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Advance Moves and our Agents and partners throughout Europe cover all Removals to Switzerland. If you are Moving to Switzerland from UK or Moving to Switzerland from any other European or Worldwide country, then you have come to the right place.
If you are planning a Move to Switzerland from UK then a read of the information below will provide you with all you need to know and will answer most questions on How to Move to Switzerland from the UK, or any other country?
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We can handle all aspects of your Removal especially if you are moving to Zurich from UK , as this is a popular destination which we run to regularly. Together with our Moving from UK to Switzerland service, we operate return loads to cover anyone moving from Switzerland to UK.
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As far as moving to Switzerland after Brexit is concerned, The UK-Swiss Citizens´ Rights Agreement will protect UK nationals resident in Switzerland at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. If you are in the scope of the Agreement, you will not need to take any special action to benefit from it. If you move to Switzerland, you must register at your local office of resident services (Einwohnerdienste or Centre du contrôle des habitants) within 14 days of arriving. If you stay and are employed for more than three months, you will need to apply for a residence permit with your local cantonal authority (Einwohnerdienste or Centre du contrôle des habitants).You should reapply for a new permit before your existing one expires. This applies whether you hold a short or long stay permit, or a frontier worker permit. There are no restrictions for those coming to Switzerland to work for less than 4 months. Use the yellow quick quote buttons at the top of the page to obtain an instant online quote to budget for your move to Switzerland after Brexit. For further information and updates on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, visit the British government information page on moving to Switzerland after Brexit. You may also want to visit The UK Governments information on the UK/Swiss Citizens rights after Brexit ,for further information also check out The Swiss Governments information on Departure and Registration for living and working in Switzerland .
Dreaming of Swiss chocolate, fine watches, the stunning Alps, and mouthwatering fondue? Why not consider a move to Switzerland? Moving to Switzerland has much to offer and provides a great intercultural experience – from discovering the countryside like the mountain resort of Zermatt, learning how Swiss people celebrate the Schweizer Nationalfeiertag, up to tasting Switzerland’s favorite dishes such as rösti. Moving to Switzerland from UK has become a popular choice among expats. After all, the country offers lots of opportunities as well as a high standard of living. Switzerland’s culture is characterized by diversity. With four national languages, this comes as no surprise. From the verdant Rhine Valley to icy glaciers: Switzerland is a small, but very diverse country — not only geographically. When you’re thinking of moving to Switzerland, the topic of safety may not be at the top of your list of things to worry about. Switzerland consistently ranks as one of the safest countries in the world.
Owing to Swiss neutrality, which has remained unchallenged since 1815, countless European intellectuals and artists chose exile in Switzerland during the political turbulences of the early 20th century. Did you know that one Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov, a.k.a. Lenin, was among them? Today, despite at times tight restrictions on foreigners moving to the country, Switzerland still attracts many expats from all over the world. Moving to Zurich being one of the most popular destinations.
You may need to apply for a visa or other permit if you want to visit, live, work or study in Switzerland. Immigration issues in Switzerland have been tense following a majority referendum to cap immigration from European Union (EU) countries, against the EU's freedom of movement policy. While the EU has not yet agreed to the caps, recent reports suggest Swiss diplomats are exploring a 'safeguard clause' that would let Switzerland cap immigration from the EU but once certain levels are filled. Check the latest ruling at the time of your application. To find out how to move to Switzerland from the UK, visit your embassy website and there you will find the relevant applications forms required for Visa applications.
Who needs a Swiss visa or permit?
Switzerland is not part of the EU but together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway forms the European Free trade Association (EFTA). This is united with the EU through the European Economic Area (EEA) to create a free market between all the countries of the EU and EFTA.
Switzerland is also one of 26 countries making up the ‘Schengen' area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. They have one common visa and no border controls between them, so any of these nationalities can travel freely to Switzerland.
Under the Freedom of Movement Act, almost all nationals from the countries in the EU or EFTA have the right to move to Switzerland, although they have to register to work and apply for residence permits for stays of over three months. There are some special rules for newer EU members, however, including Bulgarian, Romanian and Croatian citizens
Almost everyone else needs a visa to enter Switzerland and a Swiss residence permit to stay longer than three months – for whatever purpose – and authorisation to work.
Types of Swiss visas and requirements
The requirements to enter Switzerland depend on the reason for your visit – as a tourist, to work or study, or for family reunification – and how long you’re staying. For information about specific requirements for your situation, you can also contact your home country’s embassy or consulate in Switzerland.
