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Old 03.06.2021, 08:32
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Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Dear All,
I am a new member to EF, however like every expat, I am an active follower of EF. This Forum has been most helpful to us on various topics.
I come here with my personal situation, and I am in desperate need of this forum's suggestion.

Apologies for such a long message, but I want to spill everything out here so that we can get your opinion.


I am an expat (non-EU), from India, landed in Zurich on deputation in October 2014, working as a contract employee for a client here.
My wife is also working since 2019 in a Swiss company as a permanent employee.

I got my B permit in Jan 2017 and finally, I completed 6 years on 31-Dec-2020.

My employer, as expected, did not extend my permit after 6 years.

The client (a Swiss company) I was working for, applied for my work permit in Jan 2021 after posting the job profile on the Swiss and European market for more than a month. However AWA (Zurich Labor office)rejected the permit in Feb 2021, saying that they are not convinced with the effort put by my client to search for a candidate locally/in Europe.

So my wife's company picked up the task and worked with AWA to apply for a permit for my wife as the main permit holder (and consequently, I will have a dependent permit).

They placed the job ad in Swiss and European Market for 6 weeks.Since they did not find a suitable candidate for her profile, they finally applied for a permit in the beginning of Apr 2021.

After taking 1 month, AWA rejected her application as well. They provided two candidates' profile with my wife's employer and said please interview them and hire one of them, you may train them for your benefit so that they are up to the speed.

My wife's employer was not convinced with AWA's response and they went back strongly challenging the decision (we are not sure of the content of the response).Now it has almost been 3 weeks and we are still anxiously waiting for AWA's decision.

We have spent 6 years here, and we definitely don't want to go back, we have a son who is going to 2nd class at the local German school. He is quite well settled here, may be well integrated with the locals than us.

Having said that, I wanted to know:

1. Based on your experience, how likely is it that AWA will come back with a positive response?We figure they might be looking for other candidates in order to counter my wife's employer's statements.

2. In our case, both the employers haven't found any suitable candidate for the past 3-4 months. In my case, it has been 6 months that my client hasn't found anyone to replace me. So how can anyone convince AWA that there is no one else, and they should allow us to work here?

3. Our respective employers are trying to see if they can apply for the permit from a different canton, but we are not sure how it will be taken by the authorities since there already is some history of both our profiles with Zurich AWA.

4. Any other alternatives you can suggest!

Deeply appreciate your time and help here.

Rgds,
An anxious family!
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  #2  
Old 03.06.2021, 10:35
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Welcome to the forum.

I have no idea how likely they are to change their minds, but the employers can point out they've continued to search for someone else and still haven't found anyone who fits their needs.

It won't be possible for them to get permits from another canton; the canton where the company is based has sole responsibility. In the very unlikely case that another canton did say they'd grant a permit, it would probably be on the condition that you move to that canton since you're taxed where you live.

If you/wife meet the requirements try applying for an early C permit under VINTA.
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  #3  
Old 03.06.2021, 10:47
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Thats what I was going to suggest. Apply for C Permit under VINTA...hopefully the situation is resolved
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Old 03.06.2021, 10:55
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

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2. In our case, both the employers haven't found any suitable candidate for the past 3-4 months. In my case, it has been 6 months that my client hasn't found anyone to replace me. So how can anyone convince AWA that there is no one else, and they should allow us to work here?
My reponse here is based on the experience of a friend a few years ago, so I don't know the exact steps, but he told me this outline of when he tried to hire someone for a post and could not find anyone. Unlike your situation, he did not already have an employee who would do, but had nobody. Also, in that job, speaking German was an essential skill.

He collected every piece of proof that he had made an effort to find a candidate. This set of documentation included: the ads he himself had placed in Switzerland, and the conrrespondence with agencies or headhunters he had approached to find him a candidate, then also the ads he had placed in the EU, ditto agencies or headhunters. He advertised on online job-seeking platforms, but also researched and found professional registration bodies in Switzerland and in many countries in the the EU and wrote to them, asking them to advertise in their own newsletters and journals. Some declined, some advertised. He wrote direct mails within his network in the field.

