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Old 13.08.2006, 19:00
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aufenthaltsbewilligung [Residence Permit]

Hi folks,

I am writing from Toronto, Canada. We are Canadians. I have wife and one child. Working in IT currently in one of the biggest Canadian banks.
I am really getting very, very frustrated with Swiss immigration laws. Here is what happened. I found the job in Zurich month ago, got interviewed, passed the selection. They were very happy with my qualifications and experience. I got the offer, accepted it and here it is the nightmare...
I first heard from company that I got the work permit from the Zurich canton...ok good. Then they told they need to get the approval from immigration office...ok again. I finally got the residence/work permit and it was saying the following:

Ermachtigung zur visumerteilung fur die schweizer vertretung (EB).
Aufenthaltsdauer: 12 Monate befristet auf 24 Monate

I tried picking up my visa at the Swiss consulate as I was told by the company and at the consulate they told me they don't have the authorization yet. I called my new company in Switzerland and they told me that the immigration office made some mistake and they will reissue new work permit for only 12 months, which we can extend after the first period, and this is what I heard from the company. This new permit will include my family as well as the first one did not allow my family to get residence permit. They have no clue what type of permit the authorities will give us. I am afraid this can be L permit and not B.

So you probably asking yourself why I am so frustrated...

I don't really know what kind of visa we are getting and I have wife and a child. I am afraid what should I do now… the time is running out. I have to pack my staff, sell my car, resign, me and wife, ship cargo...etc. I actually mentioned to my manager that I will be leaving soon and I have to start my new job in 2 weeks from now. I am still not sure what kind of permit we will be getting and it seems the HR people have no clue either.
I maybe just panicking as I am very considered person. I was reading many posting here and on the internet and I just don't feel certain by this weird immigration laws. What if we move to Switzerland and we can not extend our permit after a year..what happens next...

If anybody has any advice I would be very thankful.
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Old 13.08.2006, 23:28
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

I know this sounds like a complaint - but it's actually got more weight in help and tips, so I'm moving it there...

Anyway, onto your issue. HR don't have a clue? No really, come on... HR?

Unfortunately this story is all too common. As you've probably read on other threads there is a treaty with the EU that means Swizerland likes EU people, and therefore doesn't like people from outside the EU (especially if they are really foreign and have dark skin and stuff). The upshot of this is that the pool of available permits shrinks as EU people get to the front of the queue.

My feeling is that you might get an L, but if this is the case there won't be much you could do about it now. The standard B permit for non EU is 12 months anyway. I wouldn't be too concerned about a renewal, some people have had problems, but generally this should go without a hitch.

Remember that it isn't a VISA as such, it's an extra little "foreigner's passport" which you are supposed to carry aroud (which I never do). Are you concerned about your entry to Switzerland? I don't think this should be a big drama, usually you'll just walk through (especially if you are white). If they stop you and ask what you are doing just say that you are starting a new job and are waiting for the papers to come through. If you want to be more comfortable just ask HR to write you a letter to that effect. That should satisfy immigration.

Bear in mind that getting into the country isn't such a big deal, but if you don't have that little foreigner's passport then you won't be opening any bank accounts, buying any cars or renting any apartments. The control is more on what you can do inside the country rather than actually getting into it.

I think at this stage a far bigger concern for you is what your accomodation arrangements are - I presume your company is helping out in this regard?
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Old 14.08.2006, 02:47
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Hi Mark,

Thanks very much for your response, much appreciated.

The company will not provide the accomodation but they will pay the hotel till I found an appartment. I believe this is fair from them. They will also pay for the flights.

The most frustrating thing is that I have to be there in 2 weeks and I still don't know my work permit status. In the same time I have to pack up my stuff and organize everything.

I am hoping to get B visa, that way I don't have to stress myself out with extending/converting the visa...etc.

I have looked the appartment market (www.homegate.ch) and there is a lot variety. I hope finding an apparment should not be a problem.

Thanks again for your help and thanks for such a wonderfull forum.
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Old 14.08.2006, 08:25
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Hi atommrav,

My two cents: Swiss companies work on a glacier scale when it comes to HR. If you are feeling panicked by time then you may want to discuss delaying your arrival by a month with your new employer...they will probably be OK with that as it is ever important to follow the rules here.

