Switzerland is one of the most beautiful and outstanding countries in Europe. Located at the heart of the Old Continent, Switzerland fascinates with bewitching natural beauty and the vibrant spirit of a modern country. It is not part of the European Union which means that relocation to the country is not as simple a process as it is in most of the European countries.
Then what attracts expats from all around the world to the land of the most delicious chocolate? A few of the things that make Switzerland a real magnet for young specialists from different walks of life are: the abundance of well-paid jobs in different industries, the low tax rates, the excellent banking system and stable economy, the long life expectancy and in general the high standard of living. Let’s add to this list the well-developed public transport and infrastructure and the top-notch educational system, and it becomes clear why so many people choose to relocate to Switzerland.
The country attracts mostly expats that have high paid jobs. Living in Switzerland is certainly costly with rents of a house in the suburbs of about CHF 5500 (around £3600) per month. If you decide to move to the country, the costs for house removals will be a small part of the budget for the whole relocation.
What is the procedure for relocation to Switzerland?
Since Switzerland is not part of the EU, people cannot just move to the country whenever they wish to look for a job and settle in. The first thing you need is a residence permit. It is the paper that gives you the permission to work in Switzerland. To obtain the residence permit, you should have an assured job position in the country prior to the relocation and settling in the new place. There are expatriates in Switzerland that don’t come to the country to work, but want to spend their retirement years in the beautiful Swiss towns and villages. In this case, expats should provide a proof that they have enough financial resources to live in the country for years ahead without relying on social benefits.
People moving to Switzerland should have a health insurance policy. Longer stay in the country (more than 90 days) requires a registration with the local cantonal migration office. After the period of three months working in Switzerland, you must apply for a residence permit with the local authorities in the cantonal where you live or you are planning to live. The needed documents that you should provide to the authorities include: ID, a passport photo, and a copy of your rental agreement. People who are employed should present their employment contract. Self-employed citizens should present their accounts. Health insurance is a must for everyone who lives in Switzerland.
What should you expect from your life in Switzerland as an expat?
Bewitching nature and the high standard of living along with the broad possibilities for development and working are three of the main things that make the country so attractive for expats from different walks of life. The low taxes are another advantage that can make you consider relocation to the country. However you should keep in mind that the Swiss tax system is complex and it often includes paying taxes to the Swiss federation, the local canton and additional communal, church taxes and etc.
Settling in Switzerland is not an easy process not only because of the high costs for rent and etc., but also because a lot of foreigners find it difficult to make friendships with local people and to become part of the community in the local towns and villages.