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Old 03.04.2020, 10:20
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Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

Hi everyone,

Please don't be too critical here. I'm new to moving overseas, and obviously very naive.

I am married to a German, who has an employment contract in Bern starting in August of this year.

I was told today by the cantonal authority in Bern that in order for myself and my children to join my husband, we will need to apply for a family reunification visa from Australia.

We had no idea. We thought that we could move together, and I could enter with him and apply from within the country! (rookie error).

So just to confirm that this is true?? So pretty much the only way will be that my husband goes first, seeks a residence, and then we apply from Australia? Is there any other way?

Of course, this is further complicated by Covid 19 and all of the restrictions!

TIA.
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Old 03.04.2020, 10:23
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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So just to confirm that this is true?? So pretty much the only way will be that my husband goes first, seeks a residence, and then we apply from Australia? Is there any other way?

Of course, this is further complicated by Covid 19 and all of the restrictions!

TIA.

That. And cross your fingers by then Corona etc is all over as for the time being no new permits are being issued
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Old 03.04.2020, 10:47
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

I’m pretty sure you can apply for it before your husbands gets there. You certainly can when your partner is non-EU and they are also applying for their permit in advance. Not sure how it works as your husband is an EU citizen and wouldn’t apply for his permit until he arrives. Maybe if he has a work contract you can use that as the basis of your application. Give the Swiss embassy in Oz a call and ask how you can apply in advance.
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Old 03.04.2020, 10:51
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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I’m pretty sure you can apply for it before your husbands gets there. You certainly can when your partner is non-EU and they are also applying for their permit in advance. Not sure how it works as your husband is an EU citizen and wouldn’t apply for his permit until he arrives. Maybe if he has a work contract you can use that as the basis of your application. Give the Swiss embassy in Oz a call and ask how you can apply in advance.
Thanks Island Monkey. But how do you prove the "sufficient space to live" part if you don't yet have a place to live??

And yes, we will call the Swiss embassy on Monday.
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Old 03.04.2020, 11:21
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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I’m pretty sure you can apply for it before your husbands gets there. You certainly can when your partner is non-EU and they are also applying for their permit in advance. Not sure how it works as your husband is an EU citizen and wouldn’t apply for his permit until he arrives. Maybe if he has a work contract you can use that as the basis of your application. Give the Swiss embassy in Oz a call and ask how you can apply in advance.
During corona not even the German husband gets in with only a contract but no permit.
When does he start work? You better get in touch with the employer, should this be soon.
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Old 03.04.2020, 11:30
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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During corona not even the German husband gets in with only a contract but no permit.
When does he start work? You better get in touch with the employer, should this be soon.

OP said August, by that time this hopefully is all over!
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Old 03.04.2020, 11:31
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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During corona not even the German husband gets in with only a contract but no permit.
When does he start work? You better get in touch with the employer, should this be soon.
Yes, he's contacting them today. We were told by Canton Bern it would be possible that they issue a Meldebestatigung if the employer applies for it. But we need to do this soon!
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Old 03.04.2020, 11:46
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

So, to clarify, every family in this situation spends 3-4 months apart? With one spouse in Switzerland, and one in the home country, and the children apart from their mother/father as well for this time?? It doesn't make sense!
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Old 03.04.2020, 12:03
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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So, to clarify, every family in this situation spends 3-4 months apart? With one spouse in Switzerland, and one in the home country, and the children apart from their mother/father as well for this time?? It doesn't make sense!
https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta

You need to apply for both the family reunification permits and you'll also need Type D visas to be able to enter Switzerland legally for more than 90 days asap at the Swiss embassy/consulate in Australia. If you can get approval before you move then you can all come with him; if not then yes, you have to wait until they're approved before you can join him.

What were you planning to do for accommodation? Stay in an hotel or AirBnB for a while? AirBnB isn't always accepted by the cantonal authorities.

If you have a couple of kids then you'd need at least a 4 room place to rent (living and 3 beds). Kitchens, baths, caves, etc, don't get counted.

And yes, hope that the virus situation is more or less back to normal by then because atm even Swiss nationals can't get their spouses/dependents into the country if they don't have a permit already.
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Old 03.04.2020, 12:05
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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So, to clarify, every family in this situation spends 3-4 months apart? With one spouse in Switzerland, and one in the home country, and the children apart from their mother/father as well for this time?? It doesn't make sense!
Your profile says you are English. If you have British nationality then that changes a few things - the UK is still in the Brexit ( )transition period.


https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/u...59__1683265959
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Old 03.04.2020, 12:32
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta


What were you planning to do for accommodation? Stay in an hotel or AirBnB for a while? AirBnB isn't always accepted by the cantonal authorities.
That's the challenging thing. From what I can see, the process takes 3-4 months. Imagining we all want to go together, we would have to apply for an apartment that is only available at least 4 months from when we apply and be approved *prior* to the application.
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Old 03.04.2020, 13:04
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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Your profile says you are English. If you have British nationality then that changes a few things - the UK is still in the Brexit ( )transition period.


https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/u...59__1683265959
Are you British? Are your kids British/German?
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Old 03.04.2020, 13:10
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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So, to clarify, every family in this situation spends 3-4 months apart? With one spouse in Switzerland, and one in the home country, and the children apart from their mother/father as well for this time?? It doesn't make sense!
It makes some sense. Albeit, personal preferences.

