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Old 28.05.2021, 13:09
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Visa class D - bring wife and son - moving cantons

Dear all,


I'm flying to Switzerland in mid June on a D class (employed/student) visa to work and study (ph.D) at the University of Bern. As the university is based in Bern Canton, we applied through Bern Canton authorities for the visas for myself and that of my wife and son, and under the "where will you live" question, I worte "Initial stay will be at a colleagues appartment - and gave the appartment address in Bern".



However, truthfully speaking, as we speak French we are wanting to live in Fribourg instead of Bern, and have already been looking into accommodation and schools in Fribourg canton.



My first question is what is the best way to run this beauracratic process to switch Canton's knowing that when I arrive in Switzerland, I need to get a residency permit, plus given that I also need to get my wife and son over, (as their visa has not yet been issued, although all three were submitted to the Swiss embassy at the same time). I understand that it can take months to get a residency certificate issued. As I have my visa processed through Bern Canton, they have me on file there. Should I apply for my residency permit through Bern Canton upon arrival, then change it over once we move to Fribourg, or should I just go straight to Fribourg, and apply there even though I don't yet have anywhere to live?



Secondly, I just received through the university a couple of letters from the "foreign police" in Bern. One is a form with the heading Familiennachzugsgesuch Angehörige/r Drittstaat, and the other is a letter with a series of questions about my family situation, who my wife is, what she plans to do in Switzerland, how I'm going to support her in Switzerland, whether we have already been in contact with schools, and also, how many people currently live at my colleagues address. These two letters / forms from the Bern police are directly related to my wife and son's visa application. They say I should reply by the 16th of June or else they will consider that they don't intend to come. I'm wondering to what extent I should be open with the police that I intend to move to Fribourg and have no intention of living in Bern, or living in my colleagues apartment. If I say that, will they then say that I need to resubmit the visa application to Fribourg Canton? The other option is go along with the line that they are at least initially planning to stay at my colleagues address. The problem is that it is a one bedroom apartment, and clearly not suitable for two families. My colleague also has a spouse and child, and the plan while i'm in Bern is for me to sleep on the couch.


Any advise on how to deal with the Swiss beauracracy would be much appreciated. I have looked into the changing of Canton's and have it on good word that under my D class visa, I'm able to move Canton's freely, but am just not sure how to go about this intial process upon arrival.


Many thanks,
BigBaka
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Old 31.05.2021, 22:28
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Re: Visa class D - bring wife and son - moving cantons

I don't know about moving cantons on a student permit, but I wanted to point out a distinction that might be helpful to you.

In Switzerland, a visa is only used for entry into the country. Your D-visa indicates you plan to be in Swizerland for more than 90 days. Its expiration date is quite short since it's only for entry.

Once you're here, you'll register at the municipality and be issued with a residence permit type B. That allows you to live and work here. I am not sure how long PhD permits are for, but probably at least one year and can be renewed as you continue studies.
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Old 31.05.2021, 22:31
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Re: Visa class D - bring wife and son - moving cantons

Normally you have to live in the canton in which you work. Once you are here you can ask permission to live in another canton, but it's not guaranteed.
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Old 31.05.2021, 22:59
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Re: Visa class D - bring wife and son - moving cantons

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Any advise on how to deal with the Swiss beauracracy would be much appreciated. I have looked into the changing of Canton's and have it on good word that under my D class visa, I'm able to move Canton's freely, but am just not sure how to go about this intial process upon arrival.


Many thanks,
BigBaka
Wrong, as said you're expected to live in the same canton as your workplace is based in. I would look to start in Bern canton and get the family over here first rather than complicate things by trying to change before you've even arrived. You can always explore moving to another canton later.

Don't think of lying to the authorities; that will only delay any family reunification applications and could result in them being rejected. Find a place in Bern for the first few months at least and then explore what options there might be to move. Usually both cantons have to agree to the move which means both Bern and Fribourg, since it would be a new permit from Fribourg and you pay your taxes in Bern which they may not like to give up if you move cantons.
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