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Old 03.06.2019, 18:05
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EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

Hi everyone,

I am new in this forum, I looked for this topic but couldn't find a precise answer. Maybe someone has the relevant experience?

I am an Italian scientist and will be doing my PhD at the University of Geneva. There, my director is doing the paperwork so I can get an EU type B work/residence permit, and my non-EU wife gets a type B permit (dependent).

My wife is from Argentina, she does not need a Visa to stay up to 90 days. But she does need a visa to stay longer.

The question is: should my wife also apply to a Visa type D in Argentina, in addition to the dependent type B residence permit that we are applying directly in Geneva?

We are planning to move to Geneva on August 4th, so we still have time to do the paperwork here. We really don't want to be separated for so long, so our plan was to go together to Geneva and wait there to get her residence permit, while she is on the 'legal' 90 days period.

There is also a complication if we want to apply for a type D visa here. In the form, we need to include my residence permit type B, which I don't have yet. This is why I really hope that applying for her dependent B permit is enough, and we don't really need the D visa.

I would be really grateful for any information about this!
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Old 03.06.2019, 19:04
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

Check out family reunification, that is what you need.
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Old 04.06.2019, 07:38
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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Hi everyone,

I am new in this forum, I looked for this topic but couldn't find a precise answer. Maybe someone has the relevant experience?

I am an Italian scientist and will be doing my PhD at the University of Geneva. There, my director is doing the paperwork so I can get an EU type B work/residence permit, and my non-EU wife gets a type B permit (dependent).

My wife is from Argentina, she does not need a Visa to stay up to 90 days. But she does need a visa to stay longer.

The question is: should my wife also apply to a Visa type D in Argentina, in addition to the dependent type B residence permit that we are applying directly in Geneva?

We are planning to move to Geneva on August 4th, so we still have time to do the paperwork here. We really don't want to be separated for so long, so our plan was to go together to Geneva and wait there to get her residence permit, while she is on the 'legal' 90 days period.

There is also a complication if we want to apply for a type D visa here. In the form, we need to include my residence permit type B, which I don't have yet. This is why I really hope that applying for her dependent B permit is enough, and we don't really need the D visa.

I would be really grateful for any information about this!
No, the permit is not enough. She needs the visa to enter Switzerland legally for more than the time allowed as a tourist. All the D visa is an entry visa, it does nothing more than that.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/content/sem...reise/faq.html

You will also need to provide proof of accommodation here as part of the requirements for family reunification

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/
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Old 06.06.2019, 12:10
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

Hi there!

I'm also a non-EU spouse of a EU citizen, and actually got my residence permit (B permit) without an entry visa / D visa. Unfortunately I cannot say that this will also be the case for your wife, though. This is what happened to me (read on if you're curious):

-I had been living in Holland for many years and got a permanent residence permit there, before moving to Switzerland.
- My husband moved to Zurich to start his work, and at the same time I came along as a tourist (I'm allowed to stay in Schengen countries up to 90 days without a visa and this time I was just visiting for a week). This was end of September last year.
- We went to the townhall/Kreisburo together to register residency and apply for a residence permit of my husband a few days after our arrival.
- We asked them if I'd need a D visa in order to stay in Switzerland for more than 90 days.
- The lady there, who was very friendly, explained that I can just come without any special visa, which was a great news to us! Saves some paperwork.
- I went back to Holland.
- I finally moved to Switzerland early in December (I couldn't move right away as we first had to arrange a lot of stuff, such as moving, selling our house, getting a new house, etc.).
- We went to another townhall/Kreisburo (in a different neighborhood where our new place is located) to apply for my residence permit, with my passport and our marriage certificate.
- The official checked my passport for quite a while, turns out she was trying to find my D visa. I told her that I got told from a different Kreisburo that I wouldn't need any visa and therefore I came to Zurich without it. She said I'd still need a D visa as I'm from a non-Eu country. I was actually afraid that this might happen, and thought what I heard at the first Kreisburo was too good to be true.
- She still processed my application, saying that it's not up to her but to the migration office to decide if it will be accepted or not. I paid the application fee right there as well. She also already made me an appointment for biometrics (photo and fingerprints for my residency card, which is only for non-EU citizens).
- After some time, I got a mail from the migration office. They were just simply asking for some additional stuff, such as a copy of our apartment rental contract. Nothing about my D visa.
- I was still quite nervous about the situation, and my husband called up the migration office to make sure everything is fine. The lady on the phone was apparently very friendly at first, she started to explain almost immediately that I would need a D visa and need to do such and such (the standard procedure of immigration). So my husband tried to explain what happened to us, and all of sudden she turned pretty agressive, saying something like "why are you calling us then?" So he continued to explain further, saying we just wanted to check if we got correct information. The woman calmed down, and said we'd just have to wait for the decision.
- I went to the migration office for biometrics on the scheduled date, which was pretty simple. I asked them in person if they had any info about the status of my application, and they said they did receive it and I'd just need to wait.
- After about 5 stressful weeks from my application (the wait was a bit longer because of Christmas and new year holidays), I finally got my residence permit in the mail. What a relief!!!

