Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Dear Frau: Why is my visa taking so long?

Welcome to another edition of Dear Frau. It’s kind of like Dear Abby, except with an international twist. If you have a question about life in Switzerland, don’t hesitate to contact The Frau. Then maybe your little Frage will be in the next edition of Dear Frau.

Dear Frau,

I'm trying to move to Bern but the process has been halted due to my work visa taking an unheard of amount of time to process. Did you run into any problems like this when you moved there? I keep calling the embassy to find out if it has been accepted, and they just tell me that it's still processing. I'm at my wit's end!

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated as well! I'm really enjoying reading your blog and I'm sure it will be a nice tool for me to use when I finally make it over there.


Visa Vixen

Dear Visa Vixen,

The Frau isn’t sure what an unheard of amount of time is to wait for a visa in Switzerland, except that an unheard of amount of time is normal. I mean, think about it, if good things come to those who wait, then Switzerland is worth its weight in gold. How else could the prices here be so insane?

But The Frau digresses.

Here's the thing: Bureaucracy is slow and stupid on purpose. This is due to one of two phenomenons:

Porn. (It's more exciting than your paperwork.)



Look. In most countries, foreigners finish last. In Switzerland, it’s even worse because Swiss people have a train to catch. They have to go to lunch at noon. They have to do their laundry on Wednesday the 17th or wear dirty clothes for another three weeks. They are tired of being on time. And can you blame them? Punctuality is so ingrained in the culture that they can’t wait to slack. And who better to slack with than the foreigners?

So yeah. The Frau is not surprised that you’re still waiting on the visa. But look on the bright side. In the meantime, you’ll have plenty of time to read past columns of Dear Frau for more tips on moving to Switzerland.

Anyone else out there have advice for Visa Vixen?

Do you read Swiss Info’s Write On blog? For the next two months, The Frau will be blabbing over there as well as on One Big Yodel. God save the Internet. Click here to read the latest, where The Frau takes it upon herself to apologize to the entire confederation.


Unknown said...

I am moving to Switzerland for graduate school and turned in my visa application 8 weeks ago and haven't heard anything. I talked to some of the other foreign students in the program and they are having the same problem. Some have called and they were told that it is done in order of need. So since we all need ours by the first of the year, we should check back in December. It's cutting it close but I guess that's the way it is.

Chantal said...

Thanks for the info, that is good to know.

I guess the moral of that story is, be as desperate as possible on your application.

M'dame Jo said...

A friend of mine waited two years to get her visa processed to join her american husband in the US from Thailand.

Getting a J1 wasn't as bad, but worse than any bucreaucratic process I had to go through here. And that includes becoming swiss.

See my point?

Everyone is someone's foreigner... and come last.

My advice? Be patient.

Chantal said...

Agree. Everyone is someone else's foreigner. Good line.

And we do it to ourselves...most of us (reading this blog at least) do not need to escape our countries for health or safety reasons.

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