MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN, ON THE ONE PART, THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE OF CANADA AND, ON THE OTHER PART, THE SWISS FEDERAL COUNCIL CONCERNING A YOUTH MOBILITY PROGRAM
THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE OF CANADA ("DFAIT") AND THE SWISS FEDERAL COUNCIL,
Desiring to promote close co-operation between the two countries; Desiring to encourage youth mobility, youth exchanges, co-operation and partnership between Switzerland and Canada, and to enhance excellence and competitiveness, particularly that of small and medium-sized businesses, in the two countries;
Desiring to give their young citizens opportunities to acquire professional or hands-on experience and to improve their knowledge of the languages, culture and society of the other country, and thus to promote mutual understanding between the two countries;
Convinced of the value of facilitating such youth mobility programs;
Have reached an understanding on the following provisions:
- For the purposes of this Memorandum of Understanding ("Memorandum"), citizens eligible to benefit from its application will have to:
- be Swiss or Canadian citizens and hold a valid Swiss or Canadian passport;
- reside in Switzerland or Canada at the time of application;
- be between the ages of 18 and 35 inclusively at the time of application and be either male or female;
- have graduated from a post-secondary institution and wish to obtain further training in their field under a pre-arranged contract of employment in support of their career development;
- be citizens who wish to complement their technical or professional training in their field under a pre-arranged contract of employment Their professional training must have tasted at least two years;
- be registered students of a Post-secondary institution in their home country and wish to complement their post-secondary studies through an internship under a pre-arranged contract of employment in the other country, particularly as part of an interinstitutional agreement;
- apply on an individual basis;
- not have already benefited from this Memorandum, subject to the provisions of paragraph 4;
- meet all requirements of Swiss and Canadian immigration laws and policies, including admissibility, not outlined in paragraphs (a) to (f) above.
- The Swiss Federal Office for Migration (FOM, represented in Canada by the Embassy of Switzerland) and DFAIT (represented by the Canadian Embassy in Switzerland) will be the authorities responsible for developing and implementing this Memorandum.
- The two responsible authorities will meet as needed to discuss the administration of this Memorandum in subsequent years and to review:
- the training and areas of specialization that are of interest to them respectively;
- the number of participants from the previous year;
- any other administrative provisions affecting the smooth operation of this Memorandum.
- In principle, the employment contract period will be for a maximum of twelve months but will not be less than four. In certain cases, the duration may be extended to eighteen months. Eligible participants may qualify up to two times under this Memorandum. However, there will have to be an interruption between the two stays and the total duration will not exceed eighteen months.
- Swiss citizens who have received from the Canadian diplomatic mission a letter of introduction indicating that they qualify under this Memorandum will receive, upon arrival in Canada and regardless of the employment situation, a valid work permit for the duration of the authorized stay.
- Canadian citizens who have received from the Swiss diplomatic or consular mission an entry and visitor's visa indicating that they qualify under this Memorandum will receive, upon arrival in Switzerland and regardless of the employment situation, an authorization for the employment period specified.
- Citizens who qualify under this Memorandum in the other country must, in principle, find work themselves. The authorities responsible for implementing this Memorandum may assist them using appropriate measures.
- Citizens who qualify under this Memorandum may accept work in any profession not subject to legal restrictions. If the profession is subject to specific authorization, the citizen will first have to seek that authorization from the competent authority.
- Upon completion of the contract of employment, and unless specifically authorized, beneficiaries under this Memorandum will not remain in the host country with the intention of finding work or pursuing any other academic or professional activity.
- Citizens from both countries who stay in the other country under this Memorandum will be required to comply with the laws in effect in the host country, in particular those dealing with the practice of regulated occupations.
- The laws and regulations of the host country relating to unemployment benefits, working conditions and wages apply. In the case of Canada, the laws and regulations relating to working conditions and wages primarily fall within the competence of the provinces and territories.
- Each citizen who qualifies under this Memorandum who will not be covered by an insurance package for medical and hospital expenses must either join a group insurance plan or obtain individual insurance coverage, whichever is customary for the business for which the youth will be working in the host country.
- The host country will facilitate, where possible under existing laws, the administrative procedures for the participants' entry and stay.
- The authorities responsible for implementing this Memorandum will encourage the relevant bodies in their respective countries to support the application of this Memorandum.
- The implementation of this Memorandum will be based upon reciprocity.
- The number of citizens benefiting from the application of this Memorandum will be counted from the entry into force of this Memorandum to the end of the current year, and then annually from January 1 to December 31.
- The responsible authorities may amend this Memorandum in writing through mutual consent
- This Memorandum will come into effect on the date of signing ad will be valid for one year.
- This Memorandum will then be extended by tacit renewal for each subsequent year, unless amended by mutual understanding or terminated by one of the responsible authorities giving three months' notice. The termination or suspension of this Memorandum will not affect the validity of visas and work permits that will already have been issued by Switzerland or Canada in accordance with this Memorandum at the time of termination or suspension.
- The Memorandum of Understanding between the Swiss Federal Office of the Industry of Arts and Trades and Work (OFIAMT) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) of Canada concerning a young workers exchange program, signed in Ottawa on December 5, 1979, will end on the day that this Memorandum comes into effect.
Signed in duplicate at Ottawa this 6th day of February 2007, in English and French, each version being equally valid.
THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN FAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE OF CANADA
FOR THE SWISS FEDERAL COUNCIL
[Swiss Embassy letterhead]
The Swiss Embassy presents its compliments to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and, referring to Note 48/2007 sent August 7, 2007 and to the Memorandum of Understanding signed February 6, 2007, between-among others the Swiss Federal Council and the Department concerning a Youth Mobility program, is honoured to present the following to the Department:
- The Government of Switzerland proposes amending article 4 of the Memorandum as follows, dispensing with the minimum stay: "In principle, the employment contract period shall be for a maximum of twelve months. In certain cases, the duration may be extended to eighteen months. Eligible candidates may qualify twice under this Memorandum. However, there must be an interruption between the two stays and the total duration must not exceed eighteen months."
Please indicate your approval of this amendment via a diplomatic note. Should this be the case, the amended Memorandum will enter into effect immediately.
The Swiss Embassy avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade the assurances of its highest consideration.
Ottawa, October 12, 2007
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ottawa