So it appears that officially non-EU spouses would first need to apply for a D visa before coming to Swizterland if they intend to stay more than 90 days, but as you can see, it seems that there's still some confusion even among the officials. Or maybe they were just being practical/flexible when they got my application and generously granted me the permit (my D visa application would have been accepted anyway - my husband is from a EU country, and his new job provides very well financially).

Apparently it's also possible to get a residence permit without the visa, though it's of course not always guaranteed. I had also searched a lot for more information in this forum while I was waiting for my permit. I saw some people saying they just went to register without getting a D visa and got their residence permit, but also read about stories of unfortunate others being sent away to their own country of the country where they were previously living in order to pick up their visa. So it looks like it really depends. I guess I was lucky.

The whole process and waiting was very stresful as everything was so uncertain, so if I had been told that I'd need a D visa at the first Kreisburo, I would have just gotten it first. I believe that things are also different depending on the region in Switzerland, so I wouldn't really know how it'd work in Geneva or other cities.

I just wanted to share my own experience and give you some insights. I hope this somewhat helps and wish you and your wife good luck!

JC
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Old 06.06.2019, 12:19
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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Hi there!

I'm also a non-EU spouse of a EU citizen, and actually got my residence permit (B permit) without an entry visa / D visa. Unfortunately I cannot say that this will also be the case for your wife, though. This is what happened to me (read on if you're curious):

-I had been living in Holland for many years and got a permanent residence permit there, before moving to Switzerland.
- My husband moved to Zurich to start his work, and at the same time I came along as a tourist (I'm allowed to stay in Schengen countries up to 90 days without a visa and this time I was just visiting for a week). This was end of September last year.
- We went to the townhall/Kreisburo together to register residency and apply for a residence permit of my husband a few days after our arrival.
- We asked them if I'd need a D visa in order to stay in Switzerland for more than 90 days.
- The lady there, who was very friendly, explained that I can just come without any special visa, which was a great news to us! Saves some paperwork.
- I went back to Holland.
- I finally moved to Switzerland early in December (I couldn't move right away as we first had to arrange a lot of stuff, such as moving, selling our house, getting a new house, etc.).
- We went to another townhall/Kreisburo (in a different neighborhood where our new place is located) to apply for my residence permit, with my passport and our marriage certificate.
- The official checked my passport for quite a while, turns out she was trying to find my D visa. I told her that I got told from a different Kreisburo that I wouldn't need any visa and therefore I came to Zurich without it. She said I'd still need a D visa as I'm from a non-Eu country. I was actually afraid that this might happen, and thought what I heard at the first Kreisburo was too good to be true.
- She still processed my application, saying that it's not up to her but to the migration office to decide if it will be accepted or not. I paid the application fee right there as well. She also already made me an appointment for biometrics (photo and fingerprints for my residency card, which is only for non-EU citizens).
- After some time, I got a mail from the migration office. They were just simply asking for some additional stuff, such as a copy of our apartment rental contract. Nothing about my D visa.
- I was still quite nervous about the situation, and my husband called up the migration office to make sure everything is fine. The lady on the phone was apparently very friendly at first, she started to explain almost immediately that I would need a D visa and need to do such and such (the standard procedure of immigration). So my husband tried to explain what happened to us, and all of sudden she turned pretty agressive, saying something like "why are you calling us then?" So he continued to explain further, saying we just wanted to check if we got correct information. The woman calmed down, and said we'd just have to wait for the decision.
- I went to the migration office for biometrics on the scheduled date, which was pretty simple. I asked them in person if they had any info about the status of my application, and they said they did receive it and I'd just need to wait.
- After about 5 stressful weeks from my application (the wait was a bit longer because of Christmas and new year holidays), I finally got my residence permit in the mail. What a relief!!!

