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I worked for a year in Switzerland, but I have been given an L visa, even as a European. This has strong limitations in terms of rentals and bank services. Other people got a B visa for the same contract. Was this a mistake, and how can my university enforce a request for a B visa ?

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When did you graduate? A new law came into effect in 2010 which requires that all new postdoc hires of individuals who held a PhD for more than 2 years at the start of the contract be only given L permits. (I only found out after I had a similar discussion with human resources a few weeks ago.)

If you have had your degree for less than 2 years, it is possible your university can sort it out for you. If you have had your degree for more than 2 years, there's pretty much nothing the universities can do (aside for lobbying for a change of the law).

In regards to bank services: for a place to put your money, try PostFinance for which you can open an account at most post offices. They care a bit less about the issue with the permits. The main problem with having an L instead of a B permit, with regards to banking in general, is that they may be unwilling to give you a credit card or extend you a loan; you shouldn't have problem getting a place to put your money.

  • For rentals: good luck. Sometimes it may help to have your employer/professor write a letter of introduction on your behalf. Depending on the management company they may or may not be sufficiently impressed to let it slide. – Willie Wong Feb 15 '12 at 12:07

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