The market for apartments is notoriously tight. Things are significantly better than five years ago but still bad in comparison to many world cities. If you end up with an L permit it will likely be more difficult than with a B. (It has been likened to having a big ‘loser’ stamp on your forehead.)

Stu

Last edited by stuinzuri; 14.08.2006 at 09:07.
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Old 14.08.2006, 19:25
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Hi Atommrav,

Relax, B permits are normally valid for 1 year for non-EU citizens so there is nothing unusual there. Perhaps the mistake was the 12-24 months duration, when it actually should be 12 months. There is no such thing as you getting your residency permit and your family not (wife and child), perhaps its takes a little longer, but eventually they will get it; and anyways, keep in mind that they are allowed to stay here during 3 months as tourists, plenty of time to manage those permits.

If you say that your permit is ready, than it is ready, with or without mistakes, you have the Federal approvement to live here, and this is the most complicated part.

Have you talked with your employer about the length of your contract? Is it fixed? I dont think you will get an L visa, as this is usually for people with short term contracts. Even then, your employeer will not go through all the trouble of relocating you here, because of the high costs involved, with the risk that you have to go back in a couple of months!

These kind of things flow very easily here, in my experience I never had problems or heard from anybody having problems with their immigration documents. As long as you have your job (so that you can pay taxes ), and dont commit any serious offenses, you will always get your permit renewed.

As a side note, I remember reading about agreements between Switzerland and Canada, something about Canadias not been treated as third-country nationals.

I believe there is an immigration hotline, where they speak english, the number is somewhere here (site is also in english):
http://www.bfm.admin.ch/

HTH
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Old 14.08.2006, 21:54
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Yes, don't worry too much. If the company wants you so much they will relocate you and pay, it should turn out ok.

Remember you can all even enter as tourists, by that I mean without the permit in hand. You then have eights days to show yourself at the councils office and if the permit is still not ready, it is usually ok. You just cannot work until you have it in your hand, that is the main thing.

Bring a letter from the company saying they will employ you, have the salary mentioned, and you can get a bank account, I did this way with UBS. If you get to this stage, ask a colleague who has a UBS account to ring for you and make an appointment. If you are introduced this way, they are likely to trust you, no kidding.
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Old 15.08.2006, 07:52
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

I think KS is a just a wee bit too optimistic. Not saying you won't get a permit, but rather B-Permits are harder to get these days for non-EU folk. Then again, you are working for a company that is paying for relocation which is positive...if they've got the money they might have the 'pull'.

Also, things don't always go according to plan...this forum has more than one permit problem question.

Note one is not supposed to be in the country when applying for a permit (at least for non-EU). Maybe things have changed but I had to wait until the Swiss consulate put a visa in my passport before I could enter. Once I arrived it was OK to work and my permit showed up just a few weeks later.


All that negative junk said, I would say it will all work out in the end...maybe just a small delay.

Stu
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Old 15.08.2006, 13:13
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

well its hard and can be stressfull about the Aufenthaltsbewilligung and Workpermit.
The proplem really is that most of the HR chicks here just dont have a clue!
Usually its not a big issue for qualified staff to get a permit.
if you start working without the papers you just might risk a quick court case and a penalty... not your company, but you will get it!
I would insist on your company, cause they must provide it to you, that they commit to it and will cover any cost occuring in case of failure...

otherwise welcome to switzerland
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Old 14.10.2006, 21:29
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

My Problem is so similar to the person that has posted here! I am supposed to begin work in 2 weeks in ZH, my wife (who has to quit her job) needs to resign, and I ve been told that my permit has been approved and I'll get my visa in a day at the embassy. That is the good part.

My wife's permit would take unknown number of days to process. Why? Because they dont trust our marriage certificate (issued by a US govt.)... that was the official explanation.

So, how are we supposed to get this whole moving thing coordinated now? All our arrangements are haywire, since one person may have to leave later.

Also I was told by HR that I would be on a B. Now they mention it is likely an L, since the B quota *may* be over. I have a Doctorate, and dark skin. Which of these would concern the authoririties more? All my knowledge of Switzerland is based on one interview visist (I loved it!!), reading on this forum, and my interactions about the visa/permit thingy (I hated those).

