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Old 18.06.2021, 12:24
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Work permit processing time for non-EU

Hi

I understand that the work permit processing time in general takes between 8-12 weeks. I have been told by my prospective employer (in Zurich) that the my application was submitted on 10th May 2021.

But I am wondering if anyone (non-EU) could share their recent experience? Has COVID affected the processing time for example? And do you get your decision closer to 8 or 12 weeks?

I am just really anxious as I have had to terminate my tenancy agreement recently in the UK (as I had to give a two months' notice) and organise for the potential relocation. Fortunately, I would only require to give my current employer a 4 weeks' notice; therefore, I have not quit my current job just yet.

I would really appreciate it if any of you here could share your experience.

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 18.06.2021, 12:31
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

Did your employer say at what level of approval this now is?


Yes, Covid19 has unfortunately led to delays in the processing of permits.


Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 18.06.2021, 12:40
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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Did your employer say at what level of approval this now is?


Yes, Covid19 has unfortunately led to delays in the processing of permits.


Good luck!
No, they have not got back to me since. I mean, I emailed them early June to ask, but they just replied the following:

"We will let you know as soon as we get the decision from the migration authorities. The process usually takes up to 2 months, rarely longer. Also, remember that we need to get the approval from 3 different authorities; however, we hope and expect this application will be approved"

That's all I know as of now, and obviously, I did not want to be annoying and ask them too many questions :P
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  #4  
Old 18.06.2021, 12:42
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

3? Far as I know it's only 2; cantonal and Federal.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ensablauf.html
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Old 18.06.2021, 12:44
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

Hello,

During some time last year the permit application process was even stopped due to covid19. There should be a backlog of applications.

Good thing you did not quit your job yet. The permit process is split in two parts. The first one where your new employer asks for a generic foreign worker permit with certain skill set and a second part one where you apply as individual working for your employer. The first stage takes usually 2 or 3 weeks and it's all you need to start working, but there might be some delays. The second one could be several months, but doesn't really matter. You're already working and living in CH.

Tangential but important. Who did you ask? HR couldn't care less about your case. Maybe ask your future manager in the nicest possible way. This person can put some pressure on HR.
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Old 18.06.2021, 12:58
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3? Far as I know it's only 2; cantonal and Federal.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ensablauf.html
Thank you for the info. I don't know, that's what my prospective employer said. I suppose when they said 3 authorities (from the link you sent me), they could mean:

1. The competent cantonal authority (employment or immigration office)
2. SEM
3. The cantonal immigration authority

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Hello,

During some time last year the permit application process was even stopped due to covid19. There should be a backlog of applications.

Good thing you did not quit your job yet. The permit process is split in two parts. The first one where your new employer asks for a generic foreign worker permit with certain skill set and a second part one where you apply as individual working for your employer. The first stage takes usually 2 or 3 weeks and it's all you need to start working, but there might be some delays. The second one could be several months, but doesn't really matter. You're already working and living in CH.

Tangential but important. Who did you ask? HR couldn't care less about your case. Maybe ask your future manager in the nicest possible way. This person can put some pressure on HR.
I see... Thank you for sharing your experience.

So, yeah, the email came from HR, but my prospective supervisor added to that email and said, "It is highly unlikely that there will be problems as the job market in Zurich has improved recently. I have also included a very comprehensive letter to support your application for the authorities involved. I have never had any issue in the past, so, it should be OK"
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Old 18.06.2021, 13:28
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

I’m a Briton, I used to work in Geneva (on an L permit/short term attachment) before Brexit. I’ve been offered a new job by a company based in Geneva in March. Signed the contract and submitted the necessary documents for my permit application at the end of April. My company applied to relevant cantonal authorities in late April. They told me we should find out between 4-8 weeks.

Seven weeks later, we haven’t heard anything from the Geneva cantonal authorities or the SEM, despite the company’s good relationship with the local officials. However, I’m very aware that some Geneva fonctionnaires take a leisurely approach to their jobs… it could be another week or even another month before I find out if I’m allowed to work in Switzerland.

My company asked me to delay the starting date for another month, citing Geneva’s slow processing time. It’s rather stressful…

I know exactly how you feel. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 18.06.2021, 14:25
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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I’m a Briton, I used to work in Geneva (on an L permit/short term attachment) before Brexit. I’ve been offered a new job by a company based in Geneva in March. Signed the contract and submitted the necessary documents for my permit application at the end of April. My company applied to relevant cantonal authorities in late April. They told me we should find out between 4-8 weeks.

Seven weeks later, we haven’t heard anything from the Geneva cantonal authorities or the SEM, despite the company’s good relationship with the local officials. However, I’m very aware that some Geneva fonctionnaires take a leisurely approach to their jobs… it could be another week or even another month before I find out if I’m allowed to work in Switzerland.

My company asked me to delay the starting date for another month, citing Geneva’s slow processing time. It’s rather stressful…

I know exactly how you feel. Good luck.
Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

We are pretty much in the same boat then. I submitted the necessary documents and signed the contract early May and was told that the work permit application was submitted on 10th May—so, it's only been 5-6 weeks for me.

The only issue is that I have terminated my tenancy agreement, so I have another month or so to be where I am now in the UK. I would love to get to know decision by then and decide to:

i. move into a temporary accommodation (if it gets approved), which will obviously be quite expensive (as we are a family of three)
ii. find another property to rent (if it gets rejected) and stay in my current job

I wonder if Zurich is more efficient or less so compared to Geneva. As of now, I am scheduled to start early August, but who knows whether that is possible. I am really looking forward to starting my new role that I don't even feel that motivated in my current job anymore.

Anyway, I hope that you would get a decision soon enough.

