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  #21  
Old 13.08.2019, 15:31
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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The canton has not yet approved my application. I was just told I passed the first preliminary step.

My probational period is 3 months. Does this matter to Work Permit?

Why did you think there is a "surprise"? I don't quite understand
What he means is that dealing with uncertainty seems to be challenging for you and it might therefore be best to consider twice whether it's a good idea for you to move to a country where there's no employee protection, where you can be let go without cause at any time, during probation period or after, and where a termination of your contract would also lead to a loss of your work & residence permit (as it does elsewhere of course).


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Yes, the company applied the Work Permit for me. Just 1 week ago. They told me I passed the first step of the process. I guess this is just a preliminary step.

The company just started one week ago. They told me I passed the first step. But i think this is just a small step though.
Btw I only saw this now: 1 week? But you do realize it takes 8-12 weeks for any application to be processed, no matter the outcome? I thought you were already waiting for over 2 months or something, which would explain at least some of your anxiety. I then also revise my earlier statement - the first hurdle is barely a hurdle as they approve anything anyway, that's largely a formality. The second and third step are crucial.

So I advise again and am awaiting the next groan: if you are this anxious after just one week, then you should really reconsider whether this would be the right move for you at all.

Also, to be clear: the company has no way of supervising the process either and will at best be told "it's with authority X", but often not even that. It is simply not possible to give more information.

Last edited by Samaire13; 13.08.2019 at 15:56.
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  #22  
Old 13.08.2019, 16:51
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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No, it absolutely does not matter for the permit. 3 months are normal.

The surprise is that getting job and permit is actually easy, keeping the job in the first three month can be much more difficult and less certain as you can be sacked no question asked with short notice time.
Wow, are companies in Switzerland that strict? I learnt Swiss work is very high-quality though.

Also, my company is actually a global chemical company originated from the US.
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Old 13.08.2019, 17:05
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Wow, are companies in Switzerland that strict? I learnt Swiss work is very high-quality though.

No, the immigration policy is strict for non EU, as it is in several other countries.
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Old 14.08.2019, 04:03
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

Those of us who've been in Switzerland a while know that the procedures just take time and cannot be speeded up. I think we're so used to this by now that some were surprised that you could "already" be concerned about not having heard the result of your application... after only 1 week. Don't worry, though, your question is fine: you're asking, after all, because you don't know. And that's completely okay. At some point, though, it's probably better if you just accept that it's the way the "oldies" here say. No need to groan them. They do know what they're writing about.

I think that if a company is going to the trouble of trying to get a permit for you, then they probably think you are worth their effort. So that's a good sign, already.

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Wow, are companies in Switzerland that strict? I learnt Swiss work is very high-quality though.
The point others have made about the [un]certainty of any job in Switzerland is because we know that in some other countries there are extensive laws to protect employees from being dismissed. In some countries, the employment laws require that an employer must go through certain stages of warnings and training and disciplinary measures, etc., before a dismissal can be made legally. In Switzerland, however, any employer and any employee can terminate the contract at any time (with very few exceptions, such as pregnancy, or proven racial discrimination), as long as they fulfil the contractual notice period, or by mutual agreement. During the probation period (typically 3 months) the notice period is usually very short (typically one or two weeks). Once you've gotten through that, the notice period increases to 1, 2 and 3 months, according to your years of service and contract.

For many people coming from a country enjoying greater employee protection, this can be quite a surprise and rather unnerving. It is, however, just a basic condition of anyone's employement contract in Switzerland.

Yes, I suppose in a sense Swiss employers are strict. They require their employees to Get On With It and do the work required and, as I experience it, most people do just that. Yes, this leads to a general high quality of the work done here, in every field. The baker bakes good bread, the electrician installs safe wiring, the engineer designs reliable structures, the painter knows about the right kinds of treatments for the walls, the bus and the train run on time, the government officials process the applications. This is one of the wonderful aspects of Switzerland.

The criminally dishonest will be dismissed immediately. Others who typically are fired are the lazy ones, and those whose people-skills or sense of responsibility are so poor that they cause everyone else in the team to suffer greatly, and/or the projects to be delayed. The main reason for anyone's contract to be terminated is, however, usually simply a business decision, such as out-sourcing a department's work and closing it down in Switzerland.

All of this should not, however, put you off trying to work here (it's an amazingly efficient country, and breathtakingly beautiful, and it's not a crazy hot-headed hire-and-fire world), unless you happen to really, really crave security and certainty. If that's the case for you, then you'd probably sleep more peacefully if you took the post in Sweden (with greater employee rights, as far as I have heard), especially if you can make it permanent.

