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Old 19.06.2021, 00:50
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Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Hello!

Thank you so much for setting up this forum, and thank you, in particular, to those who have been so generous with answers to others’ questions! I’m so glad I found this forum! I’ve read numerous messages with tons of very helpful information, but I haven’t found info (even using the search function) that addresses my family’s specific situation, and so I’d like to introduce myself and ask a few questions.

My wife (US citizen only) has been offered a job as a postdoc at the University of Zürich. I (her husband) and our two young children are all EU citizens (dual US-Netherlands). All four of us are currently living in the US. The postdoc position that my wife has been offered is for work at 70% of full time for 4 years, in the form of renewable one-year contracts.

We’ve got a few questions about the immigration paperwork we will require. If I have understood correctly, the EU-Swiss Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) has provisions for EU citizens who come to work in Switzerland and who bring their family members (whether those family members are EU citizens or not). The AFMP does not, I think, envision non-EU citizens coming to work in Switzerland and bringing their EU-citizen family members. So, I suspect the AFMP does not apply to our situation. I have not, however, explored the full extent of Swiss immigration legislation, and so we are very grateful for the expertise of the folks of this forum.

Assuming that the AFMP is not applicable to our situation, our first big question is this: Obviously, my wife will require an ‘authorized visa’ in order to enter Switzerland, but do our kids and I (all EU citizens) require family reunification visas in order to enter Switzerland with her? I know EU citizens do not normally require a visa to enter Switzerland, but our situation is not ‘normal’, in that I (the EU-citizen spouse) am not going to Switzerland with a job contract lined up, but am rather going as the ‘trailing spouse’.

And if the three of us do require family reunification visas in order to enter Switzerland, can we apply for those simultaneously with applying for my wife’s authorized visa? I ask this question because we need to enter Switzerland together; our children are very young, and living apart for 8-12 weeks, with my wife in Switzerland and the kids and I still in the US, is simply not an option for us. (Yes, we realize that if we need to be apart for 8-12 weeks, then this is a deal-breaker for my wife’s accepting the job offer.)

Our next question is about residence/work permits: The job my wife has been offered is a postdoc, so, if I understand correctly, she won’t require a labor market test in order to get a residence permit, but it also means that she will get a student permit with permission to work, rather than a standard residence/work permit. Given that our kids and I would be accompanying my non-EU-citizen wife, would the residence permits for us three EU citizens be of the non-EU variety (which, I think, require language proficiency for the spouse and which may or may not permit employment) or of the EU variety (which do not have those limitations, if I understand correctly)? I ask this because we need to know whether I need to acquire proof of my language proficiency in German/French/Italian.

Finally, if I find employment of my own in Switzerland, would we be able to invoke the rights contained in the AFMP and switch the residence permits for all four of us to the EU variety with relative ease? Or would that be a complicated process?

Oh, and one more question: If she takes the job, we are tentatively planning to get a long-term airbnb while we look for an actual apartment to live in. We’re trying to figure out whether this is feasible, or whether we would require the actual apartment address before we could register with the Gemeinde and apply for our residence permits. The advice I’ve seen on the forum is: Check with the Canton about whether they’d be OK with a temporary airbnb stay. Does anyone have any further advice on this?

I apologize for any questions I have asked that are answered elsewhere on this forum. And I’m sorry for any aspects of Swiss immigration law or policy that I have misunderstood. Regardless, a very big Thank You, in advance, to all of you who write replies!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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  #2  
Old 19.06.2021, 10:11
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Welcome to the forum and hopefully soon to Switzerland.

EU nationals always have the right to come to Switzerland, regardless of family circumstances. While your wife will need a Type D visa to enter Switzerland for more than the 90 day tourist limit, neither you or the children will need them. You can enter with her without problems. And you can certainly apply for the family reunification permits at the same time as hers is applied for, in fact it would be better to do so. If she takes up the job offer she should ask the university to apply for these along with her application. The embassy/consulate would just not bother with the Type D's for you and the kids once the permits are approved.

