a series of recommendations from Doctors across the United States, we went to a Hospital which is regarded as one of the top if not the best eye hospital in the world.


From the beginning, we were told by both the Swiss and US doctors that we would have to undergo a series of operations. Each operation would be dependent on the results of the previous ones and there needs to be enough time in between operations for the muscle to heal before they proceed with the next one. We explained this to the Migration Amt in July and when it was clear that he would be out of the country for more than 6 months we applied for the Aufrechterhaltung der Niederlassungs Bewilligung and it was approved. When asked how long he would be out of the country I could not say exactly as it was dependent on the success of each operation. It might take one operation it might take three we were unsure however there would need to be at least 6 months in between surgeries so it was decided on June 30, 2019, and I was told by the Migration Amt that if he needed to be out of the country longer we could apply for an extension.

The Dr. in the US has been treating my son ever since. Every appointment after each surgery is a follow-up as it is uncertain as what the future holds and as Dr. confirmed, there is a possibility of a 3rd surgery (which we knew was always a possibility) but this will not be determined until at least we see him at our next appointment in Nov. It can be determined that he will undergo his third eye surgery or it can be determined that there is nothing more that they can do, or they might say he needs more time. We don't know until we get there. This is how it has been ever since his accident. It is due to the nature of his injury, the complexity of his condition that makes the duration of his treatment uncertain. The last thing we want to do at this stage is to switch doctors in the middle of treatment. This, in my opinion, will create unnecessary costs to my sons insurance as another Doctor would have to review and become familiar with his case, and I don't think any Doctor would recommend switching Doctors in middle of treatment. Nothing in terms of his treatment has changed yet now we are given an ultimatum that a date needs to be set or else.

We had a letter from a Swiss Doctor saying treatment in the US made sense due to the limited cases in Switzerland and we have a letter from his current Doctor saying why it was important for him to continue treatment in the US, and it is not only because the specialized institutions but it is because of "surgical teams that are already familiar with his unique findings" . We do not have this here in Switzerland. The Dr. who is familiar with his case in Switzerland has since retired, and the two surgical teams that performed the first two operations have been less the successful. We went to Dr. in the US because he has the expertise, and treats cases such as my son on a regularly basis and not just once every two to three years. He and his surgical teams are highly qualified and have the experience and expertise to give my son the best chance to see properly again.

My son has his domicile in Switzerland. He has never given it up nor has he worked anywhere else. His family lives here, his center of interests are here. He has every intention of returning here after his medical treatment is completed and his stay aboard is temporary and due to medical reasons. I do not understand why they are being so complicated.

Then I read on this forum there are plenty of people who have left the county for more than 6 months and because they never reported their absence and get citizenship. Frustrating.

The insurance has been fantastic. They understand my sons condition and are willing to continue to cover treatment regardless on how long it takes (as long as he has a permit of course).
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  #42  
Old 04.07.2019, 16:03
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

I get it, totally, that you’re frustrated because managing your son’s health, his permit and his education, all of which seem intertwined, has become such a long-winded, time-consuming process. If I were in your mocassins, I think I'd be frazzled!

On the one hand, there’s the law, and the prescribed requirements, and you have to fulfil those, always, fully. Some parts of some laws allow for an exception for “Härtefall”, i.e. a special case in which fulfilling the law to the letter would cause an unreasonable hardship. Whether or not your son’s case would be deemed so, I do not know, and will PM you the name of a lawyer who combines her understanding of the law with a sense of social compassion, and who may be able to advise you.

On the other hand, there’s the culture, the way the wheels turn in Switzerland. I know you’ve been here for a while, but I think that – for most of us long-termers – when we feel pushed into a corner, we risk that our original culture may rise up in conflict with the Swiss way. I’m trying to be gentle, yet to point out a few things which I think might annoy a Swiss official, and so suggest ways that you could Swissify what you’re asking for. Please know that my aim is not to criticise, but to facilitate, if I can in any small way, your moving towards what you believe your son needs.

