How To Move To Switzerland Expat Guide

How To Move To Switzerland Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


Due to the education, job opportunities, healthcare system, and high quality of life, Switzerland has remained a popular destination for expat. Moving to this country is relatively easy for EU/EFTA citizens, who have no quota restrictions. This way, you’ll never regret moving to this country in today’s world.

Switzerland boasts a low crime rate, and the life expectancy is far better than any other country you can think of. It’s no wonder many celebrities such as Shania Twain, Phil Collins, and others have relocated to this country. That being said, the economy is stable, and the employers pay huge salaries.

However, the cost of living tends to be expensive. For expats, Switzerland is one of the most desirable locations globally due to its high standard of living. While Bern is the capital city, there are other cities like Zurich to explore. To the south, you’ll find Lugano while seeing some folks speaking French in the west.

Meanwhile, to become a citizen of Switzerland, you’ll need to have resided in the country for at least ten years. Also, while the process of moving your belongings can be easy, formalities and paperwork needed for successful migration can be quite challenging. But, not to worry, we’ve got everything you’ll need for relocation.

In this article, we will walk you through working in Switzerland, getting a driver’s license, and many more. Besides, we’ve compiled this guide to ensure your next relocation is safe, easy, and convenient. So, would you love to know more about moving to Switzerland? Read further to understand better.

How To Move To Switzerland Expat Guide

Visas and Citizenship Process

There are many kinds of Swiss visas, depending on your traveling purpose. Whether you’re planning to go on a visit, work or study and reside in the country, you’ll have to apply for a different Swiss Visa, accordingly. Without further ado, let’s quickly walk you through the Switzerland restrictions to Covid-19.

Switzerland Restrictions to Covid-19

Due to the covid-19 outbreak, Switzerland and the rest of the EU with Schengen area have developed entry ban on third-country nationals. In fact, travelers (from different countries) may have to fill a form, test for covid-19, or even self-isolate to ensure safe entry.

Besides, Switzerland has disclosed a list of low-risk countries. So, if you’re moving to this country for the first time, it would be better to know the Schengen area countries with low-risk infections. Some of these countries are; Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Iceland, and many others, to mention a few.

Requirements for a Swiss Schengen Visa Application

If you do need to apply for a Switzerland visa, then there are specific requirements you’ll need to meet and the documents to provide. Moreover, you should know that the visa requirements depend mainly on the purpose of travel. To apply for a Switzerland visa, you must have the following.

  • A completed online Switzerland application form
  • Two recent passport pictures that comply with the country’s photo requirements
  • Travel documents, including a valid passport
  • Medical insurance credentials that cover your stay in Switzerland
  • Proof of efficient financial status
  • Proof of civil status and accommodation in Switzerland
  • Evidence of paid Swiss Visa fee and proof of booked flight tickets

Healthcare Systems in Switzerland (2021)

It’s no doubt that the healthcare system in Switzerland is superb. Meanwhile, it’s not free, but you can enjoy a combination of public and fully private systems with minor charges. So, all individuals (emigrants or citizens) must take out a health and accident insurance policy when they are in the country.

Research also revealed that the country spent about 2.2% of its money on disease prevention and health promotion. Aside from that, they have a reputation for being outstanding, and many short-term visitors can choose international insurance package to cater to their healthcare costs during the short visitation.

Job Market in Switzerland

As mentioned earlier, the healthcare system in Switzerland is relatively low compared to other European countries and the rest of the world. From banking, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, to constructions and others, the benefits of working in this country cannot be overemphasized. Does that sound interesting?

Of course! Moving to Switzerland could be a life-changing option. But, have you ever wondered what to do to increase the chance of gaining employment? All you need is to learn how to speak the language of the canton as it is distinctly advantageous.

In addition, salaries are extremely high, and it’s worth considering the cost of living while relocating to this country. However, the typical requirements for working in Switzerland are a university degree, work experience, and skills. To apply for a job, you’ll need to have the following items.

●        Educational Qualifications – If you want to process your job application faster, you’ll need to present your original degrees certificate. This means that the eligibility for working in this country as a foreigner is high. Some expats even disclosed that a recruiter could help you through the process.

●        Employee’s CV – aside from your degree certificate, a CV is also essential while applying for a job in Switzerland. Besides, you’ll need to include references, a personal statement at the beginning of the CV, and a professional headshot.