Since your permits would be dependent on hers they will be residence only initially; however again as an EU national there would be no problem with you seeking work as there is no hiring criteria that employers would have to meet to be able to hire you. And the Netherlands has an agreement with Switzerland whereby no Swiss language proficiency requirements are needed. As for switching the permits around so you would be the main permit holder, that I don't know. You'd have to talk to the cantonal migration office about that.

AirBnB accommodation is not accepted by all cantons as a proper address for registering your residency here which is why you need to check with them first before booking anything. The main reason is that your permits will be sent in the post so you need to be able to put your name on the post box.

Other things you should be aware of before making your decision:

US citizens are persons non gratis here for most banks; they will not accept your wife and maybe you as well if you want a joint account. Only UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance will consider you and that only for a basic checking account. This is due to the US's FATCA law which came into force a while back. She/you will need to fill in W-9 forms allowing the bank to pass your bank info on to the IRS to be able to open an account here.

Also as a US citizen (and you as a Green Card holder I assume) will still have US tax filing obligations no matter where you live in the world. Start your research on that here. While it's easy for you to avoid this by getting rid of your Green Card (a form to fill in, but make sure to take a copy of it as it's the only proof you have given up the card), the only way for your wife to avoid it is to renounce her citizenship.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...g-requirements

It's best not to have joint bank accounts.

There will also be FBAR forms to fill in online detailing your bank info.

My main concern would be the salary; at 70% I'm not sure the cantonal authorities would consider that enough to support you and 2 children. I would try and contact them to see if they can give you guidance about whether they would see it as enough to grant you all residence permits. It may depend on whatever savings you could also show to have. Yes, you may get a job quickly which would help, but you won't have that when you're applying for the permits once you arrive.
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Old 19.06.2021, 13:08
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Hello,

I think you don't have to worry about the language. But if it's critical that you arrive together to CH there might be several options.

One option is that she applies with her job and family reunion for husband and children at the same time. She'll get the permit for sure. For family reunion some money in the bank will be asked. The money should be larger than what's needed to sustain the husband with no job and two children for 1 year. You get a B permit for work, you start working and by next time you apply for a new permit you already have a job. I had to leave to wash the car but we can check later what's the minimum amount to get a family reunion permit with no job. It's only 1 year, so it's doable.

The other option is to come as tourists from Netherlands, taking care you don't exceed 90 days. Once you land a job, apply for family reunion.

What Medea mentioned is a thing to put a lot of attention. Quite probably the 70% job as post-doc will not be enough as only income to get a permit for the whole family.
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Old 20.06.2021, 06:36
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Dear Medea Fleecestealer and Axa,

Thank you so much for your very helpful and informative messages!

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For family reunion some money in the bank will be asked. The money should be larger than what's needed to sustain the husband with no job and two children for 1 year. ... we can check later what's the minimum amount to get a family reunion permit with no job. It's only 1 year, so it's doable.
If you could find those minimum amounts, or a link to where those amounts are listed, that would be super helpful, thank you!

I should perhaps also mention that I myself am a PhD student at a US university; I'm just working on writing my dissertation, so I don't have to be at the university in the US and can accompany my family to Switzerland. But getting a paying job in addition to working on my dissertation will be difficult. This is an incentive for me to finish my dissertation quickly!

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EU nationals always have the right to come to Switzerland, regardless of family circumstances. While your wife will need a Type D visa to enter Switzerland for more than the 90 day tourist limit, neither you or the children will need them. You can enter with her without problems. And you can certainly apply for the family reunification permits at the same time as hers is applied for, in fact it would be better to do so. If she takes up the job offer she should ask the university to apply for these along with her application. The embassy/consulate would just not bother with the Type D's for you and the kids once the permits are approved.
This is a huge relief; thank you!

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US citizens are persons non gratis here for most banks; they will not accept your wife and maybe you as well if you want a joint account. Only UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance will consider you and that only for a basic checking account. This is due to the US's FATCA law which came into force a while back. She/you will need to fill in W-9 forms allowing the bank to pass your bank info on to the IRS to be able to open an account here.

