GETTING A STUDENT PERMIT
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT?
With many trainees coming from outside the EU – especially after Brexit – we have been looking at some trainees getting Student Permits for the duration of their course.
However, they aren’t right for everyone (or appropriate) and there is quite a bit of planning required well before your course begins.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
If you hold an EU passport you can basically come to Switzerland for was long as you want – and if you want to work you can apply for a Work Permit fairly easily.
However, if you hold a passport from outside the EU – and outside the Schengen area – you can only come for 90 days (in a 180 period). This is 90 days in the entire EU/Schengen area.
So if you did 90 days in Switzerland you couldn’t spend any more time in the EU or Schengen area.
Crucially you don’t have to get a permit to do a Peak Leaders course.
If you want to stay over 90 days – to do a full season, join our Level 3 programme, or if for any reason you needs to complete teaching hours for your BASI qualification after your exam – then a permit of some type is required.
The good news is that if you end up on a Student Permit, the time spent on a Student Permit is in addition to the standard 90 days in the Schengen area.
It’s also important to note that you cannot normally work if you are on a Student Permit.
(It’s a very complex subject so get in touch to chat about the options.)
IF YOU NEED A PERMIT HOW DO YOU GET ONE?
There are now – after Brexit – effectively two different routes for Student Permits.
There is the old route that is for “Third Nation Nationals” that requires getting a VISA – going to the Embassy and completing a lot of paperwork.
However there is, in Valais, a new simplified process for British students and trainees taking qualifications here.
This process is easier but by no means simple.
The authorities have been very helpful and are also suggesting that all trainees – even trainees who will not go beyond 90 days – would be better off on the permit. But this is yet o be confirmed (as we said, all very very new…).
This blog focusses on this new option for British Trainees, but if you are from another non-EU nation please get in touch to chat about your options.
The benefits of a Student Permit are simple:
- Stay over 90 days – so potentially the whole winter
- Don’t use up your 90 ‘tourist days’ in EU and Schengen
- Begin Level 3 training if you want to go further
The drawbacks of a Student Permit are pretty clear too:
- Not all trainees 100% need one (it’s effectively optional)
- There is a lot of paperwork to complete well before you start your course
- You will have to prove your health insurance meets requirements – or get Swiss health insurance
- It costs to apply (about £100)
- You will need to go to the permit office in Verbier to register
- You will also need to go to Sion to get your Biometrics recorded
- You will need to prove you have sufficient funds to stay for more than 90 days
- It’s a brand new system so there might well be extra paperwork
So, if you are British and want to apply for the permit, you need to supply (and do) the following:
- Complete and sign a Permit Application form
- Complete and sign an Arrival Questionnaire
- Proof of Swiss Health insurance or equivalent foreign insurance
- Provide proof you are enrolled on the course*
- Provide proof you have adequate funds and complete the form
(eg. a bank statement showing savings over 2’400 chf per month)
- Copy of your passport
(valid for more than 3 months after the intended end of your stay)
- Go to the local Commune and pay 147 CHF within 14 days of arrival
- Go to Sion to get ‘biometric data’ for your permit card
* We provide you with this letter
Crucially if you think the Student Permit is the best solution for you, the application needs to be done though Peak Leaders as the educational body – so you can’t start sending paperwork in yet…
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
If you are British and planning on travelling in Europe a lot after your course the Permit is a good idea.
It’s also a good idea if you’re British and want to stay for longer in Switzerland – including doing extra training and getting work experience.
If you literally want to do your course and leave straight away, then the Student Permit isn’t 100% required – the permit office have only suggested trainees apply.
As always, we are very happy to chat through the options so just get in touch if you need more information.