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Old 03.12.2020, 01:46
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How a non-EU can get a Swiss B Permit

I'm making this a sticky thread, please feel free to add any links to previous discussions if appropriate.

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Old 03.12.2020, 09:26
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How a non-EU can get a Swiss B Permit

Hi All,

I'm planning to move to Switzerland, preferably at Zurich area next year. Hopefully by then the COVID19 situation would've eased up globally. Two reasons for this, one is due to the personal relationship issue I am looking to suss out and another one is to work overseas before I hit my 30s.

I've done some research and it seems like to work in Swiss, it is to have Work Permit ready before any other actions can be taken. Would ideally like to find out more details of what is the actual process for non - EU citizens.

A bit of background of myself, I'm 27 years old Australian citizen with Chinese background. Meaning I speak both English and Chinese fluently. I'm a Lead Testing and Commissioning Engineer in the Rail Industry and I'm from Melbourne but used to work in Sydney.

Any recommend actions I should take? Planning to have a bit of progression on this by March - July next year.
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Old 03.12.2020, 11:46
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

You're chances are likely very low or non existant of getting a work permit in Switzerland as a 3rd country national. The process is, you need a job offer and a company to sponsor your work permit, they have to prove there is no one in Switzerland or the EU that can do you job. You typically have to be classified as a highly trained professional with several years of experience.

You can find some information here:

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...gehoerige.html
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Old 03.12.2020, 11:54
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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Hi All,

I'm planning to move to Switzerland, preferably at Zurich area next year. Hopefully by then the COVID19 situation would've eased up globally. Two reasons for this, one is due to the personal relationship issue I am looking to suss out and another one is to work overseas before I hit my 30s.

I've done some research and it seems like to work in Swiss, it is to have Work Permit ready before any other actions can be taken. Would ideally like to find out more details of what is the actual process for non - EU citizens.

A bit of background of myself, I'm 27 years old Australian citizen with Chinese background. Meaning I speak both English and Chinese fluently. I'm a Lead Testing and Commissioning Engineer in the Rail Industry and I'm from Melbourne but used to work in Sydney.

Any recommend actions I should take? Planning to have a bit of progression on this by March - July next year.
Forget it . Stay in the lucky country
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Old 03.12.2020, 12:01
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

Hello, welcome to the forum.

Employers ask for work permits to local authorities, so you have to find an open position and land an offer first www.jobs.ch

With the job offer you apply for a 1 time visa to enter CH. Once you arrived, you apply for the work permit with the job contract and a rental contract in hand.
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Old 03.12.2020, 12:04
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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With the job offer you apply for a 1 time visa to enter CH. Once you arrived, you apply for the work permit with the job contract and a rental contract in hand.
Nope, he's not from the EU. He needs the employer to get the permit before he can even be officially offered the job.
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Old 03.12.2020, 12:29
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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Nope, he's not from the EU. He needs the employer to get the permit before he can even be officially offered the job.
Well, yes. If someone gets an offer (contract draft) it implies the employer already made or is willing to do the paperwork to hire a non-CH, non-EU citizen. Anyway....it's on the employer hands.
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Old 03.12.2020, 12:37
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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Well, yes. If someone gets an offer (contract draft) it implies the employer already made or is willing to do the paperwork to hire a non-CH, non-EU citizen. Anyway....it's on the employer hands.
The point is that as a non-EU he can't come to CH on a visitor visa and get the permit issued later, which is what you were suggesting. And just because an employer "is willing to do the paperwork" is no guarantee that a permit will be granted.

So to reiterate in case this has confused the OP, you would need the employer to have done all the paperwork, had the application accepted and have the permit physically in hand before you'd be allowed to come here and find somewhere to live and start work.
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Old 03.12.2020, 12:54
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

Suggest you apply for jobs in the Swiss Rail industry, or to a company that needs Chinese speakers. If they can get you a permit, then you can come.
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Old 03.12.2020, 12:57
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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The point is that as a non-EU he can't come to CH on a visitor visa and get the permit issued later, which is what you were suggesting. And just because an employer "is willing to do the paperwork" is no guarantee that a permit will be granted.