Also as a US citizen (and you as a Green Card holder I assume) will still have US tax filing obligations no matter where you live in the world. Start your research on that here. While it's easy for you to avoid this by getting rid of your Green Card (a form to fill in, but make sure to take a copy of it as it's the only proof you have given up the card), the only way for your wife to avoid it is to renounce her citizenship.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...g-requirements

It's best not to have joint bank accounts.

There will also be FBAR forms to fill in online detailing your bank info.
We are not rich fat cats, and so I'm not afraid of FATCA and FBAR, but I know that many non-US banks find the FATCA requirements so onerous that they would prefer not to have US persons as customers. I'm sure we'll need a Swiss bank account for the deposits of my wife's salary, so thank you for the suggestions about which banks accept US citizens. A basic checking account will be sufficient for accepting those salary deposits, right?

BTW, I'm not a US green card holder; our children and I are dual US-Netherlands citizens, and none of us has any desire to give us our US citizenship. But I am fully aware that we'll have to pay (or at least file) taxes on all income worldwide to the US, even on income that has already been taxed by Switzerland. Filing two sets of tax returns is not too bad; I just hope that the Swiss income will not be doubly taxed too badly. As for the FBAR form, I've needed to fill those out before, and they're not too difficult.

But given that both my wife and I are US citizens (even though I am also an EU citizen), is there still a problem with a joint bank account? I mean, the bank will have to do FATCA reporting, and we'll have to do FBAR reporting, no matter whether our account is joint or only in my wife's name, right?

In any case, thank you once more, Medea Fleecestealer and Axa, for your extremely helpful responses! I'm so glad we found this forum!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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Old 20.06.2021, 10:53
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

No, a joint account wouldn't be a problem since you're both US; just means you both need to fill in the W-9 form for the bank. And yes, a basic checking account will do for salary deposits. If you plan to eventually buy a property here it's another story though. Unlikely to get a mortgage from a bank here.
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Old 20.06.2021, 13:51
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Welcome to the Forum, OP.

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...The other option is to come as tourists from Netherlands, taking care you don't exceed 90 days. Once you land a job, apply for family reunion...
It sounds like the wife is supposed to start working as a post-doc upon arrival. For a non-EU, I don't recommend arriving as a tourist and starting work without having done all the paperwork in advance.

However if she has some time, then this might work assuming the EU spouse can find work quickly.

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...I'm sure we'll need a Swiss bank account for the deposits of my wife's salary, so thank you for the suggestions about which banks accept US citizens. A basic checking account will be sufficient for accepting those salary deposits, right?

...Filing two sets of tax returns is not too bad; I just hope that the Swiss income will not be doubly taxed too badly. As for the FBAR form, I've needed to fill those out before, and they're not too difficult.

... is there still a problem with a joint bank account? I mean, the bank will have to do FATCA reporting, and we'll have to do FBAR reporting, no matter whether our account is joint or only in my wife's name, right?
The banks listed above are most common. Of those, PostFinance probably has the lowest fee of 5 CHF per month for a basic account. PostFinance offers services in English. I think UBS and Credit Suisse might too.

I happen to be with MigrosBank at only 3 CHF per month and it's worked fine. I'm not sure if they're still accepting American customers though. Migros only does German, French or Italian. But if you can handle a local langugage and they'll take you, Migros is about the cheapest option.

Yes, you'll file taxes in both places. Odds are you'll only pay tax in Switzerland, at least early on. For the USA, The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and either the Foreign Housing Exclusion (FHE) or Foreign Housing Deduction (FHD) should zero out almost everything you earn in Switzerland on post-doc salaries, meaning your taxable income in the USA would drop to zero.

For 2021, the FEIE is $108,700. FEIE info here: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...come-exclusion

FHE and FHD info here: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...n-or-deduction

There's a lot of reading to do. It may be worthwhile to hire a tax professional to help you the first year and after that you can figure it out yourselves.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 20.06.2021 at 16:26. Reason: tried to clarify a bit
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Old 21.06.2021, 10:23
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Thank you so much, Medea Fleecestealer, for the clarification!
And thank you, 3Wishes, for the additional banking and tax info! (My wife's salary will definitely be below the maximum FEIE, which is a relief.)