Airport transit Swiss visa
Some foreign nationals do need to get an airport visa to enter Switzerland. Click here to find out if you need a Swiss transit visa.
Otherwise, most airline passengers in transit to their destination via a Swiss airport don’t need a Swiss visa but must have:
You are not allowed to leave the transit area and must make your onward journey within 48 hours of arriving in Switzerland.
Short-stay Swiss tourist visa (Swiss Schengen visa)
If you’re not from the EU or EFTA, and wish to come to Switzerland and stay for up to three months (but no more), make sure you first have a valid passport or travel ID document. This should have been issued within the last 10 years and have a minimum of three months to run after the end of your visit to Switzerland.
The Swiss tourist visa for staying less than 90 days/three months is the short-stay Schengen visa, which allows entry to the whole Schengen area, including Switzerland, for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. The Swiss Schengen visa is usually used for tourist purposes, business, taking part in sporting or cultural events or educational programmes. If you want to stay longer than this, you will need a long-term Swiss visa to enter the country.
Some non-EU citizens don’t need a visa to enter Switzerland under certain circumstances. For example Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and US citizens are exempt from the Swiss visa requirement unless they are coming to work for more than eight days or work in certain occupations. Citizens of Japan, Malaysia and Singapore don’t need a visa to enter Switzerland but have to submit the same documents as if they did, when they apply for their residence permit.
However, most other nationalities will need a Swiss tourist visa –unless you already have a long-term residence permit issued by another Schengen country, which is considered the equivalent of a visa. Although, these long-term residence permits do not give you the right to work in Switzerland. Temporary stay permits – permits L and B that are issued for periods of one year – are not considered the equivalent of a Swiss visa.
If you are employed by a business headquartered elsewhere in the EU/EFTA and the company sends you to Switzerland to work you can enter and stay in the country for up to 90 days but you should notify the authorities.
If you hold a Swiss B, C or L permit,you do not need a Schengen visa as long as you travel with a valid passport or travel ID document and your residence permit.
If you wish to work during the time you’re in Switzerland you will need a work permit (see below).
Long-term national Swiss visa
If you wish to stay in Switzerland for longer than 90 days/three months you have to apply for a national visa which will be subject to authorisation, for example, if you have a job to come to, are enrolled on a university course or have family in Switzerland. You will have to apply for a residence permit too.
Submitting your Swiss visa application
Whether you are applying for a short-stay Schengen visa or a national visa, you should submit your visa application to the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country.
You will also have to provide supporting documentation, such as:
You will also be required to present any other documents as requested by the embassy, depending on your personal situation and reason for coming to Switzerland, for example, you may be asked to provide a letter of invitation from an inviting employer or individual, setting out the contact details of both parties in one of Switzerland’s official languages. Students will be asked to show a certificate of enrolment from a recognised Swiss educational institution.
Swiss visa fees
Your embassy or consulate will be able to give you more information about specific requirements and fees (usually around EUR 60). Allow between six and eight weeks for your application to be processed.
Other Swiss visa requirements
If there is any concern about your financial resources you may be asked for a declaration of sponsorship, signed by the individual or company who has invited you to Switzerland, and confirmed by the local communal authority or cantonal migration office, whereby the company/individual agree to pay any unrecovered costs up to CHF 30,000 in exceptional circumstances.
Any foreign national who wants to stay longer than 90 days/three months in Switzerland also has to get a residence permit (see below).
On your arrival in Switzerland
You have 14 days after your arrival in Switzerland to register at your local Residents Registration Office and arrange to get your residence permit from the cantonal migration offices.
Many foreigners – especially highly skilled – successfully find work in Switzerland, with almost half of all executive jobs in Switzerland filled by foreigners. Switzerland is a very appealing place to come and work: average Swiss salaries, working conditions and Switzerland's standard of living are very high. But competition for Swiss jobs is fierce and opportunities are more limited for those coming from outside of the EU or EFTA (European Free Trade Association), as there are often quotas for jobs in Switzerland for foreigners, even for highly skilled, well-qualified specialists. However, finding a job in Switzerland is possible, including a small selection of jobs in Switzerland for English-speakers, especially in sectors where there are high shortages of skilled workers. In multicultural Switzerland, however, language is often key to finding work in Switzerland.
