On February 6th, 2007, Canada and Switzerland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at facilitating the mobility of young skilled workers and students between Switzerland and Canada.
The purpose of this agreement is to encourage the mobility of young Swiss and Canadians workers and students, offering them the opportunity to gain work experience abroad.
Under the terms of this agreement, young Canadians who have completed their postsecondary studies or vocational education can obtain a residency and work permit in Switzerland to improve their language and professional skills. This protocol also allows young students, in the course of their studies, to complete an occupational training as part of their curriculum.
In order to be eligible for an internship in Switzerland under the YMP, you have to be a Canadian Citizen between the age of 18 and 35 (incl.), and
- have a secondary education and have completed a 2-year training, OR
- study at a post-secondary institution, OR
- have completed your post-secondary studies
How do I find a training position in Switzerland?
Before you apply for a work permit under the Youth Mobility Program (YMP), you must find a training position.
There are basically two ways to start your research for training opportunities in Switzerland. (1) You find a job by yourself; (2) you contact one of the organizations offering exchange programs.
Go to the website www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps/nameri/vcan/canott/ymp.html to find out all the details on this program, how to find a job, lists of organizations offering exchanges, etc.
Minimal and maximal training period
The maximal training period is 12 months. However, it can be extended to up to 18 months under exception. There is no minimal training period.
Application from outside of Canada
If you are residing outside of Canada at the time of your application, you will be asked to indicate a Canadian address in order to prove that your permanent address is in Canada.
Entry and registration in Switzerland
The authorization contains all necessary data for entry and registration in Switzerland. You may not sojourn in Switzerland while your application is being processed. If, however, you are already residing in Switzerland with a student’s permit, you can, under exception, apply for an authorization directly at the Swiss Migration Office in Switzerland. Once you have entered Switzerland, you have 14 days (but it has to be before you take up your occupation) to present yourself at the cantonal authorities to register and to get your work permit/residence permit issued.
Employment requirements for students
Employment must be in your field of studies. For students, salaries should be comparable to those paid to Swiss students working at universities, colleges or institutions of similar level. An undergraduate student may take up a trainee position without pay if he or she is able to indicate proof of sufficient funds (bank statement required).
Employment requirements for young professionals
Employment must be in the field of studies or activity in which the applicant has received training. Trainees must be paid in accordance with the rates that are customary locally and in the industry.
Note: Salary requirements for foreign workers are not necessarily the same as those for Swiss workers. In order to assess whether the salary offered by your potential employer is in accordance with the rates that are customary locally and in the industry, the Federal Office for Migration relies on the rates suggested by the respective professional society or association. Hence, even if you and your potential employer agree on a monthly salary, which the latter would pay to a Swiss trainee, this does not mean that it complies with the salary requirement of the YMP. If you are not sure whether the salary suggested by your employer is in compliance with the rates suggested by the professional associations in Switzerland, and for up-to-date business news, please check on the following link: www.swissinfo.ch/eng/salaries/29235700