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Old 15.08.2019, 17:16
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EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

Hi there,

My C permit is due for renewal exactly a year from now- provided I meet the language/ residency requirements.

Bit about my situation

- Came to this country in 2015 and was issued a B permit for 5 years based on my job offer at that time

- In last 4 years I have lived in 3 different cantons (Bern -> Zurich -> Bern -> Vaud-> Zurich)

- Spent majority of my time in the French speaking part and hence I focused on learning French (currently at A2 level - might need few months of rigorous learning/practice to attain B1 level )

- Have changed jobs 3 times (Permanent -> 3 months chomage/RAV ->Contract 19 months -> 4 months chomage/RAV -> currently Contracting with a big internet company for past 10 months)

- Current contract ends in December but it is likely to get extended for another year. My client doesn't extend contracts for more than 2 years. So that means I will be out of this job contract by December 2020. Otherwise I'm very happy to work for this client as not many people get an opportunity to work for this global giant.

- Current B permit expires in October 2020- which means the canton where I will be residing then will send permit renewal forms by July 2020. I would have just 5 months before my job contract finishes.

- My current place of residence is Zurich, where the language requirement for C permit (based on my nationality) is at least B1 level German, which is challenging/impossible to achieve in 10 months. So my other option is to register/live in a French speaking canton for the entire next year (and attain B1 level proficiency in French before the permit renewal).

Was wondering what happens to my permit renewal application if I don't have a permanent job contract or required level of language proficiency at the time of application? Is there any commune/cantonal residency requirement for C permit?

My girlfriend for 4 years is Swiss but we don't have any plans of marrying each other. Also I don't want to leave Switzerland because I love my girlfriend and Switzerland.

I'm very confused at the moment and unable to decide what I should be doing? Whether to find a permanent job in the French speaking part? Or to continue this contract as its a well paid job with lot of flexibility in terms of work/timing etc (including remote working option every once in a while) and register/live in the French speaking part?

Is there a website where I could check the language requirements for the following cantons- Vaud/Geneva/Neuchatel/Bern(french part)?

Also I'm planning to buy an apartment (investment property) in Ticino. So I might as well consider moving to Ticino if it's easier to renew the permit without language requirement.
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Old 15.08.2019, 17:31
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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My C permit is due for renewal exactly a year from now- provided I meet the language/ residency requirements.
[...]
Current B permit expires in October 2020
Seems like there is no C permit "due for renewal", but you might apply for one given you meet all the required conditions. If you neither apply for C, nor meet the requirements for early C you will be given another B. AFAIK you could apply for a C permit any time once you meet all the requirements. No need to wait for regular renewal of your permit B. Also, there are no canton or commune residency requirements.

Canton Zurich has the federal minimum language requirements. In the worst other cantons have more stringent ones. In addition the requirements for written and spoken are different.
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Old 15.08.2019, 19:00
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

Why would you think Ticino doesn't have a language requirement? It would be Italian needed for that canton methinks.

I wouldn't buy anything property-wise until you have your permit situation sorted out.
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Old 15.08.2019, 22:18
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

Even if you don't meet the requirements for a C permit, you would still be able to renew the B permit for another 5 years. I don't know if you'd need a language certificate for the B, but even if you did it would not be as stringent as for the C.
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Old 15.08.2019, 23:29
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

if the contract of employment at the time of renewal has a duration of less than 1 year, you would get an L-permit instead of a B-permit. It would just make your situation more difficult if you go again through a phase of unemployment before the yearly renewal of the contract takes place. Depending on the precise dates on which you have to renew your permit in October and the date of termination of your contract, you may have less than 3 months of employment left, and in that case they may not give you a permit as employment for less than 3 months does not require one.

Something to add to my first point: if you get an L-permit, since you have previously worked in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the last 2 years, you can still get unemployment subsidies if you find yourself in that situation. However this is not granted automatically, as it would require the canton of Zurich to provide a 5-year B-permit to you.

Last edited by Dinivan; 15.08.2019 at 23:42.
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Old 16.08.2019, 06:13
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

FYI ..

GE and VD speaking.. The application for a B or C is the same form. When the B permit is expiring you apply for a new permit, the application form doesn't say C or B on it. If you are eligible for a C they will issue one.

In my own VD experience early 2018, when my B expired, I filled in the form in my local commune office and the lady there stamped it and hand wrote a big C on it with a highlighter pen. I got a C returned. No language requirements.

Recently GE colleagues have reached the end of their B and sent off the forms and are waiting to see what comes back.
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Old 16.08.2019, 10:31
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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FYI ..