So it appears that officially non-EU spouses would first need to apply for a D visa before coming to Swizterland if they intend to stay more than 90 days, but as you can see, it seems that there's still some confusion even among the officials. Or maybe they were just being practical/flexible when they got my application and generously granted me the permit (my D visa application would have been accepted anyway - my husband is from a EU country, and his new job provides very well financially).

Apparently it's also possible to get a residence permit without the visa, though it's of course not always guaranteed. I had also searched a lot for more information in this forum while I was waiting for my permit. I saw some people saying they just went to register without getting a D visa and got their residence permit, but also read about stories of unfortunate others being sent away to their own country of the country where they were previously living in order to pick up their visa. So it looks like it really depends. I guess I was lucky.

The whole process and waiting was very stresful as everything was so uncertain, so if I had been told that I'd need a D visa at the first Kreisburo, I would have just gotten it first. I believe that things are also different depending on the region in Switzerland, so I wouldn't really know how it'd work in Geneva or other cities.

I just wanted to share my own experience and give you some insights. I hope this somewhat helps and wish you and your wife good luck!

JC
The difference here is that you were already in the EU and had permanent residency in Holland, the OP's spouse is not so a D visa will be necessary for them to enter Switzerland legally.
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Old 06.06.2019, 12:28
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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The difference here is that you were already in the EU and had permanent residency in Holland, the OP's spouse is not so a D visa will be necessary for them to enter Switzerland legally.
Thank you for your reply. That's also what I read before in this forum, but then I think someone said the rule changed later, so I wasn't sure. So it hasn't changed then? Maybe that's indeed what helped me with my permit, but then why did the other officials tell us that I'd need a D visa, even if we told them that I was already living in EU and have a permanent residency in Holland? It's still a mystery to me. Oh well.

It seems that OP doesn't specify where they are currently living. Anyway, if they are both already in Italy or another EU country, hopefully his wife will be exempted from the visa as well?
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Old 06.06.2019, 12:30
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

Oh, now I see that his location is Argentina. Sorry!
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Old 06.06.2019, 12:33
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

Because even the officials don't always know the rules and regs.
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Old 06.06.2019, 12:45
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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Because even the officials don't always know the rules and regs.
It for sure looks like it, and that casued me a lot of stress. But I won't complain any further.

Once again, good luck to the OP and his wife!
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Old 06.06.2019, 17:51
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

My fiance and I were told the same thing... I am Non-EU, and I submitted all the documents for family reunification, so currently waiting for the visa. However, my fiance was told that I wouldn't need a visa to enter the country from an official there, which has me more than a bit confused. Every official site that I've read says a visa is needed, and even the Embassy told me this.
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Old 06.06.2019, 18:22
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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My fiance and I were told the same thing... I am Non-EU, and I submitted all the documents for family reunification, so currently waiting for the visa. However, my fiance was told that I wouldn't need a visa to enter the country from an official there, which has me more than a bit confused. Every official site that I've read says a visa is needed, and even the Embassy told me this.
And they are right, you need the Type D visa.

It says so clearly here:

Entry and stay formalities
In order to obtain a residence permit, family members must present the following documents:

o a valid identity card or passport;
o a visa (for non EU/EFTA citizens who are subject to a visa requirement in order to enter Switzerland);
o a certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin confirming that the person is a family member of the EU/EFTA citizen living in Switzerland;
o for persons (relatives in the ascending and descending lines, e.g. parents, grandparents, children) who will be receiving support from the EU/EFTA citizen, a certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin confirming that an EU/EFTA citizen living in Switzerland has agreed to provide support for the person or that the person will live in the same house as the said EU/EFTA citizen.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/dam/data/se...nnachzug-e.pdf
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Old 07.06.2019, 04:58
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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Hi there!