Switzerland may be a small country but it’s a nation with a highly skilled workforce (in hi-, micro- and bio-technology for example) and an important industrial nation, with half of all Swiss export revenue coming from mechanical/electrical engineering and the chemicals sector. It’s also one of the world’s major financial centres. So there are jobs for skilled workers in engineering and technology, pharmaceuticals, consulting, banking, insurance and IT, with financial analysts, business analysts and systems analysts in great demand. Engineering, for example, which experiences local shortages, is comprised of almost 40 percent of foreign workers.
Multi-national companies tend to be the major providers of jobs in Switzerland for foreigners and English speakers. Some of the world’s biggest multinationals are headquartered in Switzerland, including Nestlé, Novartis, Zurich Insurance, Roche, Credit Suisse, Adecco, Swiss Re and Glencore
Switzerland is not part of the EU but citizens from countries which are part of the EU or EFTA (European Free Trade Association) can come to Switzerland without a visa, move between cantons, look for work for up to three months and work without the need for a work permit – although if you’re planning to stay longer than three months you’ll need to register for a residence permit with the canton in which you’re living.
Switzerland has three main national languages: German-Swiss is the most widely spoken, especially in the centre and areas in the east; French is spoken in the west; and Italian in the south. While English is often spoken in the workplace, having some knowledge of these other languages will give you an advantage in the Swiss job market, as would being able to speak Russian or Mandarin.
The saturated Swiss rental markets in major cities means competition for Swiss rental properties is fierce, and that you need to act fast if you find a decent house to rent in Switzerland.
Renting is common in Switzerland with around 40% of people owning their own home, with around 60% of housing being rental homes. Rental rates are even higher in popular cities like Zurich, Basel and Geneva and somewhat lower in rural areas. As so many people of all ages and family situations rent, there are a broad range of property types available, from chic city-centre apartments to former farmhouses and even the odd château or stately home.
Property prices have been rising steadily, and a flood of newcomers to the larger cities means that it can be very hard to find a desirable property to buy or rent. The hardest hit areas are probably Zurich, Geneva and Basel, where only a tiny fraction of rental properties are available at any one time. As a result, competition for affordable housing is fierce, and tenants will typically have to apply for a property, providing almost as much information as if they were applying for a job.
On the plus side, Swiss apartments typically have communal parking and many have a green space, often with a playground, making them a very reasonable choice for families with children. Long-term tenancies are common, with some lasting 20 or even 50 years, which means that apartment buildings often have a similar sense of community to a suburban neighbourhood – although you will still have to deal with the Swiss reserve so don't expect to be invited in for coffee immediately.
Should you rent or buy in Switzerland?
Renting is usually the best way to start out in a new country, and Switzerland is no exception. While finding a property to rent may be a struggle, purchasing a property is usually even more complex.
Switzerland restricts the rights of some non-nationals to buy property. Property is expensive and a family home near Geneva or Zurich can easily top CHF 1 million (€800,000). The tax situation is favourable for people who own their own home but as properties can be slow to sell, taking a year or more even in popular areas, it is probably only worth the investment if you plan to stay for five years or more.
The Swiss healthcare system is globally known as an outstanding model, with among the highest amount of healthcare expenditure in the world after the US. Swiss healthcare combines public, subsidised private and totally private healthcare systems to create an extensive network of highly qualified doctors and Swiss hospitals, the best equipped medical facilities and no waiting lists – but it all comes at a price.
Switzerland's healthcare system derives a significant portion of funding from mandatory Swiss health insurance premiums (averaging around EUR 450 per month) and out-of-pocket payments, meaning there is no free healthcare in Switzerland. In line with the high cost of living in Switzerland, Swiss health insurance equals around 10 percent of the average Swiss salary.
The Swiss healthcare system is universal but it is administered by individual cantons. This means that everyone living in Switzerland must have basic health and accident insurance (Soziale Krankenversicherung / Assurance maladie / Assicurazione-Mallatie).
Unlike other European countries, the Swiss healthcare system is not tax-based or financed by employers but is paid for by the individual through contributions into Swiss health insurance schemes. In 2017, an adult pays an average of CHF 447 in Swiss health insurance premiums. In addition to paying monthly premiums to the insurer, you must also pay a contribution towards the cost of any medical consultations and treatments, up to a fixed amount.
Each family member must be insured individually. Babies are insured from birth but to continue cover, you must take out health insurance for your child within three months of the birth. Children don’t need to be insured by the same company as their parents. Once a child turns 18, they are officially responsible for their own health insurance payments.
If you are in Switzerland for less than three months, you may be exempt from the requirement for holding basic health insurance if you have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), your own private health insurance policy, travel insurance or a company healthcare plan – but check with your cantonal authorities to make sure.
