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Old 27.06.2018, 13:43
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[NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

Dear all,

I have been accepted to join 1-year master program in Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. The master program is 12 months long which consists of part-time work and part-time study during the whole time which also means that it is mandatory to work part-time during the full year of the academic program.

As you all know, there is a Swiss rule that NON-EU citizens cannot work during the first 6 months. However, I've read on some web-pages I can work as an intern related to my field even during the first 6 months if I can get a supportive document from the university. This option is also fine for me and I believe I can easily get a supportive document from EPFL since working for 12 months is mandatory to complete the master's degree.

I can get a clear answer from neither the university nor the Lausanne Foreign Office nor the Vaud canton. Can I do an internship or work part-time related to my field during the first 6 months even I am a NON-EU citizen if it is mandatory for me to get my master's degree? Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks and have a nice day.
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  #2  
Old 28.06.2018, 08:47
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

From EPFL:

"Non-european students
Autorisation given only 6 months after their arrival in Switzerland.
Exception is given to student assistants employed in research in connection with their field of study according to this EPFL directive, article 9."

https://sae.epfl.ch/work-permit

Guess it will depend if you fit the exception criteria or not.
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Old 29.06.2018, 10:51
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

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From EPFL:

"Non-european students
Autorisation given only 6 months after their arrival in Switzerland.
Exception is given to student assistants employed in research in connection with their field of study according to this EPFL directive, article 9."

https://sae.epfl.ch/work-permit

Guess it will depend if you fit the exception criteria or not.
Dear Medea Fleecesteale,

Thanks for the response. Yes, you are right. I hope this criteria involves me.

---

Below you will find a conversation between me and canton. If it is possible, can anyone translate it to English? I could not understand when translating it from Google Translate.

---
To whom it may concern,

My name is ... and just received my acceptance from EPFL. I have received your contact information to ask you regarding a working permit situation. The master program is 12 months long which consists of part time work and part time study during the whole time. As part of the program it is mandatory to work part time during the full year of the academic program; so should I be getting a permit B to work during the first 6 months as well since I am a non-EU citizen. I just wanted to make sure that I will not face any challenges during the first 6 months of my work just because I am not an EU citizen.

Your answer is highly appreciated and looking forward to start this program.

All the best,

---

Monsieur,

Les informations données précédemment sont fausses. Dans le cadre du programme de Master en question, il ne s'agit pas d'une activité accessoire mais d'une activité/stage compris et obligatoire dans la formation.

Donc si nous acceptons de vous délivrer une autorisation pour études pour ce programme, vous pourrez également exercer l'activité nécessaire à ces études.

Avec nos salutations distinguées
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Old 29.06.2018, 11:14
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

"Sir,

The information given above is false. In the framework of the Master programme in question, it is not an ancillary activity but an activity/internship included and compulsory in the training.

So if we agree to issue you a study permit for this program, you will also be able to exercise the activity necessary for these studies.

With our best regards "

In other words you don't have to wait the 6 months to work as it's a mandatory part of your course.
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Old 29.06.2018, 12:36
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

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"Sir,

The information given above is false. In the framework of the Master programme in question, it is not an ancillary activity but an activity/internship included and compulsory in the training.

So if we agree to issue you a study permit for this program, you will also be able to exercise the activity necessary for these studies.

With our best regards "

In other words you don't have to wait the 6 months to work as it's a mandatory part of your course.
Thank you so much.
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  #6  
Old 17.07.2018, 19:53
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

I asked 3 more questions to the migration office, the most crucial one was regarding 15 hours work-rule for NON-EU students:

---
1. Most of the lessons are on Friday or Saturday, so students can work and gain more experience in the area which is related to their master study. My question is: Can I work more than 15 hours per week since the master program is also designed for part-time working and encourage me to work & gain more for developing my skills? As you can see from the table below, I can have the chance to work 5 days in 9 weeks, 4 days in 35 weeks, 3 days in 4 weeks and so on thanks to program schedule.

