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Old 17.08.2009, 20:08
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bringing over my american gf

Hi all, I need really your help :

I am french, holder of a B permit, and PhD student in Lausanne. I met my american girlfriend two years ago. She now wants to move to CH so that we can live together.

1. (How) can she get a permit of residency through my B permit?
2. She is coming at the end of the month and will start looking for a job here. Will she be able to get a visa/work permit if she is already in CH? What is the best way to proceed?

Thanks in advance, I am worrying a lot and not sure at all that it will work out
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Old 17.08.2009, 20:20
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Re: bringing over my american gf

Sorry to say she can not get a permit through you. You would have to be married.

It's been a long time since I got my permit (coming from the U.S.), but I was here when the paperwork went through and had to return to the U.S. to get an entry visa put in my passport to make everything official. Things may have changed but there was no way around it at the time.
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Old 17.08.2009, 22:56
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Re: bringing over my american gf

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Sorry to say she can not get a permit through you. You would have to be married.

It's been a long time since I got my permit (coming from the U.S.), but I was here when the paperwork went through and had to return to the U.S. to get an entry visa put in my passport to make everything official. Things may have changed but there was no way around it at the time.
It is true that Michoud & Co's Web site at http://bit.ly/cv0tN says that unmarried partners (concubin(e)s) have no right of family unification. But that's not what the official Swiss Government Web site says at http://bit.ly/1YAe6B (English version) and in the official French version below:

"L'époux/se, le partenaire ou le concubin du titulaire principal, au bénéfice d'une carte de légitimation de type "B", "C", "D", "E", "I" , "L" "O" ou "P", et les enfants célibataires jusqu'à l'âge de 25 ans, peuvent être admis en Suisse, au titre de regroupement familial, pour autant qu'ils fassent ménage commun avec le titulaire principal. Ces personnes reçoivent une carte de légitimation du même type que le titulaire principal. La même règle s'applique au partenaire qui a conclu un partenariat enregistré avec le titulaire principal, ainsi qu'à ses enfants célibataires âgés de moins de 25 ans." http://bit.ly/dn45m

ODM's official manual at http://bit.ly/mXbT3 explains it more fully. See if you can finesse or contrive to satisfy the last item, to wit: you have to provide a reason why you can't marry now.

5.5.1.1 Couple concubin sans enfants
Le partenaire d’un citoyen suisse, d’un étranger titulaire d’une autorisation
d’établissement ou d’une personne au bénéfice d’une autorisation de séjour à
l’année (livret C ou B) peut obtenir une autorisation de séjour en application
de l’art. 30 let. b LEtr lorsque :
• l'existence d'une relation stable d'une certaine durée est démontrée;
• l'intensité de la relation est confirmée par d'autres éléments, tels que:
-- une convention entre concubins réglant la manière et l'étendue d'une prise
en charge des devoirs d'assistance (par ex. contrat de partenaria
-- la volonté et la capacité du partenaire étranger de s'intégrer dans le pays
d'accueil;
• il est inexigible pour le partenaire étranger de vivre la relation à l'étranger ou
dans le cadre de séjours touristiques, non soumis à autorisation;
• il n'existe aucune violation de l'ordre public (par analogie avec l'art. 51 en
relation avec l’art. 62 LEtr);
• le couple vit ensemble en Suisse;
• le couple concubin peut faire valoir de justes motifs empêchant un mariage
(par ex. délai d'attente prévu par le droit civil dans la procédure de divorce).

That means that there is some margin of discretion and interpretation left to the consular officer. Your circumstances will need to be explained.

(For the record: To some degree having EU/EEA status is more advantageous than being a domestic (in this case Swiss) citizen since the text of the treaties, and by reference EU law on freedom of movement, supplant domestic law. The European Parliament has been in the fore in the matter of the rights of unmarried partners in the EU; but as EU law now stands Member States (and by extension Switzerland) are encouraged but not required to grant family reunification in cases of "concubinage" http://bit.ly/Xay96 (English version). This applies in cases of dependant ascendants and sometimes collateral relatives as well.)
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Old 18.08.2009, 09:46
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Re: bringing over my american gf

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Hi all, I need really your help :

2. She is coming at the end of the month and will start looking for a job here. Will she be able to get a visa/work permit if she is already in CH? What is the best way to proceed?

Thanks in advance, I am worrying a lot and not sure at all that it will work out
In addressing my reply to the first answer rather than your posting I omitted dealing with your second question (above).

An American citizen can certainly come as a tourist to Switzerland. But as I understand it the only job she can accept while in tourist status is a diplomatic one (unlikely, the State Department hires only out of Washington, by examination) or quasi-diplomatic (the UN or one of the other international organisations). I recollect that at one time qualified librarians and archivists had good prospects in Geneva, partly because not many universities offer such degrees (UCL in London has an MA programme). Here are the relevant rules from the official manual (in French): http://bit.ly/I3DSH

The visa rules for US citizens are here: http://bit.ly/4ngU4 It is my understanding that except for EU/EEA nationals an applicant must return to his or her country of origin (of nationality or legal residence) to apply for a Swiss visa.

The Law on Foreigners is here: http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/as/2007/5437.pdf
and the Law on establishment and residence is here: http://bit.ly/rOZdj

Also: I came across the following which will give you some idea of the trend (and not just in Switzerland) towards recognising "concubinage" in law for different purposes: http://bit.ly/2MQXKw (indexed here: http://bit.ly/ooPtz ).
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Old 18.08.2009, 13:19
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Re: bringing over my american gf

Thank you andy for your helpful answers.

I've spent my whole morning (instead of working ) reading swiss laws and it turns out that there is no way for her to stay through my permit :

http://www.vd.ch/fr/themes/vie-prive...r-etats-tiers/

However, I went to the "office de la population" and ask them about registered partnership and family unification. The unaware lady told me that the french PACS is recognized in CH and would allow her to apply fot this permit.