Tips to Move to Switzerland

While the popular perception of Switzerland may be sweet, personal bank account, immigration process, and Swiss watches are somewhat different. This landlocked country between Germany, Austria, France, and Italy is home to numerous lakes and the high peaks of the Alps. Check out the tips below.

a.    Find a House

There’s no wrong place to live in Switzerland in today’s 21st century. So, you should find a house before you move to the country. Bern is a great choice for expat, and it also boasts a high percentage of English-speaking indigenes.

b.    Open a Bank Account

This may sound rather intriguing, but know that you’ll keep at least one Swiss bank account. This will enable you to draw local currency from ATMs and deposit your salary earnings in your account. So, before moving, start doing research and, if possible, open an account online to transfer some funds quickly.

c.    Switzerland Moving Strategy

Moving strategy is one thing you should figure out even before you submit your paperwork. In Switzerland, it’s best to engage an international moving company to help you. This is because; they’ll help you with the stress and pressure and the bureaucracy involved.

d.    Swiss Residence Permit

One of the first things to understand is that Swiss isn’t a member of the EU. However, it’s one of the countries that are making up the Schengen areas. They have visas in common and no border control. Also, to be approved for a residence permit, you’ll need to get a job that Swiss nationals cannot do.

Upon your arrival in Switzerland, you’ll have up to 14 days to register at the Residence registration office and arrange your residence permit. The immigration officers will check your profile and confirm whether you’ve been given employment while verifying your documents.

e.    Bringing Pet to the Country

If you’re planning to relocate with your pet, you’ll need to provide a vaccination certificate. Besides, the certificate will show that the pet has been vaccinated not more than 30 days before their entry into the country. Meanwhile, cats, dogs, and ferrets will have to be microchipped for identification means.

f.    Finding a Job in Switzerland (2021)

If you’re finding a job in Swiss, always know that the competition is fierce, and opportunities to getting a job are limited for those coming from countries outside the EU or EFTA (European Free Trade Association). More so, have it in mind that there are some selected jobs for skilled workers. Some of the jobs to look out for include; financial analysts, business analysts, engineering and technology, banking, and more.

g.    Learn the Country’s Language

Of course, Switzerland is split up into three different regions, which are; Italian, German, and French. This way, it’s crucial that you learn the local language that’d make your communication and integration so much easier. To start with, learn the German language, and you’ll definitely pick up Swiss German.

h.    Health Insurance Program

Generally speaking, some health insurance provides coverage when you relocate to another country. Even if your health insurance covers you in Switzerland, you’ll have to register in the residency office. Moreover, cantons in the country offer different health insurance programs to choose from.

i.    Indulge in Swiss Local Culture

Moving to Swiss for the first time can make you feel like a stranger. YES! It will definitely happen, but to enjoy your stay, you’ll need to indulge yourself in Swiss local culture. Thankfully, there are several ways to do this. For starters, you can try some fantastic Swiss recipe ideas, shop at a Swiss supermarket, and have a wonderful time with your neighborhood.

Interesting Facts about Switzerland

I’m sure we all know Switzerland as the country of chocolate, but we know you’ll have no idea of the fun fact listed in this article. Learn what makes Switzerland unique and explore the interesting facts to plan your relocation wisely. Some of these include their cultures, inventions, and more. Check to know better!

Has the Lowest Crime Rates

Amongst industrialized nations, Switzerland has one of the highest owners of guns. Surprisingly, they have the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries. Now, the reason for this enormous gun ownership had since existed during the country’s mandatory military service.

Innovative Country in 21st Century

As of 2018, Switzerland was ranked first for the eighth consecutive year as the most innovative country. In particular, the country is now one of the biggest and fast-growing ones in this twenty-first century. Although it’s very small, but it was ranked as one of the countries with a high quality of life.

Protection of Animals

It’s no doubt that the Swiss are genuine animal lovers, and different laws protect animals. A good example is that; some pet owners need to take different courses on how to look after their pets. Funny enough, you can go to restaurants with them, but you’ll need to win more than one social pet.

Home to World’s Longest Stair Case

Switzerland is home to one of the world’s longest staircases, with its 11,674 steps located on the train road in Niesen Mountain. It has a 3.4 km length staircase, and this may not even sound exaggerated to you, but it’s no doubt that you’ll climb precisely 1,669 meters. Also, the staircase isn’t open to the public.

Most Expensive Country to Live

The canton of Zurich is the most populous canton, with a population of around 400 thousand. Moreover, it has been chosen as the third most expensive city in the world. So, considering your relocation to Switzerland, you should prepare for the high cost of living in some of the country’s cities.

Lowest Unemployment Rate

Switzerland is one of the countries with the lowest unemployment rate. In 2020, the rate of unemployment in the country was just 2.7 percent. On the other hand, it gives workers the highest salary average in the world. So, be aware that Switzerland has a very high standard when it comes to job security.

Governed by Seven People

Switzerland doesn’t have a president, but seven people from elected top-rated parties govern it. On the flip side, it actually has a president that’s been elected by the seven people. So, every year, someone is chosen to serve as the president of the country.

Cons of Moving to Switzerland

With the Alps just outside your doorstep, you can enjoy the peak of life in Switzerland. However, while you’d love to enjoy the high salaries and good standard of living, you should understand that every country has its downsides. Without further ado, let’s quickly walk you through the cons of moving here.

Switzerland High Cost of Living

As research made it known that Switzerland is one of the most expensive places to live, its cost of living remains higher every day. In fact, this country is home to several most expensive cities, so moving from Canada to Switzerland may come as a shock to your wallet.

