WORKING ABROAD: SWITZERLAND

06. July 2020

How to get a job in Switzerland? What certification do you need? What about the working visa? You will find the answers in this article.

Switzerland and its charms of spectacular views, great culinary experiences, friendly people and the huge tradition of skiing is just a delightful experience for any ski instructor. 

DIFFERENT SCHOOL TYPE, DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS

Switzerland is likely one of the most liberal countries in terms of market and competition rules. As far as employment requirements are concerned, there is no actual difference between official Swiss Ski Schools and independent Ski Schools authorised to operate in the country: they must fulfill the local employment rules, Federal and/or Cantonal. Switzerland is indeed a Federal country, organised by Cantons, and the local rules might be slightly different.

QUALIFICATIONS

Generally it is up to the ski school to decide if you are good enough and how they recognise your qualification. It is important that the instructor fulfils the VISA requirements to be employable.

If you wish to have your qualification recognised by the Swiss snowsports association, you can read more about the procedure here (click) and apply here (click).

HOW TO GET A JOB AND VISA SORTED OUT

Each Ski School has its own targets and rules so it’s best if you (qualified instructor) contact the schools directly; if you impress them with your skills and experiences, they will tell you what they need to make it happen. Be aware that certain schools employ only instructors with an EU valid passport since the procedure is much easier for them. Other schools might not have a problem employing instructors from outside the EU.

Be ready and available for an interview in a resort or for a test at the beginning of the season. That’s mandatory for certain schools and just attending the test is not a guarantee for being hired.

WORKING PERMIT / VISA REQUIREMENTS - EU

EU citizens can be employed by the school with no obstacles. They can be employed up to 90 days per year and in that case, they can be simply declared online using the short-term work procedure. The instructors can start working as soon as the school has declared you, of course within the announced dates. You will find more info about that here (click).

For a term longer than 90 days in a year, there is a need for a working permit that might be of different type, depending on where you are from and how long are you going to be employed.

If you are a resident of a neighbouring country located near the border and you can commute daily or periodically you might apply for a permit G (Cross-Border Commuter Permit). If your residence location is not allowing that, you might apply for a type L permit (Short-Term Residents Permit). In this case you can start working as soon as your notification to the authorities has been filed in.

Permit G - EU basic health insurance is enough
Permit L - You need to have Swiss health insurance.
Third party insurance is a must.

More info on the permit types in Switzerland can be found here (click).

WORKING PERMIT / VISA REQUIREMENTS - NON EU

Non-EU residents cannot take advantage of the EU rules about freedom of circulation.

Ski Schools willing to employ non-EU citizens usually establish a reciprocal exchange program with foreign Ski Schools (f.i. in Argentina, Australia, etc.) and on that basis, they can help the instructor obtain a work VISA for the winter. Is the school you are already working for in your country having that exchange program? Then, even if you do not have an EU passport, you are already a step ahead to get a VISA in Switzerland. Of course that is not going to be automatic. The school in Switzerland must first announce a vacant position on the local market. If nobody suitable applies (usually after one month) they can then fill in an application for the foreign instructor. The whole process might last two or three months, in this case you can start working only at the end of the process once you got the VISA. The approval of the application is up to the cantonal authorities, though it might get to federal level for certain cases. A positive outcome is usually related to the local job protection policy as well as to the type of contract and guarantees offered to the instructor by the school: Switzerland is on one side one of the most liberal countries in terms of market rules, and at the same time is protecting quite well the labour's rights.

You will find more info here (click).

MOST WANTED IN SWITZERLAND

The advice to have a qualification is always good. In terms of experience, it depends on the position you are aiming for. There is no standard, it is up to the potential employer to set it.

A good command of a variety of languages is a must: in small resorts, where you are likely to have local customers, you will have to know the local language. Are you ready to talk Romansh, the fourth official Swiss language? Well, maybe that's a bit too much to start with: if you can speak English and/or one of the three other official Swiss languages - French, German or Italian - you'll surely find a resort where you can be easily employed, as long as you fit the ski school’s needs.

WHICH RESORT WOULD BE BEST FOR YOU? 

Most of the Swiss resorts are quite international: the instructor willing to work there needs to look into the resort specifics as well as the features of the school they are willing to apply for. Is it a resort famous for freeride? Then you might have more opportunities if you are properly qualified and proficient about that. Is it famous for the service to families? It would be good to have a licence for teaching kids, preferably issued by Swiss Snowsports, that is not mandatory though it is always good to have when you want to work in Switzerland. Is glamour the main feature of the resort? Make sure that you are tuned with the mood of the resort and the customers you will likely work for, that might be very demanding in their expectations.

If you want to work in Switzerland and you do not know the country yet, start researching into the resorts features and go for the one that matches best your personal skills and strengths and your aspirations.

POSTED JOBS IN SWITZERLAND:
https://www.snow-recruiter.com/search/jobs/switzerland

READ ALSO:
Working abroad: France
Working abroad: Japan

 

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