Beginnings of my life in Switzerland

Written by Madhurya

I am not a good writer like my sister. She is a great writer. But still, with her help, I will try to narrate the beginnings of my life here in Switzerland, one of the beautiful countries in the world.

As a child, I was never keen on travelling to a new place. I still remember the time my family decided to visit New Delhi. From the moment we climbed the train, I was anxious to go back home. While my sister loved and still loves to explore new places, learn the language, understand the history, experience the culture of that particular place, I am more of a “stay-at-home” person.

I cannot say when this attitude changed, probably when my parents moved to Dubai, taking me along with them. I still remember the walks my parents and I had along the beaches of Ajman. My dad would point at the ships sailing across the sea and say they were coming from Russia or going to some European country. Listening to his stories thrilled me and made me want to sail around the world too. After completing my bachelor`s degree and gaining some experience in the professional world of  Dubai for more than 3 years, I took up the job offered by my current Swiss company.

Convincing my family to let me go  was not the hardest part. Getting all the travel documents ready to apply for my visa was much more difficult. In order to obtain the Swiss Visa, you need a work permit and a temporary resident permit from the hiring company. It takes a minimum of 8 weeks to get these permits. The reason it takes so long is because, whenever a company wants to hire a person who is not a resident of that country, the ministry requires a justification from the company saying why this candidate is preferred for the job over a citizen or a resident. This practice is common in most of the European countries.

After waiting for 2 months, I finally received these permits and immediately applied for the visa. The visa came without any validity. As per rule, within 2 weeks of my arrival in Switzerland, I had to go to the Einwohnerkontrolle (Ministry) to apply for the resident permit which is valid for a year.

I was lucky to get the Visa in 3 days. I bid farewell to my family, friends and to the place I had called home and flew to Switzerland. I started looking for hotels and apartments through different websites provided by my HR. I had to make all the travel and living arrangements on my own. However, my HR offered to book a room in a hotel close to the city center for a month. Though it was expensive and didn’t have a kitchen, I agreed to stay there as I could not find any other place…

(to be continued… )

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