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Old 26.02.2020, 20:49
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Work Permit for Internship for Non-EU

Hello, everyone!

I am from China(Non-EU) but studying in UK. I am doing a 4-year course with 3-year bachelor study and 1-year master study. I am 3rd year now and I am required to do a 4-month summer internship for continuing my study in university. I got an offer from a company in Zurich.

However, someone told me "doing an internship during the summer between your Bachelors and Masters studies, you are not eligible to intern in Zurich." I am wondering whether this statement is true or not. For my case, the student letter and transcript just mention my degree is "MSc" without mentioning I am a Bachelor student now.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 26.02.2020, 23:17
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Re: Work Permit for Internship for Non-EU

Yes and no. You can do an internship, but the employer will need to apply for a permit for you. Having said that, and I'm not condoning this, but if you're not being paid and are "volunteering" your services, then you may not need a permit. It is a grey area but many overseas students do this and the authorities usually turn a blind eye to it. But I emphasise it is a grey area.
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Old 27.02.2020, 03:15
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Re: Work Permit for Internship for Non-EU

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Yes and no. You can do an internship, but the employer will need to apply for a permit for you. Having said that, and I'm not condoning this, but if you're not being paid and are "volunteering" your services, then you may not need a permit. It is a grey area but many overseas students do this and the authorities usually turn a blind eye to it. But I emphasise it is a grey area.
I did not find anything grey about the process on the two occasions we took on non EU students - paid or not a permit was required and the penalties were the same regardless if you took on someone without a permit.

- The key to getting the permit was a letter from the studentís college stating that the internship was a mandatory part of the studies. Once you have that letter is no problem.
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Old 27.02.2020, 06:45
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Re: Work Permit for Internship for Non-EU

I thought unpaid internships weren't allowed unless it's an NGO.
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Old 27.02.2020, 07:05
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Re: Work Permit for Internship for Non-EU

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I did not find anything grey about the process on the two occasions we took on non EU students - paid or not a permit was required and the penalties were the same regardless if you took on someone without a permit.

- The key to getting the permit was a letter from the studentís college stating that the internship was a mandatory part of the studies. Once you have that letter is no problem.
This only applies if the non EU student is enrolled in a Swiss university. OP studies in the UK so regular non EU admission rules apply
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Old 27.02.2020, 11:58
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Re: Work Permit for Internship for Non-EU

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This only applies if the non EU student is enrolled in a Swiss university. OP studies in the UK so regular non EU admission rules apply
Our experience is it's hit and miss. A small group of (Swiss uni) students, EU and non EU, volunteered with the Red Cross in Lugano. Authorities came, checked their permits and told them all they could not volunteer as they were taking jobs away from Swiss. Red Cross told them they could not employ people as they did not have the funds, further the students were doing an excellent job, and were well liked, but it cut no ice.

On the other hand, a group of about 20 students were helping on a project to clean a small local lake. It was a 2 year project (and ongoing) and no problem at all.

We are currently in discussion with the relevant ministers supported by 2 other uni's as internships are an important part of the curriculum, but no progress so far.
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