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View Poll Results: Do the Swiss like remote work agreements?
Yes, they like to keep up with new working concepts. 0 0%
Somewhat, certain regions and certain employers do. 0 0%
Seldom. Usually hard to negotiate if at all possible. 1 33.33%
No, they are conservative about working conditions. 2 66.67%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07.08.2019, 21:06
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Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

Hi Everyone,

I was discussing with a friend how possible it might be to do IT work for Switzerland remotely while living in the USA. I was hoping to hear about people's experiences with this or similar cases and find out what's possible, what's hard, what's hardly possible, and what to consider.

The ideal case would be something like doing 3rd level IT support (not really project work) with hours in the US from 06:00-12:00 (Eastern Time) corresponding to hours in Switzerland from 12:00-18:00 and be working 75%, so 6 hours per day. Can anyone share their experiences or thoughts on this?

A comparable example I know of is a case where some Hungarians living in Hungary work for the U.N. in Geneva and get a Swiss salary. Is this common?

Some concrete questions:
1. How would this affect a C-Residence-Permit?
2. Could this be done on a B-Residence-Permit?
3. WOuld one need to get a Grenzgänger (border crosser) permit instead of one of the permits I just listed?
4. To what degree would a residence permit even be necessary (not living in Switzerland)? Could one just have a work permit and not a residence permit?
5. If one was on the path to naturalization and citizenship, would this cause problems or maybe delay things? As I understand it the requirements are generally 12 uninterrupted years in Switzerland.
6. Any suggestions for employers who are friendly to such an arrangement?

Thank you for you advice!
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  #2  
Old 07.08.2019, 21:09
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

Hungarians living in Hungary are unlikely to be on B or C permits, unless they obtained it whilst in Switzerland, then left without giving it back.

For naturalization it is no longer 12 years, it is now 10. Further conditions apply.
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  #3  
Old 07.08.2019, 21:17
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

With what kind of systems and data would you be working? Data protection might be an issue when you are located in the US.
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Old 07.08.2019, 21:39
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

- Possible for Swiss/EU/EFTA citizens whilst anywhere in Swiss/EU/EFTA territory (minimum weekly return home required)
- Also possible for non-Swiss/EU/EFTA citizens whilst in bordering zones of Switzerland under strict conditions (daily return home required)

- Not possible for Swiss/EU/EFTA citizens living in non-Swiss/EU/EFTA territory (in this case the US)
- Not possible for non-Swiss/EU/EFTA citizens living in non-Swiss/EU/EFTA territory (in this case the US)

Neither of the last two cases allow for issuance or renewal of a Swiss residence permit. The only Swiss permit that allows work but doesn’t give the right to reside is a G permit (see above first two cases). What you describe would effectively interrupt residence in Switzerland and time counted towards citizenship.
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Old 07.08.2019, 21:40
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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...A comparable example I know of is a case where some Hungarians living in Hungary work for the U.N. in Geneva and get a Swiss salary. Is this common?
You can't compare the UN to a regular job. A Hungarian working in Hungary might work for the UN, but not on Swiss salaries and they don't have a Swiss work permit. Each duty station has its own salary scale and post adjustment percentage.

B and C permits are for people who are residents of Switzerland. If you live in the USA, you're not a resident of Switzerland.

If you do not have EU nationality, then the only way you get a G (cross-border) permit is if you have permanent residency in a neighboring country and commute to Switzerland.
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...willigung.html

If you're simply working for a Swiss company and not based here, you don't need a residence permit, you'll not get residency anyway, and you'll certainly not be eligible for citizenship any time soon.
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Old 07.08.2019, 21:48
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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The only Swiss permit that allows work but doesn’t give the right to reside is a G permit
Many people with the G permit live in Switzerland, they are de facto residents. Their legal residence however remains in another country. Whether they actually return to their home country on a regular basis is rarely if ever checked and is practically impossible to enforce.
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Old 07.08.2019, 21:54
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

Ok, so if I understand the comments right, the possibility of living in the USA and working for Switzerland / a Swiss company based in Switzerland would greatly mess up any residency achievements but otherwise would be possible.

For example, an American who had never set foot on Swiss soil could technically work for a Swiss employer remotely. Is this true?

Would this person need to have some sort of a Swiss work permit to do that (residency would be a US citizen residing at home in the US)?

Also, I've read that a C Permit allows up to 4 years absence abroad. Could one just return regularly to re-apply for C Permits, to keep the possibility open of moving back to Switzerland later? Say 4 years in the US, 1 year in Switzerland, repeat as necessary, for example?
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Old 07.08.2019, 21:57
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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an American who had never set foot on Swiss soil could technically work for a Swiss employer remotely. Is this true?
Technically possible, whether it is legal is another matter.
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Old 07.08.2019, 21:59
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

No employer would do this. I think you should be more realistic.

