Our law firm is located in the heart of Zurich. We advise and represent foreigners in migration law and offer comprehensive legal advice regarding residence, work and settlement permits. In addition, we are available to assist you in immigration law and appeal proceedings throughout Switzerland.
lic. iur. Sara Brandon-Kaufmann Attorney at Law LL.M., is admitted to the Swiss Bar Association (SAV) and authorized to represent clients before all authorities and courts including the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.
As an attorney and lawyer, I have been solving everyday and complex legal cases for over twenty years. I will be ready to help you analyze the core underlying issues. Talk about your problems, formulate your questions and get advice at an early stage.
General practitioner with a particular focus on administrative and social security law: foundation law, pension funds and occupational benefits, AHV contribution law, inheritance law, business law, insurance law and contract law.
Sara Kaufmann was born and raised in Zurich-Wipkingen. After graduating from high school she studied at the University of Zurich. As a lawyer she worked in various positions in courts, judiciary and public prosecutor’s office, private and state institutions.
2013 Master of Laws (LL.M.) UBC
2005 Leader management training in Zurich
2001 Acquisition of the license to practice law (Bar Admission )
1995 Study of law at the University of Zurich
1988 Matura type D at the Cantonal High School Stadelhofen Zurich
2014-2017 | Legal service of the compensation Fund of the SVA Zurich (contribution law, calculation and payment of AHV/IV benefits, supplementary benefits and consumption/depletion of assets)
2008-2011 | Legal service of the Social Insurance Institution of the Canton of Zurich (employer liability, AHV contributions, liability of governing bodies for unpaid AHV contributions, reimbursement and remission procedures, payment agreement, request for payment in installments/deferments of contributions)
2005-2006 | Zürcher Kantonalbank (training for pension fund managers, executive bodies & boards of trustees)
2004-2006 | Office for occupational pensions and foundations of the Canton of Zurich (pension fund supervision)
2003 | Business law firm Zurich (civil law, corporate law, commercial administrative law, asset recovery, mutual legal assistance and international arbitration)
2001-2003 | Chief Public Prosecutor of the Canton of Zurich (white-collar crime, economic delinquency & money laundering proceedings)
1997-2001 | District Court of Zurich (inheritance matters, matrimonial / marriage protection, labor court, bankruptcy and inheritance)
1996 | Directorate of Justice and of Internal Affairs -> Department of Justice of the Canton of Zurich
Swiss Bar Association SAV / FSA
(Schweizerischer Anwaltsverband) www.sav-fsa.ch
Zurich Bar Association (Zürcher Anwaltsverband www.zav.ch)
Democratic Lawyers Zurich (DJZ www.djz.ch)
Entered in the Register of Attorneys of the Canton of Zurich ( Higher Court of the Canton of Zurich ).
Entered in the Cantonal Register of Lawyers by decision of the Supervisory Commission over the attorneys at law.
Residence, settlement and naturalization
Different regulations apply to entry and residence in Switzerland, depending on whether the person entering is a national of an EU/EFTA state or a third country. In any case, a residence permit must be applied for if the stay exceeds 90 days.
Issuance of a permit
The requirements for the granting of a permit additionally differ according to the purpose of entry or residence. For example, different criteria must be met if the entry is for the purpose of family reunification than if it is for the purpose of gainful employment. Moreover, despite legal provisions, many decisions are left to the discretion of the authorities. This often makes it difficult for those affected to understand negative decisions.
Settlement Permit & Naturalization
If there is a residence of sufficient duration (5 or 10 years) and the other requirements are met, a settlement permit can be applied for.
In a final step, those who are in possession of a settlement permit and meet the requirements (especially successful integration) can apply for naturalization. The procedure has three stages (municipality, canton, federal government) and differs, among other things, according to whether the applicant is the spouse of a Swiss citizen.
Revocation and non-renewal
During the stay, a permit may be revoked or not renewed due to misconduct or non-fulfillment of the conditions attached to the permit. For the same reasons, a permit may also be refused even before it is issued. The competent migration authority issues such decisions by means of a ruling against which an appeal can be lodged.
Regardless of their professional qualifications, all EU/EFTA nationals have easy access to the Swiss labor market under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. British nationals are basically treated as third-country nationals due to the Brexit. However, some exceptions to this basic rule apply to British nationals already living in Switzerland.
EU/EFTA nationals can stay in Switzerland as tourists for up to three months without a residence permit.
Residence permits for EU/EFTA nationals
The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons and the Ordinance on the Free Movement of Persons cover not only dependent workers of all kinds, but also self-employed workers and persons without gainful employment, provided they have sufficient financial means to support themselves. Thus, if someone is either employed or self-employed or has sufficient financial means to support themselves, a permit is usually issued.
Types of permits for EU/EFTA nationals
B permit EU/EFTA (residence permit): this permit is valid for five years. The applicant must be in possession of a permanent employment contract or an employment contract with a minimum duration of twelve months.
C permit EU/EFTA (settlement permit): A settlement permit can be issued after five or, depending on the home country, ten years of regular and uninterrupted residence in Switzerland. Depending on the applicable bilateral treaty between the home country and Switzerland, if any, there may be an enforceable claim for the issuance of a C permit EU/EFTA.
G permit EU/EFTA (cross-border commuter permit): EU/EFTA nationals who reside in an EU/EFTA state and are gainfully employed in Switzerland may apply for this permit. They must return to their place of residence abroad at least once a week. For almost all EU/EFTA nationals, there are no border zones anymore. This means that they can have their residence anywhere abroad and work anywhere in Switzerland. However, they must also return to their residence abroad at least once a week. An exception applies to Croatian nationals: for them there are still border zones.
L permit EU/EFTA (short stay permit): foreigners must apply for this permit if they intend to stay in Switzerland for less than one year with or without gainful employment.
For nationals from the EU-27 countries, employment relationships of up to three months within a calendar year do not require a permit (there is, however, a registration procedure).
In the area of social security, there are detailed regulations which stipulate that, in principle, entitlements once acquired are not lost if an employee pursues an activity in another state. Each country undertakes to observe certain principles while maintaining its national system. These principles include equal treatment of nationals and non-nationals, reciprocal consideration of insurance periods, export of financial resources and support in the areas of health and accident insurance.
In general, third-country nationals require a visa to enter Switzerland. However, there are exceptions, such as for U.S. citizens: they do not need a visa for a stay as a tourist of up to three months. However, they need a visa as soon as they intend to work in Switzerland for more than eight days per year. A work permit is also required.
Visa, residence and work permit for third-country nationals
In general, third-country nationals require a residence and work permit upon entry (in addition to the visa). A work permit for third-country nationals is issued only under certain rather restrictive conditions. The legal framework provides for a variety of exceptions to these restrictive conditions.