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Old 07.01.2020, 05:06
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Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

Details:

-- I am EU national on B visa in Zurich.

-- Girlfriend is Chinese. Degree in English from weak university in China. Work experience is mostly low-level admin. Good English; average German.

Question:

Is there any realistic chance of her getting a job that will secure a work permit for her?

Some advertised jobs in Luxury Stores (Gucci etc.) ask for native speaking or at least fluency in Mandarin Chinese to handle their Chinese-tourist customers. Is that the kind of job that the Swiss authorities would award a work permit for?

If not:

(1) Are there other jobs that she might get a permit for?
(2) Would her taking a year to bring her German up to full professional competence improve the chances non-trivially?

Thanks so much for your help.



(NB I guess some will say that we need to marry to get her here, but I'm not interested in pursuing that option at present)
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Old 07.01.2020, 10:48
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

No, I wouldn't say there's a realistic chance. Zurich labor market authorities do not consider low-level administration or retail sales work to be high qualified enough.
No level of German would help with that, there's enormous competition for the scarce B permit quota among more highly qualified non-EU professionals already. (with higher compensation meaning more tax income for the canton).

Of course, this is just my opinion. All non-EU work permit applications in Switzerland must be initiated by the prospective employer so your girlfriend could inquire at e.g. Gucci if they bother to apply for non-EU work permits. My guess is no, but who knows.
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Old 08.01.2020, 08:54
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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No, I wouldn't say there's a realistic chance. Zurich labor market authorities do not consider low-level administration or retail sales work to be high qualified enough.
No level of German would help with that, there's enormous competition for the scarce B permit quota among more highly qualified non-EU professionals already. (with higher compensation meaning more tax income for the canton).

Of course, this is just my opinion. All non-EU work permit applications in Switzerland must be initiated by the prospective employer so your girlfriend could inquire at e.g. Gucci if they bother to apply for non-EU work permits. My guess is no, but who knows.

It's not whether the job is low level or not, it's whether the shop can find a Swiss or an EU person with the necessary skills ready to do the job.


Europeans who speak fluent CXhinese are few are far between and will problably be able to do far better than work in a shop, so there is a good chance a permit will be granted if the requirements are met.




Or get married
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Old 08.01.2020, 09:54
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

I know two restaurants servers in Nyon that speak fluent Mandarin. One is Swiss, one is a French frontalier.

It is very difficult for a non-EU national to get a permit without an employer seeking it. Having the local language will help, both getting the employer on board, and with getting it approved.
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Old 08.01.2020, 10:20
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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It's not whether the job is low level or not, it's whether the shop can find a Swiss or an EU person with the necessary skills ready to do the job.
This is also true but non-EU permits are also a scarce resource with enormous competition for it.
Say you're a canton and you have 100 non-EU B permits to grant this year and 1000 incoming non-EU applications. When choosing between say a highly paid engineer or executive and a retail sales worker it's pretty predictable that the canton will choose the higher paid person out of pure fiscal interest.
I mean, startups in Zurich are complaining about it all the time, they do need highly skilled people and they have no trouble demonstrating that they'd been searching for a Swiss/EU candidate in vain for months.
However they don't have much money to offer them so the permit quota gets mostly sucked up by Google and the banks.
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Old 08.01.2020, 11:07
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

One thing for sure: If she never applies for the job she will get neiter job nor permit. Cost to apply is minimal. So why not simply try your luck?
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Old 08.01.2020, 11:39
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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This is also true but non-EU permits are also a scarce resource with enormous competition for it.
Say you're a canton and you have 100 non-EU B permits to grant this year and 1000 incoming non-EU applications. When choosing between say a highly paid engineer or executive and a retail sales worker it's pretty predictable that the canton will choose the higher paid person out of pure fiscal interest.
I mean, startups in Zurich are complaining about it all the time, they do need highly skilled people and they have no trouble demonstrating that they'd been searching for a Swiss/EU candidate in vain for months.
However they don't have much money to offer them so the permit quota gets mostly sucked up by Google and the banks.

So a sales worker somewhere in a high end store, such as Bucherer, Hermes is a waste of time......


We're not talking Migros here, we're talking jobs in high end, high margin faciliites
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Old 08.01.2020, 12:10
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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So a sales worker somewhere in a high end store, such as Bucherer, Hermes is a waste of time......
I didn't say that. Don't put words into my mouth.