2. As you might remember, the master program is 12 months long which consists of part-time work and part-time study during the whole time. Then, should I apply for permit L or B?

3. Once I arrive in Switzerland, I will register myself to receive permit L or B in migration office. Approximately how long does it take to get permit? Before receiving the permit/official card, is it possible to work with Visa D?

---

They replied back to me as follow:

Monsieur,

Le programme durant 1 an, c'est un permis B qui sera délivré.

Nous ne pouvons pas donner de délai pour l'établissement du permis.

A votre arrivée en Suisse, vous devrez aller vous inscrire à votre commune de domicile pour faire la demande de permis.

Selon les informations de l'IML la question du travail durant la semaine ne se pose pas. Votre activité sera sous forme d'un stage.
https://iml.epfl.ch/education/schedule/

Executive Masters Program Schedule
Program 2019

We have changed the format to part-time to facilitate applied learning. There are 2 options:

Participants based in Switzerland and EU: Thesis is carried out at current place of work with classroom presence every second weekend and remote learning every other weekend
International Visiting Participants (Non EU): As above however participants compete for a 1 one year full-time program including academic theory and an internship at one of our partner organisations or other

Nous vous rappelons que vous devez absolument faire une demande de visa à l'ambassade. Sans visa vous aurez des problèmes en arrivant en Suisse.

Avec nos salutations distinguées

---

As far as I understand from Google Translate, I should apply for B permit and I can have the privilege to work more than 15 hours per week. Can anyone confirm that?

Thanks and have a nice evening.
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  #7  
Old 17.07.2018, 20:06
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

I have no clue about the rules when it comes to study, but I would like to give you one advice:

Never ever rely on Google translate when it comes to important/official issues.
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Old 17.07.2018, 21:00
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

I'm not sure that a student B permit is the same as a B permit issued to workers. The purpose of your permit is for study - your internship is part of that study and so you can do that. However, besides the 15 h per week, I don't think your permit allows you to do more work.


Just found this:
http://www.unil.ch/sasme/infosemploi


Les étudiants titulaires d'un permis B ou L. n'ont pas le droit de travailler plus de 15 heures par semaine pendant les périodes de cours.
Toutefois, pendant les vacances universitaires, ils peuvent travailler à plein temps à raison de 3 mois maximum par année.

15h per week during term time; full time during the university holidays, to a maximum of 3 months per year.

Last edited by eireann; 17.07.2018 at 21:23. Reason: link
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Old 17.07.2018, 21:02
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

Quote:
I have no clue about the rules when it comes to study, but I would like to give you one advice:

Never ever rely on Google translate when it comes to important/official issues.
You're absolutely right. However, since migration office insists on replying in French, I have to use it. I don't even know one word of French, so I ask for help. :-)
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  #10  
Old 17.07.2018, 21:15
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

You don't apply for L or B. You apply for a student permit. The migration office decides if it's L or B, and whether or not you are allowed to work.
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Old 17.07.2018, 21:49
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

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I'm not sure that a student B permit is the same as a B permit issued to workers. The purpose of your permit is for study - your internship is part of that study and so you can do that. However, besides the 15 h per week, I don't think your permit allows you to do more work.
The structure of the master program will be changed in the new academic year and students will be able to study and work part-time simultaneously during 1 year as you mentioned above.

Up to now, master's students study full-time for the first 6 months and then, start to work afterwards.

I talked with a guy who is NON-EU and graduated from the same program eight years ago. He said he applied for student permit-B once he arrived in Switzerland. After 6 months past, he found a place to do internship. He went to Canton again and applied for Permit-L. Thanks to second application, he worked more than 15 hours per week before the graduation.

I am so confused due to all these rules and visa types. To make the permit allows me to do more work, I think I should find a place to do my internship before coming to Switzerland and once I arrive in Switzerland, I should go to the migration office with my job acceptance letter and with supportive document from EPFL.
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Old 18.07.2018, 00:38
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

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The structure of the master program will be changed in the new academic year and students will be able to study and work part-time simultaneously during 1 year as you mentioned above.

