Really hoping someone might be able to give me some advise that could stop what was supposed to be a dream trip to Europe turning into a nightmare! My partner and I (both with NZ passports) arrived in Switzerland on Jan 11. He has an engineering Phd and we came to Switzerland as he was offered a 5-month contract position with a company in Neuchatel. He has applied for a work permit which is pending at the moment, but we don't envision any problems there as a colleague of his from NZ with exactly the same qualifications came over for the same length of time working in the same position with the same company with no issues getting a work permit.
Our issue is that my application for a residence permit has been denied because we aren't married. Our first mistake I guess was waiting until we got here to file the paperwork. As mentioned, his colleague did the exact same thing last year without any issues so we hadn't thought for a moment that we would have any problems. The only difference was he is married so of course his wife was granted a residence permit on that basis. The NZ consulate advise that usually defacto partners can usually be granted residents permits, but it looks like this varies from canton to canton and we are out of luck in Neuchatel.
The immigration office here tell me under no circumstances is this possible for me. Basically, I have to be out of Switzerland on April 10. We have been planning to stay in Switzerland until June, spend another couple of weeks travelling around Europe when my partner's work contract is finished and then have returns flight back to NZ in early July. We've already spent alot of money on train tickets and flights for upcoming trips, not to mention there's my partners work commitments, the lease we've signed on a apartment through to June, and on top of that we have family coming to visit in May who have spent a fortune on flights as well. Like I said, this is turning into a nightmare.
We were obviously a little naive in our preparations but certainly had no intentions of not doing everything by the book. Now I'm looking for any possible way to stick to our original plan/schedule without risking being refused reentry into Switzerland or being banned from the Shengen zone when we try to go home. We have flights booked to Rome, London, Dublin, Berlin, Greece and then had hoped to explore the Eastern Block for a couple of weeks before going home. All of this falls outside of my 90-day period. I'm being financially supported by my partner, and we came to do this trip as a experience together, so trying to find the money for me to disappear off to France alone for 90 days is not ideal. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!