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Old 14.04.2011, 22:42
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Are entry conditions relatively difficult in CH compared to elsewhere?

There has been many threads about how difficult it is for non-EU people to obtain a work permit in CH. I wouldn't deny that this is true. But I wonder if it is any harder in any other developed country. Consider the UK with Cameron's recent proposition on an immigration cap (or the US, Canada, Australia, etc.).

As a comparison, consider this article. The story is about an IT/Finance expert from outside Europe who was working on the equivalent of a B permit. Very similar conditions for many of the expats on this forum.

http://www.newsweek.com/2011/04/10/a...l-suicide.html
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Old 15.04.2011, 07:50
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Re: Are entry conditions relatively difficult in CH compared to elsewhere?

I have always wondered what it is that makes it really difficult. In my case, it wasn't difficult at all. Probably because I work with a big company and they solved everything for me. Before getting this job, I have contacted a couple of headhunters and I was told that no Swiss company would hire me without having an EU passport. Ja!

I'm non-EU, non-US, non-Canada, etc. Basically I'm from a small country and there are very few people from my country living here. We are (I think I remember it correctly from the last statistics I've seen) more or less 300 here in CH. So that may have an impact.

I have an MBA from a well recognized European Business School (no Swiss, no German-speaking). I had an interview and a job offer few days after the interview. I think it took less than 4 weeks from the moment I accepted the offer and completed all paperwork for the company until they sent me the documents for applying for my visa (I don't remember the type but it is the one you need one to enter Switzerland for employment). Once I got here, I went to the Kreisburo and in a couple of weeks more I got my B permit (no quota issues, even being July).

I've been here for almost 4 years now and every year I have to renew the permit. Always without any issue, always a B permit. This week, I've received the papers for the new permits (mine and my husband's) and I don't expect to have any issue either.

So maybe the issues are: where you are from (quotas for some countries with too many people already leaving in Switzerland?), the company that applies for your permit (my company does this all the time), level of education and field of work (I'm not in banking or IT), others...

Just thought to share...
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Old 15.04.2011, 08:25
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Re: Are entry conditions relatively difficult in CH compared to elsewhere?

I am not sure that the case cited in the Newsweek article is a correct comparison. The person it talks about did obtain a US work permit, and was then caught up in the bureaucratic delay regarding his security clearance.

In CH getting the first B-permit is a very uncertain process for non-EU. Atleast for those who have a US higher education degree, it is quite routine to stay on to work and eventually get a green card. Though the law in CH was modified recently for graduates from Swiss institutions, ultimately the way it was worded keeps the decision subjective and it remains at the discretion of the cantonal officer who processes it, and subject to the yearly quotas. In the US these decisions are based on federal law, and there is much less room for subjectivity. IMHO, the biggest difference in the US as compared to CH is the level playing field for people all over the world. There is no preference based on nationality.

Comparing to Germany even, CH has higher barriers for non EU. For instance, if a non-EU graduate of a German university gets a job offer in line with German pay and employment conditions, then there are no grounds to deny a work permit, no quota limitation.
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Old 15.04.2011, 11:54
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Re: Are entry conditions relatively difficult in CH compared to elsewhere?

The article illustrates a bureaucracy that makes it difficult to settle in the US. Whether the delay is due to a security apparatus or cantonal officials, the end result is the same: it is difficult to enter. The US and CH are also similar in that smaller companies are less willing to take the risk to tackle the bureaucracy to accept someone from outside.

Concerning the "level-playing field" of the US that may be true. But that's because everyone is considered a "non-EU" type, i.e., no discrimination, let's make it difficult for everyone. I have heard other stories from professor friends in the US about how difficult it has become to get a visa for students and post-docs. So in that regard, the US is not better than Switzerland for non-EU people.

I have worked in several countries including the US, Germany, and Switzerland (originally I came from Asia). And all of them have been equally difficult and bureaucratic to enter. If I had to choose which country caused the least pain, I would have to say it was Switzerland. That might be surprising to a lot of readers on this forum, but that has been my experience. A relatively small company made the effort to go through the paper work to hire me. Temporary permits were issued quite readily which eventually became a movable B-permit and then automatically a C. I really cannot complain about how I have been treated.
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Old 23.04.2011, 07:57
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Re: Are entry conditions relatively difficult in CH compared to elsewhere?

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In CH getting the first B-permit is a very uncertain process for non-EU. Atleast for those who have a US higher education degree, it is quite routine to stay on to work and eventually get a green card. Though the law in CH was modified recently for graduates from Swiss institutions, ultimately the way it was worded keeps the decision subjective and it remains at the discretion of the cantonal officer who processes it, and subject to the yearly quotas. In the US these decisions are based on federal law, and there is much less room for subjectivity. IMHO, the biggest difference in the US as compared to CH is the level playing field for people all over the world. There is no preference based on nationality.
In the US there are quotas depending on where you were born. It is not fair either. Try to get a green card if you were born in the Philippines.
I am Swiss but born in the Philippines so I was placed in that pile never mind my citizenship.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permane...(United_States)
Quote:
No more than 7 percent of the visas may be issued to natives of any one country. Currently, individuals from China (mainland), India, Mexico and the Philippines are subject to per-country quotas in most of the categories, and the waiting time may take longer. As of June 2009, in some categories, USCIS is still processing applications filled in 2001.
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Old 24.04.2011, 17:55
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Re: Are entry conditions relatively difficult in CH compared to elsewhere?

Personal experience is highly subjective, and I dont think it serves to compare with any degree of accuracy if entry barriers are higher or lower. Better to compare the immigration laws itself and choose a group of people with a common characteristic. I have some knowledge of the work permit rules concerning people who have graduate degrees from an university in the same country, and hence I made my comparison on that basis. On this basis, Switzerland has higher barriers for non EU people as compared to the US, and also Germany, a neighboring country with some similarities.

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In the US there are quotas depending on where you were born. It is not fair either. Try to get a green card if you were born in the Philippines.
I am Swiss but born in the Philippines so I was placed in that pile never mind my citizenship.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permane...(United_States)
The rule you quote about green cards for a particular national origin being limited to seven percent of the total applies equally to all countries, so it does not equate to the US having different rules for different countries. Hypothetically, if Switzerland were to suddenly send a large number of immigrants to the US, then the seven percent rule would apply to the Swiss as well. And if the green card application cannot be processed due to the quota limitation, it is placed in queue, and does not result in being asked to leave the country immediately.
In Switzerland, its basically open house for some, and almost impossible for others. Even if total immigration from the Phillipines to Switzerland came to a total halt this year, in 2012 Phillipinos would find it equally hard to get a permit.

Last edited by Kosti; 24.04.2011 at 18:27.
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