I really appreciate your help!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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Old 21.06.2021, 13:07
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

I don't know that a 70% salary postdoc will earn enough to support a spouse and two children. For non-EU that would be expected.


be careful not to terminate any contracts or employment in the US until permits come through for the whole family... or you also have an actual signed contract for a great job that will fit around your wife's studies and your children's needs.
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Old 21.06.2021, 13:32
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

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If you could find those minimum amounts, or a link to where those amounts are listed, that would be super helpful, thank you!
Indeed, the minimum vital amounts are a bit hidden. Published for debts, but not for permits. Anyway, a guide to calculate the numbers here:
https://www.ch.ch/en/debts-what-effects/

The strictly minimum for a couple with 2 kids is 2500 CHF per month but I guess that's an estimate when you're living in social housing and getting health insurance subsidized.

So, a rough estimate would be:

- 2200 CHF rent (at least, maybe EFers in ZH give better info)
- 1200 CHF for the cheapest mandatory health insurance
- at least 300 for public transport
- 1500-2500 for food, public transport, clothing, and anything else mentioned in the minimum vital.

Between 5000 and 6000 CHF. If your wife gets that income after taxes, there may be a chance, to apply only with her income for the whole family.

The problem is rent in Zürich. Couple with 2 kids will be asked to have a 3.5 room apartment by local authorities. 3.5 room means 2 bedrooms + 1 living room+ kitchen. Just look at the average rent prices (https://www.immoscout24.ch/de/wohnun...=3.5&pn=1&se=1) But, there are NGOs that support students with low rent. Albeit, not sure if it applies for post-docs (https://www.immoscout24.ch/de/d/wohn...uerich/6556104). If somehow, you find subsidized apartment or live far away from ZH city, there may be a way to make it work with 1 income.

But, the most accurate info comes from students. She may ask her future colleagues. Don't be ashamed, all students have the same challenges. I was once a PhD student and managed to bring my wife only with my income. She immediately started to work but the permit was done with only my income. The trick was renting a ugly and cheap place that met the apartment size requirements so the rent did not consumed a considerable fraction of my income. After she got here, she got a job and we moved to nicer place a year later.

I don't know if there are also way to optimize the mandatory health insurance cost, I don't have children, no idea. Keeping the rent and the health insurance costs to the minimum would make possible to get permits only with your wife income.

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It sounds like the wife is supposed to start working as a post-doc upon arrival. For a non-EU, I don't recommend arriving as a tourist and starting work without having done all the paperwork in advance.
If I understood well, the only non-EU is the wife. So, she has to do the whole procedure of D-type visa. Husband and kids have more alternatives with Netherlands passport. He's still finishing the thesis, so could live partially in Netherlands and Switzerland to keep the tourist status in CH while he can start working.
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Old 21.06.2021, 14:21
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Your user name reminds me of a Dutch children´s song (very politically incorrect):


http://www.liedjesland.com/Liedjes/k...eAmerikaan.htm


Although the last part was never used afaik
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Old 22.06.2021, 05:38
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Thank you so much, swisspea and Axa, and again Medea Fleecestealer!

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If she takes up the job offer she should ask the university to apply for these along with her application. The embassy/consulate would just not bother with the Type D's for you and the kids once the permits are approved.
We got a response from the HR person at the Institut where my wife will be working within the university, and it sounds like they're on board with exactly this procedure. It's great to have it confirmed.

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I don't know that a 70% salary postdoc will earn enough to support a spouse and two children. For non-EU that would be expected.
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Indeed, the minimum vital amounts are a bit hidden. Published for debts, but not for permits. Anyway, a guide to calculate the numbers here:
https://www.ch.ch/en/debts-what-effects/

The strictly minimum for a couple with 2 kids is 2500 CHF per month but I guess that's an estimate when you're living in social housing and getting health insurance subsidized.

