Switzerland, the land of breathtaking Alps, precise watches and chocolate! If you are preparing to move to Switzerland, you are in for some exciting times.
However, to ensure that your move goes smoothly and you can quickly settle into your new adopted country, we have collected all the important information about moving to Switzerland for you in our guide. From the entry requirements to finding a flat and integrating into Swiss culture - here you can find out everything you need to know.
You can find information about the DACHSER & KOLB relocation service for your move to Switzerland here: REQUEST NOW
Moving to Switzerland: The most important facts about the country in one place
- 212 residents per km²
- Swiss franc as currency
- Capital city Bern
- Different languages according to canton
- German-speaking cantons: Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Glarus, Luzern, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Uri, Zug, Zürich
- French-speaking cantons: Genf, Jura, Neuenburg, Waadt
- German- & French-speaking cantons: Bern, Freiburg und Wallis
- Italian-speaking cantons: Tessin, Graubündes Misox, Calancatal, Bergell, Puschlav und die Gemeinde Bivio
- Known for the production of...
- ...cheese (over 450 different types of cheese)
- ...chocolate (annual consumption of 10kg per person, visits to chocolate factories as a popular pastime, tip: Lindt Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg on Lake Zurich)
- ...watches (well-known names from the Swiss watch industry: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Zenith, TAG Heuer, Swatch, Omega, Breitling and IWC
- 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Cultural heritage
- Historic center of Bern
- St. Johann Monastery in Val Müstair GR
- Abbey district of St. Gall
- Three castles, fortifications and city walls of Bellinzona
- Lavaux vineyard terraces
- Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina region
- La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, urban landscape watchmaking industry
- Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps
- Le Corbusier's architectural work, an outstanding contribution to the modern movement
- Natural heritage
- Swiss Alps, Jungfrau-Aletsch
- Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona
- Monte San Giorgio
- Ancient beech (primeval) forests in regions of Europe
- Cultural heritage
What you should bear in mind when moving to Switzerland
Before you make your move to Switzerland, there are a few points to consider. Since moving from Germany to Switzerland is a bit more special than moving to an EU country, we have prepared a few answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Organisation before the move
Planning a move to Switzerland requires careful preparation and gathering all the necessary documents to ensure a smooth transition. In this section, we give you an overview of the most important aspects and documents you should consider for your move to Switzerland. From checking document validity to finding a flat - we have summarised the most important points for you.
Check the validity and integrity of your documents
Before you start your move to Switzerland, it is important to ensure that your documents are valid and complete. This applies in particular to your passport, driving licence, birth certificate and other personal documents. Make sure that your documents have not expired and check whether you need copies to show them if necessary.
Translation of documents
In Switzerland, the official languages vary depending on the canton and municipality. If your documents are not in one of the official languages (German, French, Italian or Romansh), you may need to have them translated. This applies in particular to important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates or testimonials. It is advisable to do this in advance to avoid delays.
Proof of assurance
In order to enter Switzerland, you must provide proof that you can secure your livelihood. This can be done by an employment contract with a company based in Switzerland or by proving sufficient assets. In some cases, it may be necessary for your employer or a bank to issue a confirmation to prove your financial situation. Make sure you prepare these documents to avoid possible delays.
Documents for flat search
Wenn Sie eine Wohnung in der Schweiz suchen, ist es hilfreich, einige Dokumente zur Besichtigung mitzubringen. Dazu gehören Ihre Aufenthaltsbewilligung, Ihr Ausweis sowie Ihr Arbeitsvertrag. Diese Dokumente dienen als Nachweis Ihrer Identität, Ihres Aufenthaltsstatus und Ihrer finanziellen Stabilität. Durch die Bereitstellung dieser Informationen können Vermieter Ihre Anträge schneller bearbeiten und Sie haben eine bessere Chance, eine geeignete Wohnung zu finden.
Bevor Sie Ihren Umzug in die Schweiz antreten, nehmen Sie sich die Zeit, Ihre Dokumente gründlich zu überprüfen und sicherzustellen, dass Sie alles Nötige vorbereitet haben. Achten Sie auf die Gültigkeit und Vollständigkeit Ihrer Unterlagen, lassen Sie gegebenenfalls Dokumente übersetzen und informieren Sie sich über die Visabestimmungen. Vergessen Sie nicht, den Nachweis zur Sicherung Ihres Lebensunterhalts vorzubereiten und wichtige Dokumente für die Wohnungssuche mitzubringen. Eine sorgfältige Vorbereitung wird Ihnen helfen, Ihren Umzug in die Schweiz reibungslos zu gestalten und den Start in Ihrem neuen Zuhause zu erleichtern.
Applying for a visa
Depending on the country you are moving to Switzerland from, you may need a visa. Find out in good time about the visa regulations and the documents required for your specific case. Typically, a valid passport, biometric passport photos, proof of sufficient financial means and possibly other documents are required. It is advisable to contact the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country for precise information.
