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Recently, I received an offer from a company (let's call it company A) which hires IT specialists to work in Switzerland. On my end, I currently hold a non-EU citizenship and I'm working in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit tied to my employer. The notice period of my current employer (let's call it company B) is 3 months. If I quit without anything lined up, I have a short period of time to find a new job.

I still did not sign the offer from company A, as I did not see any info about how we will handle potentially delayed visa and work-permit. Therefore, I would like to ask for advice on the following options that I think I have:

Option 1: Ask company A to include a clause in the contract that would allow me to start working from the Netherlands, in case the work-permit / visa is delayed. I could easily transfer my work permit to the new employer. In the meanwhile, give company B the leaving notice of 3 months. When the work-permit arrives, I move to Switzerland and start working.

Option 2: Do not give leaving notice to company B until the work-permit is issued, which might take more time (3-6 months), or even worse, it might be a rejected. In this case, the start time for company A will be delayed by at least 3 months (3 months best case for visa + 3 months leaving notice).

Is one of the two options better? Ideally, option 1 would be perfect, given company A agrees. Or is there another way to handle a situation such as this?

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    I like both options you've outlined. They're both very well thought out. But frankly, we can't make that decision for you. There is a lot that can go wrong whichever option you take (or not take). Apr 10, 2022 at 20:58
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    Option 1 maximizes career progression but carries a greater risk to job security. Option 2 maximizes job security at the expense of potential missed opportunity to progress your career. You need to decide which is more important to you, job security or career progression.
    – numenor
    Apr 11, 2022 at 8:02
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    Thanks both for the comments. @numenor why do you feel that option 1 is more risky for job security? Given I start with the new job on the exact start date, but from the Netherlands?
    – anon
    Apr 11, 2022 at 8:52
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    @CClarke that is because asking for non-standard change to contracts is potentially risky. In my experience (I've signed 20+ contracts), clients are generally closed to this, simply for the reason that any change to a contract's wording involves another legal review round trip. I would consider rather than request a contractual change, instead try to secure a written agreement that they are accepting of you starting your new role in a remote capacity.
    – numenor
    Apr 11, 2022 at 10:17
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    As commenters have mentioned already both options have a trade-off. I always dealt with such situations in following manner: When you are still young, no family to take care off and no monthly mortage payments, then I'd go with the more risky option (good carrer-growth, low job-sec). If you have serious monthly financial commitments to take care of and other ppl such as family depend on a secure income, then I'd rather choose the safer options and skip on the carrer growth. Ideally you would find both in an oportunity, but that's quite rare..
    – iLuvLogix
    Apr 11, 2022 at 14:06

1 Answer 1

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Don't decide this in a vacuum. Have a conversation with company A. Tell them you're excited about the opportunity and eager to start, but you have the constraints that you need to give 3 months notice at your current job and you need the valid visa for Switzerland.

In the companies I've worked for, a predictable start date (ie, Option 1) for onboarding a new employee would be preferable from a team perspective, but whether or not the company can employ you legally from the Netherlands is a whole bunch of corporate paperwork and legal stuff that only they can know. You need to see if that's even an option.

As you say - if option 1 can't work, it's pretty much option 2. In that one, the company's immigration folks may also have some good ideas - for example, there may a point where they know the visa is close enough to guaranteed, and you can give notice then, condensing the time just a bit.

But you really need a conversation with them. The options are very country and company specific. Most companies hiring in this space are aware of the limits, though, and should be ready for this one - when I hired folks in Poland, it was very similar, and we just had to roll with the limitations of both the former employment country and the new country's immigration laws.

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