Up to now, master's students study full-time for the first 6 months and then, start to work afterwards.

I talked with a guy who is NON-EU and graduated from the same program eight years ago. He said he applied for student permit-B once he arrived in Switzerland. After 6 months past, he found a place to do internship. He went to Canton again and applied for Permit-L. Thanks to second application, he worked more than 15 hours per week before the graduation.

I am so confused due to all these rules and visa types. To make the permit allows me to do more work, I think I should find a place to do my internship before coming to Switzerland and once I arrive in Switzerland, I should go to the migration office with my job acceptance letter and with supportive document from EPFL.

Your program comprises study and internship. An internship is not considered the same as working. The internship is part of your studies - if you have to do a 6-month internship and work full-time at the internship that is fine - it's part of your studies. It's covered by your permit for your studies. So for your internship work, the permit you receive for your studies is fine.



It's not clear when you say working more than 15 h per week, if you are referring to your internship work, or additional work that you would like to do. I'm sure there are rules or guidelines as to how many hours per week you can work on your internship job - I'm sure way it's more than 15 h - probably at least 4 days per week.



BUT, additional work (not internship-related), can only be 15 h per week during the academic year when you have a student permit.



Student permit: Masters program + Internship (number of hours defined in your program )+ 15h per week or full time during vacation (non-internship work)



L/B/C permit: Employee (not a student). Applied for by the employer.
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Old 18.07.2018, 07:04
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

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Your program comprises study and internship. An internship is not considered the same as working. The internship is part of your studies - if you have to do a 6-month internship and work full-time at the internship that is fine - it's part of your studies. It's covered by your permit for your studies. So for your internship work, the permit you receive for your studies is fine.



It's not clear when you say working more than 15 h per week, if you are referring to your internship work, or additional work that you would like to do. I'm sure there are rules or guidelines as to how many hours per week you can work on your internship job - I'm sure way it's more than 15 h - probably at least 4 days per week.



BUT, additional work (not internship-related), can only be 15 h per week during the academic year when you have a student permit.



Student permit: Masters program + Internship (number of hours defined in your program )+ 15h per week or full time during vacation (non-internship work)



L/B/C permit: Employee (not a student). Applied for by the employer.

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I am referring to internship work. As I am NON-EU, I am confused by the process.



I am happy to hear that I can work more than 15 hours in the area related to my master study while holding the student permit.


Thank you so much for your response.
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Old 18.07.2018, 09:56
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

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I asked 3 more questions to the migration office, the most crucial one was regarding 15 hours work-rule for NON-EU students:

---
As far as I understand from Google Translate, I should apply for B permit and I can have the privilege to work more than 15 hours per week. Can anyone confirm that?
No. There's three key points in their reply.
1. You register with the local commune on arrival, who will issue a (student) B permit.
2. Any work required by the course is an intrinsic part of the course (un 'stage').
3. You must also apply for a visa via the normal Embassy channels or you'll have problems when you arrive.

Point 2 seems to have you confused, although it was clarified earlier. The work mentioned in the course description is a part of the course. It's not considered 'employment' (and presumably is unpaid?), so you neither need nor will be granted any sort of permission to work.

As such your questions about how many working hours are irrelevant, which is why they've not been answered. To put it simply, no, you can't work more that 15 hrs/week, because you can't work at all. That's zero, nada, rien, none whatsoever.

Last edited by Guest; 18.07.2018 at 10:12. Reason: typo
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Old 18.07.2018, 10:09
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

Indeed.

"Selon les informations de l'IML la question du travail durant la semaine ne se pose pas. Votre activité sera sous forme d'un stage."

"According to information from the IML, the question of working during the week does not arise. Your activity will be in the form of an internship."
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Old 18.07.2018, 11:56
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

what ever you do or try, you cannot work more than 15 hours/week.. It does not matter whether it is an internship or work, you may work only 15 hours per week because you are a non eu student. You may work 100% only in holidays (summer and winter holidays). Thats all.