After three months everyone must have organised cover with an authorised Swiss insurer, even if you have an international health insurance policy as these are not usually recognised in Switzerland. Some categories are exempt, however; a detailed explanation of conditions and costs is outlined in our guide to health insurance in Switzerland.
Many people top up the basic cover with supplementary private health insurance. Switzerland has one of the largest private healthcare sectors in the world, with good choice and competition.
A Swiss dentist is called Zahnärzte / Dentiste / Dentista and may work in either a private dental practice or public dental clinic. Most dental care is not covered by the basic health insurance and can be extremely expensive in Switzerland. Unless you’re covered by private insurance, it might be worth comparing extensive dental treatment on a trip back home.
Adults must pay for their own dental check-ups and treatment although treatment for problems caused by serious, unavoidable illness is covered by the basic Swiss health insurance.
Children’s teeth are checked free of charge annually by school dentists but parents must pay to treat dental decay, although some local authorities may subsidise the cost. Most people take out complementary insurance to cover dental costs.
If you have you are moving from UK to Switzerland, take enough time to choose your removal company. This is an important step not to be taken lightly. We can provide numerous quotes for you, whether you are looking at shipping to Switzerland from the UK, your car, or whether you looking to move to Switzerland all your household effects. Make a list of all the objects that you are looking to move, and these can be submitted in our online estimate form to provide a more accurate quotation. Specify to us what you will do yourself (dismantling furniture, packing dishes etc.). Dismantling effects can affect the volume and reduce the price of the quotation.
Regarding the estimate, several key points are to be considered such as:
Make an exhaustive inventory of your belongings so as to establish a value statement. The value statement is an important document that sets the compensation amount you could receive in case of loss or damage of your belongings.
Complete the declaration of value yourself by stating the overall value of your property and the value of certain particular precious items. Read carefully the terms and conditions of your contract to find out more about transportation and handling of precious objects. This statement is particularly important because without it, an estimate cannot be established, which will obviously affect your relocation and your organization.
Geographically, Switzerland can be divided into three areas: the Alps to the south, the Central Plateau (the “middle land”) to the center, which is the most densely populated region of the country, and the Jura Mountains to the north.
The different regions may be subject to quite different weather conditions: While Switzerland has a moderate continental climate, the southern regions experience warmer, more Mediterranean temperatures, as well as more precipitation compared to the rest of the country. The latter is due to the mountains, which disperse most of the rain clouds before they reach the northern regions. While snow and frost are common everywhere in winter, expats moving to Switzerland’s higher Alpine regions should be prepared for much lower temperatures.
Removals to the Alps
South of Bern and Luzern, and east of Lake Geneva, lies the grand Alpine heart of Switzerland, a massively impressive region of classic Swiss scenery – high peaks, sheer valleys and cool lakes – that makes for great summer hiking and world-class winter sports. The Bernese Oberland, centred on the Jungfrau Region, is the most accessible and touristed area, but beyond this first great wall of peaks is another even more daunting range on the Italian border in which the Matterhorn is the star attraction. Moving to the Alps offers many jobs based within the tourist industry.
The Swiss Alps may be known as a playground for the global elite, a winter wonderland famous for its world-class ski slopes and five-star luxury hotels. But the Alps are incredible all year-round, and even if you don’t arrive on a private jet in the middle of January, you can expect unparalleled levels of luxury and adventure that are as impressive as the region’s breathtaking peaks and valleys. Here, our insider’s guide to one of the most amazing places on earth.
This city is Switzerland’s main business destination, a true powerhouse and home to many international companies operating in the banking, art and media sector. Unsurprisingly, the cost of living is rather high and available housing is rare, particularly in the city center. if you are looking to move to Zurich and are a skilled worker, it is likely you will find job opportunities in the city.
On the upside, the city and capital of the region with the same name combines nightlife with cultural highlights and a beautiful historic old town. It offers an abundance of museums, art galleries, restaurants, clubs, and bars. Families and older expats tend to prefer living a bit outside of the city, though, where it is quieter und you can find more green spaces.
Of course, you are never far from the lake or the ski slopes and hiking trails if you rather enjoy spending a relaxed day outdoors. In that case, you should also visit the Rhine Falls, the biggest waterfall in Europe, which is only 45 minutes away from Zurich.