So to reiterate in case this has confused the OP, you would need the employer to have done all the paperwork, had the application accepted and have the permit physically in hand before you'd be allowed to come here and find somewhere to live and start work.
Feel free to delete the post, no need to argue if you know better

Neither the employer or me had a physical permit when I got here, only a signed contract. The employer only had a pre-approval from authorities that could hire a foreigner, but this is not a permit. I took the contract to the Swiss embassy at home and got a 1 time visa to enter CH as worker. When I arrived to CH, I brought this contract to cantonal authorities, my application was reviewed and 3 months after arriving to CH the permit was emitted.
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Old 03.12.2020, 13:15
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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Feel free to delete the post, no need to argue if you know better

Neither the employer or me had a physical permit when I got here, only a signed contract. The employer only had a pre-approval from authorities that could hire a foreigner, but this is not a permit. I took the contract to the Swiss embassy at home and got a 1 time visa to enter CH as worker. When I arrived to CH, I brought this contract to cantonal authorities, my application was reviewed and 3 months after arriving to CH the permit was emitted.

How long ago was that? Seeing that the authorities are even questioning issuing a C permit to a EU national, things may have become much stricter.
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Old 03.12.2020, 13:28
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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How long ago was that? Seeing that the authorities are even questioning issuing a C permit to a EU national, things may have become much stricter.
7 years ago, apparently the process stay the same. The employer only gets a pre-authorization to hire the non-EU worker, worker gets a temporary visa to enter CH, then the permit is requested and eventually granted.

If the employer makes a serious offer such a contract with terms and salary, it means there's confidence to get the pre-authorization approved or even has the pre-authorization (not a permit) in hand.

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If you are a third-country national who has been offered a job in Switzerland, your prospective employer must submit an application to the cantonal immigration or labour market authorities. If the application is accepted, it will be forwarded to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) for approval. The SEM will then notify the parties and the cantonal authorities of its decision, but this decision does not constitute authorisation to enter Switzerland.

If you require a visa, the cantonal migration authorities will send a visa clearance certificate via e-mail to the Swiss diplomatic/consular mission in your home country. You can then obtain the visa there. Within 14 days at the latest of your arrival and before taking up employment, you will need to register with the communal authorities in the place where you are living and only then can you begin work.
https://www.ch.ch/en/working-foreign...-requirements/
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Old 03.12.2020, 14:03
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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Well, yes. If someone gets an offer (contract draft) it implies the employer already made or is willing to do the paperwork to hire a non-CH, non-EU citizen. Anyway....it's on the employer hands.
Nearly correct. Process is like this:

- Apply for jobs. Do not be discouraged what others say, if you do not apply you will get nothing.
- Get accepted by a company.
- Company applies for work permit.
- If all the rigorous conditions are met, specially that no one else in Switzerland, the EU or any EFTA country is able or willing to do the job (given the pay is not bellow market rate) the authorities will grant the work and residence permit if the quota has not been exhausted.
- Find accommodation in Switzerland
- Send passport to local embassy to get the Visa D stamp (plus needed documentation).
- Get passport with visa stamp back. (This might be denied if there is concern you might not follow the law etc.)
- Travel to Switzerland and get your belongings shipped.
- Take over your apartment.
- Register with the commune. (That is when the permit is actually "activated").
- Start to work.
- Wait to get an invite to get finger printed etc.
- Wait to get the actual physical permit.
- Wait for bills and your stuff to arrive.
- Get through the probation period which is up to 3 months.

Note: There are sometimes confusion about the "permit" as the English language is a bit inaccurate on this topic and permit can mean two distinctly different things: The actual right to work and reside in Switzerland (in German known as Aufenthaltsbewilligung or Niederlassungsbewillung, in case of permit B and permit C respectively) and the physical permit (in German known as Ausländerausweis). Think about it like nationality and passport.
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 04.12.2020 at 13:35.
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Old 03.12.2020, 16:42
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Re: How a non-EU can get a Swiss B Permit

1. Marry a Swiss or EU national already living in CH. 2. Move to CH and get residency card. 3. Find a job.
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Old 04.12.2020, 02:26
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Suggest you apply for jobs in the Swiss Rail industry, or to a company that needs Chinese speakers. If they can get you a permit, then you can come.
Thanks, this is what I'm thinking too.

