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Old 07.08.2020, 06:25
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Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

Hello,


I have a open-ended contract to start work in Switzerland later this year. They will issue me with a Carte de Legitimation type "I", if I understand correctly. I think there is no way around this, if I understand correctly. There are no benefits I can see beyond not being prosecuted for work conducted while undertaking my duties.


My wife is a UK passport holder and would like to look for a job with a local business. Would it be better for her to apply for a B permit instead? We also have a child with UK passport. Would it be better to have the child under her B permit?


I believe this is possible until the end of the year and then UK will be treated as third-country nationals from 1st January and no longer eligible to apply for B permit.


We plan to live in Vaud.
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Old 07.08.2020, 08:28
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

It is possible for an EU/EFTA national transitioning to a CDL job to retain their already acquired residency rights under free movement of people agreement.

For new migrants (as is the case here), there is no choice: you will all be granted a CDL unless the main permit holder is able to produce a local contract (as you are UK in this case on or before 31 Dec 20). From then on, moving from a CDL to a local permit would be subject to non-EU hiring criteria.

Note years on a CDL do not count for neither C permit nor citizenship.

On the plus side, you will likely pay very limited income tax and will have health insurance taken care of by your employer...
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Old 07.08.2020, 08:38
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

I believe the CICR have exemption from taxes and is not part of the AVS system. Depending on your long term plans that is either a benefit or a drawback.

If you plan on staying more than a couple of years a Permit would be better than CdL. Be careful though her rate of (incremental) taxation will ge based on your combined salary (even though your salary won’t be taxed).
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Old 07.08.2020, 08:52
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

Thanks for the replies.

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I believe the CICR have exemption from taxes and is not part of the AVS system. Depending on your long term plans that is either a benefit or a drawback.

If you plan on staying more than a couple of years a Permit would be better than CdL. Be careful though her rate of (incremental) taxation will ge based on your combined salary (even though your salary won’t be taxed).
CICR staff are definitely taxed as regular workers and pay AVS, no exemptions similar to UN.

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It is possible for an EU/EFTA national transitioning to a CDL job to retain their already acquired residency rights under free movement of people agreement.

For new migrants (as is the case here), there is no choice: you will all be granted a CDL unless the main permit holder is able to produce a local contract (as you are UK in this case on or before 31 Dec 20). From then on, moving from a CDL to a local permit would be subject to non-EU hiring criteria.

Note years on a CDL do not count for neither C permit nor citizenship.

On the plus side, you will likely pay very limited income tax and will have health insurance taken care of by your employer...
This is what my HR says : "However, family members who are EU or EFTA nationals have two options: a) get a Carte de légitimation or instead b) apply themselves for an ordinary B residence permit with the Cantonal Population Office. The choice should be made carefully as it will be considered as final by the Swiss authorities."

Are they wrong?
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Old 07.08.2020, 08:59
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

She can’t apply for an independent B permit until she has a job. If she doesn’t have a job when you arrive, she’ll get the same permit as you. If she gets a job before the end of the year, they may let her change it.
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Old 07.08.2020, 09:00
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

They are wrong. The choice is only available to EU/EFTA nationals (and spouses of EU/EFTA nationals, regardless of their nationality) already resident in Switzerland. Your spouse will be able to move from a CDL to a B permit in their own right upon producing a local contract (and this before 31 Dec 20 as they are UK).
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Old 07.08.2020, 09:20
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

Actually they are not wrong. That paragraph starts “ However, family members who are EU or EFTA nationals”. Different rules apply for third country nationals.
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Old 07.08.2020, 09:31
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

Logically it certainly makes sense and is less ambiguous this way. Thanks for sharing
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Old 07.08.2020, 09:32
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

Here is the link to the Swiss page on CdL and explains rights of EU/EFTA spouses.

https://www.eda.admin.ch/content/dam...ices-OI_FR.pdf

It basically says that EU/EFTA family members of CdL that enter under family regroupement are neverleless able to request a B permit from the appropriate authorities. Different rules apply if you were recruited in Switzerland.

The below information on taxation, CdL income being included, was fixed by a legal case several years ago, at least GE canton, and is no longer the case. I understand VD follows their example although there may be nuances.

