Switzerland immigration and
job options for OFWs

Switzerland tourist places

Although lenient to migrants, Switzerland immigration restricts the entry of foreign workers, including Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs. Swiss work permit is harder to obtain for people from non-EU countries. This is true in most of Europe. EU persons take the priority in hiring workers. 

Why do people prefer going and working in Switzerland? The reasons are obvious: high pay, good quality of life, work and life balance and great career prospects. These put the Alpine state to the list of best countries for foreign workers.

Add Swiss chocolates, Swiss watches and many tourist places and you have an ideal place to work and live.

If locals keep on shunning certain jobs, there is always a room for foreign workers. And OFWs thrive in almost all countries. Your unique traits and skill sets attract foreign employers in hiring and keeping you.

These job options may help you decide whether Switzerland is right for you.

Unique skill as gateway to Switzerland immigration

Are you 18-35 years old, an expert or a manager in a certain field? Medical, IT and other high-skilled jobs fall under this grouping. Then you can apply under the Philippines – Switzerland trainee program. You must be a high school or college graduate or have vocational training. Contract is up to 18 months. 

The program applies to all background. Have your skill recognized by the Swiss system and inform employers about the level of your knowledge and expertise. Pay depends on the current rates in the industry and place of work. The employer covers accident and health insurance. The contract cannot be extended beyond 18 months.

You must apply for a suitable job to improve your professional and language skills. You must be familiar with or willing to learn one of the Swiss official languages: French, German, Italian or Romansh. You can look for a job on your own or on a “name hire” basis. Or you can engage the help of a licensed recruitment agency. 

Learn more about the Philippine-Switzerland trainee program.

Au pair jobs in Switzerland for Filipinos

A Filipino female 18-25 years old can work as an au pair for a host family in Switzerland under the Philippine – Switzerland Au Pair Program. The program allows you to learn the Swiss culture and language for one year. You live with the host family on “equal basis”. That is, the host should treat you as one of their own members.

You agree with your tasks based on a basic contract. You get room and board in exchange for 30 hours of work per week, helping with light chores, babysitting and other tasks. You get at least 1 day off per week. Your host gives you pocket money per month, around 500-800 Swiss francs, and shoulders the cost of your language lessons.

Switzerland immigration under the au pair program allows you to find a host family and request a Swiss agency to process your papers. Or engage the Swiss agency to find a host family for you. The agency must be licensed by SECO of the Swiss government. The Swiss agency will process the papers in Switzerland. Your host shoulders the costs except your medical tests and personal documents like passport and birth certificate.

But be careful. The au pair program is prone to abuse. Some hosts treat au pairs like helpers and force them to work longer hours. Working for longer hours in exchange for more money violates your contract and the host can report you for it when things go wrong. This film documents abuses on Filipina au pairs in Norway.

Switzerland immigration for Filipino domestic workers

An au pair job is not the same as domestic work. An au pair helps in the house and learns the culture and the language. A domestic worker can be up to 55 years old, works full time at the household. Domestic workers train for the job and stay in the household longer. Net wage is also higher at minimum of 1,200 Swiss francs per month.

But the Swiss government limits domestic work to persons coming from the EU countries. If you are not living in Switzerland or an EU country, there is a slim chance of getting domestic work in the country. Read how some Filipinos end up as domestic workers in Geneva. 

But there are exceptions. If your current employer works for a government, inter-governmental or international organization and is assigned in Switzerland with legitimation card, you can be employed as their domestic worker. 

These options do not apply to many OFWs who would like to work in Switzerland. Immigration was designed not only to address shortage of local workers but also control the flow of foreign workers. You just find where you fit. Or explore jobs in other countries.

› Switzerland Immigration

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