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Old 27.01.2020, 23:00
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Spouse leaving switzerland alone

Hi,

My wife is a housewife and has never worked in Switzerland. She is thinking to study abroad for a 1-year research program. We're currently with permit B but we're going to apply for permit C sometime this year.

Could anyone point me to the relevant law about this short-term family separation case? My initial idea is that she could de-register from gemeinde, and when she's back we could re-register her again. She'll receive B permit as long as she has A1 (which she has) language certificate:
https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification/

I wonder if I overlook any potential problem? I have some related questions, and will be appreciated if you could point me to the relevant regulations:

Besides, Could anyone recommend immigration lawyer that we could consult with?

Thanks!
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Old 27.01.2020, 23:12
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

If she de-registers and leaves. When she gets back, the clock will be re-set on applying for a C-permit and citizenship.
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Old 28.01.2020, 06:50
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

She can be out of the country for up to 6 months at a time with a B/C permit so taking into account holiday periods when she can return here for a few weeks, I'd try and do that instead.
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Old 28.01.2020, 09:46
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

Could it be a solution to first get a C-permit, and than put that on hold for a year (Study abroad can be a valid reason to do so) In which case when she returns she just gets her C permit back.
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Old 28.01.2020, 16:13
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

The problem is that she has to stay abroad for more than 6 months so using holiday times etc doesn't sound like a solution.

We thought about putting her permit on hold for a year, but that requires review and approval and the result can't be guaranteed, plus she'll have to make a decision pretty soon. That's why we were thinking to speak to a specialist to handle this properly. What should be the keywords to use to find such specialists?
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Old 28.01.2020, 17:04
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

There are no specialists. B permit holders can't put permits on hold, only C permit holders can do that. I doubt any such request would be looked on favourably by the gemeinde if she asked just after getting a C.

She/you have to decide what you want more: C permits and eventually Swiss citizenship or her having to reapply for a new permit under family reunification when she does this course thus delaying the citizenship application.

Also what are your/her Swiss language skills like?
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Old 28.01.2020, 17:19
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

Where is she going to be studying?
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Old 28.01.2020, 17:31
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

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B permit holders can't put permits on hold, only C permit holders can do that. I doubt any such request would be looked on favourably by the gemeinde if she asked just after getting a C.
The request can be put in whether you've been on a C permit for 1 day or for 40 years, I don't see what difference it makes.
I think also it is the migration authorities who decide, not the town hall.
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Old 28.01.2020, 17:57
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

I'd recommend not to bother and keep her registered and make sure that she comes back to visit more often than every 6 months.
In case the authorities have any questions you can argue that her center of life (Lebensmittelpunkt) stayed in Switzerland because she has family (you) living here and her spending time away from you is strictly temporary and has a defined end date from day one.

Worst case is she loses the permit because the authorities are not convinced and will have to get a new one by family reunification. But it is very improbable, there are only a handful of cases like this each year and they're always pretty egregious (like actually living outside of Switzerland for years while coming back every 5-6 months to reset the automatic 6-month clock and receiving social welfare at that). There'll be no problem getting that permit back, forgetting to declare departure from CH is not a crime, you just stay on the hook for paying medical insurance etc.

If she deregisters, she'll just get that worst case outcome immediately, so why do it?

If it's possible for her to get a C permit before she leaves, it'd be even better to put that on hold. Going abroad to study is considered a legitimate purpose for putting the permit on hold, and being absent from Switzerland in that state for less than a year doesn't reset the 'uninterrupted residence' period towards citizenship.

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I doubt any such request would be looked on favourably by the gemeinde if she asked just after getting a C.
Well then it's fortunate than the Gemeinde doesn't have any say in that. Resident foreigners are a strictly cantonal matter. The Gemeinde only starts mattering when one tries to get citizenship.
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Old 28.01.2020, 18:04
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

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I'd recommend not to bother and keep her registered and make sure that she comes back to visit more often than every 6 months.
In case the authorities have any questions

Worst case is she loses the permit because the authorities are not convinced
Highly unlikely the authorities are going to find out about someone being away for less than 6 months in any case if they are not informed by the family in question.
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Old 28.01.2020, 18:08
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

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I'd recommend not to bother and keep her registered and make sure that she comes back to visit more often than every 6 months.
You don't have to be in Switzerland every 6 months to keep your permit..... you have to be in Switzerland for a total of 6 months or more per-calendar year!!!
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Old 28.01.2020, 18:17
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

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You don't have to be in Switzerland every 6 months to keep your permit..... you have to be in Switzerland for a total of 6 months or more per-calendar year!!!
Yeah yeah sure. Now would you please be so kind as to back your statement with a quote from a law, ordinance, or at least a precedent-setting court verdict?
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Old 28.01.2020, 20:14
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

It is all more complicated.

Give this a proper read: https://ma.zh.ch/internet/sicherheit...ligung+IW+.pdf

And read some of the mentioned laws.

This should give you a lot of knowledge about the subject.

EDIT:

Actually this was the link I wanted to place

http://www.servat.unibe.ch/dfr/bger/..._609-2011.html

It is a courtcase about losing permit and gives a lot of legal points but also how the laws involved should be interpreted.

Last edited by EdwinNL; 28.01.2020 at 21:14.
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Old 28.01.2020, 21:38
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

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If she de-registers and leaves. When she gets back, the clock will be re-set on applying for a C-permit and citizenship.
The clock will not reset for citizenship. Total years spent the meet the requirements count even if there is a gap.

It will reset the clock for the C permit.


@pkb, it’s best if you keep her registered and make sure she comes back during holidays. Or wait until she has the C permit.
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Old 28.01.2020, 21:44
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

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Actually this was the link I wanted to place

http://www.servat.unibe.ch/dfr/bger/..._609-2011.html
Oh yeah, that's a good story, I remember it

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The clock will not reset for citizenship. Total years spent the meet the requirements count even if there is a gap.
There's a federal requirement that at the point of applying for citizenship you must have lived three years out of the last five in Switzerland, but yeah, this is considerably less strict than e.g. five years of uninterrupted residence for an early C permit.
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Old 29.01.2020, 11:44
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Re: Spouse leaving switzerland alone

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Where is she going to be studying?
Singapore
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