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Old 20.08.2020, 10:23
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strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

Me and my wife, both non-EU citizens came to Lugano (TI) due to my wife's academic work. She gets a Permit B and I also get a Permit B over Family Unification. After 11 months, I finally found a job at the University. Everything went perfectly well so far, now it's the first time we will apply for permit renewal.

My university HR told me to renew my permit over "family unification". All the application work should be undertook by my wife's university and they will also send my documents to Immigration Office seperately. So we agreed on it, both HR guys also agreed on it and my wife's university makes the permit renewal application for both of us.

Next day, my wife received an e-mail from Immigration Office in Italian telling her to send them something like "please give us information about your conditions, if everything is OK...". So she asked her HR what to do and her HR prepares a letter for my wife declaring

1) our living conditions and economic situation are fine (OK, acceptable)
2) we will leave the country after her academic work is finished (why???)
3) we will not apply for any financial help from the canton...

Actually we have finally reached a situation where we can fund ourselves more than enough and if everything goes OK like this, we wanted to apply for a citizenship. But this really makes us think about it. Are we "unwanted here?"

Does anybody have faced with such a situation? Any recommendations?
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  #2  
Old 20.08.2020, 10:46
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

I would never say what is in paragraph 2. But I would add that you two are integrating well in your community (and give some examples).
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Old 20.08.2020, 11:37
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

Hello, welcome to the forum!

To begin with, not all permits type B are the same. If it's coming fro the university, the permit of your wife may say something in the back like "education along lucrative activity" in Italian. This B permit is different to the B permit that allows to work unrestricted in CH "lucrative activity". Why both permits are B? Don't know, maybe the alphabet is that short that they had to use B more than one time.

Next, it is curious that HR offered to do this job for your wife and you. Usually, everyone is responsible of their permits. Did your wife signed something to let HR people act in her behalf?

Then, where's the money for the university position coming from? Is it a mobility grant from other country? Cantonal funds? Swiss science fund (SNF)? What were the specific grant conditions? Some academic funding has some conditions about staying or leaving.

Finally, income. Don't tell me your income, but the Swiss estimate a couple without kids needs 3000 CHF per month to survive. You could make it with less, but it's a standard to cover housing, food, health insurance, clothing and mobility. In some cantons it's a bit more in other less, but if your wife's income is near this level it's probable the authorities think there might be economic hardship.

I'd get rid of the middleman and deal directly with cantonal authorities. The HR people has nothing to gain or lose, why expect something from them?
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Old 20.08.2020, 12:02
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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1) our living conditions and economic situation are fine (OK, acceptable)
2) we will leave the country after her academic work is finished (why???)
3) we will not apply for any financial help from the canton...
2) Is your wife classed as a student? It's normally that students have to say that they will leave once their studies are over.

3) Why are you upset about 3? It's also normal that they would want to know that you are not planning to rely on social help. This does not include unemployment benefits.
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Old 20.08.2020, 12:03
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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I would never say what is in paragraph 2. But I would add that you two are integrating well in your community (and give some examples).
I don't want to make such a declaration neither. The HR person told "normally they don't request such a document, it's a bit strange".

Quote:
To begin with, not all permits type B are the same. If it's coming fro the university, the permit of your wife may say something in the back like "education along lucrative activity" in Italian. This B permit is different to the B permit that allows to work unrestricted in CH "lucrative activity". Why both permits are B? Don't know, maybe the alphabet is that short that they had to use B more than one time.
She's "working" in the university as a PhD assistant and receives and income above 3000 CHF. Her Permit B is "Formazione con attivita", mine is "Ricongiungimento con attivita". I assume both of us can work.


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Next, it is curious that HR offered to do this job for your wife and you. Usually, everyone is responsible of their permits. Did your wife signed something to let HR people act in her behalf?
No.

Quote:
Then, where's the money for the university position coming from? Is it a mobility grant from other country? Cantonal funds? Swiss science fund (SNF)? What were the specific grant conditions? Some academic funding has some conditions about staying or leaving.
This is interesting. I will check this.

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I'd get rid of the middleman and deal directly with cantonal authorities. The HR people has nothing to gain or lose, why expect something from them?
You are totally right, but we don't know Italian and they don't speak English. We also trust the HR's since they do the same business for a long time and we assume that "they know the business better than us".

Do you think making such statements like "we will leave the country" could be problematic in the future?
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Old 20.08.2020, 12:05
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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Do you think making such statements like "we will leave the country" could be problematic in the future?
Only if you don't leave.

Tom
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Old 20.08.2020, 12:05
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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Finally, income. Don't tell me your income, but the Swiss estimate a couple without kids needs 3000 CHF per month to survive. You could make it with less, but it's a standard to cover housing, food, health insurance, clothing and mobility. In some cantons it's a bit more in other less, but if your wife's income is near this level it's probable the authorities think there might be economic hardship.
Now we both gain above 3000.
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Old 20.08.2020, 12:19
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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2) Is your wife classed as a student? It's normally that students have to say that they will leave once their studies are over.
I think yes, she is getting paid by the university but she also might be classified as a student. That could be the reason.

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3) Why are you upset about 3? It's also normal that they would want to know that you are not planning to rely on social help. This does not include unemployment benefits.
That's also something new for me, because I have applied to the unemployment office, they were very kind and arranged me an Italian Course which was essential for me to land a job! Knowing that it is excluded is a relief. Of course we are not relying on any funds which we don't deserve.


