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Old 19.03.2020, 15:45
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Changing employer on B permit during coronavirus measures

Hello,

I live in Switzerland with my family, we are on a B permit issued by EPFL as I am a postdoctoral scholar there (so my permit states 'postdoctorant'). I am not a Swiss citizen nor do I an EU national. We currently live near Lausanne.
I have received an offer to join a Swiss company in Zurich for when my postdoc term is over (on June) and would like to accept it. They said they are able to issue a work permit for me as I am an expert in the field they are looking to hire in. However, I am worried about the case when I need to switch my permit to legally stay in Switzerland, but because of the coronavirus some cantonal/federal office is closed and thus my process gets stuck. If I accept the offer, I need to make a notice of termination with my current employer at some point and I am worried they will not renew my contract in such a case, if my new permit is stuck.

If it matters, we plan to move from Vaud to Zurich in the summer but if everything works well I will start working for the new employer a few months before (possibly remotely given the situation).

Some specific questions:
1. What is the process of changing an employer for a foreign national (Non EU/EFTA national) on a B permit?
2. Is there anything special about my current permit being issued by EPFL? I am not a student but my permit does say 'postdoctorant'.
3. Is there anything special about me working in Zurich but living in Vaud for the time being?

Thank you,
Yotam
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Old 19.03.2020, 15:59
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Re: Changing employer on B permit during coronavirus measures

I assume your permit is tied to your employer, i.e. EPFL so the new employer has to prove they can't find a Swiss/EU national who could do the job since this will be a new permit. Both cantons also have to agree the switch.

Also this

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Also, I cannot find the info right now, but it seems the emission of new B permits has been suspended during the virus crisis. Maybe other forum members can provide more details on this.
I would check with the Zurich canton migration office to make sure they are still issuing permits because it's quite likely this may be suspended in the current situation.

Do nothing further until you get confirmation that a new permit would be possible.
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Old 19.03.2020, 17:06
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Re: Changing employer on B permit during coronavirus measures

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I would check with the Zurich canton migration office to make sure they are still issuing permits because it's quite likely this may be suspended in the current situation.

Do nothing further until you get confirmation that a new permit would be possible.
Sound advice indeed!
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Old 19.03.2020, 20:03
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Re: Changing employer on B permit during coronavirus measures

For information you have a student permit (not subject to non-EU quotas) even though you are technically employed by EPFL.

Your new employer will have to go through the non-EU hiring process to obtain a quota from the Federal non-EU permit pool.

Did you also do your PhD at EPFL? If so, admission to the Swiss labor market is easier if your new employer can demonstrate your new job is of “economic and scientific importance”. Otherwise it will be tougher (though not impossible).
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Old 20.03.2020, 09:01
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Re: Changing employer on B permit during coronavirus measures

Thank you all for the good advice!
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Old 14.04.2020, 17:02
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Re: Changing employer on B permit during coronavirus measures

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For information you have a student permit (not subject to non-EU quotas) even though you are technically employed by EPFL.

Your new employer will have to go through the non-EU hiring process to obtain a quota from the Federal non-EU permit pool.

Did you also do your PhD at EPFL? If so, admission to the Swiss labor market is easier if your new employer can demonstrate your new job is of “economic and scientific importance”. Otherwise it will be tougher (though not impossible).
PhD part doesn't matter, as long as you try to migrate from any student visa to work visa it is the same, be it BSc, MSc, PhD or Postdoc.
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Old 14.04.2020, 17:58
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Re: Changing employer on B permit during coronavirus measures

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PhD part doesn't matter, as long as you try to migrate from any student visa to work visa it is the same, be it BSc, MSc, PhD or Postdoc.
No, the condition to benefit from the 6 month level playing field grace period is to have graduated from a Swiss degree as recognized by the official Rector's Conference, swissuniversities, which do not include postdoc positions (more here), not simply to have held a student B permit beforehand.

Had OP graduated with a PhD degree from EPFL prior to their postdoc then it might be easier for the ZH labor authorities to justify a derogation to non-EU admission in the Swiss labor market if their new job is of "scientific and economic importance" as per Art. 21 al. 3 of the FNIA.
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