Published on: September 16, 2022
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
We have been asked a lot about this recently and there are a few key factors that trainees need to consider when looking to come to Verbier and work.
- Work permits and your nationality
- The Schengen allowance (for non-EU trainees)
- Getting a Student Permit (if you are British)
- Working in other industries (if you are British)
- A new trade deal with Switzerland (if you are British)
WORK PERMITS AND YOUR NATIONALITY
The biggest factor is your nationality.
If you have an EU passport (even if it’s your ‘second’ nationality) then getting a Swiss Work Permit is very easy.
If you have a non-EU passport (including British) then things are a lot harder.
Essentially this means it would be hugely unlikely (if not impossible) to get a work permit as a ski instructor under current Swiss rules.
There has been a test case where someone who was fully qualified (BASI 4) got a permit but that is not relevant for anyone training for the Level 3 or Level 4.
THE SCHENGEN ALLOWANCE
If you are non-EU then you get a 90 day allowance in the Schengen area – of which Switzerland is a part.
It’s a free travel area that covers many EU states.
It’s a simple idea that’s sometimes complex to calculate…
But in simple terms you get 90 days in any 180 day period in the Schengen area.
Not to work – just to visit as a tourist.
So today you could look back over the last 180 days and if you’ve only been in the Schengen area for 80 days you can spend another 10 in the area.
But a full winter season is about 140 – 150 days so that is clearly an issue.
You can go home at peak season and miss the queues, plus save some days.
Or you can just plan to do part of the season.
If you are training for the season you can apply in advance for a Student Permit.
And our experience is British trainees on the full Level 3 course would be issued with a Student Permit.
This effectively means time in Switzerland during the permit duration isn’t part of the 90 days Schengen rule.
The Schengen rule still applies if you go to France and Italy etc. But in Switzerland it would be as if it didn’t exist.
You can’t work, but you can stay a full season.
TRAIN AND WORK IN ANOTHER INDUSTRY
There is a law that allows British workers to be ‘posted’ to Switzerland to work for 90 days per year (yes, confusingly, another sum involving 90 days).
So they are effectively British workers paying UK tax etc, but temporarily working in Switzerland.
Work days are in addition to your Schengen allowance.
So you could find a UK company (perhaps a chalet company or a nanny company or similar) and they give you a job then post you to Verbier to work.
We can point you the direction of the right companies but it is a decision usually made a long way in advance.
A NEW DEAL…
The UK and the Swiss are negotiating a trade deal.
At the same time there is a lot of pressure for the Swiss government to allow British workers to get temporary permits to help the tourism sector.
The Swiss government has said it could do this if the UK offer the same thing to Swiss workers.
If that can be agreed then there’s a chance it could be agreed before the New Year.
Therefore after January 1st permits could return and you could get a job as ski instructor if you were British.
There is no guarantee but there is a lot of support for this idea in the local region.
And local ski schools are crying our for capable English speaking instructors, especially for part-time work at peak season – like February half term.
WE HOPE THAT HELPS
It’s a massive topic and the only simple situation is for the EU passport holders.
But there are reasons to be optimistic and there are certainly options.
Crucially things could all change during the winter.
The only certainty is that we will update you on social media and here on the blog as soon as anything changes…
- Verbier season dates 2022 2023
- BASI LEVEL 3 AND LEVEL 4 TRAINING – SKI ADVICE 2022 2023