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Old 01.01.2021, 20:23
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UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

Hi All,

I have been researching quite a lot on UK-Swiss bilateral agreements post-Brexit and wanted to clarify a point with someone knowledgeable.

I have been living in Switzerland since 2019 with a B permit, so will have my rights protected. Per explainer for the agreement between UK and Switzerland, on citizens’ rights following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the Free Movement of person Agreement (specifically per point 19),

'UK nationals who are living lawfully in Switzerland at the specified date will be able to continue living there. Equally, Swiss citizens who have been living lawfully in the UK at the specified date will be able to continue living in the UK. After five years’ residence, those in scope of the agreement will be able to apply for settled status in the UK or permanent residence in Switzerland.'

Is this straightforward, as in just apply for a C permit or alternatively Migration office automatically will send you a C permit in due course? or do I have to meet all the new permanent residency requirement i.e. language skills and all? I don't mind either but would like to prepare in advance.

Appreciate your response on this. If this has already been covered by a different thread, please kindly point me to it. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 02.01.2021, 10:16
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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Is this straightforward, as in just apply for a C permit or alternatively Migration office automatically will send you a C permit in due course? or do I have to meet all the new permanent residency requirement i.e. language skills and all? I don't mind either but would like to prepare in advance.
I can't see how that part of the process could possibly be changed - cantonal authorities decide how much to test those criteria for C permit applications, but im general they are no different for EU or non-EU citizens, notwithstanding those countries with special agreements to avoid the language requirement.

What may have changed is the length of residence required before C permit eligibility; as I understand it (which may well be less than completely) the five-year residency period only applies to EU citizens, everybody else needs to wait ten years. Whether that will change for UK citizens is perhaps the most important question for you.
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  #3  
Old 02.01.2021, 10:51
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

I "assume" that the C-permit application process will remain the same as now for Brits already here (not going to get easier for sure). It may change for Brits coming in future.
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Old 02.01.2021, 11:39
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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What may have changed is the length of residence required before C permit eligibility; as I understand it (which may well be less than completely) the five-year residency period only applies to EU citizens, everybody else needs to wait ten years. Whether that will change for UK citizens is perhaps the most important question for you.
There is no change for UK citizens who were already resident by 31.12.2020 - under the citizens' rights agreement, and as confirmed by the embassy, Britons on B permits before the end of transition can still apply for a C permit after 5 years.
The language requirements remain unchanged; even EU citizens (apart from those from countries with the agreement that no language test is required) must comply with the new regulations that came into force a year ago (IIRC A1 written, A2 spoken for C permit).
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Old 02.01.2021, 14:34
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

C permits for all foreign nationals fall within the scope of the Swiss Foreign Nationals and Integration Act and not within the free movement of people agreement.

Brexit changes nothing for C permit issuances (neither for Brits already resident in Switzerland on or before 31.12.2020 nor those arriving after).
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Old 02.01.2021, 15:05
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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C permits for all foreign nationals fall within the scope of the Swiss Foreign Nationals and Integration Act and not within the free movement of people agreement.

Brexit changes nothing for C permit issuances (neither for Brits already resident in Switzerland on or before 31.12.2020 nor those arriving after).
But weren't Brits entitled to a C after 5 years due to EU status? Will "new" Brits now not have to wait 10 years or go via VINTA?
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Old 02.01.2021, 15:33
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

I doubt it would be automatic. You would need to apply. But to be certain ask your commune, well in advance. Every Canton is different.
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Old 02.01.2021, 15:57
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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Hi All,

I have been researching quite a lot on UK-Swiss bilateral agreements post-Brexit and wanted to clarify a point with someone knowledgeable.

I have been living in Switzerland since 2019 with a B permit, so will have my rights protected. Per explainer for the agreement between UK and Switzerland, on citizens’ rights following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the Free Movement of person Agreement (specifically per point 19),

'UK nationals who are living lawfully in Switzerland at the specified date will be able to continue living there. Equally, Swiss citizens who have been living lawfully in the UK at the specified date will be able to continue living in the UK. After five years’ residence, those in scope of the agreement will be able to apply for settled status in the UK or permanent residence in Switzerland.'

Is this straightforward, as in just apply for a C permit or alternatively Migration office automatically will send you a C permit in due course? or do I have to meet all the new permanent residency requirement i.e. language skills and all? I don't mind either but would like to prepare in advance.

Appreciate your response on this. If this has already been covered by a different thread, please kindly point me to it. Thanks in advance.
You will have to get A2 after 5 years for C permit.
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Old 02.01.2021, 16:25
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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You will have to get A2 after 5 years for C permit.
A2 spoken, A1 written (federally defined, as of September 2019).

There's a comprehensive list here:

https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf
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Old 02.01.2021, 18:30
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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But weren't Brits entitled to a C after 5 years due to EU status? Will "new" Brits now not have to wait 10 years or go via VINTA?
Nobody is entitled to a C except for, under certain conditions:
- spouses of Swiss citizens and
- citizens of the countries not requiring language certificates for C (due to binding international agreements unrelated to EU membership)

Brits will continue to be able to aspire for a C permit after 5 years of continuous and non-temporary stay in the future after Brexit, just as before, due to a reciprocity treaty between the two countries that has been in place for some time now and is unrelated to EU membership.