When I arrived here I stayed 2 weeks in a hotel, then a few days more in the couch of a new made friend until I finally moved into a flat. Then all the paperwork and waiting time to get the permit approved. I don't imagine telling her: I don't want to pay a hotel for 2 anymore, we'll sleep on someone's living room until we find a flat. Then apply for apartments, don't get accepted, apply once again.

Since I was alone, it was easier to endure all this without making my wife pass the same difficulties. When she arrived a few months later, the flat was ready and I already knew a bit of the local language to help her with bureaucracy and find a job. It can be very frustrating once you're here and nothing advances due to bureaucracy. You can read many stories like that in the forum.

Also, I'll think about the spouse that got the job offer. There's a probation period between 1 and 3 months. Most of people stay in the job, but I read one story here about someone who moved only to get fired during the probation period. Then, got stuck with a 1 year contract for flat, spent the money on furniture, no unemployment benefits. Sorry for writing about sad stories but maybe there's a reason why some people make things step by step. Of course, some jobs offer a lot more certainty than others.


Here's the story from last year: https://www.englishforum.ch/employme...t-benefit.html

Last edited by Axa; 03.04.2020 at 13:31. Reason: added the link to EF thread
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Old 03.04.2020, 13:10
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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Are you British? Are your kids British/German?
No - I'm Australian, my husband is German. So German/Australian. I'm not sure why my profile says I am British??
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Old 03.04.2020, 13:43
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

A rental contract usually (most always) ends at a month's end. The months it can end by may be mentioned on the contract (you want that, and the more the better for the renter). If none are mentioned the default applies. For Berne city and suburbs the default dates are April 30 or October 31. As a consequence many more apartments will be available with start date in November. You're much more likely to find a suitable apartment at a reasonable price with that a start date.

A rental contract usually comes with a minimum duration of 1-2 years. You can't get out of it during that time unless you find a follow-on renter who enters into the contract in your stead. If your husband's job contract were cancelled you'd still stuck with the rental contract and would need to find a follow-on renter if you wanted to get out.

A job contract usually comes with a trial period, it can be up to three months (you may want to check what applies to you). During the trial period the cancel period is just one week. Given the uncertainties created by Covid-19 I wouldn't ignore this possibility, unemployment is expected to rise significantly.

A single person is much more flexible than a family. It would also give him time to learn his way around, and to find a nice apartment for the family.
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Old 03.04.2020, 14:02
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

I should clarify - we are not so worried about a probationary period. My husband is a scientist on a 3 year research grant in a highly specialised field, so it is very unlikely he will be made redundant or not "like" his job.

We are just astounded that we might have to separate for the period of the Visa D application. He doesn't want to be away from me, or the children. It's hard to believe that there is not an alternative solution.
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Old 03.04.2020, 14:14
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I should clarify - we are not so worried about a probationary period. My husband is a scientist on a 3 year research grant in a highly specialised field, so it is very unlikely he will be made redundant or not "like" his job.

We are just astounded that we might have to separate for the period of the Visa D application. He doesn't want to be away from me, or the children. It's hard to believe that there is not an alternative solution.
There is an alternative. You can come over as a tourist for 3 months. However, you will have to pick up your D visa from outside Switzerland, you could probably organise to pick it up in another European country, but there is a small chance that you might have to go back to Oz to get it. If your family reunification isn’t approved with-in the 3 months, you’d also have to leave the Schengen zone at this point. Problem is it would mean your kids couldn’t go to school as tourists.... unless they have German citizenship in which case they could register at the same time as your husband without having to go through the family reunification process, and could start school.
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Old 03.04.2020, 14:19
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

The university position changes the situation a lot. Quitting is only up to him

I don't live in Bern but I'm sure there are short-term rentals with furniture. Only downside, 40-50% above the price of long-term rentals. The conditions are usually min 1 month rent, 1 month notice to leave and you cannot leave at the end of December.

And you're right, you'd have to apply to the apartment before the permit application.
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Old 03.04.2020, 14:28
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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There is an alternative.
Why would there need to be one?
Ignoring potential delays due to covid-19, if OP submits the visa D applicaton now it should be ready by Juli, shouldn't it? The application form says "procedure time is usually 3-4 months".
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Old 03.04.2020, 14:31
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Re: Family reunion visa from outside of the country??

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There is an alternative. You can come over as a tourist for 3 months. However, you will have to pick up your D visa from outside Switzerland, you could probably organise to pick it up in another European country, but there is a small chance that you might have to go back to Oz to get it. If your family reunification isn’t approved with-in the 3 months, you’d also have to leave the Schengen zone at this point. Problem is it would mean your kids couldn’t go to school as tourists.... unless they have German citizenship in which case they could register at the same time as your husband without having to go through the family reunification process, and could start school.
That sounds alot more promising! The children have the right to German citizenship, so we could potentially apply for their passports and they could start school. So the only possible downside is that I may have to travel back to Australia (which is crazy). But alot better than being split apart for 3-4 months. Of course, I will confirm this with the Swiss embassy here in Australia. Thanks for the advice, it gives me a little bit of hope!
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