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Old 09.01.2020, 15:29
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After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

So, trying to get a straight answer on this, enquiring the migrationsamt in Aargau (still no full answer), if we come back, do we (my wife and I) need to take a language test? Can we get our C Permits back?

And as a matter if interest, if we HADN'T left CH two months before our permits expired, would we have to have taken a language test? Which after 15 years as C Permit holder we never had to do before?
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Old 09.01.2020, 15:47
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

Since we have no clue when you left, when your permit expired, for how long you left/leave, what your situation is when returning etc.. it is impossible to answer your questions.
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Old 09.01.2020, 15:49
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

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So, trying to get a straight answer on this, enquiring the migrationsamt in Aargau (still no full answer), if we come back, do we (my wife and I) need to take a language test? Can we get our C Permits back?

And as a matter if interest, if we HADN'T left CH two months before our permits expired, would we have to have taken a language test? Which after 15 years as C Permit holder we never had to do before?
Getting C permits back is possible by the letter of law but the established practice is that you'll have to spend 2 years on a B permit first: see 3.5.3.2.1 here.
The possibility of being readmitted also depends on how long you lived here, how long you had the C permits and for how long you left Switzerland (there's no guidance or precise bylaw there, so Migrationsamt can decide more or less arbitrarily).

If you never had to submit a language certificate before and do not have citizenship of any of the exempt states (FL, BE, DE, DK, FR, GR, IT, NL, AT, PT, ES), you'll have to submit a language certificate when applying for a C permit.
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Old 09.01.2020, 15:54
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

First, the C permit does not expire and is generally unconditional as long as you live in Switzerland Art. 34 FNIA https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a34 . There is no "renewal", you only have to get a new physical card once in a while. Art. 41 FNIA https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a41

If you have permit C a language test is only required if there is serious doubt about your integration in the Swiss society. Such doubt, if there is, and the request to proof language proficiency within reasonable time could arise anytime. Art. 63 FNIA https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a63

By law, permit C expires 6 month after you left Switzerland. This is regardless of the date printed on the physical card. Art. 61 FNIA https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a61

If you had permit C for more than 10 years you can be away for up to 6 years and request a new permit C. You will need proof of language proficiency (A1 written, A2 spoken) of the language spoken at your intended place of residence in Switzerland. Art. 61 VZAE https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a61 (Not available in English language)
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Old 09.01.2020, 15:56
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

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Since we have no clue when you left, when your permit expired, for how long you left/leave, what your situation is when returning etc.. it is impossible to answer your questions.
Came here in 1999, left last July. C permit expired in September that year (2019).

And looking at the possibility of returning if a job offer comes along.
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Old 09.01.2020, 16:15
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

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The possibility of being readmitted also depends on how long you lived here, how long you had the C permits and for how long you left Switzerland (there's no guidance or precise bylaw there, so Migrationsamt can decide more or less arbitrarily).
See Art. 61 VZAE/OASA. Need to have C for at least 10 years, and must not have been away for more than 6 years.

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Getting C permits back is possible by the letter of law but the established practice is that you'll have to spend 2 years on a B permit first: see 3.5.3.2.1 here.
Interesting. This rule is based on an Federal Administrative Court ruling BVGer F-139-2016 http://e.entscheidsuche.ch/bund/bvger/F-139-2016.pdf But more importantly the ruling says that you must have B before you can apply for C based on Art. 61 VZAE/OASA. In other words: An earlier C does not give you right to return to Switzerland but only the right to get a speedy C once you are legally here.

But there is also Art. 49 VZAE/OASA. https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a49
which says a Permit B or L can be reissued if the person had permit B or C for at least 5 years, and was not away for more than 2 years. This does not apply to student permits. Longer stays abroad are allowed if the stay was due to military service, education, or a job posting abroad.

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If you never had to submit a language certificate before and do not have citizenship of any of the exempt states (FL, BE, DE, DK, FR, GR, IT, NL, AT, PT, ES), you'll have to submit a language certificate when applying for a C permit.
Not sure if the language exemption for those nationals also applies for a exceptionally early C based on Art. 61 VZAE/OASA.
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Old 09.01.2020, 16:26
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

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In other words: An earlier C does not give you right to return to Switzerland but only the right to get a speedy C once you are legally here.
That's true. There are other ways to come back easily if one had already lived in Switzerland and there's a job offer lined up. E.g. Art. 49 VZAE provides an exemption from the non-EU hiring hurdles for people who lived in CH for at least 5 years and left for not more than 2 years. And of course if one's from the EU there are no hurdles at all.

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Not sure if the language exemption for those nationals also applies for a exceptionally early C based on Art. 61 VZAE/OASA.
Fair point, I didn't consider that. I suspect OP to be British based on their post history, so they'd be non-exempt anyway.
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Old 09.01.2020, 16:41
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

to be honest, i was expecting this post to be bragging about how you managed to save money on renewing your c permit.
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Old 10.01.2020, 14:17
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

During the last 10 of those twenty years why didn't you think to apply for citizenship? Just curious.
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Old 10.01.2020, 14:48
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

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If you had permit C for more than 10 years you can be away for up to 6 years and request a new permit C. You will need proof of language proficiency (A1 written, A2 spoken) of the language spoken at your intended place of residence in Switzerland. Art. 61 VZAE https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a61 (Not available in English language)
Interesting. one of the advantages of having the passport from Switzerland is that you can go out for an unlimited time and still be able to come back. Nice to know that a C also allows some flexibility in this matter. in my view, 6 years is long enough to decide if one wants to go back to Switzerland or stay where they are.


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Old 10.01.2020, 18:40
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

I'm more curious to know why he didn't learn the language in 20 years.....

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During the last 10 of those twenty years why didn't you think to apply for citizenship? Just curious.
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Old 10.01.2020, 18:45
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Re: After nearly twenty years here we left two months before our C permit expired

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I'm more curious to know why he didn't learn the language in 20 years.....
Don’t they just mention the language test itself, not whether they speak it or not? I guess they’d have to take the test even if they’re fluent if they’re not from and exempt country.
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