Switzerland is known for its stunning scenery, quality of life, and thriving economy, which makes it an attractive destination for many people looking for new opportunities abroad. Filipinos, in particular, are drawn to Switzerland for its high standard of living and excellent employment opportunities. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Switzerland has a unique culture and set of customs, so it’s important for Filipinos and other visitors to educate themselves on the country’s cultural do’s and don’ts to avoid any misunderstandings or cultural clashes.
Also Read: Philippine Embassy in Berne, Switzerland
However, the process of moving to Switzerland as a Filipino can be challenging and daunting, given the strict immigration policies and procedures. In this article, we will explore the various ways Filipinos can enter Switzerland, including through work visas, family reunification, sponsorship, and marrying a Swiss citizen.
We will provide detailed information on each option, including the requirements, procedures, and limitations, to help you make an informed decision on your move to Switzerland.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
Guide for Filipinos: How to Secure a Work Visa in Switzerland
The information in this article primarily comes from a YouTube video by Pinoy Expat. If you are interested to see the full video, then click on the link below:
Switzerland distinguishes itself from other countries in that there are no agencies that can expedite the process of entering the country. This is particularly relevant for Filipinos, given that the Swiss government’s visa policies prioritize skilled workers, such as managers, doctors, and specialists. Unfortunately, those seeking jobs in areas such as home care, construction, or the restaurant industry are not granted the same leniency.
In these fields, only Filipinos who are already present in Switzerland are given employment opportunities, regardless of their country of origin or citizenship. The Swiss government’s restrictions on work visas for foreigners may seem disheartening, but there are still viable pathways to entering Switzerland, as the vlogger has detailed.
Relocation Through Employer
For instance, Filipino workers may be able to enter Switzerland if their employer relocates there, or if they are able to find a new employer in Switzerland after their initial contract ends. Despite the obstacles, there are still ways to pursue employment and residency in Switzerland, particularly for those who possess the necessary skills and qualifications.
Switzerland’s government has specific policies regarding work permits and residency, which can be challenging for individuals from non-EU/EFTA countries, such as the Philippines. The Swiss government only allows individuals who are citizens of EU or EFTA countries to work in certain sectors, which can be frustrating for those seeking employment in other areas.
However, there are still ways to enter Switzerland, as the vlogger has pointed out. For instance, the vlogger’s wife was able to relocate to Switzerland through her employer, who was a diplomat stationed in Geneva. While her original work was in Turkey, she was able to relocate to Switzerland with her employer, taking advantage of the diplomatic exemption to work permit requirements.
After her two-year contract with her Turkish employer ended, she sought out a new employer who could sponsor her work and residence permit. Thankfully, she found a new employer who was willing to sponsor her and extend her work and residence permit in Switzerland.
Employment Visa in Switzerland
The vlogger suggests that his own experience of relocating to Switzerland through direct hiring is something that others may also be able to take advantage of. For instance, suppose you are employed by someone who is relocating to Switzerland. In that case, you may be able to stay in Switzerland and find a new employer if your current employer leaves. This approach worked for the vlogger, who was brought to Switzerland by his Pakistani diplomat boss in 2007.
At the time, it was relatively easy for diplomats to hire domestic helpers from other countries. As a result, the vlogger found the process of relocating to Switzerland to be relatively straightforward. He had one interview with the Swiss embassy in Manila, and after that, he was able to relocate to Switzerland with only the cost of his travel fare.
While not everyone may have the same opportunity as the vlogger, his experience suggests that creative solutions, such as direct hiring, may be an effective way to overcome the challenges of relocating to Switzerland.
Stricter Process on Hiring Domestic Workers in Switzerland
However, in 2011, the Swiss government implemented stricter regulations for diplomats hiring domestic helpers from other countries. The new system made the hiring process more difficult for diplomats, resulting in them mostly hiring those who are already in Switzerland.
They look for domestic helpers who are either seeking transfers or whose contracts are about to expire with their current employers and are therefore seeking new employers to declare them.
Some diplomats have brought their domestic helpers with them from their home countries. Diplomats are representatives of various countries who are sent to international organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.
If you happen to be a Filipino with European citizenship, you are free to work in Switzerland in any job you want. It is much easier for European citizens, even if they are of Filipino origin. However, since only a few Filipinos have European citizenship, there are other ways to work in Switzerland.
The family reunification program in Switzerland is a great option for individuals who have a relative, spouse, or registered partner living in Geneva. This program allows for the immigration of family members as long as the relative or spouse has a residence permit B, residence permit C, or Swiss citizenship, and the child being brought over is at least 18 years old. The program also covers the immigration of spouses or registered partners.
However, before the Swiss government allows you to bring over your relative, spouse, or registered partner from the Philippines, you must be financially stable. This means having a good job and not relying on government assistance. You should be able to support them while they are in Switzerland and still looking for employment. This is just one of the requirements or conditions set by the Swiss government before they can approve the visa of your relative.