Some questions are:

If my permit is preapproved does it mean I just walk into switzerland (after I get the visa at an embassy here) and start working? Or does it mean I need to wait again after getting to Switzerland?

Can I have cell phones in Switzerland when I get there? I will be getting my GSM phone and hopefully can use some SIM card. That would atleast mean that my wife and I can stay in touch.

Can I get an apartment in 15-20 days (company is paying for relocation, and finding me some temporary accomodation)?

How concerned must I be about my wife getting the permit? The HR assures me that this is a formality and it should come thorugh, but I have had many assurances before that have not translated to reality.

HELP! I feel like this is way tooo much stress.
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Old 15.10.2006, 08:44
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Quote:
Also I was told by HR that I would be on a B. Now they mention it is likely an L, since the B quota *may* be over.
There are only quotas for EU citizens - not non-EU.
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Old 15.10.2006, 10:50
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

I know exactly how you feel. I was in your shoes just few weeks ago. Here is the thing...I have wife and one child. We
got the visas day before the trip can you imagine the level of stress we had. I had to wait untill my wife and kid
got the visas as I did not want to go without them. Canadian citizens do not need visas to enter Swiss and we still
needed to get one maybe because we were going to work in Swiss...I really don't know...this is not making any sense
to me. We were in Swiss many time before and we never needed visas for travel here. Anyway, the visas that we got
were glued into our passports, fancy colors though and the info on them was so general that you could not
conclude anything which would tell you what kind of permit we have or we will get. We finally made it to Swiss and
on the airport they stampted te visas and asked us only if we are we planning to work here and what is the company I
will be working for. That was all. Once we enterd Swiss we had 8 days to go to the Gemeinde (municipality) and
"request" the issue of work the permit...weird, but this is the process you will have to go through as well. I
started working first Monday after we entered Swiss, this is legal as you will get temporary work permit (peace of
paper) from your employeer stating that you got the work permit but still not saying what kind. Actually it is only
saying kurzaufenthaltsbeweiligung which is short time permit. I think we will get L visas as B visas are not
avaialable till next year. I am told at my office that we will get B next year or something like that.
To make long story short. Your wife will get the visa as well, for sure...in the meantime you will go nuts but this
is the process. I say nuts becasue we felt the same way as we both resigned and still did not get the confirmation
that we will get the visas(work permit) for sure. There is a lot of birocracy here but end result you will get the
work permit. Also, we are still waiting for the ausweiss as we still did not get one and we were told at the
municipality that we will have to wait at least 5 weeks. Our status right now is that I work legally from the first
day and my wife is taking care of our child. I hope this helps. Good luck and keep the good spirit up.

I also think quotas thing is same for non EU and Eu citizens. If they don't have B visas available no metter what
they can only issue L visas. I have permanent job and everybody in the office is telling me we will get L
visas, also many of them are in the same situation.

Almost forgot, we had the same situation regarding merriage certificate. They gave us such a hard time for that. I am reading your post thinking this is my case Here is what you need to do. Go fist to Notary Public get the big stamp from them and then go to the goverment and ask them to certify your notary public stamp...absolutely not making any sense but this is what you need to do. Once you have it, scan it and send them. Do not worry regarding cell, you will likely get one from the employer, if you are in IT field you will get one for sure, otherwise if you go yourself to get one, good luck as you will enter the twightlight zone. People with L and B visas are given hard time to get the cell.

Atommmrav
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Old 15.10.2006, 11:22
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Quote:
I also think quotas thing is same for non EU and Eu citizens. If they don't have B visas available no metter what
they can only issue L visas. I have permanent job and everybody in the office is telling me we will get L
visas, also many of them are in the same situation.
Hmmm, perhaps you're scaremongering now.

Quotas are only for EU citizens. Full stop. Period.
There are not enough EU Bs to go around. That is we both have "L"s
An EU "B" is valid 5 years, and is personal/arranged by applicant

A non EU "B" is valid 1 year, and must be sponsored by your employer.
However, to start work you need an permit to say "assurance of getting a work permit": I had to argue at my local offices about this - as EU I don't need one.

