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Old 27.04.2020, 22:25
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Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Hi all,


I am offered by a big Swiss company. I accepted and signed the contract on February. Then, coronavirus crisis evolved just before the company was ready to apply for the work visa. HR now says me that "Our hands are mostly tied because of restrictions of the authorities. Lots of the things are at gray area at the moment."

I am wondering if there is someone (nonEU) whose application is in progress in this time period. Do you have any information when the authorities start again to process applications?



Thank you all in advance!
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Old 27.04.2020, 22:30
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Mid June I think? Not likely before that.
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Old 27.04.2020, 22:38
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Anything to do with permit applications is on hold until at least the 15th June. Whether that will be extended or not the government hasn't decided yet.
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Old 27.04.2020, 23:32
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Just be patient! I signed a contract as well last March but I've been in touch with them and they've moved my start date to August.

Almost all cantons are not processing until 15th of June, I think. It's not our fault, I'm sure your company will understand that and will accommodate. Best of luck!
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:55
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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Hi all,


I am offered by a big Swiss company. I accepted and signed the contract on February. Then, coronavirus crisis evolved just before the company was ready to apply for the work visa. HR now says me that "Our hands are mostly tied because of restrictions of the authorities. Lots of the things are at gray area at the moment."

I am wondering if there is someone (nonEU) whose application is in progress in this time period. Do you have any information when the authorities start again to process applications?



Thank you all in advance!
Hey I'm on the same boat, it does seem pretty certain that no permits/visas will be granted before 15 June. But I also wonder if they might start processing before that and confirm the decision from 15 june onwards, otherwise there will be a huge backlog?!

Here's the info from the authorities, so maybe you can email them for further clarifications
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...weigerung.html
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Old 29.04.2020, 09:32
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Economies around the world including Switzerland's are already suffering from Covid-19 impact - which means a lot of unemployment.

I would really be surprised to see new permits being issued when around 1/4th of Swiss population is under Kurzarbeit
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Old 29.04.2020, 12:13
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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Economies around the world including Switzerland's are already suffering from Covid-19 impact - which means a lot of unemployment.

I would really be surprised to see new permits being issued when around 1/4th of Swiss population is under Kurzarbeit
Indeed, I believe that permit issuing was suspended not because of the fears over imported infection, but rather to reduce the unemployment.
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Old 29.04.2020, 14:05
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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Economies around the world including Switzerland's are already suffering from Covid-19 impact - which means a lot of unemployment.

I would really be surprised to see new permits being issued when around 1/4th of Swiss population is under Kurzarbeit
Something tells me that extrapolating the general unemployment/Kurzarbeit statistics among the population onto the group of non-EU people with independent work permits (i.e. very highly skilled and highly paid) is very misleading.
I work at a company employing hundreds, if not low thousands of non-EU people. You can bet we are all very much at Vollarbeit, albeit from home. Sure, some highly qualified work can't be done from home but the Kurzarbeit numbers among this cohort will still be nowhere close to 1/4.
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Old 29.04.2020, 14:29
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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Something tells me that extrapolating the general unemployment/Kurzarbeit statistics among the population onto the group of non-EU people with independent work permits (i.e. very highly skilled and highly paid) is very misleading.
I work at a company employing hundreds, if not low thousands of non-EU people. You can bet we are all very much at Vollarbeit, albeit from home. Sure, some highly qualified work can't be done from home but the Kurzarbeit numbers among this cohort will still be nowhere close to 1/4.
Which brings me to the point that now is probably the right moment for making an upswing career move, if you are a highly skilled professional.

Last edited by LifeStrain; 29.04.2020 at 15:06.
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Old 29.04.2020, 16:27
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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Economies around the world including Switzerland's are already suffering from Covid-19 impact - which means a lot of unemployment.