The family reunification program in Switzerland is a great opportunity for families to reunite and start a new life together. There are certain conditions that must be met before a visa can be approved. If you meet these conditions and are financially stable, then you can take advantage of this program and bring your loved ones to Switzerland.
Procedure for Family Reunification in Switzerland
Here are the general steps for Family Reunification in Switzerland:
- Determine if you are eligible for Family Reunification: To be eligible for family reunification, you must have a relative or spouse who has a valid residence permit B or C, or Swiss citizenship. Additionally, you must be financially stable and able to support your family member while they are in Switzerland.
- Gather Required Documents: The documents required may vary depending on your specific case, but typically you will need to provide proof of your relationship, proof of your financial stability, and other personal documents such as your passport.
- Submit Application: Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can submit your application for family reunification to the competent cantonal immigration office.
- Wait for Approval: The processing time for family reunification applications can vary, but it typically takes several months. During this time, the authorities will review your application and determine whether to approve it.
- Obtain Visa: If your application is approved, your family member in the Philippines will need to obtain a visa from the Swiss embassy or consulate in their home country.
- Travel to Switzerland: Once the visa is obtained, your family member can travel to Switzerland to be reunited with you.
- Register with Local Authorities: Within 14 days of arrival in Switzerland, your family member will need to register with the local authorities and obtain a residence permit.
The specific requirements and procedures for family reunification may vary depending on your specific situation and the canton where you are applying. It is recommended to consult with a legal professional or the competent immigration authority for more information.
Sponsorship by Person with Swiss Visa
This option is available when someone sponsors you to go to Switzerland. The sponsor could be a Swiss citizen or someone who holds a residence permit in Switzerland. However, before the Swiss government grants a visa to a person from the Philippines, they will first look at whether the sponsor can financially support you during your stay, including food, accommodation, and accident insurance. The government prefers that you don’t rely on them for support.
If the government determines that your sponsor is unable to support you financially, it is uncertain whether you will be granted a visa. But if the sponsorship is approved, the Swiss government will give you a maximum of three months tourist visa. It’s important to note that this tourist visa does not allow you to work in Switzerland, only to stay as a tourist.
How to Get Sponsorship in Switzerland
Here are the steps to get a sponsorship to go to Switzerland as a Filipino:
- Look for a sponsor – The first step is to find a sponsor who is willing to support you financially and legally. This can be a Swiss citizen, a non-Swiss resident with a valid residence permit, or a company based in Switzerland.
- Confirm financial support – The sponsor must be able to demonstrate that they can provide you with financial support during your stay in Switzerland. This includes covering the costs of food, accommodation, and accident insurance.
- Prepare the necessary documents – You will need to prepare several documents, including a valid passport, proof of financial support from your sponsor, a completed visa application form, and proof of travel arrangements.
- Submit your application – Once you have all the necessary documents, you can submit your visa application to the Swiss embassy or consulate in your country. Be sure to follow the specific requirements and procedures of the embassy or consulate.
- Attend an interview – After submitting your application, you may be required to attend an interview with embassy officials. This is to determine the validity of your application and to confirm the details of your stay in Switzerland.
- Wait for visa approval – After the interview, you will need to wait for the Swiss embassy to process your application. This may take several weeks or months, depending on the embassy’s workload.
- Receive your visa – If your application is approved, you will receive your visa from the embassy. The visa will specify the length of your stay in Switzerland, the type of activities you are allowed to engage in, and any other conditions of your stay.
Marrying a Swiss Citizen
As a Filipino, one of the easiest ways to go to Switzerland is by marrying a Swiss citizen. This process is called family reunification through marriage. Please be advised that marriage should be based on genuine love and affection between two people, and not solely for the purpose of gaining citizenship or a visa.
The first step is to meet and fall in love with a Swiss citizen. After getting married, the Swiss citizen can sponsor their Filipino spouse for family reunification. The Swiss citizen spouse must show proof of income and financial stability to support their spouse and any dependents.
The Filipino spouse must also provide documentation, such as their passport and marriage certificate, and undergo a background check. If approved, the Filipino spouse will receive a residence permit and can live and work in Switzerland. After five years of residency in Switzerland, the Filipino spouse can apply for Swiss citizenship.
It is important to note that the family reunification process can take several months to complete and may require the assistance of an immigration lawyer. It is also important to comply with Swiss immigration laws and regulations to avoid any issues or complications during the application process.
While it may seem difficult for Filipinos to migrate to Switzerland, there are still various options available. These include getting a job through a Swiss company, finding a sponsor, or getting married to a Swiss citizen. Family reunification is also a possibility if you have relatives or a spouse in Switzerland.
Please be reminded that each option has its own set of requirements and procedures. To ensure a smooth and successful migration, it may be helpful to seek guidance from the Philippine embassy in Switzerland, which can provide valuable information and assistance to Filipinos seeking to move to the country. With the right preparations and guidance, migrating to Switzerland as a Filipino can be a fulfilling and achievable goal.