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Do you think making such statements like "we will leave the country" could be problematic in the future?
Only if you don't leave.
Well, even if I would be making enough money for both of us?
Because I would choose to stay here if I can.
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  #9  
Old 20.08.2020, 12:23
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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Well, even if I would be making enough money for both of us?
Because I would choose to stay here if I can.
If your wife loses her permit (e.g. after completing her studies) you will need to leave the country as well even if you have a job, your permit is dependent on hers even if you have a job and earn enough money to support you both.
Alternatively you will have to be rehired as a fresh non-EU person with the whole circus of your employer having to prove that they could not find a Swiss/EU person for your position. That is very hard to do.
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Old 20.08.2020, 12:47
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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She's "working" in the university as a PhD assistant and receives and income above 3000 CHF. Her Permit B is "Formazione con attivita", mine is "Ricongiungimento con attivita". I assume both of us can work.
There you have it: Formazione con attivita meaning a student that has income. However, conditions of residence permit for students still apply.

Going back to this one: 2) we will leave the country after her academic work is finished (why???)

I know this document is asked to Master's students with no income. Never requested to me during PhD or heard other PhD students talking about it. So, the cantonal authorities might have mistaken a Formazione con attivita with only Formazione, or rules simply changed. No way to know until talking to cantonal authorities and clarifying the issue.

HR may know their business, but knowledge without motivation is useless. Maybe get a translator and deal with the problem yourselves.


I'd also say talk to a lawyer that knows about immigration, but...that gets me a lot of groans around here.
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Old 20.08.2020, 13:11
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

As she is on a student permit, it is the normal conditions of the permit that students agree to leave the country after their studies are complete. This is a standard clause in the student permits for cantons around here. She probably already signed something to this effect when getting the original permit. If graduating from a Swiss university and non-EU you have thé opportunity to find a job for some months after completing the degree but need to go through the non-EU hiring process. If citizenship is a goal I don't think student permits count without time on a normal job permit thereafter. So you should really have a plan b for when her studies/permit finish.
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  #12  
Old 20.08.2020, 13:18
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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If graduating from a Swiss university and non-EU you have thé opportunity to find a job for some months after completing the degree but need to go through the non-EU hiring process. .
No. That is wrong, they are treated (mostly) the same as Swiss an EU nationals regarding job permits during the 6 month job seeking period. Art. 21 Paragraph 3 FNIA
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Foreign nationals with a Swiss university degree may be admitted in derogation from paragraph 1 [precedence rule] if their work is of high academic or economic interest. They shall be temporarily admitted for a period of six months following completion of their education or training in Switzerland in order to find suitable work
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Old 20.08.2020, 13:30
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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No. That is wrong, they are treated (mostly) the same as Swiss an EU nationals regarding job permits during the 6 month job seeking period. Art. 21 Paragraph 3 FNIA
"if their work is of high academic or economic interest"
So no, they don't have nearly the same freedom as Swiss and EU nationals in choosing a job, it must be plausibly related to their field of studies and on top of that (IIUC) each canton decides what work is of high academic or economic interest for themselves and that information is usually not public.

So yes they are treated as EU/Swiss for the jobs the whatever canton thinkgs they are allowed to apply to but their choice of employment is severely restricted.
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Old 20.08.2020, 13:37
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

I really think what we have here is a relatively inexperienced HR worker who, on facing something new, has guessed what the cantonal authorities are looking for.

Go back to the original question and focus on that. Don't guess what they are looking for. Keep it short and simple. Don't answer questions that weren't asked.
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:48
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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...I'd get rid of the middleman and deal directly with cantonal authorities. The HR people has nothing to gain or lose, why expect something from them?
OP can't do that entirely, because it's the employer that requests the permit for a non-EU. However he can certainly contact the cantonal authorities for more information/clarification.
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Old 20.08.2020, 21:18
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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I'd get rid of the middleman and deal directly with cantonal authorities.
Only works if you are literate in the local language, which OP isn't.

Tom
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Old 20.08.2020, 21:53
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

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Only works if you are literate in the local language, which OP isn't.

Tom
That too! But you speak Italian, so you could volunteer to help the OP.
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Old 21.08.2020, 02:09
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

Might it be a possibility that OP ask their own employer to try to obtain a permit, i.e. convert the status of "dependent upon spouse's permit" into a "permit in own name"?
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Old 21.08.2020, 11:17
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

Hello people,

First of all, thanks to all the contributors. I can not tell how much I appreciate your help, really. After reading your recommendations, we went to the HR partner, told her that "we don't want to sign it". She was also a bit unsure about the necessity of such harsh declarations, so she told us that she will "ask the authorities one more time". She came back with "authorities decided that they don't need such declarations". So I think we will continue without an explanation. I hope it would not be considered as we "ignored" their request. I will keep you updated about the developments. Hope I come back with the good news.

Quote:
I'd get rid of the middleman and deal directly with cantonal authorities.
As some of you have pointed out: we are dependent to the HR partner since 1) they are the employer, so they ask the permit and 2) we are not literate in Italian. We previously contacted the cantonal authorities in English, and they responded in Italian (and we managed to understand it via GoogleTranslate) but we believe that we should act in the way that the HR partner told us. We are already learning Italian, but i expect at least a year to be fluent.

Quote:
Might it be a possibility that OP ask their own employer to try to obtain a permit, i.e. convert the status of "dependent upon spouse's permit" into a "permit in own name"?
I will try it in the future but for now I am very new at the office and I don't want to be the pointy guy from the first day. If things get ugly with the authorities, I don't know if I would have any other choice. When my place becomes more stable, I will surely ask them to request my permit independent from my wife. Would it be too hard for them? I remember I've read somewhere that there is a slight easyness in the permits for people who is employed in academia who are "contributing swiss research to bring it world class level" or something.
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Old 26.10.2020, 11:08
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Re: strange documents requested - Permit B renewal for Non-EU

The permit has arrived a little late but without problems. Thank you a thousand times for all the comments.
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