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Old 05.05.2010, 02:37
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US citizen typical wait for permit...

My husband and I (both Americans fluent in German/French respectively and holders of both masters degrees and very specialized diplomas) have been waiting one month now for our permits in Zurich canton. I believe our employer applied for a B permit. I've been reading a lot of threads on the agonizing waiting process, but with so many different situations it seems that the wait and process is different depending on the canton and nationality of the person. Any thoughts? Perhaps this is a question for the Magic 8 Ball. I'm really starting to bite my nails as my husband and I are both teachers and what happens if we wait another few months and can't be there in time to start the school year? As I type this I can already see that no one can possibly answer this question. I guess we just have to wait and pray.... But thanks for letting me have my little freak out. There's no place like limbo.
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Old 05.05.2010, 03:35
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

Ours took over 2 months between the time we initially supplied our paperwork at the Swiss consulate in Atlanta and when our passports were required back at that office for the insertion of our visas. Plus we had a crackerjack Zurich attorney (supplied by my husband's company) working all the while to steer the whole process through the Swiss system.

So, based on that timetable, you don't have anything to be stressing about...yet.

It will happen, so long as your employer(s) are on board and on the ball.
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Old 05.05.2010, 04:19
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

Thanks, Spouse! I guess we have another month to freak out and then we should be set. Half way there. I hope so anyway...
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Old 05.05.2010, 06:09
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

Mine (GVA Canton) took 6 weeks from the date the permit was applied for to the date it was it was approved and I received the paperwork from my HR group. I got my entry visa almost exactly 8 weeks from the date the paperwork was filed.

Does your employer have a person in HR processing the permit? Mine does, and she was an invaluable resource in understanding where things are in the process. I was told in another thread that if I haven't heard bad news by the end of the 4th week, then I was probably in the clear.

There are actually three approvals - and that was covered more in-depth in this thread - What to do if no permits available for NonEU?ers. You can ask the permit person in HR to tell you if they have received either the initial Cantonal or the FOM approvals yet. After the FOM, it goes back to the Canton for final approval.

Also, Swisspea had some very good advice about sending an email to the Consulate and suggested I do that after waiting at least 4 weeks - see that post here -http://www.englishforum.ch/permits-visas-government/76346-what-do-i-do-when-my-permits-not-ready.html. I waited 5 weeks from the date the permit was applied for, and got an email the next day from the consulate, and about a week before the official letter came from my employer.

The waiting is tough -- I know that for sure.

Good luck!!

Last edited by velocolo; 05.05.2010 at 06:11. Reason: clarification
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Old 05.05.2010, 07:57
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

I will offer that you most definitely want the help of your employers HR / Legal department to see things along.

Hubby and I did mine all on our own and it took 9+ months due to us not really knowing what was needed and the clerk in Atlanta only telling us bit by bit what was needed. It was a nightmare...

Her: "I received document X but you failed to include document Z"
Me: "What? When I sent document T you told me you needed X but never said anything about Z!! WTF is going on? Why can't you tell me EVERYTHING at once?!"

... and then of course waiting for document Z to be provided by the US government (after having waited for X and T previously) and once Atlanta finally had everything, for them to MAIL it to Switzerland.
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Old 05.05.2010, 10:35
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

It could take till 3-4 months... The delay is mainly due to verification... Pls be patient..
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Old 05.05.2010, 10:49
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

Hi there,

Yes, it's a bit nerve-wracking! We ended up having to wait almost 8 months!! We could not get them until my husband could provide a copy of his PhD diploma. We moved here in the fall, but he technically could not graduate until the Spring and the university could not send anything until then. But it didn't really cause any trouble. Every time I went to the Dr. (pregnant at the time, so every month at least) they asked for it and I always had to say "still waiting"... they seemed annoyed but it was no problem.

We're also from Portland, btw! Welcome!
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Old 05.05.2010, 13:47
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

I ended up waiting 6 months for my B permit. I called a few times in a few months and was told to be patient and wait. Called again after a few months was then told they couldn't find my paperwork so i would have to apply again.I applied again. A month later they couldn't find the paperwork again. I mentioned i had a sister who had a B permit already could they have got things mixed up?? And yes you guessed it all my paperwork was filled along in her file. We had same surname and address so they thought they had already issued me a permit when they had issued one to her! So just kept filing my paperwork as finished.