I hope that helps you to understand a bit more about the cultural setting of your questions and the answers you received. There are some good, solid Swiss people on this Forum. Many others here come from all sorts of countries, but have settled and found their way living here, more or less happily.

Please do keep us updated about the progress on your permit.
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Old 14.08.2019, 04:22
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Those of us who've been in Switzerland a while know that the procedures just take time and cannot be speeded up. I think we're so used to this by now that some were surprised that you could "already" be concerned about not having heard the result of your application... after only 1 week. Don't worry, though, your question is fine: you're asking, after all, because you don't know. And that's completely okay. At some point, though, it's probably better if you just accept that it's the way the "oldies" here say. No need to groan them. They do know what they're writing about.

I think that if a company is going to the trouble of trying to get a permit for you, then they probably think you are worth their effort. So that's a good sign, already.


The point others have made about the [un]certainty of any job in Switzerland is because we know that in some other countries there are extensive laws to protect employees from being dismissed. In some countries, the employment laws require that an employer must go through certain stages of warnings and training and disciplinary measures, etc., before a dismissal can be made legally. In Switzerland, however, any employer and any employee can terminate the contract at any time (with very few exceptions, such as pregnancy, or proven racial discrimination), as long as they fulfil the contractual notice period, or by mutual agreement. During the probation period (typically 3 months) the notice period is usually very short (typically one or two weeks). Once you've gotten through that, the notice period increases to 1, 2 and 3 months, according to your years of service and contract.

For many people coming from a country enjoying greater employee protection, this can be quite a surprise and rather unnerving. It is, however, just a basic condition of anyone's employement contract in Switzerland.

Yes, I suppose in a sense Swiss employers are strict. They require their employees to Get On With It and do the work required and, as I experience it, most people do just that. Yes, this leads to a general high quality of the work done here, in every field. The baker bakes good bread, the electrician installs safe wiring, the engineer designs reliable structures, the painter knows about the right kinds of treatments for the walls, the bus and the train run on time, the government officials process the applications. This is one of the wonderful aspects of Switzerland.

The criminally dishonest will be dismissed immediately. Others who typically are fired are the lazy ones, and those whose people-skills or sense of responsibility are so poor that they cause everyone else in the team to suffer greatly, and/or the projects to be delayed. The main reason for anyone's contract to be terminated is, however, usually simply a business decision, such as out-sourcing a department's work and closing it down in Switzerland.

All of this should not, however, put you off trying to work here (it's an amazingly efficient country, and breathtakingly beautiful, and it's not a crazy hot-headed hire-and-fire world), unless you happen to really, really crave security and certainty. If that's the case for you, then you'd probably sleep more peacefully if you took the post in Sweden (with greater employee rights, as far as I have heard), especially if you can make it permanent.

I hope that helps you to understand a bit more about the cultural setting of your questions and the answers you received. There are some good, solid Swiss people on this Forum. Many others here come from all sorts of countries, but have settled and found their way living here, more or less happily.

Please do keep us updated about the progress on your permit.
Indeed, my company is a US company, but have a branch in Basel. Their advertisement video stresses an employee-oriented culture. Do you think this makes the situation better?

I was just told I can now go to Sweden to work (Permit issued). But it is a Postdoc job, hence temporary but not permanent. I am going to refuse the offer.
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Old 14.08.2019, 04:33
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Indeed, my company is a US company, but have a branch in Basel. Their advertisement video stresses an employee-oriented culture. Do you think this makes the situation better?
No. As the others have written, I don't think which-company-it-is makes a jot of difference with regard to their success, or not, of getting a permit to employ you. The procedures apply, and that's all. It does, however, sound very nice that they are oriented around keeping their workforce happy.

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I was just told I can now go to Sweden to work (Permit issued). But it is a Postdoc job, hence temporary but not permanent. I am going to refuse the offer.
Can you write (or [video]-call) to thank them and explain that you have another potential offer, but that it is dependent upon a work permit, and ask whether they can see any way to offer you more security with regard to duration? Can you say that you would be interested if it could be made into a permanent position? I mention this because they, too, will not be randomly distributing postdoc positions, but must also find something about your work and your person worth having. Therefore, you surely have very little to lose by asking.

Especially if you are cordial and non-pushy - and the more so if your work is splendid - they might see whether there is anything at all that they could change about the conditions of the contract, in your favour. And even if it comes down to a plain "sorry, no", you may achieve a little more in building that relationship, and keeping that door open for a possible different phase of your life. After all, if you do work in Switzerland, you're likely to meet those people, sooner or later, at a European conference.