This reciprocity treaty is not as binding as the agreements between the countries not requiring language certificates, reason why language certificates are requested of Brits when asking for C permits.
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Old 02.01.2021, 18:37
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

A British acquaintance of mine is on a B-Permit, he married an Italian citizen. Two year after the marriage, the Italian lady became Swiss citizen.

Will that help the British guy in any way when he applies for a C permit or even Swiss citizenship in the future?
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Old 02.01.2021, 18:42
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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A British acquaintance of mine is on a B-Permit, he married an Italian citizen. Two year after the marriage, the Italian lady became Swiss citizen.

Will that help the British guy in any way when he applies for a C permit or even Swiss citizenship in the future?
If she became Swiss after marriage it probably won’t help in relation to citizenship application as I think he’ll still have to go down the normal rather than facilitated route but being married to a Swiss citizen should guarantee him Swiss residency as long as they are married.
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Old 02.01.2021, 19:30
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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If she became Swiss after marriage it probably won’t help in relation to citizenship application as I think he’ll still have to go down the normal rather than facilitated route but being married to a Swiss citizen should guarantee him Swiss residency as long as they are married.
Well technically they could divorce and remarry and then they could apply for the facilitated route in three years
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Old 02.01.2021, 21:10
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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But weren't Brits entitled to a C after 5 years due to EU status?
There is no C "due to EU status" Once again, permit C is not part of the FMOP or any other agreement with the EU https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...c_eu_efta.html
Any special deals outside the regular 10 years or 5 years due to good integration (Formerly known as VINTA, but since Januar 2019 part of FNIA and VZAE) are between Switzerland and the particular countries alone.
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Old 04.01.2021, 16:03
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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A2 spoken, A1 written (federally defined, as of September 2019).

There's a comprehensive list here:

https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf
I'm not contradicting your post but the language stipulations don't seem to be uniformly applied. When I applied for my C Permit I wasn't asked about language or asked to produce a certificate. When I renewed last year I wasn't asked either. Admittedly I went to the Gemeinde armed with a few rehearsed phrases in German and possibly this was good enough to avoid any awkward questions -- despite both me and the official lapsing into English phrases here and there.

As it happens I do have A2 from about 8 years ago. My written German is OK and I can read German pretty well, but am hopeless at conversation that goes beyond restaurant / post office level. So I was anxious when I went to the Gemeinde with my completed form, but as stated, nothing was mentioned about showing a certificate. I have read on this forum that some people have been asked to attend a formal interview to test their language skills -- a thought which freaked me out a bit. But fortunately I didn't have to do that. From what I hear it's largely Kanton-dependent how these rules are applied.

To the OP, the best way to deal with the language requirement is simply to do the A2 cert which is actually pretty easy if you have a bit of time before the C Permit application.
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Old 04.01.2021, 16:28
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

You obtained your C permit prior to the introduction of new integration criteria. Also no certificates are requested when renewing C permits.
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Old 04.01.2021, 16:52
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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You obtained your C permit prior to the introduction of new integration criteria. Also no certificates are requested when renewing C permits.
No problem, I know that the rules have been changed or reformulated recently. But the language requirement has been around for years in one form or another, as I well remember reading about the need for certificates and spoken interview tests in some Kantons long before I applied for my first.

Maybe certificates are now being requested every time in every Kanton. Worth mentioning though that someone in my family recently applied for a B Permit and had arranged some German classes in line with the rules that now state that rudimentary language skills are expected, but that the requirement would be waived if they produced proof of intention to join a course. In the event, they weren't asked to produce the course confirmation. Actually, the rules are a bit all over the place. The list we had also said that health insurance was a prerequisite for the granting of a permit when in fact you can't get health insurance without a permit! It's a Catch 22.

Some good basic info (in English) on language requirements is contained here: https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf

I wouldn't advise anyone to ignore these stipulations but I'm still not convinced that these strict standards are being checked everywhere. Better safe than sorry though.
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Old 04.01.2021, 17:53
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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When I applied for my C Permit I wasn't asked about language or asked to produce a certificate.
You did get your C before 2019 - tempi passati. Other rules were in force back then.

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When I renewed last year I wasn't asked either.
You do not "renew" C. C is unconditional and forever (*). All you have to do is to get a new physical card every so often.

(*) Terms and condition apply.
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Old 04.01.2021, 18:20
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Re: UK citizen, Brexit: Obtaining C permit in future

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You did get your C before 2019 - tempi passati. Other rules were in force back then.


You do not "renew" C. C is unconditional and forever (*). All you have to do is to get a new physical card every so often.

(*) Terms and condition apply.
Do they have any grounds of refusing someone with appalling German who nevertheless scraped through the A2 exam and has the certificate to prove it?

I can say my name, where I come from and that I like eating curry. Real conversation is a bit beyond me (though tbf they should have asked for B1 or B2 if they wanted some actual competence).

Last edited by HickvonFrick; 04.01.2021 at 18:34.
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