I'm also a non-EU spouse of a EU citizen, and actually got my residence permit (B permit) without an entry visa / D visa. Unfortunately I cannot say that this will also be the case for your wife, though. This is what happened to me (read on if you're curious):

-I had been living in Holland for many years and got a permanent residence permit there, before moving to Switzerland.
- My husband moved to Zurich to start his work, and at the same time I came along as a tourist (I'm allowed to stay in Schengen countries up to 90 days without a visa and this time I was just visiting for a week). This was end of September last year.
- We went to the townhall/Kreisburo together to register residency and apply for a residence permit of my husband a few days after our arrival.
- We asked them if I'd need a D visa in order to stay in Switzerland for more than 90 days.
- The lady there, who was very friendly, explained that I can just come without any special visa, which was a great news to us! Saves some paperwork.
- I went back to Holland.
- I finally moved to Switzerland early in December (I couldn't move right away as we first had to arrange a lot of stuff, such as moving, selling our house, getting a new house, etc.).
- We went to another townhall/Kreisburo (in a different neighborhood where our new place is located) to apply for my residence permit, with my passport and our marriage certificate.
- The official checked my passport for quite a while, turns out she was trying to find my D visa. I told her that I got told from a different Kreisburo that I wouldn't need any visa and therefore I came to Zurich without it. She said I'd still need a D visa as I'm from a non-Eu country. I was actually afraid that this might happen, and thought what I heard at the first Kreisburo was too good to be true.
- She still processed my application, saying that it's not up to her but to the migration office to decide if it will be accepted or not. I paid the application fee right there as well. She also already made me an appointment for biometrics (photo and fingerprints for my residency card, which is only for non-EU citizens).
- After some time, I got a mail from the migration office. They were just simply asking for some additional stuff, such as a copy of our apartment rental contract. Nothing about my D visa.
- I was still quite nervous about the situation, and my husband called up the migration office to make sure everything is fine. The lady on the phone was apparently very friendly at first, she started to explain almost immediately that I would need a D visa and need to do such and such (the standard procedure of immigration). So my husband tried to explain what happened to us, and all of sudden she turned pretty agressive, saying something like "why are you calling us then?" So he continued to explain further, saying we just wanted to check if we got correct information. The woman calmed down, and said we'd just have to wait for the decision.
- I went to the migration office for biometrics on the scheduled date, which was pretty simple. I asked them in person if they had any info about the status of my application, and they said they did receive it and I'd just need to wait.
- After about 5 stressful weeks from my application (the wait was a bit longer because of Christmas and new year holidays), I finally got my residence permit in the mail. What a relief!!!

So it appears that officially non-EU spouses would first need to apply for a D visa before coming to Swizterland if they intend to stay more than 90 days, but as you can see, it seems that there's still some confusion even among the officials. Or maybe they were just being practical/flexible when they got my application and generously granted me the permit (my D visa application would have been accepted anyway - my husband is from a EU country, and his new job provides very well financially).

Apparently it's also possible to get a residence permit without the visa, though it's of course not always guaranteed. I had also searched a lot for more information in this forum while I was waiting for my permit. I saw some people saying they just went to register without getting a D visa and got their residence permit, but also read about stories of unfortunate others being sent away to their own country of the country where they were previously living in order to pick up their visa. So it looks like it really depends. I guess I was lucky.

The whole process and waiting was very stresful as everything was so uncertain, so if I had been told that I'd need a D visa at the first Kreisburo, I would have just gotten it first. I believe that things are also different depending on the region in Switzerland, so I wouldn't really know how it'd work in Geneva or other cities.

I just wanted to share my own experience and give you some insights. I hope this somewhat helps and wish you and your wife good luck!

JC
Hi JayC,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It does seem to be in some kind of a grey area when talking to certain officials (I had the same experience in the embassy from my country), but as others suggest, the normative regulations are clear, my spouse does need a visa.

She is going to apply for one in Argentina. I just have two more doubts that maybe you can help me with:

question 1: how much anticipation before the planned entry date is needed when applying for the visa?

question 2: since I still don't have my residence permit number, my wife is leaving that box blank in the visa application and simply mentioning that her spouse has already applied to an EU B permit, and he (I) has included her in the application. Do you think that this will be ok? Or it would be best to wait until I get my residence number?

Thank you again for your help!
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Old 07.06.2019, 05:02
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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And they are right, you need the Type D visa.

