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Old 07.02.2020, 13:44
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Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

Hello
I have a question. Me and my wife are having a problem. I have been in Switzerland for 4 months and I have a B Permit. I have a permanent contract and would like to stay here permanently. My residence permit is renewed every year because I am not from the EU. My wife was here as a tourist, and at the registry office we were told that we can do the marriage preparation here and then get married here. They also told us that we could apply for a permit (family reunion) for her afterwards. They told us that she can wait for the application here, or if necessary she has to leave the country and wait for the application in her home country. The Migration Office will decide this. We submitted the application for her permit on 23 December and went on holiday. On 6 January we came back to Switzerland. On 8 January we received a letter from the Migration Office that she is illegally in Switzerland/Schengen, because she has exceeded the days and we have to expect enforcement measures. It was also said that the measures can be waived, provided that we submit all the necessary documents required for her residence permit to the Migration Office as soon as possible. And if the decision is positive, there are no more problems. One day later we handed over all documents. 4 days later we got the positive decision that her permit is approved. We were very happy. We were looking for a job for her when the police rang on a Saturday. The police came into our apartment and said they had a criminal notification received from the migration office for illegal residence. The Migration Office has granted her a residence permit and notified her at the same time. The overstay is 11 days. The police told us that they are now investigating and the whole thing will be handed over to the public prosecutor's office. They will then decide. We do not know what to do. The policeman said that it is definitely a bus. But we are afraid that we will get a criminal record now and that our permits will not be renewed. I am very worried and my wife is just crying. We are also afraid that we do not have to leave the country immediately and get a Schengen/national ban. Does anyone have any advice or experience with this?


Best Regards and Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07.02.2020, 14:23
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Re: Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

Wow, I can understand those tears of your wife, and that you both feel afraid.

However, please know that the Swiss Migration Offices do not randomly issue permits and then cancel them. On the contrary, all those papers you submitted will have been studied very thoroughly before they approved your wife's permit to live here with you. Therefore, it is very, very likely that this will all sort itself out and you will be okay.

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Hello
we got the positive decision that her permit is approved.
If I've followed your timeline, this must have been on about the 13th of January.

The date of the police visit was a week or a few weeks later.
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The police told us that they are now investigating and the whole thing will be handed over to the public prosecutor's office. They will then decide.
My first piece of advice is that you put all your papers in chronological order, and if there are no papers for any event, for example, of the police visit, just write down the date yourself. Try to be sure which police came, from which police department. This exercise in itself will help to calm things, as you yourselves will figure out what happened (although your description here is already very clear) and you will also be ready to answer anyone's questions.

Then I recommend that you write to the Migration Office to say:


Your reference number: 99999999999

On DATE, my wife and I were married in PLACE.
On DATE, I applied for a family reunification permit for my wife to live with me in Zurich. We were initially told that she could wait in Switzerland for her permit.
On DATE, you requested additional supporting documentation.
On DATE, we submitted the following documents to you (here insert the list of documents, from your last letter to them).

On DATE, you wrote that the my wife's permit has been approved. Thank you. Please see the attached copy of your letter.

To our great surprise, on DATE, two police officers from NAME OF TYPE OF POLICE visited our home, and informed us that they had been asked by you to investigate why my wife was still in the country, and that the matter would be handed over to the Public Prosecutor's Office.

I hope that this is perhaps a misunderstanding. We are very concerned, and want to ensure that we correctly fulfill all that is required of us. Do you require any further documentation from my wife or from me?

Would you please authorise that the matter be dropped by the Prosecutor, since you have already approved the permit, and confirm this?

Thank you very much.
Kind regards
Babelman
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Old 07.02.2020, 15:15
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Re: Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

this is a great and helpful answer from doropfiz.

I would like to add.
-on a computer it's very hard to read such a long paragraph. give a bit of space to your writing.

-be careful with some sentence.
"My residence permit is renewed every year because I am not from the EU"
it's a B permit, it's why it renew every year. been EU or not don't make a difference.
-"My wife was here as a tourist, and at the registry office we were told that we can do the marriage preparation here", so not your wife yet?

good luck
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Old 07.02.2020, 15:25
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Re: Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

Thank you very much for your answers. I will record it in this form from now on.