So, a rough estimate would be:

- 2200 CHF rent (at least, maybe EFers in ZH give better info)
- 1200 CHF for the cheapest mandatory health insurance
- at least 300 for public transport
- 1500-2500 for food, public transport, clothing, and anything else mentioned in the minimum vital.

Between 5000 and 6000 CHF. If your wife gets that income after taxes, there may be a chance, to apply only with her income for the whole family.

The problem is rent in Zürich. Couple with 2 kids will be asked to have a 3.5 room apartment by local authorities. 3.5 room means 2 bedrooms + 1 living room+ kitchen. Just look at the average rent prices...
As far as I can tell, the actual amounts are buried deep within the SKOS/CSIAS Richtlinien website, but I found it far to confusing to find anything useful. The principle, if I've understood it correctly, is that one should have enough income/assets so that one does not need Sozialhilfe, and so the income/asset levels below which one can request Sozialhilfe are the same levels below which one will not receive a residence permit.

What I did stumble across is this: https://skos.ch/fileadmin/user_uploa...ert_2020-D.pdf
Here, on pp. 9 and 10, one can find two very useful tables. Inferring from the first table, a one-person household would require 2197 CHF/month in income or assets to get a permit.

And extrapolating a bit from both tables, for a four-person household (like my own), the following would apply:
Basic expenses per month for 4 persons = 2134 CHF/month
Minimum medical insurance for 4 persons = 4 x 200 CHF = 800 CHF/month
Minimum rent for 4 persons (my own estimate) = about 2500 CHF/month

That adds up to 5434 CHF/month in after-tax income or in assets that a four-person household would require in order to get permits for all four persons.
Lo and behold, that's very similar to the range that Axa provided (between 5000 CHF/month and 6000 CHF/month) by using the debt numbers.

My wife's postdoc salary is not that high, after taxes are taken out, so we will definitely need to show that we have some savings we can rely on. :-)

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But, the most accurate info comes from students. She may ask her future colleagues. Don't be ashamed, all students have the same challenges. I was once a PhD student and managed to bring my wife only with my income. She immediately started to work but the permit was done with only my income. The trick was renting a ugly and cheap place that met the apartment size requirements so the rent did not consumed a considerable fraction of my income. After she got here, she got a job and we moved to nicer place a year later.

I don't know if there are also way to optimize the mandatory health insurance cost, I don't have children, no idea. Keeping the rent and the health insurance costs to the minimum would make possible to get permits only with your wife income.
UZH has both a housing office (for students) and an international office (for both international students and international scholars), and we're expecting that they will be very helpful in figuring out housing.

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If I understood well, the only non-EU is the wife. So, she has to do the whole procedure of D-type visa. Husband and kids have more alternatives with Netherlands passport. He's still finishing the thesis, so could live partially in Netherlands and Switzerland to keep the tourist status in CH while he can start working.
Yes, we could live apart, but our kids are very young, and we definitely need two parents for wrangling our kiddos. We won't be living apart. :-)

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Your user name reminds me of a Dutch children´s song (very politically incorrect):


http://www.liedjesland.com/Liedjes/k...eAmerikaan.htm


Although the last part was never used afaik
Indeed! It's an absolutely terrible song, but the title does describe me, even if the lyrics (hopefully!) do not. Long ago, I was for a short time a Scout leader in the Netherlands, and the other Scouts and leaders were very kind in never singing that song in my presence. :-)

Once again, thank you to everyone for your input!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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Old 23.06.2021, 07:33
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

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UZH has both a housing office (for students) and an international office (for both international students and international scholars), and we're expecting that they will be very helpful in figuring out housing.
You may be disappointed with their support for finding suitable housing for a family with children.
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Old 24.06.2021, 08:17
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

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You may be disappointed with their support for finding suitable housing for a family with children.
Fair enough. :-) And I know they don't own any housing of their own. But they'll surely know more about the housing market than we do, and they'll hopefully be a good resource to point us in the right direction. We'll see! :-)

Nederlandse Amerikaan
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Old 12.07.2021, 09:59
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Thank you for all your help with the Swiss bureaucracy so far! My wife has accepted her job offer, and so we now begin the exciting/arduous process of visa/permit paperwork!