He documented all the phonecalls he had made and collected all the mails he had written to ask anyone, anywhere, whether they knew of someone who would be competent for the job. These included his reminder mails to all of the above.

Finally, he submitted an article to the magazine of his professional board, setting out how much effort he had made and how difficult it had been and how, still, he had no candidate the situation was becoming dire.

Each month, he contacted the immigration authorities (after a while he got the exact contacts of an officer there) to report that he was searching and would probably need to apply for a permit for a non-EU employee. By the time he actually did find such a non-EU candidate, he had a fat file of paper to submit with the application, showing all his efforts. The permit was granted.
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Old 03.06.2021, 11:44
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

But do you think , in this situation we can go again with C permit application
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Old 03.06.2021, 12:41
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

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But do you think , in this situation we can go again with C permit application
I think it would have been an option if the permit was valid.
At the moment the B Permit is not being approved so I suspect the C permit will not be approved at all. VINTA needs a valid B Permit.
I would focus on getting the B Permit approved and as soon as that happens, your wife (who I assume was on the B permit for the entire duration) should make an application. And then you should do the same once you have the 05 year threshold sorted.
Sounds like your wife's company is keen on retaining her. Help them as much as you both can. I hope things work out for you both.
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  #7  
Old 03.06.2021, 22:21
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

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Sounds like your wife's company is keen on retaining her. Help them as much as you both can.
Yes, I think this is the key thing. There is no magic trick, and no guarante nor a non-EU person, but unfortunately many employers do not know what kinds of arguments might help to get an application approved.

It is the employer's responsibility and their work to do, if they want to be allowed to retain the employee. The big fat file I described in my post, above, was compiled, in that case, by the employer.

However, since you both have an interest in this, too, and since your employer and your wife's employer may not know how to go about this, I agree with logo's suggestion that you offer to help them as much as you can. You and she could, for example, offer to collate all the documentation proving the efforts your respective employers have made, in searching for a replacement.

With regard to the candidates that were recommended to the employer, the key thing - if the employer wants to keep you instead of taking on one of those recommended - is for them to demonstrate that you have a skill or knowledge or training that the proposed new candidate does not have. Besides the obvious formal education and working experience, this might be with regard to the knowledge of the structure of a particular project, or your range of language skills or cultural understanding to liaise with other members, especially if there are essential processes which could cause the project to fail if they couldn't have you to work on it, and deadlines which they would miss if they had to spend time introducing and training a new person.

In all applications, at the very minimum, one must supply all the required documentation. Beyond that, the fat file of proof that they have done the work trying to find someone, but that the search did not yield any employee who could deliver what you could give them. In particular, the employer shoudl specify what you have about you that makes you better or essential for the job.

And then the employer should include an account of what would happen if they lost you.

One good argument is, of course, their profit or convenience, but another, perhaps more important, would be if their having you means that someone else would also retain their job in the company, who might otherwise lose it. The thing the employer is trying to prove is that it is better for the Swiss economy for you to be allowed to continue to work for them.
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Old 04.06.2021, 00:04
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

I stumbled upon relocation agent who offers help to companies to resolve permit issues. I haven't used her services (yet), so I cannot recommend or not recommend, but it could be worth asking for help or pay for consultation/advice where to go next?
https://www.silvernest.ch/

Or some lawyer?

It could all be a matter of not writing/presenting precisely some information or something even if they did it properly....
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Old 08.06.2021, 08:59
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Thanks all for your valuable inputs.

It is company's decision to hire a lawyer or not, to present their case to the authorities.
My client hired a lawyer to do this, however after the first rejection, they suggested we shouldn't challenge them back as it would cause the company to have a "black" mark in the authorities' perspective.

My wife's employer however applied for the permit on their own, working closely with AWA. Unfortunately, our fate is still hanging by a thread.

We don't have a view of the text or arguments made by my wife's employer, however they are pretty confident they have responded with strong arguments. We will have to wait and see.