We were married in Winterthur on December 20th after successful marriage preparation. On the 23rd we submitted the application.

I just got off the phone with the migration office and asked them why they made a criminal complaint. They told me that my wife had fulfilled all the requirements through the documents, and that she had therefore received the permit. But if they find an overstay in the check, they have to report it to the police. That will be handled separately, regardless of the permit. She told me that everything is fine in the migration office and that it is now up to the police and the public prosecutor's office. The police told me that they will forward everything they have to the public prosecutor's office and that it can take 2-3 months until the public prosecutor's office reacts. I don't know how we can live with ourselves now. We don't know how they will decide.
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Old 07.02.2020, 20:23
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Re: Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

@Babelman, I really get it that this must all be very worrying for you and your wife.

Please note that I am NOT a legal expert, and my opinions here come from having lived in Switzerland for a while, knowing of many people's experiences, and having read quite a bit online.

The two things are, I believe, separate.

The first - and most important - is the permits.
You are legally in Switzerland and have a permit.
You made the family reunion application for your wife correctly. Now she also has a permit and so she is also legally here in Switzerland.
With these permits, you are safe.

Yes, you can both stay here, and you can both live here, and you can continue to work (and depending on the conditions of your wife's permit, she may or may not be allowed to work... but that is a question for a different thread, okay?). This part is safe.

The second - and less important rationally (through probably more frightening, emotionally) - part is the Police and the Public Prosecutor.
As you describe it, it is true that your wife was, for a few days, in Switzerland illegally.

Illegal in the sense that, even though you had been told that she could be in Switzerland while you waited for her permit, she did not, in fact, actually hold a valid visa to be here (for those few days). So yes, strictly speaking, she committed a transgression against Swiss law. And there may be a punishment. There may also not be any at all, since the circumstances which led to her few illegal days are well documented, and it can be shown clearly that she was not trying to hide in the country unofficially, under the official radar, but that she was in the middle of a legitimate process.

If she is given any punishment at all, it is likely to be in the form of a written reprimand and a fine. I don't know the current tariffs (perhaps someone else who knows better will post later), but from what I could gather, in the circumstances your wife's transgression will be regarded as minor, so the fine would be probably less than CHF 600.



The immediate thing to do now is to make sure your papers are in order. Then, try to find something to do in Zurich, this weekend, that is enjoyable and good. Remind yourselves that you are in a safe country.

And then... wait. Sooner or later a letter will arrive telling you the next steps.

Even if your wife is then issued with a fine, it may be possible to appeal and have any fine reduced, given that, as I wrote above, the circumstances which led to her few illegal days are well documented, and it can be shown clearly that she was not trying to hide in the country unofficially, under the official radar, but that she was in the middle of a legitimate process. You might have a good case for an appeal if you can document that you were told, in writing, that your wife could/should just stay in Switzerland and wait for the permit.

Even so, it may end up just being cheaper to pay the fine than to pay the lawyers' fees to help you appeal.

I do not believe that any fine that your wife might have to pay will have any influence on your and/or on your wife's permits. Your permits are issued and they are unlikely to be withdrawn because of any such fine.

As long as you continue to live an orderly life, earning enough to support you both, and paying your bills, and generally not getting into trouble, then as long as you are still working next year, your permits (for both of you) are very likely to be renewed, and so on again each subsequent year.
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Old 08.02.2020, 13:39
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Re: Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

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"My residence permit is renewed every year because I am not from the EU"
it's a B permit, it's why it renew every year. been EU or not don't make a difference.
Hunh? EU “B” permits are 5 years last time I looked?
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Old 10.02.2020, 20:55
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Re: Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

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Hunh? EU “B” permits are 5 years last time I looked?
For EU. NonEU typically renew yearly.
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Old 11.02.2020, 11:44
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Re: Overstay-Visa, Permit Problem!

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For EU. NonEU typically renew yearly.
It was the “been EU or not” phrase that confused me...
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