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Old 11.06.2020, 08:44
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I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

Hi all,

In a tricky spot and could use your expert help

I'm non-EU (Canadian) with an EU spouse and have just received a job offer in Zurich. Due to COVID, getting a non-EU B permit is suspended indefinitely so my new employer suggests that I get a B permit as an EU spouse (family reunification) as I move to Zurich with my wife.

Unfortunately, getting an EU family reunification B permit that allows me to work requires my wife to have a job as well. Otherwise, we would both get B permits that don't allow us to work.

Of course, my offer is conditional on me having a permit before I start working in October/November so my wife now needs to find a job in that timeframe.

Do I have any other options? Seems a bit risky to rely on my wife getting a job in time given the economic circumstances at the moment. At the same time, things could open up again for non-EU people in time.

We're moving from an EU country if that's relevant.

Thank you!
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Old 11.06.2020, 09:06
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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Do I have any other options?
We're moving from an EU country if that's relevant.
Not many options, no. Either you get a non EU permit or your wife gets a job and permit and you can follow her. What country you come from is irrelevant here.

As far as I know the authorities have started processing permits again but no idea when they will be able to process new applications, would imagine they have a backlog.
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Old 11.06.2020, 09:36
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

Hey - non EU work permits are being processed from 8 June if your job is impt to the economic supply or there's an urgent economic need by your company to hire you. Check the SEM website for more.

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Hi all,

In a tricky spot and could use your expert help

I'm non-EU (Canadian) with an EU spouse and have just received a job offer in Zurich. Due to COVID, getting a non-EU B permit is suspended indefinitely so my new employer suggests that I get a B permit as an EU spouse (family reunification) as I move to Zurich with my wife.

Unfortunately, getting an EU family reunification B permit that allows me to work requires my wife to have a job as well. Otherwise, we would both get B permits that don't allow us to work.

Of course, my offer is conditional on me having a permit before I start working in October/November so my wife now needs to find a job in that timeframe.

Do I have any other options? Seems a bit risky to rely on my wife getting a job in time given the economic circumstances at the moment. At the same time, things could open up again for non-EU people in time.

We're moving from an EU country if that's relevant.

Thank you!
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Old 11.06.2020, 19:12
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

Thanks. Seems I indeed donít have too many options.

My new employer mentioned that even if things opened up for non-EU, it typically takes 3-5 months to process the permit. Sounds extremely long. Does this reflect reality?

Also, if my wife were to get a job and then quit, would we still keep the working B permits?
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Old 11.06.2020, 22:33
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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Thanks. Seems I indeed donít have too many options.

My new employer mentioned that even if things opened up for non-EU, it typically takes 3-5 months to process the permit. Sounds extremely long. Does this reflect reality?

Also, if my wife were to get a job and then quit, would we still keep the working B permits?
12 weeks is common for a non-EU permit. Given corona times...expect it could be longer.

Is your idea to have your wife find a temporary job just to get permits and then quit? Not sure how or if that would work. Doesn't hurt to investigate though.
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Old 13.06.2020, 23:33
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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12 weeks is common for a non-EU permit. Given corona times...expect it could be longer.

Is your idea to have your wife find a temporary job just to get permits and then quit? Not sure how or if that would work. Doesn't hurt to investigate though.
Our last resort would be for my wife to get a temporary job and then quit but thanks for the info!
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Old 14.06.2020, 07:57
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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Our last resort would be for my wife to get a temporary job and then quit but thanks for the info!
Just have her keep it long enough to get the family reunification done, that will take a couple of weeks
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Old 14.06.2020, 09:17
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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Our last resort would be for my wife to get a temporary job and then quit but thanks for the info!
You need to be careful about this idea. Your wife as the main permit holder has to show she has enough funds to support you both if she's not working.

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

Getting a temp job and then giving it up might be seen as fraud when the time comes to renew her/your permits.

