Relocating to Switzerland

A few things to consider when moving to Switzerland

Relocating to Switzerland

Whether you are from the EU or from a Non EU/EFTA country, there are a few points to take into consideration before making the final decision to move to Switzerland.


Regardless of whether you have accepted a job where they only require you to speak English, you may still want to consider learning the language spoken in the canton that you have chosen to live in, or plan to move to a canton where they speak a language you are willing to learn.

Although, not entirely necessary for everyday life, if you plan on making Switzerland your long-term home, not knowing the language could lead to problems further down the road. Our clients are usually encouraged to learn the local lingo as soon as possible and to take courses to that effect. It is a large step towards becoming independent, as most correspondence from service providers and the like will be in one of the three languages used by the government (German, French or Italian).

Family matters

Most of our clients who are relocating to Switzerland with a long-term stay in mind, would certainly want to bring their families along. The first thing to consider is your children's education and to decide whether they should attend local or private schooling. They each have their pros and cons and it depends very much on the individual school. However, we recommend viewing the schools and getting as much information as possible before making a final decision.

Additionally, if you plan a long-term stay, it is recommended you check information concerning marriage contracts, collision laws, and the validity of wills under Swiss law.


Finding appropriate housing can prove to be quite a challenge in certain regions, so getting an early start is advantageous. Whether renting or buying, if you have trouble with the language, we recommend you get the contract translated along with some advice from an experienced professional so as to be completely informed before signing. Always get an on-site view of the property, and should this not be possible, find someone you trust do it for you. Should something seem strange, never hesitate to ask the vendor or landlord about it. This is going to be your home, so do not take any chances and make sure everything feels right to you.

Insurance options

Besides the mandatory health insurance, Switzerland offers a wealth of options. If you decide to use a broker or an agent, we always advise that you get a second opinion – remember they are receiving commissions and not all have your best interests at heart. It is also recommendable to have someone explain the terms in a way that will allow you to understand, so that you are prepared for the wealth of paperwork that will begin to flood your mailbox within a short period of your arrival.

Permits, visas, immigration issues

Before you plan the big move, make sure all permit and visa issues are taken care of. It may seem easier to arrive on a tourist visa and then change your status later on, however, this cannot be the case for those coming from non EU/EFTA countries. And do not forget, all paperwork you submit at the embassy or any first point will be relevant for several occasions such as permit renewals. Carefully make sure that all the information is correct, as changing it may prove to be difficult.

Enjoy the adventure

After having cleared the all administrative and legal paperwork and having sorted everything out, sit back, and enjoy your stay.

This article was submitted by Swissbenefits 

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