If I would look for off-shore 3rd level IT support (because that is basically the model), I would go for a low cost location. Definitely not for someone in the US.
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Old 07.08.2019, 22:02
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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For example, an American who had never set foot on Swiss soil could technically work for a Swiss employer remotely. Is this true?
No

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Would this person need to have some sort of a Swiss work permit to do that (residency would be a US citizen residing at home in the US)?
Again, not possible if you read above

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Also, I've read that a C Permit allows up to 4 years absence abroad. Could one just return regularly to re-apply for C Permits, to keep the possibility open of moving back to Switzerland later? Say 4 years in the US, 1 year in Switzerland, repeat as necessary, for example?
Nope
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  #11  
Old 07.08.2019, 22:11
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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...Also, I've read that a C Permit allows up to 4 years absence abroad. Could one just return regularly to re-apply for C Permits, to keep the possibility open of moving back to Switzerland later? Say 4 years in the US, 1 year in Switzerland, repeat as necessary, for example?
You're getting the cart before the horse. The C permit is permanent residency. That means you live in Switzerland. To request the C, you need to live in Switzerland for at least 5 years on a B permit and meet certain language and integration requirements. You can't just work for a Swiss company while living somewhere else.

There are limited reasons a C permit can be placed on hold. Examples include being sent abroad by your employer, or for study. The hold has to be pre-approved before you leave, and it can be up to 4 years but that's not guaranteed.

During the time the C permit is on hold, the years towards citizenship are also halted.

If your ultimate goals are C permit then citizenship, you need to rethink your strategy because this one is simply not going to work.
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Old 07.08.2019, 22:13
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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I've read that a C Permit allows up to 4 years absence abroad. Could one just return regularly to re-apply for C Permits, to keep the possibility open of moving back to Switzerland later? Say 4 years in the US, 1 year in Switzerland, repeat as necessary, for example?
Again, technically possible, doable certainly, as long as you have an address here, can pay health insurance and taxes here, keep up with tax returns and all your mail etc. But probably it would be considered cheating the system as the centre of your life is not in Switzerland, being practically never here. Of course it goes on though.
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Old 07.08.2019, 22:19
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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Hi Everyone,

I was discussing with a friend how possible it might be to do IT work for Switzerland remotely while living in the USA. I was hoping to hear about people's experiences with this or similar cases and find out what's possible, what's hard, what's hardly possible, and what to consider.

The ideal case would be something like doing 3rd level IT support (not really project work) with hours in the US from 06:00-12:00 (Eastern Time) corresponding to hours in Switzerland from 12:00-18:00 and be working 75%, so 6 hours per day. Can anyone share their experiences or thoughts on this?

A comparable example I know of is a case where some Hungarians living in Hungary work for the U.N. in Geneva and get a Swiss salary. Is this common?

Some concrete questions:
1. How would this affect a C-Residence-Permit?
2. Could this be done on a B-Residence-Permit?
3. WOuld one need to get a Grenzgänger (border crosser) permit instead of one of the permits I just listed?
4. To what degree would a residence permit even be necessary (not living in Switzerland)? Could one just have a work permit and not a residence permit?
5. If one was on the path to naturalization and citizenship, would this cause problems or maybe delay things? As I understand it the requirements are generally 12 uninterrupted years in Switzerland.
6. Any suggestions for employers who are friendly to such an arrangement?

Thank you for you advice!
1-4 Don't apply since you don't live here so don't need a permit.
5. Yes because without a C permit you can't become a Swiss citizen.
6. No experience with this, but why would they bother when they can find plenty of Swiss/EU nationals to do the job without all the paperwork hassle of employing you?
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Old 07.08.2019, 22:58
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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If I would look for off-shore 3rd level IT support (because that is basically the model), I would go for a low cost location. Definitely not for someone in the US.
Irony of ironies, parts of the US (Tenessee, North Carolina, Texas, etc.) are now low cost labor markets, and some Swiss companies have set up remote hubs, moving some of their IT work to those cities. Yep, chasing the lowest cost market has now come full circle.

At local wages of course. No one pays Swiss wages outside Switzerland... heck, a good number don't pay Swiss wages in Switzerland anymore. (Hint: The glory days of IT are long over.)

---

But to the OP - what exactly is your goal? Residence in Switzerland? As a non-EU citizen, that road is pretty damned hard these days. (ETA: Looking at your old posts, it seems you are already in Switzerland, or at least were. Now your question is even less clear...)

Sure there are lots of folks workin in the US for Swiss(ish) companies - hired as contractors, outsourced resource, remote employees, service providers. But these get you no closer to Switzerland. Remote employees are paid by the local subsidiary, contractors to Swiss companies are generally paid via an umbrella company, and service providers are simply suppliers, not employees.

So again - what is your goal here? Perhaps if you explained a little more clearly what you want to do we might be able to give more relevant advice.
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Old 07.08.2019, 23:01
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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4. To what degree would a residence permit even be necessary (not living in Switzerland)? Could one just have a work permit and not a residence permit?
No.

Tom
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Old 08.08.2019, 07:46
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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No.
Except if it were a G permit and you live in an EU country.
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Old 08.08.2019, 11:25
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Re: Live in USA, work in Switzerland (Remote IT)

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No employer would do this. I think you should be more realistic.
Many employer do this if if the worker is in Ireland, Hungary, India. It is called off-shoring and it is very common. No Swiss work permit needed. No Swiss taxes due. Also no Swiss social security benefits etc.

If you find an employer willing to do it for a one man show w/o any further references is an other story. Most likely not.
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