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Old 18.03.2021, 11:38
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Reunification Visas, Apartments, Finances

Hi everyone,
I hope I am posting this in the right section, as this concern rose mainly from me worrying about whether or not I will be granted a visa and residence permit. I apologize if it's a lot to read, but I want to make sure I am thorough enough so that my situation is understood.

I am a U.S. citizen, still living in the U.S. and planning on marrying my Swiss fiancé (living in Zürich) probably in the fall of 2022. I have looked, intensely, at the requirements for both the marriage process and the reunification visa, but I am still confused and worried.

My fiancé (who will then be my husband) and I will have to be living together, or at least I will have to be able to put down the same address as him when applying for family reunification. He currently lives in an apartment which only allows one person to be living there, so I would not be able to use that address. We even asked the landlord if it was possible to allow me to live there, with increased rent, because of the circumstances and he received a negative response. So in the time leading up to the marriage, we are going to be saving money for a new apartment. While I don't have any doubts that we will have saved enough money to pay for all of the initial fees that come with renting a new apartment, nor do I have doubts that I will quickly be able to find a job in Switzerland after I receive my residence permit, I think we might be cutting it really close. My fiancé then goes into worst case scenario planning, and that is that I do not get approved for a visa or residence permit and we would have this new apartment, I would be without a job in the country and would have to go back to the U.S..

I know the renting situation in Zürich is rough, and I'm not even quite sure what the apartment hunting process would look like in our situation. If we are to find a new apartment before I can apply, and I haven't yet been given a visa or residence permit, is that going to affect our applications? The fact that I won't have a job yet in Switzerland, because I wouldn't have the proper work permit yet? Would it matter to them if I sent them a copy of my bank statement/savings account?

Is there any reason why I would not be granted a visa and residence permit? I couldn't think of any reason why. I lived in Switzerland for 15 months - 12 months on an L permit as an Au Pair, then 3 months as a tourist so we have met and would be able to prove it is not a marriage of convenience. I am actually planning on moving to Germany (on the Swiss border) this Summer to work as an Au Pair for one more year. The only thing I could think of that might prevent me would be debt. I have a debt that has been in dispute for two years. It has been in dispute for two years with no attempts from the collections agency or the creditor to resolve the issue or prove that the debt is valid. I hired a lawyer two years ago who let me know that this debt that they are trying to collect is not valid, and since they never attempted to take me to court in the last two years. Still, that doesn't change the fact that it is now showing up on my credit report, which it wasn't before (and I am now starting the process of disputing it with the credit reporting agencies). So now I'm worried that this debt is going to come up at some point in these processes and the government or a landlord are really not going to care if it is in dispute or not.

I know that they look at the current financial situation, and I'm just concerned that they will see that I don't have a lot in savings after we start the process with the apartment, and they will also see that I do not have a job in Switzerland/that I have made barely anything as an Au Pair in the last year.

Some more background information: My fiancé is employed and has been working at the same company for over 10 years. He is by no means wealthy, but he is able to support himself. I don't think they would look at his salary and think it is sufficient to support the both of us though. I have a Bachelor's degree in Human Services (like social work) and currently am working full-time as a Registered Behavior Technician and saving practically every cent I can until I go to Germany this Summer to work as an Au Pair and only earn 280Euro a month (hoping to do some online English teaching on the side though). Once I have a proper work permit, I would be able to work as a Registered Behavior Technician as well, as there are English speaking companies I have been in contact with who provide these same services, but I will most likely get a job as a nanny until my German has improved enough for me to work in something more related to my field/I can continue my education.
My German is currently close to B1 level.

So, any advice on the apartment situation?
Can anyone think of any other reasons why I wouldn't be granted a reunification visa/B permit? Should I even be freaking out about the debt issue?Does anyone have any advice about finances when it comes to getting my visa/permit approved - maybe this is a long shot, but how much money would they like to see in our savings accounts? Would it work in my favor/is it even possible to show a work contract that could go into effect once I have a work permit?

Thanks a lot in advance <3
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Old 25.03.2021, 21:05
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Re: Reunification Visas, Apartments, Finances

Welcome to the Forum and congratulations on your upcoming marriage. And breathe.

So long as the Swiss see your marriage as legit (i.e. not a sham just for a permit) and he can support you, and you're not a criminal, you'll get a permit.

You don't need to show a debt record/credit report from the USA. You will need an FBI background check.

If he can move to a different flat before applying for reunification that is best, but you don't need a mansion. A one bedroom or even a studio is usually sufficient.
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Old 25.03.2021, 22:57
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Re: Reunification Visas, Apartments, Finances

Dear friend,

My recommendation would be to first find out all the documentation needs. This information can be provided by the local registry office or municipality office of the location where your fiancé resides.

As far as I can remember from my experience - you will need to provide the following documentations (the list needs to be validated against the info provided by the registry office as mentioned above)
- Your Birth certificate reissued within last 6 months , attested and apostiled
- Police clearance or equivalent from your country

If you get married outside Switzerland and apply for reunification permit after marriage, then along with above documents - you will need to provide the marriage certificate (may require translation if the language of the certificate is written in any language other than DE, FR, IT, EN)

Apartment size : I have heard of denial of dependent visa based on the size of the apartment. But those denials were for dependent visa applications by non EU residents with B permit. Since your fiancé is CH citizen, the authorities may have a different approach. But I am not sure. Recommendation : to ask the local municipality or registry office.

Hope the above helps. For further questions : please do not hesitate to get back.

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Old 05.04.2021, 02:15
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Re: Reunification Visas, Apartments, Finances

Don't worry, you will get a permit.
I got my Thai wife a B permit, with the right to work, last year. Just apply for the D visa at the Swiss consulate near you, grounds: Reunification with family. It takes about 3 months. You can then enter Switzerland. You must then apply for the resident B permit within 30 days. If your husband has an income and an address, you will be granted the B Permit. Not very difficult. If you get married outside of CH, make sure you register the marriage with the CH consulate.

Switzerland cannot keep you from living with your husband! It is a civilized country...
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debt, marriage, reunification, visa

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