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If you plan on staying more than a couple of years a Permit would be better than CdL. Be careful though her rate of (incremental) taxation will ge based on your combined salary (even though your salary won’t be taxed).
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Old 07.08.2020, 09:46
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

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I understand VD follows their example although there may be nuances.
Vaud definitely followed this policy and I am unaware of any changes.
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Old 07.08.2020, 09:51
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

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Here is the link to the Swiss page on CdL and explains rights of EU/EFTA spouses.

https://www.eda.admin.ch/content/dam...ices-OI_FR.pdf
Here is the English version:

"Under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP 2), family members who are nationals of a Member State of the European Union (EU 3) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA 4) and who are allowed to enter Switzerland on the grounds of family reunification may ask the Cantonal Population Office of their canton of residence to be issued with a residence permit (B permit) instead of a legitimation card 5 (for family members of locally recruited staff members, see section 4.1). Family members who hold a permit are subject to Swiss law and are not entitled to privileges or immunities."
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Old 07.08.2020, 10:30
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

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She can’t apply for an independent B permit until she has a job.
What does ‘independent B’ mean?

OP is correct. Partner and relocating dependents (who are EU/EFTA citizens) of CDL holders can now request a B permit either, on arrival or by requesting to exchange their CDL.

Otherwise, a partner of a CDL holder is allowed to find a job, and when they find a job, they will be issued a permit Ci. The permit Ci is conditional on the main CDL holder continuing to hold the CDL.

If relocating partners and dependents of a CDL holder are British, they have until the end of the brexit transition period, 31.12.2020 to request for a permit B.

Normally, holding a CDL means that the individual is not eligible for unemployment benefits, however if the holder is an EU / EFTA citizen and their employment ends, they can apply for an L permit and will be eligible to access the labour market and apply for unemployment benefits.

A CDL holder of any nationality who lives in Switzerland for 5 years, then retires, can apply for a permit C (Geneva). This makes them eligible to naturalize (after 10 years) and the years they spent in Switzerland with a CDL count towards this.

The HR team at ICRC know all the rules and will be much more useful for the OP than asking on here. (I don’t work there)

I sometimes hear people whining about CDLs; they allow employers to hire outside Switzerland’s quotas, CDLs are provided in just a few days, rather than the months it can take the permits, and the Swiss Mission (DFAE) are responsive, flexible and competent.
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Old 07.08.2020, 10:38
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

Yes, apologies my browser defaults to French, and usually the English version is a courtesy translation not having legal status.

So back to the original question, having a B permit vs. Ci permit would be equal for your spouse in terms of being able to work. So it really depends on any long term ambitions in CH and your job security. If your spouse finds work in the local sector and stays a number of years and gets the language proficiency and integrates, then can eventually move up to C permit and apply for naturalisation. You, or any family member on CdL or Ci, would not have this possibility.
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Old 07.08.2020, 10:50
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

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Yes, apologies my browser defaults to French, and usually the English version is a courtesy translation not having legal status.

So back to the original question, having a B permit vs. Ci permit would be equal for your spouse in terms of being able to work.
Isn’t having a Ci permit dependent on the main CDL holder keeping their job?

If the main CDL lost their job, the Ci holder loses their right to work and live in Switzerland, unless their employer can help them apply for a permit B, which will be à labour market challenge.

Unless the CDL category gives the holders any immunities and privileges, then in my view, the relocating dependents are always better off with a permit B than a CDL.
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Old 07.08.2020, 11:08
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

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Isn’t having a Ci permit dependent on the main CDL holder keeping their job?
Yes, that's what I said, depends on OPs job security.
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Old 07.08.2020, 11:13
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Re: Should my wife stick with CDL or apply for Permit B?

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Vaud definitely followed this policy and I am unaware of any changes.
This is the legal fix I referred to. It was specifically fixed for GE in 2010. And I understood VD quietly follows suit so as to not create a big mess. Anyhow, based on this legal precedence, the international civil servant would have clear recourse through the organisation for tax reimbursement in case VD or any other canton did similar.

https://www.ilo.org/dyn/triblex/trib...nguage_code=EN
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