NEW RULES FOR STUDENT PERMITS
STUDENT PERMITS IN VERBIER
WHAT’S CHANGED? AND WHY?
We have been given the definitive rules for Student Permits this week, and unfortunately the powers-that-be have changed their minds on a few crucial things.
The permits are still available – as we expected – but there are some significant changes, so we wanted to communicate them to everyone and explain the best way we can find a solution.
We were in contact with the permit experts in the local Commune and the Canton for quite a while before the summer.
Brexit had changed everything and we were examining the options with the authorities.
Then, at the start of summer, we were told that despite being on a course under 90 days, we should put our trainees on Student Permits where possible.
Normally the Student Permits (and Student Visas) are only issued for courses over 90 days, but that said we had a student Visa issued for a 70 day course last season without any issues. So Student Visas have previously been fine even if the course was under the 90 day limit.
“If the stay for training purposes is less than three months, it is preferable that these students also register with the municipality and that a permit be issued to them, as this is not a tourist stay in the strict sense of the term.”
We thanked them for this clarity and we shared this information with all our Trainees.
After submitting details to the Canton to make sure they were happy with course schedules etc all met meeting the Student Permit requirements, we received a new message from the Canton in September.
Whilst we understand they must follow the law – and we are only interested in following the law – it was a complete about-turn on the Student Permit for Trainees on courses under 90 days.
“After clarification of certain questions with the SEM and contrary to what I wrote to you on June 22, I can confirm that no application for a permit should be submitted for a training stay of less than 90 days.”
We questioned this and were given a definitive and final reply this week that confirmed the legal position: no student permits unless the course is longer than 90 days.
This conclusion, as you can see, has been decided in conjunction with SEM, the State Office for Migration in the Federal government.
We received a further update on a phone call in October.
Essentially the lead person in the Canton Permit Office told us he would not guarantee that Permits would be issued to Trainees.
This is in spite of the fact that Student Visas have previously been issued to Peak Leaders Trainees from outside the EU – like Australians and Americans.
The tone of the conversation was surprising – quite vague and negative. Which was in contrast to our early conversations.
As a result we are now cautious about how applications will work and we think it should only be pursued if absolutely necessary.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you wish to stay longer than the standard 90 days in the Schengen area, the Canton has been clear that your course needs to be over 90 days and be an approved full-time course.
Our solution is simple – but not without risk.
We have always offered extended accommodation options for trainees wanting to stay until the end of the season.
We have also always offered extra training for trainees who want to go for the Level 3 exams in the future.
So we can create an additional package combining these elements, allowing you to continue to train after the BASI 2 and work towards the BASI 3.
We are making the package as cheap as possible to ensure it’s as easy as possible for Trainees to opt for this extended Level 3 option. Essentially the training is for 750 CHF and would include 2 weeks of training plus two weeks of shadowing lessons to gain vital professional experience.
However this decision needs to be made before you start your course. Importantly the Permits are new and they are not guaranteed. The Canton is now saying that each application “will be considered individually”. We do not yet know if the profess will be easy or if we will see applications refused – so there is risk involved.
Our motivation in doing this is simple – we want trainees to keep developing their skiing, we want to run programmes that fulfil all the legal requirements of a Student Permit, but most of all we want Trainees to be able to enjoy as much of the season as possible in this amazing resort.