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Old 07.03.2020, 17:03
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

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I was recently in touch with another from this forum who told me that they were both Non-EU but they were able to get the family reunification visa and work-permit B easily in Neuchatel. I'm hoping we get to be as lucky as them. This whole visa process is always a nightmare for Non-EU citizens and I'm always anxious how our outcome will be.

I agree, my salary is very decent - my supervisor also said the same thing. Yes, he did say the pay grade increases every year and there is a possibility to increase activity rate up to 100% in the subsequent years. On this note, how livable would the 1st year salary (3500-3800 CHF monthly) be in your opinion for 2 people with a moderate lifestyle?

On another but not unrelated note, was your wife able to find any English speaking jobs in Neuchatel or did she have to learn French, etc.? My husband has zero French and hoping we get the B permit with full working rights for him, my goal is that he would be able to find work in the next 6 - 12 months or so. Any information on finding English jobs in Neuchatel would be highly appreciated!
I left Switzerland in 2015 so my information may be out of date but I earned less than 49k in my first year and did fine.
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  #22  
Old 09.03.2020, 10:37
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

Hi, welcome to the forum

I finished my PhD in Neuchâtel on 2017. It's a nice place provided you like wine Which PhD program will you follow?

The SNF PhD income is enough for a couple, if I remember well the lower limit for the family reunion permit is around 3000 CHF net per month. The only habit I had to change with the PhD income and Switzerland was to eat less meat.

On the tax side, PhD students are not exempted from any tax or social contribution: you pay unemployment & invalidity insurance, contributions to your retirement savings, etc. Sadly, NE has the highest income taxes in Switzerland. Lots of people on unemployment benefits, someone has to pay for it.

For your husband, zero French is quite complicate in NE. There's the Philip Morris R&D Cube where English may be sufficient. Also, a lot of people live in NE while commuting for work in Bern, Lausanne or Biel. Neuchâtel has lots of picturesque sites to live, but the job may require to live close to a well connected train station.

PS. I keep going every year to caves ouvertes (open cellars) of winemakers every year on May. This year is on May 9th.
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Old 09.03.2020, 10:51
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

Ahhh, I remembered something.

My wife arrived 6 months later when I was more or less settled. In the beginning I slept on the couch of another student, the looked for an apartment, typical delays with migration paperwork, learned a bit of French....uncertainty all around.

The benefits of being apart for a few months: I could at least go with her to any shop, do her migration paperwork with less stress, help her find a job with my poor French and little understanding of local culture, she kept earning full income in her previous job before the move, etc.

If during those "learning" months my wife, instead of working would have been bored at home, we would have fought a lot In some way, I suck it up and made the country/culture change a little bit less stressful for her
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Old 09.03.2020, 16:06
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

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Hi, welcome to the forum

I finished my PhD in Neuchâtel on 2017. It's a nice place provided you like wine Which PhD program will you follow?

The SNF PhD income is enough for a couple, if I remember well the lower limit for the family reunion permit is around 3000 CHF net per month. The only habit I had to change with the PhD income and Switzerland was to eat less meat.

On the tax side, PhD students are not exempted from any tax or social contribution: you pay unemployment & invalidity insurance, contributions to your retirement savings, etc. Sadly, NE has the highest income taxes in Switzerland. Lots of people on unemployment benefits, someone has to pay for it.

For your husband, zero French is quite complicate in NE. There's the Philip Morris R&D Cube where English may be sufficient. Also, a lot of people live in NE while commuting for work in Bern, Lausanne or Biel. Neuchâtel has lots of picturesque sites to live, but the job may require to live close to a well connected train station.

PS. I keep going every year to caves ouvertes (open cellars) of winemakers every year on May. This year is on May 9th.
Thanks for your reply! I'm currently going to do the PhD in Management (specialization in Marketing) at the UniNE.

I've already done some computation and our net income per month should be around 3500 - 3800 CHF (based on the annual gross at 70%). Many people have told me that this is doable in Neuchatel as it is quite cheap compared to other cities. Would you have the same opinion, particularly in your experience living as a couple?

Did you experience any difficulty with the visa/family reunification process/residence permit? Was your wife able to get Permit B with full working rights? Does immigration look at net or gross salary for the family reunification visa? And what do you mean delays? My husband and I are planning to come at the same time (as him being in Dublin means costs will be doubled).

I understand that French is needed and my husband is willing to learn! Just wondering what other options he has around Neuchatel like temp jobs such as waiter, etc. while he is still trying to learn and improve his French? How long did it take your wife to get a job?

Sorry if I have so many questions
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