Other development is, as I had mentioned previously, our respective employers are checking if they can apply for our permits from different cantons (Geneva / Solothurn) where they have their registered offices (or branches).

They would like to pursue this option once we get a final rejection from AWA.

What we heard is that if you get a (B open) permit in Geneva, we have an option to move back to Zurich after a year or so, provided we do not avail Social Welfare and we do not have any criminal charges.

Is this possible? Are we allowed to change the place of residence even though permit is from another canton, with B open permit?

Also we were told that we might chose to stay in a different canton and somehow prove that we travel to our respective cantonal offices on a daily basis.

I am not sure how much of this is possible / true.

Of course, all this is provided, one of our permit applications are approved in those cantons.
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Old 08.06.2021, 12:54
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Oh, this must all be very stressful for you!

Yes, you are right that it is the employer who has to try to get the permit, not you. Even so, if you are in a good dialogue with them, as it sounds, you could offer to do some of the work of building that fat file of proof that they have tried lots of avenues within Switzerland and within the EU but that, even so, you possess a particular skill or particular project knowledge that they are not succeeding in replacing. Also that Switzerland would be worse off if you are made to leave, e.g. because a project will have to fold (= employer making less profit and therefore paying less tax) and/or because your leaving would result in another employee having to be dismissed (who would then need to claim unemployment benefits). Or, from the other side, how many jobs they could potentially maintain or create if you, with your special skill-set, were allowed to be saved as an employee, and what the future could bring, given that you can do x, y and z. If you are now working with others, internationally, with your language(s), that is sometimes a good combination: your main knowledge plus your language skills.

I realise that your employer is not going to try to fight it any more for your job in your canton, but the above applies to your wife's application, and to any application in another canton.

I hope someone will come along, soon, to comment on the idea of your working in another canton... I don't know about that.
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Old 08.06.2021, 12:58
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Won´t it have a negative impact if you get denied in one Kanton and then apply again in another? It all ends in Bern for approval, doesn´t it? Just wondering
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Old 03.08.2021, 14:28
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Thanks doropfiz for the reminder and the nudge.
Apologies for late reply. The past few months have been a rollercoaster ride.

So as I had mentioned last time, my wife's employer had strongly responded back to AWA's decision to reject the application.

After taking a month, AWA finally approved her permit.

After a wait for over 6 months, we finally got the approval we were seeking!

We received our respective permits. My wife continues to work and I am going to join a company as well.

All-in-all, I feel that there is nothing anyone could have done differently. It all depends on how much your company wants you, and how far they are willing to go to keep you here.

I respect the EF community and sincerely thank you all for your genuine concerns and suggestions.
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Old 03.08.2021, 14:32
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

congratulations!!!
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Old 03.08.2021, 14:54
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Congratulations to you and your wife! I have to admit to being stressed on your behalf with each comment until I saw the June date of your original post. So, I skipped to the end and saw the good resolution. Thanks for that update. I hope you both go out and celebrate!

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Old 03.08.2021, 15:08
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

Congratulations! I can't imagine how stressful this time was for your family.
I recommend that as soon as you are eligible, go and apply for permit C. It makes a huge difference for Non-EU people. Have a look at the requirements now and prepare for it.
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Old 04.08.2021, 08:36
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

congrats.

i been waiting for my G permit (france) since 8 months .

now my employer was thinking to go with L or B permit.
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Old 09.08.2021, 17:20
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Re: Permit application after 6 years, non EU - my story

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Welcome to the forum.

I have no idea how likely they are to change their minds, but the employers can point out they've continued to search for someone else and still haven't found anyone who fits their needs.

It won't be possible for them to get permits from another canton; the canton where the company is based has sole responsibility. In the very unlikely case that another canton did say they'd grant a permit, it would probably be on the condition that you move to that canton since you're taxed where you live.

If you/wife meet the requirements try applying for an early C permit under VINTA.
No, they cannot apply for early C as his wife started to work from 2019.
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