If you would do your PhD then the process would be different because PhD students may work. As I know, the univ apply for a work permit.. But others do know better.. I am only sure that you cannot work more than 15 hours.

I thought about 'Praktikants' because they study and work as well. As a non-eu, you will not a work permit for that.. So if your university applies a work permit for you then it works.
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Old 18.07.2018, 12:18
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

Quote:
No. There's three key points in their reply.
1. You register with the local commune on arrival, who will issue a (student) B permit.
2. Any work required by the course is an intrinsic part of the course (un 'stage').
3. You must also apply for a visa via the normal Embassy channels or you'll have problems when you arrive.

Point 2 seems to have you confused, although it was clarified earlier. The work mentioned in the course description is a part of the course. It's not considered 'employment' (and presumably is unpaid?), so you neither need nor will be granted any sort of permission to work.

As such your questions about how many working hours are irrelevant, which is why they've not been answered. To put it simply, no, you can't work more that 15 hrs/week, because you can't work at all. That's zero, nada, rien, none whatsoever.

This made me even more confused.

According to IML/EPFL, the salary will be between 2.000 and 3.000 CHF. Of course, the salary will depend on the companies but I can say I will earn money.

I think we understand the meaning of "work" differently and there is a misunderstanding due to the language structure. In my language and culture, being an intern is the same as being an employee in terms of "employment". Because employees and interns work and spend their time at companies. Now, I am starting to believe that being an intern and being an employee are completely different things in Switzerland. This was the point where I cannot distinguish the difference.

So if my activity is accepted as an internship, I can work (spend time/do an internship) as much as I want since it is part of my master program. Am I right?
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Old 18.07.2018, 16:45
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

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This made me even more confused.

According to IML/EPFL, the salary will be between 2.000 and 3.000 CHF. Of course, the salary will depend on the companies but I can say I will earn money.

I think we understand the meaning of "work" differently and there is a misunderstanding due to the language structure.
It's not a language thing, no, but a legal defintion of what is and is not allowed. If you want to find terms to better describe it in your language, think of having a job, being employed, having a contract with salary and notice period, etc. etc. For this you need a residence permit that allows you to 'work', and this you will not have.

Yes, you're doing some work, and being paid for it, as part of your course, but you're technically not in an employed position, so you don't need permission.

Anything outside of that is not allowed. So the 15hr thing that you keep bringing up is irrelevant, as it could only apply to people who have the right to hold a job in the first place. How many hours of your time your internship will take is up to you and the course authorities to sort out, but it's unlikely that you'll be being paid on an hourly rate anyway, I'd have thought.
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Old 18.07.2018, 19:53
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

Quote:
It's not a language thing, no, but a legal defintion of what is and is not allowed. If you want to find terms to better describe it in your language, think of having a job, being employed, having a contract with salary and notice period, etc. etc. For this you need a residence permit that allows you to 'work', and this you will not have.

Yes, you're doing some work, and being paid for it, as part of your course, but you're technically not in an employed position, so you don't need permission.

Anything outside of that is not allowed. So the 15hr thing that you keep bringing up is irrelevant, as it could only apply to people who have the right to hold a job in the first place. How many hours of your time your internship will take is up to you and the course authorities to sort out, but it's unlikely that you'll be being paid on an hourly rate anyway, I'd have thought.

That's interesting, you've changed my perspective. Thanks for taking the time to explain the situation in detail.


I know I might look stupid for asking this but how would global companies allow me to work without employed me? If I have problems in the workplace, how do I claim it without having a legal contract?



More importantly, how can I explain my situation during interviews? They will be probably asking me my permit situation. Will it be enough to say it is part of my master program?


I apologize for asking you questions like you are an authorized person who works in the migration office but you are the only ones I can ask for help.
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Old 18.07.2018, 20:00
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Re: [NON-EU] Mandatory part-time work during the first 6 months for master's degree

Are you sure you even have to arrange the internship? I would have thought the uni would possibly take care of that since it's part of your course.
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