I would really be surprised to see new permits being issued when around 1/4th of Swiss population is under Kurzarbeit

Quite surprising then that NHS visas are being given automatic extensions in UK
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  #11  
Old 29.04.2020, 16:50
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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Quite surprising then that NHS visas are being given automatic extensions in UK
Good thing Switzerland's immigration policy has nothing to do with that of the UK
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  #12  
Old 30.04.2020, 14:45
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Here is the information from the Swiss Federal Council, of 29.04.2020
Coronavirus: Restrictions on entry to be gradually relaxed from 11 May
https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/do...-id-78940.html

A first stage of relaxing the restrictions is envisaged from 11th May 2020, and a second stage from 8th June 2020. However:
"Any easing of the restrictions on entry into Switzerland or on allowing foreign citizens to work or stay in the country will only take place once the epidemiological situation permits."
As always, the English translation is provided by the Swiss government as a courtesy only, and the binding texts are those in the original official Swiss langauges.
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Old 30.04.2020, 16:36
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

There were some loosening announced yesterday at the second press conference as concerns permits, as of 11 May:

Those requests submitted before 25 March will start to be processed as of 11 May.

For Swiss and EU, family reunification will restart as of 11 May.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...ml#-1151854284


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Here is the information from the Swiss Federal Council, of 29.04.2020
Coronavirus: Restrictions on entry to be gradually relaxed from 11 May
https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/do...-id-78940.html

A first stage of relaxing the restrictions is envisaged from 11th May 2020, and a second stage from 8th June 2020. However:
"Any easing of the restrictions on entry into Switzerland or on allowing foreign citizens to work or stay in the country will only take place once the epidemiological situation permits."
As always, the English translation is provided by the Swiss government as a courtesy only, and the binding texts are those in the original official Swiss langauges.
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Old 05.05.2020, 01:13
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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There were some loosening announced yesterday at the second press conference as concerns permits, as of 11 May:

Those requests submitted before 25 March will start to be processed as of 11 May.

For Swiss and EU, family reunification will restart as of 11 May.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...ml#-1151854284
“For Swiss and EU”: What about a non-EU person who’s applied for a family reunification to reunite with a Swiss spouse?
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Old 05.05.2020, 07:39
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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“For Swiss and EU”: What about a non-EU person who’s applied for a family reunification to reunite with a Swiss spouse?
What bit of Swiss and EU did you miss?

It means applications for reunification for family members of Swiss and EU nationals will start being processed again from the 11th May.
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Old 07.05.2020, 15:43
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

According to the latest information (https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/do...-id-78940.html), my company could not apply for the work permit before 19 March since one document was missing.


They are now completely ready to apply for the work visa. They have not found someone else from EU or EFTA states to hire for 7 months.



Then I read in the documentation that from 8 June it will be possible to process all applications for all workers from EU and EFTA states. No information exists for non-EU states.


I am wondering why non-EU professionals are not included in this step? What can be the Federal Counsil’s foresight to provide companies with permission to apply for work permit which have already chosen their candidate and signed contract?

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Old 07.05.2020, 15:48
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Not having read the whole thread: did the company already have approval for your permit? If not, you are at the end of the waiting line.


They´ll probably start with EU as those are the simplest to process?
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Old 07.05.2020, 16:50
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Check your signed offer letter (not exactly the same as a contract, usually contracts are signed in-situ): it probably has a clause such that the offer is contingent upon obtaining the required working authorisation from the government.

Patience and dealing with variables out of your control is the way forward in these cases.
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Old 07.05.2020, 20:06
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

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According to the latest information (https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/do...-id-78940.html), my company could not apply for the work permit before 19 March since one document was missing.


They are now completely ready to apply for the work visa. They have not found someone else from EU or EFTA states to hire for 7 months.



Then I read in the documentation that from 8 June it will be possible to process all applications for all workers from EU and EFTA states. No information exists for non-EU states.


I am wondering why non-EU professionals are not included in this step? What can be the Federal Counsil’s foresight to provide companies with permission to apply for work permit which have already chosen their candidate and signed contract?

Because it's quicker and easier to do those ones first, no backround checks need to be done, no biometric info needs to be taken, etc. Plus I expect they take priority due to the Free Movement Agreement Switzerland has with those two groups.
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Old 27.05.2020, 17:05
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Re: Delays in work permit applications (nonEU) during coronavirus

Hi all,

Good news The Federal Council announced today that:

"Applications to employ workers from third countries will also be processed again. Admission will be possible if the work assignment is in the public interest and, for example, is necessary to the national economic supply, or if a company urgently requires this skilled labour from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad."

http://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/doc...-id-79248.html

I guess third country nationals already have to provide contribution to Swiss economy, otherwise their application is most probably not accepted. This was like that before coronavirus as well. Are there any differences in these requirements now?
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