If you'll permit to me ask a few follow-up questions:

The date she will start work is 1 November 2021. Ideally, we would like to enter Switzerland 2-4 weeks before then, in order to set up things like daycare for our children, doing the permit paperwork, setting up a bank account, and starting our search for long-term housing, etc. However my wife's department at UZH has told her that actually, she is not allowed to enter the country before the start of her work contract. We wonder whether her department has misunderstood the rules. Obviously, she's not allowed to enter the country before the start date on her entry visa. (She's a non-EU citizen, so she needs an entry visa.) And obviously, she's not allowed to work before she has the formal permission from the government to take up employment. But if her department is correct, then it sounds like my wife must arrive in Switzerland on 1 November (not earlier, and not later), and go directly from the airport to the Kreisbüro, and then directly from there to the office to start working; this sounds unreasonable by anyone's standard.

First, from reading other posts on this forum (like https://www.englishforum.ch/2559818-post10.html and https://www.englishforum.ch/292853-post3.html), it sounds like the entry visa is generally valid for 90 days, starting on the date of issuance of the visa, and it seems that one is allowed to enter any time during this 90-day window of validity. Is this correct not just for entry visas for students, but also for entry visas for workers? (My wife's job will be as a postdoc at UZH, so it's not clear to me whether she'll be treated as a student or as a worker for the purpose of the visa.) On the other hand, I've read at https://ethz.ch/en/studies/internati...#par_textimage that the 90-day validity period for entry visas for students tends to start around 2 weeks before the start of the semester (rather than starting on the date of issuance); that info is definitely for students, and I don't know if it applies to my wife. Maybe entry visas for workers are valid starting around 2 weeks before the start of the work contract? Or maybe different cantons have different guidelines for the validity dates of entry visas? In any case, if the visa is valid for 90 days, starting on the day of issuance, then that would be great for us, since we would be able to arrive in CH a few weeks before her work start date.

And second, I understand that one must register with the Kreisbüro within 14 days of arrival. According to https://www.isc.uzh.ch/en/before-and...in-zurich.html this applies to both EU citizens and non-EU citizens. And I understand that one is not permitted to start working until one has registered with the Kreisbüro; again, this applies both to EU citizens (according to https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ml#-1597848978) and to non-EU citizens (according to https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ensablauf.html). But is there any sort of rule prohibiting one from registering with the Kreisbüro before the start date on one's work contract? Or, is there any rule prohibiting one from entering CH more than 14 days before the start date on the work contract? Obviously, my wife will need to show her work contract in order to register at the Kreisbüro, but could she, say, go to the Kreisbüro on 1 October (assuming her visa allowed her to enter that early) with a work contract that says she'll start work on 1 November?

As always, thank you all for your amazing help!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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  #15  
Old 12.07.2021, 10:10
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

The uni is wrong, she can enter from whenever her Type D visa is valid to.

Has the permit been approved yet? Since it'll be a non-EU permit that's pre-approved you should be able to register before she start work.
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Old 19.07.2021, 06:52
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

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The uni is wrong, she can enter from whenever her Type D visa is valid to.

Has the permit been approved yet? Since it'll be a non-EU permit that's pre-approved you should be able to register before she start work.
Thanks, Medea Fleecestealer; I totally agree with you. In fact, we've talked to the person who works in the International Scholars Office at the university, and she agrees with you too, but the department keeps insisting that my wife shouldn't enter CH before the start date on her contract. (They haven't started the permit application process yet because we still need a few documents. But we should have everything we need to start the permit process within 3 weeks from now.)

Here's an update: After many conversations back and forth, we finally got an explanation for why my wife's department says she can't enter earlier than the start date of her contract: The job is a four-year position, in a series of 4 one-year contracts. The job will begin on 1 Nov 2021 and go until 31 Oct 2025. And the residence/work permits will likewise be valid for one year each. The department agrees that when they apply for the visa, the Swiss authorities will probably issue an entry visa that has a window of validity that starts before 1 Nov.