Please let me know how it goes.
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:38
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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So, yeah, the email came from HR, but my prospective supervisor added to that email and said, "It is highly unlikely that there will be problems as the job market in Zurich has improved recently. I have also included a very comprehensive letter to support your application for the authorities involved. I have never had any issue in the past, so, it should be OK"
So, it seems your new employer is doing all they need to do. The issue is now on Zurich canton hands, hope the wait is not that long.
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  #10  
Old 18.06.2021, 14:40
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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So, it seems your new employer is doing all they need to do. The issue is now on Zurich canton hands, hope the wait is not that long.
Yeah, hopefully! Thank you.
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Old 19.06.2021, 00:39
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

The three authorities are the cantonal Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit, who decides if you should be allowed to be hired. If they think you should, they then recommend to the immigration authorities that a quota spot be liberated for you and that you be issued a residence permit. It then goes through the the cantonal migrationsamt and then the SEM.

Depending on the complexity of the application dossier and if they need to get more information from the employer, and on how much applications need to be treated at the moment, it can be just 3 weeks, or anywhere up to 3 months or more.

There's really nothing you can do but wait.

Once it's approved and you move here and you register, it also takes a while for the permit itself to be actually issued.
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Old 19.06.2021, 09:59
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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The three authorities are the cantonal Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit, who decides if you should be allowed to be hired. If they think you should, they then recommend to the immigration authorities that a quota spot be liberated for you and that you be issued a residence permit. It then goes through the the cantonal migrationsamt and then the SEM.

Depending on the complexity of the application dossier and if they need to get more information from the employer, and on how much applications need to be treated at the moment, it can be just 3 weeks, or anywhere up to 3 months or more.

There's really nothing you can do but wait.

Once it's approved and you move here and you register, it also takes a while for the permit itself to be actually issued.
Thank you for the information, I appreciate that.

I understand that all I can do now it just wait, anxiously

Anyway, I was just interested to know if there are other non-EU who have recently applied (around April/May time) and mainly hear their experience.
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Old 21.06.2021, 10:11
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

We applied in October 2020 and received the permits in June 2021 (3rd country nationals from Canada). We were already in the country but were switching from student to proper B permits so it's basically the same process as hiring any non-EU person, except slightly easier because of graduating from a swiss university. We were here an working while it was being processed. So, ya, it took about 9 months for them to get approvals and birth our permits.
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Old 21.06.2021, 10:19
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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We applied in October 2020 and received the permits in June 2021 (3rd country nationals from Canada). We were already in the country but were switching from student to proper B permits so it's basically the same process as hiring any non-EU person, except slightly easier because of graduating from a swiss university. We were here an working while it was being processed. So, ya, it took about 9 months for them to get approvals and birth our permits.
Thank you for sharing your experience.

Anyway, I was told that the application in the country usually takes considerably longer. When you made the application in October 2021, when were your older permits expiring?

Cheers.
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Old 21.06.2021, 10:24
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

Our permits at the time were expiring in November.
Normally it should take 1 month and at most 3 months, but we were told due to covid everything was backed up and taking longer.
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Old 21.06.2021, 10:32
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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Our permits at the time were expiring in November.
Normally it should take 1 month and at most 3 months, but we were told due to covid everything was backed up and taking longer.
Shoot! That's scary long! I'm scheduled to start in August, perhaps, that's not possible now. Anyway... thanks!
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Old 21.06.2021, 10:55
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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Thank you fo
The only issue is that I have terminated my tenancy agreement, so I have another month or so to be where I am now in the UK. I would love to get to know decision by then and decide to:

i. move into a temporary accommodation (if it gets approved), which will obviously be quite expensive (as we are a family of three)
ii. find another property to rent (if it gets rejected) and stay in my current job
What's your property notice period? I never had more than a month in the UK after the initial 6 month contract. If your landlord hasn't found new tenants yet, maybe contact them and ask if you can extend on a rolling monthly basis with 1 months notice?
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Old 21.06.2021, 11:24
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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What's your property notice period? I never had more than a month in the UK after the initial 6 month contract. If your landlord hasn't found new tenants yet, maybe contact them and ask if you can extend on a rolling monthly basis with 1 months notice?
My notice period is two months unfortunately. So, I have given the notice last month--I will be moving into an entire place Airbnb early July. Obviously, this costs a bit more per month than my previous flat, but anyway...

I'm really hopeful to get the decision in July itself, but then again, who knows.
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Old 21.06.2021, 16:42
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

Processing times are impossible to predict. I had the impression that my approval (non-EU) would take at least 8 weeks too. But it was approved in less than 7 days (Cantonal + Federal) after application by my employer in Jan-21. Yes, you read that right - 7 "days".

Another of my colleague who joined the same time as me had hers approved in 3 weeks as well. So, just wait until you hear back. There's no point of trying to speculate and get anxious about it as every case is different and will need a different timeline for evaluation. But based on my experience and lot of new expats (non EU) who joined in my company, CoVid has had no impact in terms of increased processing times for the application.
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Old 21.06.2021, 21:13
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Re: Work permit processing time for non-EU

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Processing times are impossible to predict. I had the impression that my approval (non-EU) would take at least 8 weeks too. But it was approved in less than 7 days (Cantonal + Federal) after application by my employer in Jan-21. Yes, you read that right - 7 "days".

Another of my colleague who joined the same time as me had hers approved in 3 weeks as well. So, just wait until you hear back. There's no point of trying to speculate and get anxious about it as every case is different and will need a different timeline for evaluation. But based on my experience and lot of new expats (non EU) who joined in my company, CoVid has had no impact in terms of increased processing times for the application.
Wow, 7 days is unbelievable! I'm really hopeful to hear back around 8 weeks because I'm no longer in the mood to do my current job if I'm honest.

By the way, may I know in which canton do you work?
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