Understand that the Swiss do things in steps. Your heart, or your natural protective instinct as a parent, or your culture of origin, may have wanted a clear, once-and-for-all open-ended certificate that, since the boy had had an accident, he could be away from the country for however long it took to restore his vision as best possible. That’s understandably, since you want the very best options for him.

The “blank cheque” is, however, contrary to the Swiss culture. Here, careful perusal of the documents, slow evaluation, deliberate weighing up of the options, and solutions set until a certain date, to be revised later when some measurable criterion can be re-assessed, all these are esteemed. This is probably what seems to you like it is too “complicated”, yet here it is considered as being thorough and doing the job properly. Therefore, it may seem to you that nothing is happening, or that it’s not going well, when in fact the process is unfolding rather well… just methodically, step by step.

The Swiss authorities are not given to [rash] decisions, carte blanche permissions nor [wild] exceptions. And so it should be, since you yourself have said that the prognosis in your son’s case is not yet clear.
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  #43  
Old 04.07.2019, 16:04
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

To make this system work for you, you have to be gearing up, all the way along, building your file. Be ready to supply the same old documents again, plus new documents attesting to what has stayed the same, to what has changed and in what direction and to what extent, and what is to be anticipated next and by when, and what could go wrong if recommendations are not followed and what the consequences would be, and by when the doctors will next be able to report. You need to assemble all this well in advance of each next date that is set, and make it available to the Immigration Authorities.

You may feel it is inefficient to re-submit the same report, or to have to submit a new one that says more or less the same thing. However, if a new report refers to a previous one, it is considered a courtesy to attach a copy of the old one, just to save the officer the time of having to go and look it up in your file.

Work with the fact that your son’s progress is only very gradually evident. Go with that, then. Each time anything changes, get a report to say so, and what, even if it is brief to say: “I, Dr Z, saw S. on DATE, and confirm that the minimal progress in x and y, and the fact that z has stabilised, mean that the next specialist examination pqr will need to be done on DATE. It is my hope that, by then, the date of the next surgery could be set. At this stage, it is imperative that S. be seen weekly in my rooms, to manage the risk of abc.” In some other cultures, the doctors might perceive repeated requests for such interim reports as annoying or even impertinent. Another way of obtaining them is by email, with numbered questions. That can be a real help to a busy doctor abroad who is trying to accommodate your Swiss needs.

Then, when the time comes to submit the next reports, attach a nice neat chronology, and explicitly set out the time-frame of the next little bit, just the next stage, and by when the doctor predicts that the next decision can be taken.

Always keep in focus that promoting your son’s health, and facilitating your son’s education, are not the concern of the Immigration Authorities. I don’t mean that the individual men and women in that office won’t care what becomes of him – they may very well do so. I mean that they have to apply the law as it is in their area, which is determining only whether your son fulfils the Swiss immigration requirements, and whether you cooperatively deliver all the evidence of your claim, within good time. The rest is out of their area of authority. Therefore – other than if his case is ever seen as a “Härtefall” (see above) – the personal tragedy of what he’s been through (arduous and scary though it all may be) is not going to be the tipping point. It is a waste of your own energy to hope that it ever would be, or to use the frustration or anguish to try to persuade. No.

The thing to do is to keep on being helpful and polite. Express, with non-effusive but a definite, short sentence, your gratitude consistently… for any fair communication, any helpful information, any swift reply, and quite generally for the privilege of being allowed to live in Switzerland and of having received yet another special dispensation extending – thus far – your child’s permit yet again.

Build up the contact with Swiss doctors in this field. I hear you that a doctor retired and that two others were not successful. How long ago was that? What has changed since then? What is the latest information, which surgeons have newly taken up leading positions in which Swiss institutions? What are their qualifications and experience? Is there someone who has imported know-how? Is there a conference at which such an expert from abroad lectured, precisely because there’s a gap in this area in Switzerland? Can you document this, or ask a doctor to do so?

