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Old 11.03.2021, 04:01
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NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

Hello!

My status is somewhat particular and I haven't found any threads for a similar situation.

I am a Canadian Non-EU B-permit holder for study purposes in Basel-Stadt, and have been here since 2017 (master's degree and post-graduate studies). Studies finish this year, permit will expire in October. I cannot get a new permit for gainful activity since even though I'm a highly trained specialist in my field with a Swiss masters degree, my field doesn't have full-time jobs, only freelancing, and that is not eligible to get a permit.

Meanwhile, I got married in Canada a few months ago. My wife is also Canadian and did her master's in France, with an internship in Switzerland (under a short-term residence permit) but was now working back in Canada for a few months. She just got a job offer from a university in Valais, with start date as soon as the paperwork is done and residence permit approved and type D visa issued. The plan would be for me to move to Valais to join her when my studies end.

My questions are
A) will she be eligible for a B permit to take up employment on her own merits despite being married to another Third state national who already holds a B permit?

B) is there any trouble in getting a family reunification permit when you already live in Switzerland and the spouse you are "reuniting" with actually immigrated after you?

C) do I need to apply for the family reunification permit in Valais when my wife gets her permit (hopefully May), when I finish my studies (end of June) or when I would normally apply for renewal of my Basel permit (late summer)?
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  #2  
Old 12.03.2021, 11:14
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

Wow, you sound like me.

A) Yes she will get her own permit. By job offer do you mean PhD position? If so she will get a student B.

B) No, in fact it's harder to not get a family reunification permit. I came from Canada as a post doc in 2014, my wife came as a PhD student (also from Canada) in 2015, after my post doc finished and I got a job, they switched me to a family reunification permit under her student permit so they didn't have to use a quota permit on me.

C) If you plan to move to Valais, you will have to apply for a permit in Valais but you don't have to do it until you current permit is close to expiring.

Side note, a MSc doesn't really make you a highly trained specialist, even a with a PhD from a swiss university it is hard for a non-EU to get a job in Switzerland.
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Old 12.03.2021, 16:57
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

Thank you for your response!

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Side note, a MSc doesn't really make you a highly trained specialist, even a with a PhD from a swiss university it is hard for a non-EU to get a job in Switzerland.
Doesn't that depend on the field, though?
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Old 13.03.2021, 07:26
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

There are a few subtleties here.

No, a masters does not make you highly specialized qualified.

However, recently Switzerland made it easier for people graduating from a swiss university to be hired for 6 months after graduation. This is important because after this time period ends you are treated like a third national again. Even if you are working as a post doc for those 6 months.

Canada has a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland which exempts the standard requirement for highly qualified person, (which I think is at least 5 years of experience after graduation)

1. La Suisse s’efforcera d’accorder aux citoyens canadiens une autorisation de séjour à l’année ou une autorisation de séjour de courte durée conformément à la législation sur les étrangers pertinente. Les personnes appartenant aux catégories suivantes pourront aussi demander ces permis même si elles ne satisfont pas dans chaque cas au critère de personnes qualifiées stipulé dans le droit suisse des étrangers: les sportifs de haut niveau, les entraîneurs sportifs, les jeunes gens au pair, les titulaires d’un diplôme universitaire sans expérience de travail, les missionnaires
d’églises reconnues, les personnes exerçant une activité dans le domaine culturel et les professionnels de la santé dans le secteur hospitalier.


The normal law states:

Admissions are limited to managers, specialists and other qualified workers. ‘Qualified workers’ primarily means individuals with a degree from a university or university of applied sciences who also have several years of professional experience. Depending on the profession or the field of specialisation, individuals with special training and several years of professional experience may also be admitted.
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Old 13.03.2021, 13:25
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

Yes, my wife's employer is invoking that disposition I believe, as she is freshly graduated. But she has a masters, not a PhD. She works in a field where the typical training level in Switzerland is a Bachelor and where a PhD is only relevant if you do research or having a professorship at a university). With her degree she is immediately qualified for a management position, which is what she's being hired for (the typical worker with only a bachelor would only start being considered for a management position much later in their career). I hope they don't decline the work permit under such an arbitrary and generic pretext as "you don't have a PhD" (I doubt anyone applying for this or similar jobs have one).

On my side, it's a moot point since they will in any case not give a residence permit to a non-EU person for freelancing unless they make some serious money, but if they did, it would be hard for them not to recognize my as highly qualified. There's literally only a handful of people in Switzerland (and all of us are foreigners) that do what I do at this level, and more than enough work to have a sustainable income. What would make me a highly qualified specialist in my field is not the masters degree per se, but the experience working at the highest level (I.e. regularly being hired by and working as a peer with world-class specialists), combined with 7 years of grad school.
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Old 13.03.2021, 16:05
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

A Masters qualifies for a management position?? Not in Switzerland
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Old 13.03.2021, 22:09
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

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A Masters qualifies for a management position?? Not in Switzerland
I'm not sure I understand what's so hard to believe. You think every job as manager/cadre/Führungskraft in Switzerland requires a PhD?! I don't know what field you're used to look at, but that is simply not true in many fields. The immigration rules also don't say anything about the level of the degree required, they just say Non-EU job seekers need to be managers (i.e. cadre, Führungskraft), specialists OR other workers with qualifications such as a University degree and some years of experience. The particular job my wife got is one of "management and coordination" in the public service of Valais. The expected degree for that job was specifically the degree she has (it's not a PhD). I'll add for context that she studied at the school where the French government send their "cadres" in her field to get trained for management. It is extremely respected in Suisse romande, and yes, graduates from that school are trained to be in management positions, in fact they are considered overqualified for "rank and file" positions.

I'm not saying it's not possible they'll decline the work permit application - that does remain a big possibility, and a big source of stress until we hear back. But is this dismissiveness warranted? I asked questions (none of them about whether she meets the standard to be considered qualified), that were graciously and helpfully answered by AndersonMD. Your dismissive three-word blanket statement on the other hand is just useless, rude and arrogant. If I were inclined to adopt the same attitude, I'd suggest you consider removing "moderately" in your rank status...
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Old 13.03.2021, 23:26
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

No, just saying that experience is required, not only a Masters.
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Old 15.03.2021, 10:15
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Re: NON-EU student to Non-EU Family reunification

I want to add that Valais is extremely slow and inefficient at given out permits. My wife works in Valais and applied for her permit in October 2020, after already having worked in Valais for 5+ years, it's now like 6 months later and it still hasn't been through the system, she called a couple weeks ago because our permits expired beginning of March and they hadn't even looked at the application yet.
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