Moving to Switzerland: A Simple (But Complete) Guide

Switzerland is an attractive destination for most people looking for a better quality of life and new opportunities. It has been rated highly among the most stable and financially sound countries in Europe for many years. Though it’s not a member of the EU, Switzerland still welcomes many immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world.

Moving to Switzerland can be great if you can manage to get a work permit and a roof over your head. The opportunities are endless, healthcare and education are of the highest quality and the people are lovely. Here is a guide to planning and moving to Switzerland.

1)   Initial Stages- Before You Move

You are allowed to visit Switzerland for a maximum ninety days as a tourist after you which you will need to apply for residence if you’re outside the Schengen area.  Those within the Schengen are allowed free movement in the country but need to apply for a work permit if they plan to stay and work in the country.

You will need a valid passport and other relevant permits to apply for a work permit. Work permits usually take about two weeks to be issued. You will also need to register with your local commune i.e., town hall in Switzerland. That is as far as permits and visas go. You can opt to visit Switzerland as a tourist for a month or so to get a feel of the country, culture and available opportunities.

1)   Bringing Your Pets

Do you plan to tag your furry friends along? Switzerland is known for its strict laws on pets due to public health considerations and animal controls. You can only bring up to five pets into the country and only through the international airports in Zurich, Basel or Geneva. You need to know the following things about bringing pets to Switzerland:

  • You cannot bring more than five pets
  • All your dogs will need a microchip which is installed by the authorities or provided by the owner.
  • Puppies younger than three months must have their mom with them
  • You can’t bring dogs that have docked ears or tails
  • Some breeds such as the American Staffordshire, Boerboel, Bullmastiff and a few others are prohibited.

Finding A House in Switzerland

Most newcomers prefer to settle in one of the big cities in Switzerland. Houses in Zurich and Geneva can be expensive and hard to find for those new to the country. You can use a local company like cosmos values to help you find the perfect home in this country. Newcomers looking for long-term accommodation are advised to rent a house in the city. Don’t be tempted to buy property in Switzerland unless you can afford it.

2)   Education for Your Kids

Do you have kids? School is compulsory and is one of the top-rated systems in Europe. There are many international schools in the major cities in the country. Switzerland has four official languages used and taught in the schools; Romansh, German, French and Italian. Older children may need to learn one of the four, although most of the international schools also teach in English.

3)   Health Insurance

As with many other countries in Europe, those planning to stay in Switzerland for a period exceeding three months must have some form of health insurance. The basic coverage is not cheap but does not cover a lot of things; you may be required to pay for treatment or get comprehensive cover. Remember to pay your healthcare bills on time once received through the post.

4)   And Finally -Transportation and Public Transport

As expected, the public transport system in Switzerland is highly sophisticated. You can use the well-connected rail network, bus, or hire a car. The rail system in Switzerland connects almost all towns and cities. The Intergio is one of the most popular means of transport. You are allowed to apply for a driving license so long as you are above eighteen years old.

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