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Old 14.08.2019, 07:44
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

Getting a job offer in Switzerland is very difficult, you might never get this chance again. Getting a permit is usually a formality, very rarely there is a rejection. Canton of Basel has several multinational companies and has to support them by granting work permits. I would not worry at all about the permit, just wait for it.
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Old 14.08.2019, 10:03
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Getting a job offer in Switzerland is very difficult, you might never get this chance again. Getting a permit is usually a formality, very rarely there is a rejection. Canton of Basel has several multinational companies and has to support them by granting work permits. I would not worry at all about the permit, just wait for it.
You are completely turning over the discussion. Please note OP is Non EU and his chances of work permit approval depend on lot of factors and also there are quotas applicable for NON EU. so a work permit approval for a NON EU is never guaranteed. it can really go either ways.


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Old 14.08.2019, 12:00
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Indeed, my company is a US company, but have a branch in Basel. Their advertisement video stresses an employee-oriented culture. Do you think this makes the situation better?

I was just told I can now go to Sweden to work (Permit issued). But it is a Postdoc job, hence temporary but not permanent. I am going to refuse the offer.
That's a tough one. Normally I would not say to turn down a job where the permit is already issued, even if it isn't where you ultimately want to be. At the same time, if you are given a permit in Switzerland a few months from now you'd have to leave the Swedish job and that could be awkward.
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Old 14.08.2019, 12:50
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Getting a job offer in Switzerland is very difficult, you might never get this chance again. Getting a permit is usually a formality, very rarely there is a rejection. Canton of Basel has several multinational companies and has to support them by granting work permits. I would not worry at all about the permit, just wait for it.
You couldn't be more wrong, sorry. Non-EU applications are way more than a formality and indeed get rejected on a regular basis, though it's of course often those where it's been obvious from the get-go that they stand zero chance of being approved. MNCs have some power, but it's hardly unlimited.

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Indeed, my company is a US company, but have a branch in Basel. Their advertisement video stresses an employee-oriented culture. Do you think this makes the situation better?
Don't all companies say that?

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Old 15.08.2019, 02:00
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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That's a tough one. Normally I would not say to turn down a job where the permit is already issued, even if it isn't where you ultimately want to be. At the same time, if you are given a permit in Switzerland a few months from now you'd have to leave the Swedish job and that could be awkward.
I know I will have an uncomfortable email to my employer supervisor to let her know where I decided to go. I also feel very sad. But please understand I just had too many uncertainties.

By the way, if I got a Sweden Work Permit, but i decided later on to work in other countries. This means I have to cancel the Work Permit. Any consequence there?
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Old 15.08.2019, 14:20
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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I know I will have an uncomfortable email to my employer supervisor to let her know where I decided to go. I also feel very sad. But please understand I just had too many uncertainties.

By the way, if I got a Sweden Work Permit, but i decided later on to work in other countries. This means I have to cancel the Work Permit. Any consequence there?
I don't see how canceling the Swedish contract gives you more certainty in your current situation, but do what you like.

I don't know about consequences. If you turn down the Swedish job, perhaps that company will not want to offer you a job in the future. If it's similar to Switzerland (which I don't know), the company spends time and money to apply for the permit and would not be thrilled.

In Switzerland, as a non-EU citizen, your work permit is your residence permit, so you have to leave the country if you cancel it.
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Old 24.08.2019, 16:14
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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I know I will have an uncomfortable email to my employer supervisor to let her know where I decided to go. I also feel very sad. But please understand I just had too many uncertainties.

By the way, if I got a Sweden Work Permit, but i decided later on to work in other countries. This means I have to cancel the Work Permit. Any consequence there?
Hey- wanted to check if you heard anything on your permit. Mine has been submitted at about the same time as yours.
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Old 25.08.2019, 09:54
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Hey- wanted to check if you heard anything on your permit. Mine has been submitted at about the same time as yours.
The HR said I have passed the first and second step of the process. She said the second step is the "most critical". There is still one more step to be finished then I will get the Permit.

She is quite optimistic. What she told me is that the final step is like a formality and is just a matter of time. I guess the "third step" is the Federal approval, probably.

Yet, my Permit is still not finalized.

There have been about 3 weeks since my Permit application was submitted.

