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Old 07.03.2020, 10:53
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PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

Hi All!

I have been offered a Paid PhD position (70% activity rate) at the University of Neuchatel and I couldn't be more ecstatic! However, happy as I am about the opportunity, the thought about going through the visa process and bureaucracy (which some things I am still unsure of) terrifies me. I've already done some initial reading in the threads here but I was hoping that by posting through this forum, you guys would be able to provide feedback, advice, or maybe even some answers that are more specific to my situation

So, just a bit of background about the situation and myself: I am a Non-EU citizen (Filipino) but I am currently based in Dublin, Ireland. My husband is also Non-EU (Filipino) and we have been living here in Dublin for around 18 months. We currently have no children. The 1st year gross salary of my PhD position is at 69,900 CHF.

Here go my questions:

1. I have read from a couple of previous threads in this forum where Non-EU PhD students (particularly in Neuchatel) were able to get a family reunification visa for their spouse as well as their spouse getting full working rights. However, none of these are current (nothing 2019 onwards). I was wondering if this is still the case for Neuchatel canton or has immigration tightened up their regulations?

This is extremely important to me as my husband currently has a good job here in Dublin (he works for Facebook). He has been extremely supportive about me pursuing my academic career (lucky me!) and said he is willing to move to Switzerland to support me. Also, I am not delusional and believes he will get a job in the first 6 - 12 months with zero French but he has shown willingness to learn French so hopefully him being able to work is something I would really like in the next 12 months or so

2. With a net salary of around ~49,000 CHF (70% rate), is this enough for immigration to grant him the family reunification visa? Do they look at gross salary or net salary?

I know it's 2000 CHF per month/person and I guess I could supplement whatever is missing but do you think by itself my PhD salary will be enough?

3. Are students exempted from withholding tax? Tried ETZ's salary calculator but couldn't be sure I am inputting the correct data as I don't know exactly the tax requirements for PhD students

4. With a net salary of ~3500 - 3800 CHF monthly, is this potentially going to be enough for 2 people?

I've done a bit of research in this as well and I noticed Neuchatel and Dublin's living cost are kind of similar (heck, Dublin's rent is even more expensive than Neuchatel - the surprise!). I'm not big on shopping (or most material things TBH), we don't go out drinking/partying much, don't really dine out (even here in Dublin we limit it to once a week as dining out is EXPENSIVE). However, what I would like is a decent one-bedroom apartment, some money for grocery, food, utilities, transpo, and even some extra stash if possible.

Whew, what a long post but I thank all of you guys in advance for the generosity of your time to give help and advice! I would be extremely grateful and I hope to meet some of ya'll very soon!
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  #2  
Old 07.03.2020, 11:33
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

This is the official site for Neuchâtel

https://www.ne.ch/autorites/DEAS/SMI...-familial.aspx

1. If you are granted family reunification then your husband will be allowed to work here.

2. I don’t know the criteria used for determining if there are sufficient funds for granting the family reunification visa

3. Phd students are not exempt from Withholding tax.

4. I know a couple who lived here on a PhD salary of less than that without any issues.

Welcome to Neuchâtel, it is a lovely place to live.
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Old 07.03.2020, 11:39
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

A Belgianmum says, no problem with a PhD salary in Neuch (as we affectionately call it) - as rents are reasonable. If you think you might enjoy a more rural life and a short commute, you can find even much cheaper rents in some of the lovely villages along the railway lines in the direction of Val-de-Ruz or Val-de-Travers, or in the busy watch-making town of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Rentals in town or by the lake are generally more expensive.

And it is indeed a lovely place to live, lake and mountains- and so well connected by public transport/train to the whole of Switzerland and indeed Europe. Enjoy - always happy to meet for coffee. I live in the mountains above- but come down to Neuch very regularly.

Last edited by Odile; 07.03.2020 at 11:51.
  #4  
Old 07.03.2020, 12:10
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

Personally, I'd rather rent temporarily and have a few months to see which location suits me/us best, and have time to look around in person.
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Old 07.03.2020, 12:13
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

Here is a list of some temporary furnished appartments/studios in the region

Some are easy to reach by bus or train, some are not- so do ask.

https://www.immobilier.ch/fr/louer/l...uchatel/page-1

click top right for English
  #6  
Old 07.03.2020, 12:15
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

Quote:
Here is a list of some temporary furnished appartments/studios in the region

Some are easy to reach by bus or train, some are not- so do ask.

https://www.immobilier.ch/fr/louer/l...uchatel/page-1

click top right for English
Thank you sooo much for this! This is really helpful! I think you're definitely right, better get a temp one and see which locations best suits me.

Hope to meet/get in touch with you soon in Neuchatel!
  #7  
Old 07.03.2020, 12:15
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

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Hello Odile,

I certainly look forward to moving to Neuch! From what I gather, it looks absolutely lovely! I am also quite surprised by the rent - I was able to find from Homegate and Immobilier some 2.5 rooms that were less than 1000 CHF. Granted they were unfurnished but this is a far cry from my current situation in Dublin. I am paying the same amount for an apartment that is currently shared by 7 people (though it is a 5 bedroom house but the hassle really of sharing with so many people).

