This is just not as fun as planning out what cool castle to visit. We THINK we finally understand which visa we are supposed to apply for and how – this is the helpful diagram that explains it. Oh, and this visa may take 10 weeks to get – perhaps I was overly optimistic about Swiss efficiency?
LESSONS LEARNED (you would think I would know this already):
* Renew passports EARLY, which would have saved us crazily pulling the kids out of school yesterday and hauling them down to the Passport Agency, paying the exorbitant expediting fees in order to get the passports back in our possession in three days so we can send them off to the Swiss. I have had this on my to do list for a loooooong time but I thought we had a bit more leeway.
* Research work & residency visas in depth EARLY until a CLEAR understanding is reached… I had been lulled into complacency due to reassurances that the University would “help” and/or “take care of this,” but in reality, it still takes a long time and requires a lot of jumping through hoops. The Swiss process is terribly confusing, as it involves many categories depending on your citizenship, work status, length of proposed stay, etc. PapaHatch’s situation is not clear cut – at least on the many websites I consulted – in that he will be continuing to draw a U.S. (not Swiss) salary, but we want to reside there for one year. In addition, there are many stages – after receiving the visa, you must also get a residency permit.
According to our University hosts (although I am seeing slightly different information elsewhere, GULP)… this is what we need to do:
“According to the Law you will be an ‘Academic Host’ and this implies that you produce a lot of documents as you already mentioned ….including the confirmation from your Institution that you are entitled to a scientific leave, the document must also stipulate clearly your income + The invitation letter from the University host…..etc etc
Two actions to be started ASAP
1/ Entry to Switzerland (apply in U.S.)
You apply for a personal entry to Switzerland at least two months prior to your arrival and according to my information your will need to produce with translations:
– Copy of your wedding certificate
– Copy of birth certificate
– Copy of all the passports (valid – dates and signatures etc…)
+++ the usual documents / forms with pictures etc…
2/ Procedure to reside in Switzerland / that is our HR from the University which requires the following to issue a
– Attached doc must be filled in by You + University host
– Copy of your working contract in the US including in writing the income during the stay/sabbatical in Switzerland
– Invitation letter from University host
– Confirmation from your Institution that you are authorised to take this time off / time for research
– University: help provided for the housing
1/ and 2/ All documents must be produced either in one of our 4 languages or with a translation.”
Wish us luck….