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Moving to Switzerland from the US - Making CH Your New Home

Monday, August 28, 2023
River and small boats on the river in Zurich surrounded with neoclassical architecture

The neutral country of Switzerland is anything but average. There is a surplus of nature, culture, and a high quality of life. To zero people's surprise, many Americans are moving to Switzerland because of what it offers. You can be one of them too by using this handy, short guide to moving to Switzerland. We will even give you a service to use if you are planning on moving your company to Switzerland. However, you would want to do your own further research about the visas, and paperwork requirements. As well as to speak to a professional so that you know exactly what you need in terms of paperwork to get the process going smoothly.

Is it Worth Moving to Switzerland

Zurich from a bird’s-eye view during Christmas with lots of lights and busy traffic

The question of whether or not it is worth it for Americans to move to Switzerland depends on the individuals, obviously. You would have to weigh up the pros and cons of moving to Switzerland as you would with moving to any new country. You can learn more on moving to Zurich particularly and its benefits. With that in mind, here are the benefits of moving to Switzerland in the next few paragraphs.

Benefits of Moving to Switzerland

Swiss mountains covered in snow ready for winter skiing season

The pros of moving to Switzerland can outweigh the cons, certainly so if you have a form of employment in the country. The pros of relocating to Switzerland are:

  • Houses are of high quality with the bathrooms and kitchens being of a modern style
  • Apartments usually come with parking spaces
  • Houses and apartments are close to public transport systems
  • Switzerland is very pro outdoors living with a variety of nature to hike across, cycle through, and explore. Plus, there are also many slopes for skiing in the winter
  • There are many private and bilingual schools as well as international ones. Switzerland also has a high-quality education
  • Switzerland is also known to be a safe country. So much so that children can walk or take the bus to school by themselves. But caution is always advised
  • In Switzerland, unemployment is also low meaning that there can be a lot of work opportunities. But, it can be a challenge for foreigners due to the language
  • With that being said a lot of locals speak English
  • Medical health is excellent in the Swiss and everyone has to have healthcare insurance. Including babies before they reach three months old. Also, it is private health insurance

Cons of Moving to Switzerland

Swiss Alps surrounding a lake and greenery for nature lovers

Whenever there are pros, there are also cons of relocating to Switzerland that you should keep in mind. Such as:

  • There are strict housing rules that you would have to follow. So much so, that finding a house that is pet-friendly and has a private garden is not that easy to do
  • Apartments have a noise curfew and shared laundry facilities where residents have specific times to use it
  • While the education system is great, older children may have a challenge to grasp the language
  • Switzerland closes down on Sundays. Therefore, the only things that are open are gas stations as well as stores at train stations. It would be best to do all your shopping on Saturday
  • Health insurance can be on the costly side, but it is worth it

Guide to Moving to Switzerland

A man holding a briefcase looking at his watch to check the time

Moving to a new country regardless if it is across the seas or over the borderlines, visas are required. However, it would be a wise choice to do your own further research as well as to speak to a professional about the visas. And, to know what paperwork is required for your move to Switzerland

To break it down there is the Arbeitsbewilligung which is the work permit. This can lead to applying for residence so it is worthwhile getting. Plus, you would also want to apply for a job in Switzerland before making your move. It could make getting your visa easier.

There are three categories of an Arbeitsbewilligung:

  • Kurzaufenthaltsbewilligung - this type of visa is for short-term trips usually for people between the ages of 18 to 30 years old. They are usually people who are working as interns or on short-term assignments. This type of visa is valid for a year and a Schengen visa is not required.  
  • Aufenthaltsbewilligung - this is the most common one that foreigners apply for when moving to Switzerland for work reasons.
  • Niederlassungsbewilligung - this visa can only be applied for if you have already been living in Switzerland for a while. Speak to a professional to learn how long this "while" is since it may be subject to change. It is the settlement permit and once you get it, it is unlimited.

What to Do After You Move to Switzerland

Traditional Swiss cheese and charcuterie served with baguette, fruits and vegetables

When you arrive in Switzerland you would want to make sure that you have health insurance. You have to do so within the first three months of living in the country. Once you have this you then would want to make your way to your new local cantonal immigration or labor market authority. Here you would be able to get your residency permit to secure your place in the country.

Also, you would want to make a plan about opening a bank account to pay taxes, get your salary, etc. For this, you would need two forms of identification. Sometimes it can be more. You can research what you need to open a bank account before you make the move.

Plus, changing your driver's license over to a Swiss one can also be worthwhile. While the public transport in the Swiss is of high quality, having your own form of transportation could not hurt.

But, speak to a professional about everything before moving to Switzerland just so you can have everything in order by the time you land. 

To The Swiss with Shyft

An urban office space in the center of Bern in Switzerland

Moving to Switzerland is a long trip but the moving process does not have to be with the help of Shyft. You cannot control how long the flight will be or the miles to travel, but you can lessen the stress, and save money on the moving process. And, that is where Shyft, the world’s first tech-driven moving platform, can help you out. We organize the whole move for you and all you need to get started is to get in touch with us.

You can fill in the short form on our secure site. And, then you are required to download the free mobile app Shyft Next. It works on either Android or iOS devices. Likewise, you can skip the former and go to the latter. On Shyft Next you can also contact us to organize a meeting. This will be a video call done through the app. Furthermore, the time that this meeting takes place is at the time that you say. We will not call you before or after that time. Therefore, you can plan your schedule accordingly to fit into this meeting.

During this meeting you will speak to your Move Coach who is a real-life person who will guide you through the Shyft moving process. It is during this video chat that you can ask questions and get all the information that you need. Furthermore, it is also during this meeting that your Move Coach will create your inventory list without stepping foot into your current home. You just have to give them a virtual tour and we will do the rest.

When the meeting is done, which should take on average half an hour to an hour, your inventory list will be sent to you. The list is 95% accurate and you can make it 100% so. You can remove items, add stuff and leave notes. When you are done with your list you send it to your Move Coach.

Next Step of Your Long Distance Move

An image of the river with towers in Lucerne, Switzerland

When we get your 100% inventory list we will present it, along with only your moving details, to our secure moving board. This is where moving companies that do local to international moves gather to bid on moving projects, and yours will join the list. Furthermore, all the companies are Shyft-verified, have experience, as well as are licensed. We will target international moving companies who may know how to get through customs into Switzerland. 

Through this bidding process, we will collect three or more moving quotes. Each quote is from a different moving company, and all the quotes are fixed. So, what you see is what you pay even if you change your inventory list.

The quotes, as well as information about the moving companies, will be sent your way. You can contrast and compare on the app and pick the best mover for your trip. Then you will let us know your choice so that we can lock them down right away. Plus, if you have any questions or concerns you can reach out to us seven days a week. We are on call to you, to help you as much as we can. 

Furthermore, we also have a corporate moving service which is our Shyft Card. This is a secure platform where you can directly transfer your relocation funds to your employees. It is also here that you can check in how it is going and if more funds are needed. Find out more on our site and book your demo today if you are in the market for a company relocation.

Regardless, Shyft is here to help you get to the Swiss as smoothly as possible. We can save you time, and your money. Get in touch today and let Switzerland become your forever home without the stress of the moving process to make it so.  

Zurich, Switzerland from a bird’s-eye view with historical buildings and traditional houses on both sides of the river

Long Distance Move with Shyft