Moving to Switzerland from the UK is not a new trend. Switzerland attracts people from various countries with its picturesque landscapes, cleanliness, to-die-for chocolate. Additionally, the crime rate in the country is low, it’s a small country but with rich culture and organized people.
The country is also known for its high living standards and a stable economy. Many expats from Europe and other countries worldwide, choose Switzerland to move to for work and for a better life. Many UK citizens who are also moving to Switzerland from the UK are moving there for the same reasons.
Living in Switzerland
Switzerland has a population of 8.6 million people (live data taken from Worldmeters.info). This is almost the population of London. The country is divided into 26 cantons, each with its own laws and regulations. Furthermore, there are four official languages in the country and different languages spoken in different cantons.
The official languages are - German (used by more than 62% of the population), French (used by more than 20%), Italian (used by about 8%), and Romansh (used by 0.5%). So, a number one rule to move to Switzerland is to learn at least the language spoken in the canton that you’re moving to.
Moving to Switzerland from the UK
Switzerland isn’t a member of the European Union but is in the Schengen Area. This means that people from the UK can move to Switzerland easier than people from non-European countries, but there are a bit more things to take into account.
That being said, all of the contracts and agreements the UK and Switzerland have are valid until 31 December 2020. After that, things can change.
* Until the end of the year, people from the UK need only their valid passports and a residence permit (for residing in the country for over three months) to live and work in Switzerland. No visa is required.
How to move to Switzerland from UK?
Organizing an international move isn’t easy, it isn’t cheap, and it can’t be done overnight. You do not have to pay tax for moving house and personal belongings, your car or your pets. But you do need permits.
While in the UK, you have to organise your packing, your end of tenancy cleaning, storage, and removals or shipping to Switzerland. You must inform utility providers and local authorities that you’re relocating. You have to make sure your passport and other documents are valid.
Before moving to Switzerland, you must check all of the documents and steps required to be allowed to live and work there legally. You should also find a place to live in, and if possible, a job before moving. What is more, if you have a job offer for Switzerland, the company could assist you with the relocation process.
When you move to Switzerland, you will have one week to get a residence permit. A residence permit is issued by the Cantonal Migration Office in the carton you will be residing in. You will also have one year to change your driver’s license from the UK to a Swiss one. More info about driving in Switzerland.
Moving pets to Switzerland
When you’re organizing your relocation, do not forget to do your research about pets. You should check the rules and regulations about transporting pets into the country. What vaccines they must have, a valid passport and other documents, if necessary. You can check some regulations and requirements for pets entering Switzerland here.
If you’re moving to Switzerland for three months or less, you can use your EHIC card. It’s the European Health Insurance Card which gives every person from the EU the rights of healthcare and medical treatment in any EU country.
But for a long-term residency, you will need to be included in the Swiss health care system. There are different insurances depending on your status - working, student, or elderly residents in Switzerland.
Opening a bank account in Switzerland
Opening a bank account in Switzerland isn’t hard. There’s usually at least one person speaking English in banks in bigger cities. It can also be done before you arrive there. You will need to provide the bank with authentication documents, and more.
There are national and cantonal banks. If your account is in a cantonal bank, you may be required to change banks if you move to another canton.
Working in Switzerland
The unemployment rate in the country is one of the world’s lowest ones. And the salaries are some of the highest in the world. But to start working in Switzerland, you will have to speak at least one of the languages.
If you can get a job offer before your relocation, the entire process will be much easier. If you’re moving first and then looking for a job, you should know that the Swiss have a great work culture and you should be up to their standards if you long a long-term secure job.
Living in the capital will always offer more job opportunities for expats than living in the countryside. But there are many beautiful places to live in Switzerland to choose from.
Deciding to move abroad is never an easy thing to do. We hope that this brief information collection will help you make your relocation more organized.
- Get your documents and passport in order before moving.
- Book a removals company or ship all your items.
- Learn the local language.
- Enjoy magnificent scenery.
While we cannot help you with transportation to Switzerland as it's not in the European Union, we can assist you with packing and end of tenancy cleaning.