I suggest if you get a little worried and its taking too long just keep checking with them where you are in the process and that they have all the correct paperwork they need.
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Old 05.05.2010, 18:56
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

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Hi there,

Yes, it's a bit nerve-wracking! We ended up having to wait almost 8 months!! We could not get them until my husband could provide a copy of his PhD diploma. We moved here in the fall, but he technically could not graduate until the Spring and the university could not send anything until then. But it didn't really cause any trouble. Every time I went to the Dr. (pregnant at the time, so every month at least) they asked for it and I always had to say "still waiting"... they seemed annoyed but it was no problem.

We're also from Portland, btw! Welcome!
So were you able to move with the permit in process or were you already there? I feel so naive that I assumed the process would be similar to when I lived in Neuchatel. It's like comparing Wyoming to New York! I just hope we'll get approval by mid-June so we can make plans to move and have entry visas for august 1. Fingers crossed!!! Thanks for all the encouragment and info. Looking forward to knowing some Portlanders in CH.
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Old 05.05.2010, 19:46
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

Sorry, didn't mean that. New permit quota in July, might be a month or two after that get around to stamping all the right papers
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Old 05.05.2010, 20:02
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

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I feel so naive that I assumed the process would be similar to when I lived in Neuchatel.
The process takes longer in Zurich whatever nationality you are. It's simply down to numbers. Along with Canton Vaud, Zurich has a lot of applications to process compared to many other cantons which creates a bottleneck. There's not a lot you can do about it, sadly. Three months wouldn't be unusual even when things run smoothly.
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Old 05.05.2010, 21:00
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

Oh nooooooo!!!!! This is so maddening! Especially because we've already given up our jobs here in Portland. If it goes on and on I just don't know what I'll do.
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Old 08.05.2010, 19:05
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

Just got word this past week from our employer that we've made it over the first two hurdles and our paperwork has been forwarded from Zurich Kanton to Berne. Hurrah!!! Light at the end of the excruciating waiting tunnel. Fingers still crossed, of course!
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Old 02.06.2010, 05:01
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Major Differences (Drawbacks) Between L and B Permit?

HURRAH! Our permit was just approved - almost 8 weeks to the day from the date the paperwork was filed in Zurich - and we couldn't be happier! What a long, excruciating wait!

We were given an L permit for the first year which is fine. From what I understand, the drawbacks with the L permit are:

1. Hard to find an apartment -- Our employer has already organized our apartment for us.
2. Not possible to get a credit card -- No need! We Americans have plenty of access to high limit, no annual fee credit cards.
3. Necessary to put down a large deposit of 1000 CHF with Swisscom for telephone/internet and/or mobile -- Not so great. Definitely want to be an iPhone user in Switzerland.

Any other things we should be prepared for? Thanks for any tips!
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Old 02.06.2010, 19:27
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

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My husband and I (both Americans fluent in German/French respectively and holders of both masters degrees and very specialized diplomas) have been waiting one month now for our permits in Zurich canton. I believe our employer applied for a B permit. I've been reading a lot of threads on the agonizing waiting process, but with so many different situations it seems that the wait and process is different depending on the canton and nationality of the person. Any thoughts? Perhaps this is a question for the Magic 8 Ball. I'm really starting to bite my nails as my husband and I are both teachers and what happens if we wait another few months and can't be there in time to start the school year? As I type this I can already see that no one can possibly answer this question. I guess we just have to wait and pray.... But thanks for letting me have my little freak out. There's no place like limbo.
I too am an American, took about 7 weeks as I recall in 2005... just wait, you'll get it. Good luck.
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Old 02.06.2010, 19:32
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

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HURRAH! Our permit was just approved
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I too am an American, took about 7 weeks as I recall in 2005... just wait, you'll get it. Good luck.
I think you should have read foliorose's last post before replying to the first..

Congratulations foliorose..!!
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Old 02.06.2010, 20:11
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Re: US citizen typical wait for permit...

its a crap shoot really.

depending on so many variables that its hard to speculate on the how long and even harder to wait for the darn thing.

mine took a total of eight working days from start to finish. turned out that unbeknownst to us our lawyer was good friends with the permit office people (who happened to not be vacation at the time). i've met others with a similar experience and still others who had to wait up to eight to 10 months.

check in with the people handling your permit (on the company side) and find out what the average wait is in their experience. also, you might want to inquire about inquiring. will it make things go faster or slower at this point? should you ask or will they.

if it usually take the processor two months then relax and take the matter up again after the two months if the situation has not resolved itself.

good luck!
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