But, lucky us, I checked out the "avis du 28 juillet 2006" about foreign partnerships equivalence in CH and obviously it comes out that the french PACS is almost the only one not recognized here.

Of what I've read so far about finding a job in CH and getting a work permit for a non-eu citizen, I'm not really optimistic...
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Old 18.08.2009, 14:54
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Re: bringing over my american gf

Firstly... Do you Love her and want to Marry her?

If not, find a local gf
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Old 18.08.2009, 16:41
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Re: bringing over my american gf

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Thank you andy for your helpful answers.

I've spent my whole morning (instead of working ) reading swiss laws and it turns out that there is no way for her to stay through my permit :

http://www.vd.ch/fr/themes/vie-prive...r-etats-tiers/

However, I went to the "office de la population" and ask them about registered partnership and family unification. The unaware lady told me that the french PACS is recognized in CH and would allow her to apply fot this permit.

But, lucky us, I checked out the "avis du 28 juillet 2006" about foreign partnerships equivalence in CH and obviously it comes out that the french PACS is almost the only one not recognized here.

Of what I've read so far about finding a job in CH and getting a work permit for a non-eu citizen, I'm not really optimistic...
I agree that getting a long-stay visa for a non-EU/EEA-citizen unmarried partner is a long shot. But it is not beyond hope. And there are workarounds, even if you can't convince the authorities that there is a good reason not to marry yet.

-- An administrative officer may accept a French (or other) quasi-marital partnership status document, and even if the acceptance/recognition is contrary to Swiss law it may solve your problem. The fact is that the laws are designed to keep out folks "not like us" and US citizens are treated like all the rest simply because it would be discriminatory and a violation of human rights norm to do otherwise. BUT: why do you think that there is such a thing as "facilitated naturalisation" for non-Swiss-born offspring of Swiss mothers, especially those mothers who regained their Swiss nationality AFTER Switzerland began to allow dual nationality? A cynic would say "so that, at a time of demographic crisis with falling population, we could bring in more 'folks like us'". Meaning people who look like us. Political cynicism is not just for the USA. (And I write this as one who was, before 1970, involved with the Swiss Benevolent Society in New York for many [sic] years.) THE POINT: Never volunteer any information. Answer honestly questions put to you, that's all. Don't try to discern what is going on inside the head of the civil servant across the counter. At least not so long as things seem to be going your way. (On that score, I have an administrative hearing in Lausanne on Friday. But I already have been granted the relief I wanted. Why the hearing? Because when they scheduled a Commission session that was to decide my case I complained that I was not given notice in time to come to Lausanne and plead my case. Who knows what the point is of an "audience" over an issue that is already moot. But I'm going anyway. I think only the Swiss could do that.)

-- Representative of a US newspaper, magazine, religious organisation, state government trade office, or private company. Most of these positions don't pay well, but all but the last almost automatically get one a residence and work permit. For the last one, especially if the firm is closely held, the Swiss consul may look closely at audited accounts.

-- Who knows, your gf may be entitled to some sort of EU/EEA nationality. My sister, a reasonably well-known journalist, got Irish citizenship after 5 years' residence. But lots of friends and acquaintances got it with zero residence, because a grandparent was born there... A friend of one of my daughters got Italian nationality because although she was adopted later, her birth mother was Italian. And she doesn't speak the language. As far as I know she is working now in Geneva; I last saw her a few years ago in the SOAS Library in London.

Issues of civil status and residence rights concern me because of my grandfather's story. His family was Swiss back to the 1700s.
http://uniset.ca/misc/merianshundetheater.html But his last stage assistant, a certain Lilly J. whom I knew, was Czech. Her story was that she came to Switzerland, apparently to marry a Swiss although by the time I met her she was long divorced, and her train crossed the border as Hitler's troops entered Czechoslovakia (as it then was), invalidating her passport.

Years after she divorced and long after my grandfather's vaudeville show closed down for good she met an Italian man, a Gastarbeiter. While she spoke Swiss German (she was not the brightest person I ever met, far from it, but she was the quickest language learner) he spoke only Italian. (She learned Italian from him, and English from my grandfather -- who had learned it during a year's stay in London.) Which didn't get him very far in Zug. She dared not let him ever spend the night. Because, being Italian, he couldn't ever get divorced, and adultery was a damnable offence in Zug in those days. Switzerland would not allow divorce (as it today will not allow marriage) unless that act will be recognised in your home country or state. (Think about cousin marriages, legal in some US states and not others. And hey, what about the Sharia rule that a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man? I bet the Swiss don't enforce that one.)

Sorry for the digression. The only point of it all is to get you thinking outside the box. And bear this in mind: the rules on unmarried partners (concubin/e) are so new and solely to respond to new demographics (more than half of all babies in the UK and France are "non-marital", born out of wedlock; illegitimacy has been abolished in many places -- and long ago in New York). The result is that they are susceptible to change and to interpretation. And the point about an unmarried partner waiting for a divorce to be finalised is only an example, not a limitation of the excuses to be accepted by the civil offices.

Perhaps I missed something. Is the person you want to bring over of the same sex as yourself? The ISDC document relates to same-sex partnerships, for which the rules are significantly different from those relating to civil arrangements between partners of a different sex. I tried to follow your footsteps but I'm afraid I lost the trail.

I've looked at the Vaud official link you provided, and I'm not convinced it can be read without reference to European Union law, as to which I addressed a response to a query elsewhere on this forum, got flamed, and decline to get further involved. (I have a PhD in the subject and a pile of published articles; the flamer seems to consider him- or herself a higher authority, so let that be.)
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