Research the notion of consistency in eye surgery. I have heard that it is considered standard practice for one and the same surgeon to work on progressive surgeries. This is partly because that surgeon is familiar with the eye, but partly – so an ophthalmologist once told me – because surgery can have a “direction” or a “style”, for want of a better word, (rather like hand-writing), and the entire work is tidier and more effective if done in the same manner as part of the consistent whole. Can you find medical reports which back this view? Can you send them to the the Swiss doctor and the USA doctor and ask them to attest to this?
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  #44  
Old 04.07.2019, 16:04
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

If you do take up any of these suggestions, I’d like to encourage you to remember that you, as a parent, are always simultaneously building BOTH options: his staying in the USA, and his returning to Switzerland.

Therefore, please take care avoid the mistake of gathering selective evidence proving that only ONE of these options will do. Life is uncertain, and we can’t predict everything, though it might feel safer to do so. Just in case your current ideal option (stay in the USA for as long as the eyes need it, finish school there, return to Switzerland to study) is not available, you need to be lining the nest, as it were, in case your son has to - or wants to - fly home… and then he will need you to have found ways to live, and to treat his eyes, that HE can believe in, for his future.

Last point: if you have other children, remember to spend some special time with/for them, too, so their whole life isn’t lived under the shadow of “my brother’s eyes and his permit”. That’s a very easy mistake for any concerned, worried parent to make.

I’m sure you have a great deal of work in this difficult time, and I wish you well.

Last edited by doropfiz; 04.07.2019 at 19:15. Reason: adding "- or wants to - "
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  #45  
Old 05.07.2019, 16:49
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

What can I say but thank you very much for your support. I am grateful for your insight and suggestions and will try to apply your advice as much as I can while going forward.

Its just extremely hard to to be civil when I am overwhelmed with emotions with dealing with this for the last 1.5 years, living away from him that long, the financial burden of all this, and dealing with authorities that are less than pleasant.

As this is getting to be such a complicated situation, we will seek advice from a lawyer, and go from there. I will also contact the embassy to see if they could offer any assistance. You never know.

Thank you again doropfiz from the bottom of my heart, you have mentally but me back and track and I am extremely grateful!!
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  #46  
Old 05.07.2019, 18:31
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

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Swiss medical insurance is obligatory for everyone who resides in Switzerland, unless - and under special circumstances - they can demonstrate that they have an equivalent.
Indeed. And my insurance, provided with my USG retirement, is better (90% of everything after first $300 a year, and 100% for catastrophic). But the canton doesn't agree over EMS cover so I had to buy a CHF 2,500 policy from Assura that I will never, ever use. (FEHBA policies don't cover abortion either, but the canton was willing to ignore that at my age and gender). Went through this with Vaud, and more recently with Valais. I even translated the whole policy summary for them.

Assura weren't very polite but what do I care. They only want the money, I know that. It's a tax.

I could avoid the insurance requirement by making my domicile California and Switzerland my holiday place, but the net taxes, I think would be higher. Especially their 13.3% CGT.
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  #47  
Old 20.02.2020, 00:41
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

Just wanted to give a update on the situation. We appealed the Migrationsampt decision and were informed today that the Court has now ruled in our favour granting my son an extention of his Aufrechterhaltung of his Niederlassungsbewilligung until Dec, 2021! Its been a real emotional and financial fight but we persevered!!

I just find it sad that we had to go through all this! I feel for the ones who cannot fight due to financial constraints, and have to endure the treatment of unethical behavior from officials. Its just not right, but unfortunately, goes on everywhere in the world.

@doropfiz. Your help and advise kept me sane! The time you took to help a stranger is above and beyond the call of duty! People like you make the world a better place! Thank you!!
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  #48  
Old 22.02.2020, 19:33
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Re: Residency Requirements for a minor

Thank you, gumby. I really appreciate your update and your kind words.
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