Difficult Renting Procedures

In Switzerland, renting can be difficult for an emigrant. While we’re still on the subject of rent, let’s quickly diversify to the process of getting an apartment in the country. Besides, you’ll be shocked to see more than 60 percent of the total Swiss population renting their homes instead of owning them.

This is because; it will be expensive to stay and buy an apartment in the country. Even when you find the apartment you’d love to buy with a little sum of money, there’d be competition for it. This way, you’ll be more likely to win if you have an agent. But, know that you’ll pay the agent for his service too.

National Public Holidays in Switzerland (2021)

It’s quite essential to know the national public holidays before planning to move to Switzerland. Meanwhile, this date may be modified as official changes are announced. So, let’s quickly go through the national public holidays in Switzerland as of 2021.

Date ObservedName of the HolidayDetailed Description
1st of JanuaryNew Year’s day celebrationCommon Swiss local holiday
14th of FebruaryValentine’s day CelebrationObservance holiday
1st of MarchRepublic Day CelebrationCommon Swiss local holiday
19th of MarchSaint Joseph’s Day celebrationCommon Swiss local holiday
23rd of June 30Jura Independence day  JubileeSwiss local holiday
22nd of SeptemberMauritius Day CelebrationSwiss local holiday
8th of DecemberImmaculate Conception DaySwiss common holiday

Aside from the date mentioned above, there are many other public holidays in Switzerland. For example, we have the Swiss national day, restoration day, federal fast Monday, June solstice, ascension day, Berchtold day, Pentecost day celebration, September Equinox, and many others, to mention a few.

5 Things I Knew Before Moving To Switzerland

As aforementioned, Switzerland has remained the best place in the world. It makes sense for most reasons, as said. While the country has a blend of many cultures and excellent opportunities to grow your career, I knew many things before moving to the country. Let me quickly walk you through my experience.

1.    Switzerland Has Four National Languages

Just like you’re doing right now, I did endless research to know what’s right before moving to Switzerland.  Now, I discovered that the country has four languages. They’re not a nation in the same way as Germany, Italy, and France because they have four different cantons with a high level of autonomy. As a result, the Swiss speak four languages, including Romansh, Italian, German, and French.

2.    Most Mountainous Place

If you’ve ever Love Mountain, Switzerland is the best place to go. I knew this right from the very first time my dad travels to Switzerland for work. This makes me feel that someday I’ll travel to the country. Fortunately, I’m still in Switzerland, and I’ve enjoyed different outdoor activities, including kayaking, fishing, hiking, and many more.

3.    Switzerland Isn’t As Expensive as Think

You’ve probably heard Switzerland is expensive, but make sure you compare the cost of living before moving. Even though it’s expensive than being rated, I’ve prepared myself to have enough money that catered for my daily needs. Also, the level of taxes you pay may depend on where you live. So, be wary of the blogs that give you false information about the country.

4.    Recycling System in Switzerland

Nobody will tell you about the waste disposal and recycling system in Switzerland. But here, we’ve revealed what you need to know as they have one of the highest rates of waste recycling in the world. Also, when you buy waste product bags in the market, the disposal cost is covered in the price.

5.    Get Essential Relocation Information

Switzerland is a land rock country that boasts about its abundance of treasures and natural resources. Despite the high cost of living, the country has proven to be the best expat destination in the world. Though the country is quite strict when it comes to immigration processes, you need to get essential information from the right source before you plan your relocation.

Understanding the Cost of Living in Switzerland

We’ve been emphasizing the average cost of living in Switzerland. At a glance, the prices are high, but you can still enjoy affordable accommodation and other outdoor activities in some major cities. Meanwhile, larger cities such as Zurich and Geneva are more expensive. Below is a detailed analysis.

Food in Switzerland

As a student in Switzerland, you may likely not enjoy going out to eat as the price may be extremely high. If you’re on a budget, it would be better to find reasonable (cheap) restaurants to eat at. A primary lunchtime menu, including a drink in the business district, is about CHF 26 while it’s 10 in other cities.

Accommodation in Switzerland (2021)

Finding an affordable place to stay in Switzerland can be quite challenging. Also, rooms in halls are usually limited, and they are most times subsidized for international students. If you want to live alone, you should know that renting an i-bedroom apartment outside the city may cost you nothing less than CHF 900.

Average Cost of Public Transportation

Transportation in Switzerland can be expensive, but there are different options to serve you better. Moreover, the country’s SBB app is a great way to access the public transit of your choice. Whether you travel by ship, bus, or cable car, you’ll definitely get to your destination without delay or disturbance. So, you should be expecting an average of CHF 100 per month for the cost of transportation in Switzerland.


Switzerland has long been an expat destination. With its high quality of life, living in this country is a plus when you have an employment opportunity. Do you still desire to relocate or move to Switzerland? Read this guide carefully, and understand several things needed to start your application process.  Would you love to receive more updates regarding Switzerland? Follow our platform for more updates.

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