"Refusal to issue or renew residence permits
The competent cantonal authorities reserve the right to refuse to issue or renew residence permits - or even to revoke them - in cases of fraud, falsification of documents, marriage or adoption of convenience."
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Old 14.06.2020, 10:28
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

In any case a temp job would get her an L valid for only MIN(duration of temp assignment, 1 year). As said above your permit is tied to her status. She would need to find a permanent contract and actually work for you to acquire working rights.
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Old 14.06.2020, 10:40
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

tbh I would just forget about it, might be a nice offer but so much to do in so little time which will likely not succeed.

Your wife would need to find a job, she needs to find a home, she needs to earn enough for the both of you and she needs a permit. And when all of this is done you can start the proces of family reunification and not a day earlier. Your wife would already be lucky if she can do this in just a few months, and than it easily takes 3 more months to get your permit secured.
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Old 14.06.2020, 10:49
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

I understood it only takes 2-3 weeks to get a family reunification permit once you have met all the requirements (job, apartment, etc.). So yes we have 3-4 months to line up her job and an apartment but donít think itís necessarily a ďjust forget itĒ scenario. Or maybe Iím missing something?
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Old 14.06.2020, 13:30
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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I understood it only takes 2-3 weeks to get a family reunification permit once you have met all the requirements (job, apartment, etc.). So yes we have 3-4 months to line up her job and an apartment but donít think itís necessarily a ďjust forget itĒ scenario. Or maybe Iím missing something?
Nooo. Family reunification as a Non-EU takes ages... and your wife would have to come here and start work without you, whilst you wait for your applications to be approved. I can't imagine it would be quicker than your normal permit application, and you can't have 2 applications in process.

Also, finding jobs in Switzerland is not easy in normal times, never mind now, when many people lost jobs or are on reduced hours due to Covid. I wouldn't bank on her finding a job quickly. You say nothing about your wife, does she speak German? Have any specific work skills?
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Old 14.06.2020, 13:37
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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I understood it only takes 2-3 weeks to get a family reunification permit once you have met all the requirements (job, apartment, etc.). So yes we have 3-4 months to line up her job and an apartment but donít think itís necessarily a ďjust forget itĒ scenario. Or maybe Iím missing something?
You said your job would only start in Oct/Nov. I think if she's got relevant skills (including hopefully a local language?) she might be able to find a job in that time frame.

The family reunification is easiest but it's not the only way. 2-3 weeks does sound optimistic though. If your employer really wants you and is waiting until Oct/Nov, surely they can wait a few more weeks if your wife does find a job and it's a matter of getting paperwork through?

Otherwise you can still have your employer go through the non-EU hiring process. If it's a big employer with a lot of experience, the process can go faster than 4-5 months. Also your profile says you're Canadian, which is a "preferred" non-EU country in the sense that you don't usually need to get translations, apostilles, etc. in order to get paperwork processed here. That makes it go a bit faster.

Good luck, keep us posted.
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Old 14.06.2020, 13:56
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

In one of the sticky posts it mentions that we can come together especially since I hold a residence permit from an EU country. Is that not true?

She is quite qualified (MBA, speaks German quite well, finance/banking experience) so definitely not a lost cause. But of course you never know (hence taking up a suboptimal or temporary job as a plan B).

Glad to hear being Canadian helps though. Are there specific advantages I can refer to on some site or is it more anecdotal?

Plan C would be having my employer go through the non-EU process (when that opens up again). Itís a very big/experienced employer but Iím not really sure how harsh the ďno other Swiss/EU person could be hiredĒ policy is.
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Old 14.06.2020, 14:09
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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In one of the sticky posts it mentions that we can come together especially since I hold a residence permit from an EU country. Is that not true?

She is quite qualified (MBA, speaks German quite well, finance/banking experience) so definitely not a lost cause. But of course you never know (hence taking up a suboptimal or temporary job as a plan B).

Glad to hear being Canadian helps though. Are there specific advantages I can refer to on some site or is it more anecdotal?

