Steps and advice - before you leave
Prepare all your documents well in advance
- Check the validity of passports and identity cards for yourself and the members of your family. The best thing is to have them renewed, if needs be, before you leave.
- Check that you have a visa and/or residence permit, if you need one depending on your country of origin. If possible, ask your future employer to send you your work permit. If necessary, obtain a provisional residence permit from the Swiss authorities. All the information you need on entering Switzerland (in various languages).
- Bring all your personal documentation with you: marriage and birth certificates, medical certificates and files, driving licence, insurance policies and certificates, police record, vehicle documents, vaccination certificates for pets, etc.
Prepare a list of items to bring with you
- Check to see whether any special arrangements need to be made for any of these items, be it to take them out of your country of origin, take them through other territories or bring them in to Switzerland. For more details, refer to the section entitled "Customs formalities".
- Check whether the electrical appliances that you intend to bring with you are compatible with the power supply in Switzerland.
- Draw up a budget to cover the cost of moving the items that you wish to import, including any taxes or customs duties. This will help you see whether it is worth importing certain items, like an old car.
- Arrange for the removal and shipping of your belongings to Switzerland by professionals in your country of origin, and ensure that their shipping is insured, either by your contents insurance or by taking out a specific insurance policy. For a list of international relocation agencies also operating in Switzerland, visit Crown Relocations or the portal www.intlmovers.com.
- Consult professionals and/or your specific contacts for advice in their specialist areas regarding transferring abroad: solicitors, accountants, bankers, insurers, doctors, etc. In particular, you should clarify your tax status in your country of origin depending on the duration of your stay in Switzerland.
- Terminate all your subscriptions and notify all the necessary services of your change of address before moving (registration office, banks, insurers, telephone operators, schools, nurseries, electricity supplier, radio, television, newspapers, magazines, etc…)
- If needed, find an apartment or a house to rent in advance, locate a vehicle or prepare your insurance policies and telecommunications in Switzerland. The independent site www.comparis.ch, among others, has been set up to help you to compare and choose from the various offerings transparently, in several languages, with a specific page for people relocating to Switzerland.