Fancy a move to Geneva, often referred to as the "world’s smallest metropolis”. Geneva is home to the European seat of the UNO and the International Red Cross headquarters, among many other international institutions, and boasts a much more multicultural atmosphere than Zurich. It is located in the French part of the country and its main attraction is the Jet d’Eau, a water fountain on the Lake Geneva with a water jet that reaches 140 meters into the air.
Culturally and professionally, Geneva has a lot to offer to expats. However, it is also one of the most expensive cities in Switzerland, mostly due to the high number of diplomats and politicians working there and the fact that the city is such a popular destination for expats and tourists alike. On the upside, connections to the rest of Europe, and the entire world in fact, are very good and the best ski resorts are easy to reach.
Are you looking for the stereotypical picture of little cabins with red geraniums in their window boxes? A move to Bern is the best city to find this typical Swiss experience. Although Bern is rather picturesque compared to Zurich and Geneva, as the country’s de facto capital, it is also an important destination in Switzerland. Located between the French and the German part of the country, it offers both access to the plateaus in the west and the mountains in the east.
All important political decisions are made in this city. Beyond that, however, Bern is the perfect place for those looking for a quieter existence, who would prefer a small-town feel to the urban brawl. This also means that a lot is within walking distance and you don’t necessarily need to plan in a long commute every day.
With about 100,000 inhabitants, Winterthur is the sixth largest city in Switzerland. It is located in the canton Zurich and is mainly popular as an education and culture hub, not least of all thanks to its 16 museums. Compared to the more obvious expats destinations, Winterthur is still a well-kept secret with much lower rental prices than Zurich or Bern, for instance. A move to Winterthur does not mean that you will be the only expat, of course. With 25% of the country’s population being foreigners, you’ll be in good company.
Winterthur itself has retained a small-town charm. Nestled between green hills, the city offers a beautiful historic old town as well as a busy nightlife. If the center is too busy for your taste, you can always retreat to the town’s quieter surroundings or visit the Rhine Falls, a mere 20-minute drive away.
A move to Lausanne is particularly popular with families with younger children. It is located along Lake Geneva, close to the mountains but smaller and quieter than Geneva, with a more approachable housing market. Another upside is that it is rather safe and has a very low crime rate. Lausanne is also a university town and offers a multicultural, relaxed feel with a high quality of life.
Removals to Basel
Basel is a university town and is often considered Switzerland’s cultural capital. Still, Basel is a rather small and cozy town, located in Switzerland’s northwest. Due to its location on the German and French border, there is a lot of industry and trade between these countries. Moreover, the Rhine not only offers great opportunities to relax and take walks along its shores but also plays a big role in import and export which attracts a lot of expats. That being said, the city is also worth a visit for its beautiful old town and its many museums. A move to Basel is more common amongst those who are looking for a slower pace of life.
The Italian-speaking region of Ticino is popular for its great weather and proximity to Italy. Indeed, Ticino embodies a bit of an Italian flair with piazzas and palm trees, even though the Alps are not far off. This is also where you’ll find Lago Maggiore and Lugano, another popular expat destination.
Lugano is considered the capital of the Italian-speaking part of the country. Due to the snowy winters and the hot summers, the town is also a favorite tourist destination. If you decide to Move to Ticinese, you can enjoy the Ticinese wine and atmosphere or just steal away to Milan which is just an hour away.
The canton of St. Gallen is rather small and its main economic sectors are agriculture, tourism, and pharmaceuticals. Its capital by the same name particularly attracts investors and the University of St. Gallen is a reason for many academics and students to move to the canton. Although it only has a population of about 500,000 inhabitants, almost 21% of them are foreigners. This means that expats moving to this northeastern part of Switzerland will be in good company.
In the north, the Canton borders on Lake Constance which it shares with Germany. Thus, it is not surprising that German is the official language in St. Gallen and if you fancy a move to St. Gallen a large percentage of the expats you will meet there are, in fact, German.
The region of Lucerne is located in Central Switzerland and not far from the Schöllenen Bridge that allows you to travel from north to south across the Gotthard range. If you want to explore this new home of yours, it is thus likely that you will pass through Lucerne, at the very least. Of course, the gateway to the Alps has even more to offer.
Winter sport enthusiasts will find 500 km of ski slopes, 8 km of sledging tracks, and 40 km of cross-country ski tracks right at their door step. For those who prefer a warmer climate, the town of Lucerne, the capital of the canton, as well as destinations at the foot of the Rigi are particularly balmy destinations in spring and fall due to the warm foehn wind. If it is an active lifestyle you are looking for then a move to Lucerne is maybe for you.