Are you looking to go overseas for work? Well, I did, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Highly recommended if you are brave enough to make the jump, do it!
First off, the program is listed here on the government website with instructions on how to go about applying. You will see here what the requirements are to be eligible to apply.
Switzerland EDA Government Website:
Canada Government Website:
I had a desire to move to Europe for work experience and personal reasons. At a younger age, when you have nothing holding you back, it’s a lot easier to make the move.
What I did prior to applying for a job in Switzerland is, I did a lot of research on what you need in your application process. What the country expects is listed below:
- CV to include the following details:
- Birthdate, Phone number, Address, Email, languages
- When you are available to start working
- Proof of employment from all employers on your CV
- All Education Certificates
I also researched what companies hire English primarily. I have located a shortlist HERE!
If you speak German, French or Italian, you will have a way easier time to find work as Switzerland has four main languages. Keep in mind though if you don’t speak french from Switzerland, you will still have a different dialect.
I also learned that LinkedIn is not highly known or adapted in the workforce in Switzerland, but a company called XING is. I created a profile on this platform to help with networking.
I won’t talk about the interview process. If you are interested, comment below and I will make another post regarding this.
Once you have your work contract, you will now need to apply for your work permit.
Please send the application (refer to paragraph 4 in the brochure) with the supporting documents to the competent Consulate General:
- Consulate General of Switzerland in Montreal if you are living in the provinces Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, New-Brunswick, Nova-Scotia, Prince-Edward-Island, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Territory of Nunavut
- Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver if you are living in the provinces and territories of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Yukon
The processing time can be long, and it can take up to 8 weeks. Mine took four. If you are not currently in school and have no post-secondary education in Canada, most likely, it will get rejected. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, you can hire professional help.
I got approved!
After waiting for a long four weeks, I got an approved notification through email, authorizing me to work in Switzerland. That doesn’t mean you can go to the country. You will need to receive an entry visa glued in your passport. (Refer to paragraph 5 in the brochure.)
Please send the following documents to the Consulate General processing your file:
I was very nervous that this would take a long time, but it only took four business days. Once you get your visa, you should notify the company and book your flight! The visa you get is temporary for 90 days until you land in the country.
Once you are in Switzerland, you will need to go to the “Kontan,” which is like a province you live in and register there to get your official visa card. They will have the full process for you there. It is best to give them your address with the proof that you will live there.
I managed to extend my Visa for an additional six months for a total of 18 months, and then after that, you will need to return home unless your contract is explicitly required in Switzerland.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. I am curious to hear about your story.