It says so clearly here:

Entry and stay formalities
In order to obtain a residence permit, family members must present the following documents:

o a valid identity card or passport;
o a visa (for non EU/EFTA citizens who are subject to a visa requirement in order to enter Switzerland);
o a certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin confirming that the person is a family member of the EU/EFTA citizen living in Switzerland;
o for persons (relatives in the ascending and descending lines, e.g. parents, grandparents, children) who will be receiving support from the EU/EFTA citizen, a certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin confirming that an EU/EFTA citizen living in Switzerland has agreed to provide support for the person or that the person will live in the same house as the said EU/EFTA citizen.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/dam/data/se...nnachzug-e.pdf
Hi Medea Fleecestealer,

I am just quoting your message to see if you can help me with the questions I asked in my answer to JayC

Thank you again for your help!
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  #14  
Old 07.06.2019, 07:05
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

For 1 not really sure. I think the average is 6-8 weeks but it can depend on whether they need extra paperwork. The embassy will be able to give you a better idea of that.

For 2, it shouldn't be a problem, the visa application should get matched up with your husband's permit along the way. You can always send them the info once he/you know it as well.
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Old 07.06.2019, 12:29
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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Hi JayC,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It does seem to be in some kind of a grey area when talking to certain officials (I had the same experience in the embassy from my country), but as others suggest, the normative regulations are clear, my spouse does need a visa.

She is going to apply for one in Argentina. I just have two more doubts that maybe you can help me with:

question 1: how much anticipation before the planned entry date is needed when applying for the visa?

question 2: since I still don't have my residence permit number, my wife is leaving that box blank in the visa application and simply mentioning that her spouse has already applied to an EU B permit, and he (I) has included her in the application. Do you think that this will be ok? Or it would be best to wait until I get my residence number?

Thank you again for your help!
You are very welcome!

I'm afraid I can't help you with those questions as I've never gone through the visa process, but I see that Medea Fleecestealer kindly followed up with them. I believe you'd indeed be best advised by contacting the embassy directly. All the best to you!
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Old 09.06.2019, 08:08
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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For 1 not really sure. I think the average is 6-8 weeks but it can depend on whether they need extra paperwork. The embassy will be able to give you a better idea of that.

For 2, it shouldn't be a problem, the visa application should get matched up with your husband's permit along the way. You can always send them the info once he/you know it as well.
Hi Medea Fleecestealer,

I have been reading some threads from people in a similar situation and I am now very worried... maybe you can tell me if you think my wife has good chances of getting the visa D:

-- I am Italian and will be doing my PhD at the University of Geneva. My wife is non-EU (Argentina). My salary will be 46250 before taxes. In the B permit, we mentioned that we will stay at my director's place (as we were instructed by him), who has a big house in the city.
-- My wife doesn't have A1 french level yet (currently studying) but she enrolled in a course in Geneva in August. If we don't get the visa soon, she will have to attend this course as a tourist.
-- We live together in Argentina and have been married just for a few months. She studies academic music, and her plan is applying to the Conservatory of Geneva. We are both 25 years old. My family is in a very good financial situation (they will help us if we can't manage with my salary), but I don't know if I should include this somehow in the visa application.


Do you think we have good chances of getting her visa D? What can we do to improve the chances?

Thank you very much!
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Old 09.06.2019, 09:06
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

I honestly can't say. It's up to the Swiss authorities whether they'll grant a family reunification permit or not.

You will probably need some sort of document from your director saying he's given you permission to live in his property since you won't have a rental agreement I assume.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/content/dam...nnachzug-e.pdf
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Old 09.06.2019, 19:24
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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-- My wife doesn't have A1 french level yet (currently studying) but she enrolled in a course in Geneva in August. If we don't get the visa soon, she will have to attend this course as a tourist.
I seem to remember reading on this forum that a visa D holder must enter the Schengen area using the D visa, with Switzerland as point of entry, and the visa must be picked up from the embassy you applied for the visa at.

I may be wrong though, perhaps others can comment.
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Old 09.06.2019, 19:43
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

Would she be able to? I guess it depends on how long the course is for. So long as within the tourist time limit maybe, but I'd ask the embassy to be sure.
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Old 09.06.2019, 21:44
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Re: EU national with B permit -- Non-eu spouse needs visa?

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Would she be able to? I guess it depends on how long the course is for. So long as within the tourist time limit maybe, but I'd ask the embassy to be sure.
Well, the course is 6 weeks long, and she has a return ticket after that, so I think it will be ok.

Thank you!
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