The only people who know the rules are the Migrationamt - not HR, not your colleagues, and probably not even me.

As a Brit, I arrived, started work, went to Gemeinde.
I've seen non EU colleagues who could not enter the country to work until the paperwork was processed, and their start date was delayed.

Mobile phone: yes, you can get a pre-paid/Pay-as-you-go SIM card and/or phone easily: Orange, Cablecom, Migros, Sunrise, Swisscom,Coop,Yallo.
If I've understood correctly, of course you can use mobile phones here. And they're all GSM - only NA doesn't use GSM because it wasn't invented there...
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Old 15.10.2006, 12:04
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

gbn, hopefully you right, and thanks for the positive thinking. I am only speaking from my experience and I can tell you, nothing was going "easy". I just got used to the way things work in Canada and here in Swiss everything is different and anywhere you go there is much birocracy involved.

Thanks.

atommrav
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Old 15.10.2006, 13:31
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Quote:
Hmmm, perhaps you're scaremongering now.

Quotas are only for EU citizens. Full stop. Period.
There are not enough EU Bs to go around. That is we both have "L"s
An EU "B" is valid 5 years, and is personal/arranged by applicant

A non EU "B" is valid 1 year, and must be sponsored by your employer.
However, to start work you need an permit to say "assurance of getting a work permit": I had to argue at my local offices about this - as EU I don't need one.

The only people who know the rules are the Migrationamt - not HR, not your colleagues, and probably not even me.

As a Brit, I arrived, started work, went to Gemeinde.
I've seen non EU colleagues who could not enter the country to work until the paperwork was processed, and their start date was delayed.

Mobile phone: yes, you can get a pre-paid/Pay-as-you-go SIM card and/or phone easily: Orange, Cablecom, Migros, Sunrise, Swisscom,Coop,Yallo.
If I've understood correctly, of course you can use mobile phones here. And they're all GSM - only NA doesn't use GSM because it wasn't invented there...
a) from what i understood, there is a quota (a pool) of B permits that each Canton has. once they reach that number, sorry... you're out of luck. also applies to non-EU citizens.

b) North America does use GSM. the only reason GSM is not extensively (or exclusively) used in NA is not because it wasn't invented there, but because it was invented far too late... they had wireless telephony decades before Europe did. wasnt as advanced as GSM, but it worked. once GSM was ready, there was not enough economic logic to tear out the old infrastructure and put in a new one (not to mention upgrade every phone out there) just so ppl can send each other text mesages
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Old 15.10.2006, 14:06
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Hi,

I'm a UK citizen. I only moved here in late August this year, so the experience is still fresh in my mind, so to speak. I have newly joined my employer, not relocated as an existing employee, so I am still working out my 3 month probationary period (PP). My notice period is one week at the moment. If I "graduate" into true permanency, I get a month's notice.

Accommodation: I was put in a so-called managed apartment at the company's expense for the first month. I've decided to stay here for the first 3 months because the usual minimum period of a lease on an apartment here is one year. At the managed apartment I can extend my stay on a week-by-week basis, although I have to give a month's notice. It's much more expensive than I would pay for the equivalent "proper" apartment, but until I pass my PP it seems a reasonable cost to incur. I prefer it to an hotel and I'm sure it's cheaper than an hotel room. So I think I have a lot of flexibility and I am less likely to sign for a flat that I am stuck with for a year should I end up hating it.

[BCL] permit: I am generally too stupid to worry about things like the local immigration laws. When I landed on August 26th, I was asked to empty my bags by a nice lady at customs. Perhaps she interpreted the concentration on my face, while passing through "Green Channel", as the effects of large amounts of "trendy chemical amusement aid". In truth it was the effort of translating the signs into English, plus the fact that my trolley probably used to work at Tesco because it was listing heavily to the right. She asked what I was doing in Switzerland, and I said I'd come here to live. She asked if I had a permit and I explained that I had not, but my employer has told me I would get one no problem. I was let through.