Finding solutions for banks and insurance companies
Inform your bank in advance of your move to Switzerland. This will ensure that all relevant account details and information are updated. This will help avoid any potential inconvenience or delays related to your bank account.
If you cannot be available in person during the move to Switzerland, it is advisable to give bank powers of attorney to trusted persons. This allows them to carry out banking transactions on your behalf and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Before you move to Switzerland, you should inform your health insurance company. This is important to ensure that you are adequately insured abroad. Ask your health insurance company about the options for health insurance abroad and clarify any questions in advance.
Check your insurance policies. Moving to Switzerland may also affect your existing insurance policies. Make sure you contact your insurance company and inform them about the move. Certain policies may need to be adjusted or new ones taken out to meet your needs in the new country.
Prepare your move to Switzerland: De-registration, freight forwarding & customs arrangements
To put the finishing touches to your move to Switzerland, we finally take care of the deregistration of the registration address, forwarding agent and customs.
- The first thing you should do immediately is to give notice of termination of your current residence. Furthermore, you must inform your local residents' registration office that you are moving from Germany to Switzerland.
- In addition to your banking and insurance matters, you must also report your move to the tax office, as there are a few special tax features in Switzerland. If you continue to receive income and assets from Germany and these are not taxed twice, there is a double taxation agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland. In addition, you must determine whether you are subject to limited or unlimited tax liability in Switzerland after your move. You must also deregister with the German tax office and register in Switzerland. Deregistration involves submitting a tax return for the year of the move and deregistering from various types of tax such as income tax and trade tax.
- Inform the family benefits office about your move to Switzerland. Inform the family benefits office if the move will bring about any changes in the family constellation, for example, through marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. Also check whether you are still entitled to child benefit when you move to Switzerland. The rules for child benefit entitlement may vary from country to country. Also submit all the necessary documents to the family benefits office. This includes registration certificates, proof of residence in Switzerland, marriage or birth certificates or other relevant documents.
- If your children or your partner's children together with your partner move from Germany to Switzerland, you should deregister them from all kindergartens and schools they currently attend.
- After you leave Germany, you must also inform the Social Security Office, the German pension insurance and the broadcasting contribution about your move to Switzerland.
- All current subscriptions that run to your current registration address must be cancelled and registered to the new registration address if required.
- As Switzerland is not a member of the EU, you have to pay special attention to the country's customs & import regulations. International removal companies like DACHSER & KOLB specialise in this and can take care of this part of the move for you.
- Many people do not want to give up the company of their beloved pet even after moving to Switzerland. Therefore, you should check whether you can take your pet with you without any problems or whether any vaccinations or even a quarantine is necessary for this.
- On the day of the move, you should find out the opening hours of the customs offices as well as the driving bans for trucks and the compulsory vignette.
Tasks after moving to Switzerland
Now you have completed the move to Switzerland, but that is not all. There are still a few tasks that you need to complete on site, after that you will have successfully completed your move from Germany to Switzerland.
The first task is to register with the authorities. This includes registering at the local residents' registration office or the relevant municipal administration. Don't forget to take important documents such as your passport, employment contract and any other documents.
Another important task is the re-registration of your driving licence. In Switzerland, it is necessary to exchange your German driving licence for a Swiss driving licence.
If you own a car and take it to Switzerland, you must register it in Switzerland and deregister it accordingly in Germany. Vehicle registration is done through the local road traffic office. Remember that the vehicle inspection and insurance requirements in Switzerland may differ from those in Germany.
To make your everyday life in Switzerland easier, you should also open a bank account. Contact a bank of your choice and bring all the necessary documents to speed up the process.
Setting up internet and telephone is another important step in your move to Switzerland. Find out about the different providers and their tariffs. Compare the available options to find the best service for your needs. Also keep track of the notice periods for your current internet and telephone contract in Germany.
Last but not least, you should check your insurance policies and adjust them if necessary. Inform your insurance company about your move and clarify whether your existing insurances are also valid in Switzerland. It may be necessary to take out new insurance policies to meet Swiss standards.
Frequently asked questions about moving to Switzerland
What does a move to Switzerland cost
It is not possible to say in general what a move to Switzerland costs, as this depends on the volume of the move. The more removal goods are to be transported, the larger or more transporters we need as a removal company, which in turn affects the price. In addition, the distance also plays an important role in calculating the transport price. With our moving cost calculator, you can easily calculate the price for your move to Switzerland online and receive your individual moving price.
Do I have to pay customs duty when moving to Switzerland?
As a customer, you only have to pay customs duty on your move to Switzerland if any of the required documents are missing. The required customs documents are the assessment application for removal goods, proof of residence in Switzerland in the form of a purchase or rental contract, proof of an employment contract in Switzerland, a deregistration certificate in Germany, a copy of all identity cards or passports of all parties involved, the power of attorney to carry out the move and an inventory list. Customs duty is only due if one of these documents is missing. However, these customs fees then act as a kind of deposit. You will get the fees back when you present them again. Or the removal goods are imported. This means that the removal goods have not been in your possession for longer than 6 months, e.g. new furniture.