Plan C would be having my employer go through the non-EU process (when that opens up again). Itís a very big/experienced employer but Iím not really sure how harsh the ďno other Swiss/EU person could be hiredĒ policy is.
This is the criteria.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html
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Old 14.06.2020, 15:37
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

Unless I am mistaken... for you to come to Switzerland, you must apply for family reunification, get a D-visa put in your passport, then once you are here you get issued your permit. However as your wife is EU you can't start this process until she is resident here. It is different if both parties are non-EU because one goes through the non-EU hiring process from abroad and their spouse applies for reunification with them, then they both come at the same time once the main permit is approved.
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Old 14.06.2020, 16:19
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

I was under the impression from the sticky on his forum titled ďUS citizen EU spouseĒ that I didnít need a D visa.

This is taken directly from there which seems quite clear.

Visa Requirement
ďNO Residence Visa/Permission granted before arrival is required for a NON-EU spouse coming from a visa-exempt country or has access to Schengen Visa and you come entering WITH your spouse of EU citizenship. If you have a residence permit in another EU country you also do not need a Visa to enter WITH spouse.Ē


Any chance itís out of date or am I all good following what it says?
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Old 14.06.2020, 22:56
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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I was under the impression from the sticky on his forum titled ďUS citizen EU spouseĒ that I didnít need a D visa.

This is taken directly from there which seems quite clear.

Visa Requirement
ďNO Residence Visa/Permission granted before arrival is required for a NON-EU spouse coming from a visa-exempt country or has access to Schengen Visa and you come entering WITH your spouse of EU citizenship. If you have a residence permit in another EU country you also do not need a Visa to enter WITH spouse.Ē


Any chance itís out of date or am I all good following what it says?
As an EU citizen, she can come here for 3 months to look for jobs and you can come with as a tourist/on your Shengen visa. During that time neither of you needs to register for a permit, except that also means you can't work. If she doesn't find a job after 3 months, she can request an L-permit to keep job-seeking for another 3 months assuming you have enough funds to support yourselves. I think you'd also get an L permit but again no right to work. Once she found a job she'd apply for a permit and you would both receive L or B depending on the length of her contract.

Remember in Switzerland, a visa is only used for entry and it's the residence permit that allows you stay and work here. You might be able to "enter without a visa" in the sense that you can cross the border, but you will have to figure out how to apply for a residence permit if you want to work.
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Old 15.06.2020, 12:58
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

The permits were only paused for a short time. If your employer is serious then they should just proceed and get you a non-EU permit. The salary needs to be high enough to support you and your family, and they will have to prove that the cannot find someone in Switzerland / EU to fill the position.



Of course, your wife can continue to look for work by herself and maybe something comes up...



But if your wife finds a job, it also needs to 'stand alone' with enough salary to support you and your family...



I am also unsure what happens then if your wife stops working - I don't know if you would then be able to switch the permit over to allow you to continue working.



Basically, to stay, you need to be properly employed... or with enough money to self-support...One permit holder is seen as the 'primary' permit holder, and the other the 'dependent'.
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Old 15.06.2020, 13:49
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Re: I'm non-EU (but with EU spouse) with job offer in ZH. What are my options?

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As an EU citizen, she can come here for 3 months to look for jobs and you can come with as a tourist/on your Shengen visa. During that time neither of you needs to register for a permit, except that also means you can't work. If she doesn't find a job after 3 months, she can request an L-permit to keep job-seeking for another 3 months assuming you have enough funds to support yourselves. I think you'd also get an L permit but again no right to work. Once she found a job she'd apply for a permit and you would both receive L or B depending on the length of her contract.

Remember in Switzerland, a visa is only used for entry and it's the residence permit that allows you stay and work here. You might be able to "enter without a visa" in the sense that you can cross the border, but you will have to figure out how to apply for a residence permit if you want to work.
She is currently doing her job search virtually and it looks like she would only need to visit Switzerland once or twice for in-person interviews. So there isn't really a risk that we would stay in Switzerland for too long. In that case I'm guessing there's no need for a D-visa so we can apply for a permit?

@swisspea: Unfortunately non-EU permits are still indefinitely on hold (unless the job is of public interest or critical to economic supply). So I would at least have to wait until that restriction is lifted before considering that route.
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