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Nearly correct. Process is like this:

- Apply for jobs. Do not be discouraged what others say, if you do not apply you will get nothing.
- Get accepted by a company.
- Company applies for work permit.
- If all the rigorous conditions are met, specially that no one else in Switzerland, the EU or any EFTA country is able or willing to do the job (given the pay is not bellow market rate) the authorities will grant the work and residence permit if the quota has not been exhausted.
- Find accommodation in Switzerland
- Send passport to local embassy to get the Visa D stamp (plus needed documentation).
- Get passport with visa stamp back. (This might be denied if there is concern you might not follow the law etc.)
- Travel to Switzerland and get your belongings shipped.
- Take over your apartment.
- Register with the commune.
- Start to work.
- Wait to get an invite to get finger printed etc.
- Wait to get the actual physical permit.
- Wait for bills and your stuff to arrive.
Thanks for the information, very clear context! Yeah I think Swiss is probably not the simple choice... I will take a note and see what I can actually achieve. But great advise!

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1. Marry a Swiss or EU national already living in CH. 2. Move to CH and get residency card. 3. Find a job.
HAHA, can I marry you? Or any takers?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 04.12.2020 at 18:23. Reason: merging consecutive replied
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Old 04.12.2020, 08:16
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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Feel free to delete the post, no need to argue if you know better

Neither the employer or me had a physical permit when I got here, only a signed contract. The employer only had a pre-approval from authorities that could hire a foreigner, but this is not a permit. I took the contract to the Swiss embassy at home and got a 1 time visa to enter CH as worker. When I arrived to CH, I brought this contract to cantonal authorities, my application was reviewed and 3 months after arriving to CH the permit was emitted.
The point is, that as a non-EU national, once it's pre-approved that means a permit will be issued once you arrive. The procedure's quite clear.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ensablauf.html

If it's not pre-approved you wouldn't have been issued with a visa to enter the country by the Swiss embassy/consulate.

Permits are never issued outside of Switzerland. And if you check your employment contract you may well find there's a paragraph in there stating offer is subject approval by the cantonal/federal offices.
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Old 04.12.2020, 11:49
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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The point is, that as a non-EU national, once it's pre-approved that means a permit will be issued once you arrive. The procedure's quite clear.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ensablauf.html

If it's not pre-approved you wouldn't have been issued with a visa to enter the country by the Swiss embassy/consulate.

Permits are never issued outside of Switzerland. And if you check your employment contract you may well find there's a paragraph in there stating offer is subject approval by the cantonal/federal offices.
aSwissInTheUs made a great explanation, I guess no point to discuss after that.

Anyway, it was Ace1 writing something about a permit in hand before entering CH
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Old 04.12.2020, 13:38
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Re: Australian to Swiss Work Permit

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Yeah I think Swiss is probably not the simple choice... I will take a note and see what I can actually achieve. But great advise!


Tip from a Swiss. The countries name is Switzerland. Swiss is either an adjective, a person which has the Swiss nationality, or an airline.
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Old 04.12.2020, 18:26
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Re: How a non-EU can get a Swiss B Permit

FYI - Not all employers know the routine. Some will offer a job contract to a non-EU person because they want to hire that person, and the company hasn't done any homework about what's really involved.

I've seen some of these stories on EF where the employer simply offered a contract, the person tried to get a visa on their own, and then it all went downhill.
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Old 14.01.2021, 19:16
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Re: How a non-EU can get a Swiss B Permit

Just wanted to throw another option out there - do you happen to work for a multinational company who would be willing to send you on a secondment?

I have almost the same background as you, but I work in finance instead. I moved here two years ago as my company was willing to place me on a secondment and I received a project work permit, valid for a maximum of 2 years (although they did just extend it for another 6 months).

The catch is that you have to have an employment contract with the Australian office, and your salary will need to be adjusted to match Swiss standards (not something all employers are willing to pay).
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