GE and VD speaking.. The application for a B or C is the same form. When the B permit is expiring you apply for a new permit, the application form doesn't say C or B on it...
This was true in Bern as well (that the form was the same). I had to write a sentence in the comments section on the form (in German) saying that I wanted to apply for the early C permit. Then the gemeinde gave me a list of documents to gather and send in. Even though I'm married to a Swiss and all documents were submitted quickly, they took more than 2 months to issue the C, whereas someone else just reported getting a C in a week in Zurich.
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Old 18.08.2019, 11:56
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

Can you buy property on an L permit these days?
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Old 18.08.2019, 12:27
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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FYI ..

GE and VD speaking.. The application for a B or C is the same form. When the B permit is expiring you apply for a new permit, the application form doesn't say C or B on it. If you are eligible for a C they will issue one.

In my own VD experience early 2018, when my B expired, I filled in the form in my local commune office and the lady there stamped it and hand wrote a big C on it with a highlighter pen. I got a C returned. No language requirements.

Recently GE colleagues have reached the end of their B and sent off the forms and are waiting to see what comes back.
Same in Neuchâtel too.
We just filed in the B renewal forms handed them in to the commune and less than a week later received our new C permits.

When we renewed the C permits earlier this year the procedure was exactly the same except they requested a new photo for the boy as his appearance had changed a bit over 10 years ( he was only 10 in the original photo)
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Old 18.08.2019, 13:24
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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In my own VD experience early 2018, when my B expired ....
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Same in Neuchâtel too.
We just filed in the B renewal forms handed them in to the commune and less than a week later received our new C permits.

When we renewed the C permits earlier this year...
There is a huge difference regarding B to C switch pre-2019 v.s. post-2018 !

On January 1st 2019 the name of the law was changed from "Foreign Nationals Act" to " Foreign Nationals and Integration Act" and Art. 34 Abs. 2 Lit. c added. https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a34 which mandates that the foreigner must be "integrated" before permit C can be granted. Once granted it is still indefinite but the conditions for revocation/downgrade to B have been adapted and relaxed.

With this law change a minimum federal requirement regarding language proficiency was established, which is outlined in the VZAE/OASA (no English version) https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...993/index.html
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Old 18.08.2019, 13:40
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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There is a huge difference regarding B to C switch pre-2019 v.s. post-2018 !

On January 1st 2019 the name of the law was changed from "Foreign Nationals Act" to " Foreign Nationals and Integration Act" and Art. 34 Abs. 2 Lit. c added. https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a34 which mandates that the foreigner must be "integrated" before permit C can be granted. Once granted it is still indefinite but the conditions for revocation/downgrade to B have been adapted and relaxed.

With this law change a minimum federal requirement regarding language proficiency was established, which is outlined in the VZAE/OASA (no English version) https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...993/index.html
Bit in bold : were there really specific requirements just for the year 2018?

The new law hasn’t changed anything about how the forms are handled in Neuchâtel. There are B permit renewal forms sent out to be filled in and then once handed back they will request the extra stuff if the person is eligible for a C, one doesn’t request a C permit in Neuchâtel they are granted automatically to everyone who is eligible, they only difference now is the language requirement for some people. We have several friends who have been through it since the new law came into force.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 18.08.2019 at 14:00.
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Old 18.08.2019, 14:00
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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The new law hasn’t changed anything about how the forms are handled in Neuchâtel. There are B permit renewal forms sent out to be filled in and then once handed back they will request the extra stuff if the person is eligible for a C, one doesn’t request a C permit in Neuchâtel they are granted automatically to everyone who is eligible, they only difference now is the language requirement for some people.
Based on your name you are a special case anyway as Belgium citizens (along with those from Germany, Denmark, France, Principality of Liechtenstein, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, and Spain) are automatic eligible for permit C after 5 years of stay w/o language requirement.

In Neuchâtel, is permit C is also granted "automatic" (by requesting the needed information) for all others already after 5 but less than 10 years of stay? Edit: Based on the added part. The answer seem to be yes.
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Old 18.08.2019, 14:11
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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Based on your name you are a special case anyway as Belgium citizens (along with those from Germany, Denmark, France, Principality of Liechtenstein, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, and Spain) are automatic eligible for permit C after 5 years of stay w/o language requirement.

In Neuchâtel, is permit C is also granted "automatic" (by requesting the needed information) for all others already after 5 but less than 10 years of stay? Edit: Based on the added part. The answer seem to be yes.
Despite my name I am not Belgian.

For the EU nationals the C permit is automatically granted after five years without being requested, the only difference now is that some of them may have to fulfil the language requirements before getting it.
Our British friends needed the certificate ( just the wife) but our Italian friends didn’t as they fall into the exempt category.
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Old Yesterday, 08:23
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Re: EU - C permit - Language Requirement - Moving Cantons

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Can you buy property on an L permit these days?
Yes. It could need extra authorisation in some cantons.
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