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Old 13.03.2021, 14:11
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work abroad and keep Swiss residency on B permit

Hi all,

I have done a search and found similar questions but didn't' find any applicable answers, so please excuse if this is an 'old' question.

I am non-EU with a B from family reunification, my husband is on a C. I have been here 7 years (short stent on L after graduation is why I am not eligible for a C, apparently). I have a business registered in Switzerland.

I have been offered a post-doc in The Netherlands for 9 months and have a guaranteed job with Swiss employer back in Switzerland after the post-doc.

Does anyone know how we could make it work to spend the year abroad for this post-doc (is this continuing education?) and hold on to our Swiss residency status (or put it it on hold). We consider CH as our home and look forward to citizenship so the accumulation of years is important to us.

We would, of course, continue to pay tax/insurance/etc.

My first thought was to sub-let our place, pay everything necessary here, and go for 3 months, after which we would ask for 'permission to be abroad for 6 months' (= the 9 month span needed) which I believe both of our permits allowed.

However, I am concerned that my earned income abroad (which will require me getting a Dutch residence permit as well) will raise flags and we do not want there to be negative consequences to our residency status upon our eventual return.

The second thought was to put his C 'on hold' - my husband seems to think that if you get a short-term contract abroad that you don't need a swiss employer to send you away - that you can go for any job. But then I don't think my B can be put on hold for any reason, is that correct?

We will call the Migrationsamt to ask, but would be nice to know if anyone has similar experiences and how they managed to get through it - our experience with the authorities is that the information given often depends on who answers the phone :/

Many, many thanks in advance for your help and time.

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Old 22.03.2021, 10:54
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Re: work abroad and keep Swiss residency on B permit

Please find below my thoughts and the basis / experience behind the thoughts.
Experience based on Zurich Kanton.

- Your primary question on retention of B : You can retain B permit for certain period of time while residing outside CH (meaning no financial activity inside CH). You "must" declare it in the cantonal office (for ZH = its beside Fraumünster church - your Gemeinde can tell you what to do in the current COVID situation)
--> Experience @ZH : 2008 - 2009 : I was allowed to stay outside CH for 6 months with the same B permit. After that period of time, my B permit would be deregistered.
--> I think : as long as you have a defined postal address in CH and you mention to the authority transparently when do you plan to come back - they could tell you what flexibility they can offer. And if they tell you that 6 months is the limit then (I think) you can come back to CH in the 5th month and can announce another 6 month of departure.
BUT - if your B permit expires during the time of your residency abroad then the situation gets complicated.

Either way : Please get in touch with your gemeinde / kreisburo to check the flexibility they can offer.

- Your C permit eligibility (even if you do not have any question on this ): You mentioned that you have lived in CH for 7 years. I assume its 2xL + 5xB. This makes you eligible for an "early OR Exceptional" C provided you have A2 or B1 language certificate.Important : In the C permit application there is a comment section - where it "has to be" mentioned that your application is for exceptional / early C permit. Otherwise the application will go in the "standard " c permit application workflow and will be rejected.
--> Experience @ZH : I applied 3 times for C
1. 8th year (2xL + 5xB) - rejected due to lack of Language certificate
2. 10th year (2xL + 8xB) - rejected because I missed the "comment" section as mentioned above
3. 10th year : Re-application with the special "comment ": approved
---> My thought : a C would reduce complication like the one you are facing now. It will also ease up your way towards Swiss passport as C is a pre-condition for the same.

All the best and stay healthy
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Old 22.03.2021, 12:47
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Re: work abroad and keep Swiss residency on B permit

Think you need to think about you going and husband staying here to keep his permit status. While C permits can be put on hold for some reasons, you're not the C permit holder so wouldn't apply to you under continuing education as a reason. I also doubt accompanying spouse would be a valid reason to put his C permit on hold' not for such a short period. However, these things are decided by your gemeinde/cantonal migration office so only they can tell you for certain.

Also as a non-EU I don't think you can be resident in two different countries. You will need a residence permit in the Netherlands so will probably have to give up your B permit here and reapply for family reunification once your post-doc finishes. The max time you can be out of the country before the permit becomes invalid is 6 months.
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Old 27.03.2021, 20:39
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Re: work abroad and keep Swiss residency on B permit

Hi, best is to check with the canton, but I know of a non EU friend who did leave Switzerland for a year for education within Europe and canton was pretty flexible about that...he had no family in Switzerland at that point...and was on B permit. Also check if this would create a problem in your getting an early C permit through VINTA later. All the best!
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