PS: The HR has worked in my company in Switzerland for > 8 years.
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Old 25.08.2019, 13:15
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

Thanks for a quick response. Which Canton is this and by first and second step do you mean submitting the application and then getting cantonal approval?
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Old 25.08.2019, 15:00
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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She is quite optimistic. What she told me is that the final step is like a formality and is just a matter of time. I guess the "third step" is the Federal approval, probably.
The federal approval is not at all a formality It's more likely you got the cantonal labor market approval (first step) and federal approval of the first approval allowing you to grab a unit of new B permit quota (second and very much crucial).
Now it's probably up to the Basel Migrationsamt to issue the final approval of the Stellenantritt letter to your employer (allowing you to continue work and order the new residence permit to be printed.
That is a pure formality (unless you managed to commit a serious crime since the first approval ), hope you get your permit in another week or so.
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Old 25.08.2019, 20:41
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

Good that you did not go to Sweden for a post doc job. They really mistreat foreign workers there at the University level with the types of contracts on offer. I had a choice between Geneva and Stockholm and I picked Geneva over a non-taxed no-benefit contract in Sweden. Yes no tax = great salary. However no tax = no personalnummer = no access to any benefits which makes Sweden nice to live in also makes you not exist in the eyes of pretty much anyone that asks for the number.

Getting out of academia after two years of postdoc is great. Don't be scared of rejection and burrow back into the University system which just takes advantage of PhD holders with never ending postdocs.

That aside, just keep calm. These things take awhile. Once you come you'll wait for your actual physical permit, your apartment, your cell phone, your bank account. If you are this stressed about a permit approval you will not be able to handle the uncertainty in you daily life. You'll come up on the same situation whenever you move flats, change phone providers etc as they all want notice but the next provider usually cannot guarantee you anything.
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Old 25.08.2019, 21:24
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Thanks for a quick response. Which Canton is this and by first and second step do you mean submitting the application and then getting cantonal approval?
I will be in Basel. I really know nothing about the "first" and "second" step.....

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The federal approval is not at all a formality It's more likely you got the cantonal labor market approval (first step) and federal approval of the first approval allowing you to grab a unit of new B permit quota (second and very much crucial).
Now it's probably up to the Basel Migrationsamt to issue the final approval of the Stellenantritt letter to your employer (allowing you to continue work and order the new residence permit to be printed.
That is a pure formality (unless you managed to commit a serious crime since the first approval ), hope you get your permit in another week or so.
Indeed, the HR told me this through phone call. She even told me to start looking at Basel city (accommodation/culture/food etc.). It seems like she is really confident. One thing I am thinking is that my application was submitted just in the early August. Do you think my application can go through the 1st and 2nd step you described that fast?

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Good that you did not go to Sweden for a post doc job. They really mistreat foreign workers there at the University level with the types of contracts on offer. I had a choice between Geneva and Stockholm and I picked Geneva over a non-taxed no-benefit contract in Sweden. Yes no tax = great salary. However no tax = no personalnummer = no access to any benefits which makes Sweden nice to live in also makes you not exist in the eyes of pretty much anyone that asks for the number.

Getting out of academia after two years of postdoc is great. Don't be scared of rejection and burrow back into the University system which just takes advantage of PhD holders with never ending postdocs.

That aside, just keep calm. These things take awhile. Once you come you'll wait for your actual physical permit, your apartment, your cell phone, your bank account. If you are this stressed about a permit approval you will not be able to handle the uncertainty in you daily life. You'll come up on the same situation whenever you move flats, change phone providers etc as they all want notice but the next provider usually cannot guarantee you anything.
So bad I still haven't written email to my Sweden postdoc supervisor (my fault!)

Yes, in terms of financial and career outlook, permanent job is much better than postdoc. Yet, I have to really say good-bye to academia, so sad! Also, I will need to adjust myself to industrial setting.

Last edited by roegner; 25.08.2019 at 21:36.
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Old 31.08.2019, 19:34
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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The federal approval is not at all a formality It's more likely you got the cantonal labor market approval (first step) and federal approval of the first approval allowing you to grab a unit of new B permit quota (second and very much crucial).
Now it's probably up to the Basel Migrationsamt to issue the final approval of the Stellenantritt letter to your employer (allowing you to continue work and order the new residence permit to be printed.
That is a pure formality (unless you managed to commit a serious crime since the first approval ), hope you get your permit in another week or so.
Still waiting for the final step confirmation....

I think you are quite right, now my application is in the hands of Basel immigration office (see attached email from my HR)

Does the final step (if it is really formality) take so long ?? It has been 11 days already.....

I have to still apply for jobs before the confirmation of Work Permit......so exhausted.....
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Old 31.08.2019, 19:42
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Re: Relationship between company and Work Permit

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Btw I only saw this now: 1 week? But you do realize it takes 8-12 weeks for any application to be processed, no matter the outcome?
The Swiss embassies often say it takes 8-12 weeks, but lucky you if you manage that in Geneva. This is a cantonal matter so this depends on every canton, but in here at the moment the OCPM are flooded with applications and it can easily take 6 months or more to get a file assigned to an officer and get it reviewed in the following weeks... and as other forumers have said, there's absolutely nothing that anyone can do about it. Not the employer, not even a lawyer.
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