February 14, 2020 Last updated February 14th, 2020 1,508 Reads share

Working As A Contractor In Switzerland – Tips And Challenges

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One of the great things about starting and running your own business is that it gives you the freedom to do what you want and make money and a career from something you’re truly passionate about. That same freedom can come from being a freelancer or contractor, so it’s little surprise that more and more people are striding out on their own. As a contractor, your skills may be in demand across the world, and there aren’t many more beautiful countries to work in than Switzerland. If you want to work as a contractor in Switzerland, here are four challenges you could face, and our tips on how to overcome them.

1. Understand The Visa Situation

If you come from outside of the EU and want to work in Switzerland, you’ll need a visa, so of course, this is something that applies to all US nationals who want to work as a contractor there. Whilst Switzerland itself is not an EU memively new visa scheme, so when looking for visa information you should be careful to ensure that it’s up to date. That’s why it’s important to use the services of a Switzerland work visa expert like Bradford Jacobs who can provide timely advice for contractors of all kinds.

2. Apply For The Right Permit

When applying for a visa to work in Switzerland, you first have to find out which work permit is right for you, as there are three varieties you can potentially apply for. Let’s start with the Type C permit (for reasons which will become obvious) – it allows you to remain in Switzerland for one year and work for any number of employers, making it a good choice for contractors who will be working on a multitude of projects. The Type B permit is also for a year, but it allows you to work for one specific employer only; after this year, the same employer can apply to have your Type B permit renewed for further years, 12 months at a time. Finally, the Type A permit is the gold standard permit for non-EU contractors; it allows the holder to work for any Swiss employer and contains no time limit, but to be eligible for one, you must have worked under a Type B permit for at least four years.

3. Ensure You Have The Right Skills And Right Contract

Switzerland has strict criteria for who can work in its country under the Blue Card visa scheme, and it is aimed at attracting contractors from outside the EU who are highly intelligent, well-educated, and will be filling well-paid jobs. As an examplber, it is part of the European Free Trade Association and, therefore, within the European Economic Area. This means it has signed up to the European Union’s Blue Card Scheme. This is a relate of this, to apply for a Type B permit you have to be earning a minimum salary of €39,802 – this figure could change in future years, so watch out. It’s therefore important that you have a contract that meets the necessary criteria, and that your skills and educational attainments also tick the right boxes.

4. Work On Your Language Skills

The population of Switzerland is around eight and a half million, and yet it has four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansch, a language which while the main language of less than one percent of the population can still be heard across the country. Working in a multi-lingual country can take some getting used to, and can be disorienting at first, but it can help to learn at least a little of the three major languages before you travel. English is widely spoken, especially in business circles, but if you speak a little in the native tongue of the person you address, it’s sure to be appreciated and make a good impression. Online apps are a great way to learn the basics of a language in a short space of time.

You simply must have a Blue Card visa with the right permit if you hail from any non-European country and want to work in Switzerland. The process can seem complex to those unfamiliar with it, but Swiss visa specialists can make it quick and straightforward, helping you get your dream job in this spectacular country that has so much to offer.


Switzerland flag -DepositPhotos

Joevren Curmi

Joevren Curmi

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