May 5, 2010

Zürich’s cantonal immigration authorities (Migrationsamt) made the headlines this week after a story regarding indiscretions and unprofessional behavior by senior staff within the authority was leaked to the press.  The matter is being investigated and, since the accusations have been made not only against the head of the authority but also his ten most senior staff, it is likely that we will see some significant delays in processing time in Zürich.  This will affect all applications for first time permits, renewals of permits, and multiple entry visas (or re-entry permits).

What’s Going On?

Staff members at the immigration authority have engaged a lawyer to bring proceedings against the head of the office, Adrian Baumann, and other senior staff.  Accusations include the sending of pornographic pictures via email to staff members, slow and dismissive handling of applications from asylum seekers, and senior staff taking unnecessarily long breaks, and using work time for personal matters such as surfing the net or checking their Facebook accounts.

Impact on Employers 

We anticipate that legal proceedings will carry on for several weeks, if not months, and that senior staff are likely to be suspended or dismissed.  This will obviously affect the ability of the Zürich cantonal immigration authorities to process permit applications in a timely manner, and we can therefore expect to see some delays.  Recent processing time for work authorization was at approximately 4 to 6 weeks, but we expect this to be increased to 8 to 12 weeks.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

  • Pro-Link GLOBAL advises that our clients allow additional lead time for all first time moves to Zürich.
  • Renewals should be initiated with Pro-Link GLOBAL at least three months in advance of work permit expiry dates.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.

Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG |KGNM Correspondent Office in Switzerland to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.