Quote:
We're not talking Migros here, we're talking jobs in high end, high margin faciliites
Yeah, so according to e.g. Glassdoor a sales worker at a Swiss Gucci store has a salary of 74-81k CHF, and at Hermes about 5k CHF/month (so 60k CHF). So much for high end, high margin. I heard ZH usually sets the mark around 100-120k CHF for non-EU permits.

Again, I'm not saying retail sales workers are a waste of time, you assumed that. I'm only trying to manage OP's expectations.
Also, only the prospective employer can apply for a non-EU work permit, so the first necessary step for OP's girlfriend would be to secure a job offer in Switzerland. She'll get it if her prospective employer is willing to apply for a work permit for her (i.e. doesn't consider it hopeless).
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Old 08.01.2020, 13:15
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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I didn't say that. Don't put words into my mouth.


Yeah, so according to e.g. Glassdoor a sales worker at a Swiss Gucci store has a salary of 74-81k CHF, and at Hermes about 5k CHF/month (so 60k CHF). So much for high end, high margin. I heard ZH usually sets the mark around 100-120k CHF for non-EU permits.

Again, I'm not saying retail sales workers are a waste of time, you assumed that. I'm only trying to manage OP's expectations.
Also, only the prospective employer can apply for a non-EU work permit, so the first necessary step for OP's girlfriend would be to secure a job offer in Switzerland. She'll get it if her prospective employer is willing to apply for a work permit for her (i.e. doesn't consider it hopeless).



Yes, very true, the worker gets two tenths of sod all, but the store making the high margins also pays taxes and provides employment to many
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Old 08.01.2020, 13:21
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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Yes, very true, the worker gets two tenths of sod all, but the store making the high margins also pays taxes and provides employment to many
Yeah, that sucks, as does the cantons' preference for high earners paying high taxes, I never said I approved of that, but it's the way it is and I have zero power to change it (especially as a foreigner with no political rights lol)
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Old 08.01.2020, 20:40
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

I would say no chance. Especially the degree is only in English. Swiss work permit are limited to quotas, and it is associates with either high-skill set or senior executives. As the country emphasizes on speciality, I would say maybe a Chinese chefs or TCM specialists have a greater shot.

The best way is to get married actually.
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Old 08.01.2020, 20:49
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

I know of several Chinese ski instructors who have obtained permits to work here, the ski schools needed Chinese speaking ski instructors and they couldn't find enough EU Chinese speakers to do the job. If the employer can make the case like that, then she'd get a permit.
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Old 08.01.2020, 20:52
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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I would say no chance. Especially the degree is only in English. Swiss work permit are limited to quotas, and it is associates with either high-skill set or senior executives. As the country emphasizes on speciality, I would say maybe a Chinese chefs or TCM specialists have a greater shot.

The best way is to get married actually.
Did you read any of the above? Go to Grindelwald or Luzern to any jewellers shop. There are a lot of Chinese nationals working there.
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Old 10.01.2020, 21:08
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

I'm in a similar situation...did anybody go through the Concubine Visa route? How doable is it? And in which Cantons is it actually allowed?

Thanks
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Old 11.01.2020, 00:39
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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Did you read any of the above? Go to Grindelwald or Luzern to any jewellers shop. There are a lot of Chinese nationals working there.
There are about 20'000 native Chinese living in Switzerland holding residence permits, and a lot of them actually are easy to find a job in the luxury stores. Yes, any Chinese speaking jobs actually are also tricky and a bit competitive.

I would say Switzerland holds the strictest regulations against immigration. Even for the high-skilled engineers, especially from 3rd party country.
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Old 11.01.2020, 06:19
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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I would say Switzerland holds the strictest regulations against immigration. Even for the high-skilled engineers, especially from 3rd party country.
Don´t know, but trying to get a permit for the US seemed more difficult.
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Old 11.01.2020, 11:57
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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Don´t know, but trying to get a permit for the US seemed more difficult.
It might have something to do with the free movement of people between the EU and CH. (Apologies if you had moved here before that)
I'd say it was massively easier for someone of my nationality to get an H1B US visa than a Swiss work permit up until a couple of years ago when the Trump administration started tightening the screws on H1B issuance.
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Old 11.01.2020, 14:17
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

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It might have something to do with the free movement of people between the EU and CH. (Apologies if you had moved here before that)
I'd say it was massively easier for someone of my nationality to get an H1B US visa than a Swiss work permit up until a couple of years ago when the Trump administration started tightening the screws on H1B issuance.
Actually at work we had more issues getting US permits for Europeans than getting Swiss permits for US persons (and that already in the pre-Trump area).
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Old 11.01.2020, 14:21
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Re: Chance of Work Permit for Chinese National

no chance at all
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