Quick one re housing, would you recommend we rent a temporary sublet for the meantime on arrival or should we contact and get a more permanent lease prior to arriving?
I would find a short term temporary let initially and look for something more permanent once you move here and get a feel for the place.
There is lots of affordable housing in Neuchâtel all within easy reach of the town centre but most of it is unfurnished.
  #8  
Old 07.03.2020, 12:01
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Quote:
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This is the official site for Neuchâtel

https://www.ne.ch/autorites/DEAS/SMI...-familial.aspx

1. If you are granted family reunification then your husband will be allowed to work here.

2. I don’t know the criteria used for determining if there are sufficient funds for granting the family reunification visa

3. Phd students are not exempt from Withholding tax.

4. I know a couple who lived here on a PhD salary of less than that without any issues.

Welcome to Neuchâtel, it is a lovely place to live.
Hi Belgianmum! Thank you! We are looking to move there this May/early June so I am trying to do all the research I can possible to make sure it's as smooth as possible! So, what I infer from that is as long as I am able to get the family reunification visa (D) from the Swiss embassy here in Ireland, my husband should be able to get the B permit with full working rights?

If so, this is fantastic and I am very happy to hear this!

Quote:
A Belgianmum says, no problem with a PhD salary in Neuch (as we affectionately call it) - as rents are reasonable. If you think you might enjoy a more rural life and a short commute, you can find even much cheaper rents in some of the lovely villages along the railway lines in the direction of Val-de-Ruz or Val-de-Travers, or in the busy watch-making town of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Rentals in town or by the lake are generally more expensive.

And it is indeed a lovely place to live, lake and mountains- and so well connected by public transport/train to the whole of Switzerland and indeed Europe. Enjoy - always happy to meet for coffee. I live in the mountains above- but come down to Neuch very regularly.
Hello Odile,

I certainly look forward to moving to Neuch! From what I gather, it looks absolutely lovely! I am also quite surprised by the rent - I was able to find from Homegate and Immobilier some 2.5 rooms that were less than 1000 CHF. Granted they were unfurnished but this is a far cry from my current situation in Dublin. I am paying the same amount for an apartment that is currently shared by 7 people (though it is a 5 bedroom house but the hassle really of sharing with so many people).

Quick one re housing, would you recommend we rent a temporary sublet for the meantime on arrival or should we contact and get a more permanent lease prior to arriving?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 07.03.2020 at 12:29. Reason: merging consecutive replies
  #9  
Old 01.09.2021, 12:45
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Re: PhD Student Moving To Neuchatel

Quote:
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Hi All!

I have been offered a Paid PhD position (70% activity rate) at the University of Neuchatel and I couldn't be more ecstatic! However, happy as I am about the opportunity, the thought about going through the visa process and bureaucracy (which some things I am still unsure of) terrifies me. I've already done some initial reading in the threads here but I was hoping that by posting through this forum, you guys would be able to provide feedback, advice, or maybe even some answers that are more specific to my situation

So, just a bit of background about the situation and myself: I am a Non-EU citizen (Filipino) but I am currently based in Dublin, Ireland. My husband is also Non-EU (Filipino) and we have been living here in Dublin for around 18 months. We currently have no children. The 1st year gross salary of my PhD position is at 69,900 CHF.

Here go my questions:

1. I have read from a couple of previous threads in this forum where Non-EU PhD students (particularly in Neuchatel) were able to get a family reunification visa for their spouse as well as their spouse getting full working rights. However, none of these are current (nothing 2019 onwards). I was wondering if this is still the case for Neuchatel canton or has immigration tightened up their regulations?

This is extremely important to me as my husband currently has a good job here in Dublin (he works for Facebook). He has been extremely supportive about me pursuing my academic career (lucky me!) and said he is willing to move to Switzerland to support me. Also, I am not delusional and believes he will get a job in the first 6 - 12 months with zero French but he has shown willingness to learn French so hopefully him being able to work is something I would really like in the next 12 months or so

2. With a net salary of around ~49,000 CHF (70% rate), is this enough for immigration to grant him the family reunification visa? Do they look at gross salary or net salary?

I know it's 2000 CHF per month/person and I guess I could supplement whatever is missing but do you think by itself my PhD salary will be enough?

3. Are students exempted from withholding tax? Tried ETZ's salary calculator but couldn't be sure I am inputting the correct data as I don't know exactly the tax requirements for PhD students

4. With a net salary of ~3500 - 3800 CHF monthly, is this potentially going to be enough for 2 people?

I've done a bit of research in this as well and I noticed Neuchatel and Dublin's living cost are kind of similar (heck, Dublin's rent is even more expensive than Neuchatel - the surprise!). I'm not big on shopping (or most material things TBH), we don't go out drinking/partying much, don't really dine out (even here in Dublin we limit it to once a week as dining out is EXPENSIVE). However, what I would like is a decent one-bedroom apartment, some money for grocery, food, utilities, transpo, and even some extra stash if possible.

Whew, what a long post but I thank all of you guys in advance for the generosity of your time to give help and advice! I would be extremely grateful and I hope to meet some of ya'll very soon!
I think you have enough information to settle in Neuchâtel.
Now that you've been here for a while, tell me how it goes
 

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