On my first day at work, someone in HR handed me a welcome pack, in which was a yellow "Zusicherung der Aufenthaltsbewilligung", which seems to mean "Assurance of residence permit". My "Zischerung ..." has since been converted to an L permit. Not a C or whatever, due to my arriving late in the year and the quota for Cs having been used up. I've no idea what difference that makes and I don't care. Now I suppose that, strictly speaking, I should have had that document prior to my arrival. But I hadn't, and it appears I didn't need it.
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Old 15.10.2006, 15:07
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

atommrav:
Don't sweat - you're not the first non EU person to apply.
The system does work, but I've generally heard that non-EU are simply lower priority than EU (because more work ) in the wheels of Swis bureacracy.

Any problems lie in that only the Migrationsamt knows the rules.
When I started in 2005, HR had to call the Migrationsamt to find out what I had to do...

BeastOfBodmin:
I was asked for a "Zusicherung der Aufenthaltsbewilligung" at the Gemeinde but it hasn't been needed since 1 Jun 2004 for EU. For EU citizens, we don't need one and we don't the residence permit to start work either.

And you didn't need any paperwork to enter and start work (since Jun 2004 anyway) before arriving at the airport.

As a permie, you should have a "B" but no quota.
There are few real differences between "B" and "L", perhaps you can't get a mortgage or mobile contract, but you still have full Swiss mobility, job freedom etc.

Dino:
If there is quota for non-EU, it is not published where it can be easily found.
For EU it's all over the place.
http://www.zurich-relocation.ch/cont...k_permits.html

And GSM vs CDMA? Whatever...
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Old 15.10.2006, 17:18
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Thanks everyone for your comments!

I am still pretty confused/ amused by all the paperwork involved. I am hoping that this experience would be a great one, since it is in a new country and the job there is very nice/ prestegious etc. I am sure living in a new place is an eye opening experience and over time, it would seem like a good choice.

So just to get it right:

If I arrive on a Sunday, can I start working on Monday? Or will it be the following Monday? I just rememebred from my trip that nothing is open on Sundays!!

I can get a prepaid SIM card before I apply for the permit at whatever that place is caleld when I reach Switzerland, correct?? Because that is prepaid, so why must they worry about if I would pay my bills on time etc.?


And one more thing: Any particular plan etc. you recommend? I'd like to have something like free incoming, and something reasonable for making calls (but then I'd ideally like to have a free phone). Any suggestions?

And the chances of getting a B are nil to slim from what I see here (non-EU). Does my assessment sound fairly accurate?
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Old 16.10.2006, 07:41
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Quote:
I can get a prepaid SIM card before I apply for the permit at whatever that place is caleld when I reach Switzerland, correct?? Because that is prepaid, so why must they worry about if I would pay my bills on time etc.?
Hi soonich! Yes, you can buy a prepaid card at Coop or Migros or even at Kiosks (those are the only possibilities on a Sunday) but they would definitely ask for valid identification (e.g. passport) because it is required by law here that every simcard is registered.
Sounds weird?? It's because the 911 bombers used Swiss simcards..
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Old 16.10.2006, 07:43
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

The same is true in Germany,and they required an address, although they actually accepted a hotel address.

dave

Quote:
Hi soonich! Yes, you can buy a prepaid card at Coop or Migros or even at Kiosks (those are the only possibilities on a Sunday) but they would definitely ask for valid identification (e.g. passport) because it is required by law here that every simcard is registered.
Sounds weird?? It's because the 911 bombers used Swiss simcards..
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Old 16.10.2006, 08:35
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Re: aufenthaltsbewilligung

Hi.

I moved to Zurich from Wellington, NZLD in July and I hold a B-permit.
I think it also depends on the type of job you are employed in when getting a permit. If your job is somehow listed in a Swiss job shortage list or priority job list, you will get a B-permit right away. Your company has to provide enough evidence to Migrationsamt that they can not find a person as skilled as you are for a very specific type of job. If you can get your company to apply in this way, you can get Bpermit instead of the "Looser".

I got a work permit from Arbeitsamt for 36 months and a Bpermit for 12 months (1/3rd of work permit period). This is a regular procedure so dont be afraid if they gave you one for 24 or 36 months. Once you get the work permit and residence permit, it is very easy to get reapproval after the first year. Also the Arbeitsamt told me that it will probably be converted to indefinite work permit when the 36 months is over. Your B will probably need reapproval every year for the first 5 years but I believe all of this is just a matter of simple breucratic procedures.
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