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Old 12.02.2021, 19:17
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Coming to CH for schooling

Hello everyone ! I really need your input since I have no clue about this situation.

My friend at university is from South America. He studies in Lausanne. His family lives in his country of origin but unfortunately due to new circumstances, it is best his little brother comes and joins him here. A few issued popped up while discussing this so I'm asking on the forum.

His brother is around 15 years old and in a german school. Can his brother come here as a student to finish schooling? I know friends that were sent here alone for schooling. And if he can? Can he be enrolled in a swiss public school or does it have to be private ? And the permit situation ? My friend is in South America right now and working on getting the legal paperwork to be his guardian before he comes back to Switzerland. As the parents are divorcing and so on, can my friend become the legal guardian if the brother comes here ?

It's quite a delicate situation but any input would really help so I can relay this to my friend. Any way to go about this ? If possible, would a lawyer be definitely required for something like this ?

I know there are so many factors in this scenario.

Thank you in advance, looking forward to anyone's input.
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Old 12.02.2021, 19:33
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

The most important question is will he been given a permit. I think no. His brother would need to able to provide for him and I doubt he has the necessary financial means for this as a student. And yes I believe he would need to be his legal guardian in order to ask for a permit. Just brother is not enough.

If - and as said that is a big if - he will be given a permit there is the question of schooling. Mandatory schooling stops at the age of 15. So most likely Switzerland won't have to find a solution. Given that your friend is in Lausanne and his brother speaks German does not make it easier. Any public schooling in canton Vaud will be in French. So most likely only private schooling possible. Which is very pricey.

In short. No, I don't think it is a good idea
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Old 12.02.2021, 19:34
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Re: Coming to CH as a student (school)

To go into a state school, he would have to come here under family reunification and then be sent to state school. I don’t know if the Swiss authorities would allow family reunification for two brothers.

If he enrolled in private school, he could get a permit to come to Switzerland as a student. Easier I suspect.
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Old 12.02.2021, 19:49
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

Maybe, and it's a big maybe, if he's the legal guardian he might be able to get a permit for his brother, but that would depend on his accommodation and financial situations. Usually only parents can bring children under the age of 18 if they're non-EU nationals.

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

If he can't get guardianship, then there's no possibility of him coming here.

His best course of action would be to talk to the Vaud canton migration office to see if there's any possibility at all of a family reunification permit if he's made legal guardian. If not, then there's nothing more he can do since, as irish_temptation said, private schooling is very expensive here and I doubt he'd have the necessary funds for that. You're talking in the region of CHF20,000-30,000 a year.
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Old 12.02.2021, 19:52
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

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If not, then there's nothing more he can do since, as irish_temptation said, private schooling is very expensive here and I doubt he'd have the necessary funds for that. You're talking in the region of CHF20,000-30,000 a year.
The family are already sending him to school in Germany and his brother to university in Switzerland. There must be financial means for private school, unless the parents are cutting ties with the brothers.
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Old 12.02.2021, 20:32
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

Assuming the parents can afford it, the brother can attend private school here and be issued a student permit for it. No need for the legal guardian change.

By continue schooling I assume you mean higher education and not apprenticeship track. To enter the public gymnasium system as a non-tax payer, depending on the canton the brother would need a derogation to be allowed to attend (some cantons are a strict no), pay out of canton pupil fees and of course pass the entry test.
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Old 12.02.2021, 20:48
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

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The family are already sending him to school in Germany and his brother to university in Switzerland. There must be financial means for private school, unless the parents are cutting ties with the brothers.
Guess my brain wasn't working right. I was wondering why he was going to a German school in South America.
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Old 12.02.2021, 20:51
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

German schools do exist abroad (just like French lycées and Swiss schools incidentally) and are quite popular in Latin America
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Old 13.02.2021, 01:34
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

He is going to a german school in South America, he's not in Germany.
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Old 13.02.2021, 09:14
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

Another thing you'd need to check/keep an eye on is whether he'd even be able to travel here atm with the covid situation. Are flights from South America even coming here? While people who already have Swiss residence permits can get back in, I'm not sure what the situation is for people who are only approved for one. Even if they are allowed in, that might change with any future travel restrictions.
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Old 13.02.2021, 16:07
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

So the first step would be to get legal guardianship now while in Bolivia, then contact the Vaud migration office, then Vaud schooling department (I don't know how it's called) ? Or just get a lawyer from the start ? Even though it would be best to avoid such costs.
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Old 13.02.2021, 16:24
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

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Guess my brain wasn't working right. I was wondering why he was going to a German school in South America.
My siblings did. And some friends of mine did in Aethiopia (being Aethiopian) - it is not unusual at all.

OP, if the brother for example went to a boarding school here, he would get the permit for being here. But you talked about keeping costs low, so I don't know if that's an option. It could also take the weight of the shoulders of the brother, having the teen-age brother only during holidays, being able to concentrate on his studies.

I can pm you a good boarding school who has students from all over the world, if you're interested. Of course the boy would need to apply and get in.
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Old 13.02.2021, 16:29
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

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So the first step would be to get legal guardianship now while in Bolivia, then contact the Vaud migration office, then Vaud schooling department (I don't know how it's called) ? Or just get a lawyer from the start ? Even though it would be best to avoid such costs.
I'd say contact the Vaud migration office. If they say they wouldn't issue a permit even with legal guardianship. no lawyer going to be able to help you. The migration office may well question why the brother has guardianship and not either of the parents; why the applicant needs to come here rather than staying with said parents in home country, etc, etc.

As irish_temptation said, mandatory schooling finishes here at 15 so he could either go straight into job hunting or maybe try for an apprenticeship. If he doesn't know any French though it's going to be hard doing either in Vaud canton.
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Old 13.02.2021, 17:34
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

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Guess my brain wasn't working right. I was wondering why he was going to a German school in South America.
There are plenty of German schools in South America actually. I've met two South Americans (from different countries) who both spoke perfect German having attended a German school. And they were not even from German families.
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Old 13.02.2021, 22:02
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

Thank you, yes please do PM me.
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Old 13.02.2021, 22:03
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Re: Coming to CH for schooling

Sounds like the course to take, thank you !


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I'd say contact the Vaud migration office. If they say they wouldn't issue a permit even with legal guardianship. no lawyer going to be able to help you. The migration office may well question why the brother has guardianship and not either of the parents; why the applicant needs to come here rather than staying with said parents in home country, etc, etc.

As irish_temptation said, mandatory schooling finishes here at 15 so he could either go straight into job hunting or maybe try for an apprenticeship. If he doesn't know any French though it's going to be hard doing either in Vaud canton.
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