The problem is that the validity of the residence/work permit starts, not on the date of registration with the Kreisbüro, and not on the start date of the work contract, but on the date of entry into CH. My wife has 14 days after arrival to register and apply for the permit, but the permit is back-dated to the date when she arrived. So, if she enters Switzerland any time before the start of her work contract, then the permit will also expire before the end of the work contract.

For example, if my wife enters CH on 15 Oct 2021, then her residence/work permit will be valid for 15 Oct 2021 - 14 Oct 2022. And since she'll be working in CH for 4 years, she'll be able to renew her permit 3 times until 14 Oct 2025. However, her job goes until 31 Oct 2025. And that means that there are 17 days in which she would be supposed to be working but it would be illegal for her to be doing so.

In effect, if my wife enters Switzerland after 1 Nov 2021, she will be skipping days of work at the beginning of her job, and if she enters the country before 1 Nov 2021, she will be skipping days of work four years from now, at the end of her contract. The only solution, according to the department, is to enter CH on exactly 1 Nov 2021. (They haven't said this, but I'm guessing, by the same logic, that she will have to leave CH on the last day of her work.)

I gotta say that this actually makes sense, even if we don't particularly like it. Has anyone had experiences like this before? We can't think of any way around it. If she enters Switzerland before the work start date, there will be days at the end of her contract when she can't legally work. And in case you were wondering, she can't take vacation days at the beginning to sort everything out, because she's not allowed to take vacation days in the first three months.

Any thoughts?

Once more, thank you all!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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  #17  
Old 19.07.2021, 07:40
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

That sounds like utter nonsense. If that were the case then there'd be no point in issuing a Type D visa that has a period of time from the initial date when she can enter the country. By that logic the visa should only be valid for the 1st November.

As for leaving at the end of her contract, no, that wouldn't be the case since she can be here as a tourist for up to 90 days; she would revert to this status once her permit becomes invalid.
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Old 19.07.2021, 07:49
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

She can enter as a tourist and not register until 1 Nov.

Tom
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Old 19.07.2021, 19:19
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Thank you for your messages, Medea Fleecestealer and st2lemans!

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That sounds like utter nonsense. If that were the case then there'd be no point in issuing a Type D visa that has a period of time from the initial date when she can enter the country. By that logic the visa should only be valid for the 1st November.
I certainly agree that the whole thing sounds a bit unreasonable; from our perspective, having zero time between entry into Switzerland and start of work is very inconvenient. And from the government's perspective, they don't care when we enter, as long as it's during the entry visa validity window. But from the employer's perspective, if the work permit expires before the end of the contract, then my wife won't be able to do as many days of work as she agreed to do. Of course, this is assuming that the HR person is correct when she states that the start date of the residence/work permit is back-dated to the entry date into CH; if the start date of the residence/work permit could be the day when we go to the Kreisbüro, or the day when the work contract starts, then none of this would be a problem.

Surely there have to be people on this forum who have had experience as non-EU employees dealing with fixed-term work contracts and renewable one-year work permits where the dates of the contract and the dates of the permit don't match up perfectly?

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As for leaving at the end of her contract, no, that wouldn't be the case since she can be here as a tourist for up to 90 days; she would revert to this status once her permit becomes invalid.
That's great to know; thank you.

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She can enter as a tourist and not register until 1 Nov.
My wife is non-EU, so I'm not sure this applies. Once she gets the entry visa placed in her passport, she'll only be able to enter CH one time using that visa. And the visa is for work, not for tourism.

Thank you again!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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  #20  
Old 19.07.2021, 20:05
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: Non-EU has job offer in Zürich; other family members are EU; all currently in US

Sounds like the HR person is confusing registration date/employment starting with health insurance cover.

Health insurance cover here is backdated to the date you registered as being a resident, but you do have 3 months to get your health insurance cover sorted out. If you do need any medical care before you get the cover sorted then you pay the medical bills, but can then claim them back once your cover is in place since you are covered from your registration date.

I suggest you use the contact form that's linked here (Visa Regulation) for SEM and see what they have to say.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/kontakt.html

Sadly, even people working HR don't always know what the regulations are.
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