Are you relocating to Switzerland? It has become a popular choice amongst expats; it offers many employment opportunities and a high standard of living.
Once you have come to terms with the initial excitement of moving to another country, reality sets in. There are so many things to arrange, even more so if you intend to move with your whole family.
One of the most important things to take care of, is finding a reputable company to transport your personal effects. There are so many removal companies offering their services it can be overwhelming and you should take care.
Moving household possessions to Europe is not like moving in the UK.
Removals to Switzerland is a completely different process. It involves export packing, transportation by road through foreign borders, export documentation, customs and the observance of local regulations and procedures at destination. But that’s all in a day’s work for White & Company.
With over a century and a half of experience in moving families across the world, we will take care of all the details and help you achieve a stress-free move.
It’s good to know that additionally, White & Company are founder members of the industry regulators BAR, FIDI and Omni. This means you can rest assured that your precious belongings will be handled with care and respect from door to door. White & Company your first choice!
Why Move to Switzerland?
The country is certainly among the best in the world when it comes to beautiful scenery. Boasting lakes, mountains and stunning countryside. One of the striking aspects of living in Switzerland is the closeness with nature. Basically, within 30 miles you can go from a city centre like Zürich or Geneva to the middle of the countryside or to a top of a mountain.
Zurich is the capital and the German-speaking part of Switzerland, but you’ll find most people speak English.
Geographically, Switzerland has three areas: The Alps, the Central Plateau (the “middle land”), and the Jura. If you are considering relocating to Switzerland, you should be aware that these different regions as they can be subject to very different weather conditions.
The way things are organized in Switzerland helps its residents to have a better work/home life balance. You start your days earlier than in other countries, but you can finish your work early as well. This leaves more personal time for socialising, keeping fit or to do the things you would normally have to leave to the weekends due to lack of time.
Coupled with the fact that although the cost of living in the country is high, so are the wages, Switzerland has never been more appealing to expats as it is today.
Imported Prohibited Goods
Switzerland has very strict importation rules. You are probably aware that there are certain prohibited items which you will not be able to import. The type and amount of goods you are bringing into the country is also important.
All goods that are being imported must have been purchased and in use for at least six months prior to dispatch. If the customs authorities spot any articles they think may be recently purchased, they may request further documents as evidence for exemption of charge. Other items which are prohibited and would be of interest to customs are:
Meat, fruit, vegetables, plants
Wood, bricks, cement, rocks, soil
Products originating from endangered species (such as ivory, crocodile leather, etc.
Dangerous goods/chemicals (corrosive, explosive, flammable, acid) such as aerosol sprays, paint
This is not a definitive list of restricted/prohibited items. There are some very helpful websites which are worth visiting before your effects are packed and ready to despatch to Switzerland. Checking what you can and cannot import will save you hassle and money. Here are some worthwhile websites to visit:
Non-EU Citizens now require authorisation to become the owner of a house or land in Switzerland.
To find out more about buying home in Switzerland visit the Swiss Governments website.
The country is one of a growing number in Europe where the vast majority of the population choose to rent a home rather than buy.
House prices are extremely expensive and purchasing a home is a competitive business. There is always a limited number of properties available at any one time.
Expats are encouraged to negotiate some housing provision into their employment contract if possible.
The usual type of home in Switzerland is an apartment, especially in cities like Geneva or Zurich. Here you can expect to pay approximately Fr 16,966 (£14,943) per square metre for a 1 bedroomed apartment. To rent a similar property the cost is approximately Fr 1903 (£1677) per month.
The following sites has a selection of properties for sale or rent:
Swiss public schools generally have a good reputation, the international and private schools are excellent. Public schools are free, and children can be taught in French, German, Italian or Romansch.
Expats, particularly those who only intend to stay in Switzerland for the short-term, usually choose an international school. These offer either a British curriculum or the International Baccalaureate (IB).
The following sites offer some information regarding education in Switzerland for UK expats:
Working in Switzerland & Visa Requirements
Switzerland welcomes large numbers of immigrants annually.
Non-EU citizens can move to Switzerland by starting a business or by applying for a work visa.
The types of residence permits issued by the Swiss authorities depend on immigration reasons which is why a foreign nationals must pay attention to this aspect.
To stay in Switzerland for more than three months, regardless of nationality, you must apply for a Swiss residency visa.
Anyone wishing to apply for a Swiss resident permit should first obtain permanent residency by obtaining a C permit.
If you wish to apply for residency. You must also register at your local town hall within 8 days of your arrival in the country.
The immigration rules for self-employed people are different to those who will be employed by a Swiss company. It is best to check that you have the correct information and requirements by visiting the following web site:
Public transport – Regardless of its mountainous terrain, expats living in Switzerland will benefit from excellent transport connections by road, tram and rail. The Swiss Federal Railways transport more than 350 million passengers each year.
Trains are clean, modern and almost always on time. Plus, considering the excellent service costs are reasonable. A monthly pass will cost in the region of £90. Much less than you would pay in London.
Driving – If you choose to drive in Switzerland you will drive on the right-hand side. You can enjoy extensive and well-maintained road networks, complemented by tunnels and mountain passes.
It would be wise to purchase a vignette before entering Switzerland by car. A vignette is needed when using the motorways. It is a small sticker, which is attached to the windscreen and shows that the annual motorway toll of Fr 50 (£44) has been paid.
You will need to have a valid UK driver licence
Wear a seatbelt at all times
Wear a crash helmet if riding a motorcycle
Motor vehicles (cars, lorries and vans, coaches) and motorcycles, must have their passing-lights or daytime running lights, switched on during the day.
A warning triangle is compulsory for all motor vehicles. Winter tyres are needed if you’re driving between November and March.
Before you arrive, you must familiarise yourself with Switzerland’s driving laws. Simply visit the following web sites for further information:
Switzerland is not part of the European Union (EU). It retains its own monetary system. The official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF), which is divided into 100 rappen (German) or centimes (French).
All major credit cards can be used in Switzerland, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely.
Shipping My Effects to Switzerland
The whole moving experience can be incredibly stressful, especially so when relocating abroad. White & Company, with its 151 years of experience in the removal industry, can help make the process a lot less traumatic.
White & Company move thousands of families around the globe each year and have branches all over the UK. We can arrange a free no obligation home or virtual survey.
Our qualified surveyor will be able to answer any of the questions and concerns you may have and offer advice where necessary.
The purpose of the survey is to determine the volume of effects you will be shipping. The cost of shipment is based on the space your effects will take up in the container. Following the visit, you will receive a written quotation.
Healthcare provision in Switzerland is second to none. It is held up as a global model of excellence, with among the highest amount of healthcare expenditure in the world after the US.
Swiss healthcare combines subsidised public and private and totally private healthcare systems to create an extensive network of highly qualified healthcare professionals. The countries hospitals and clinics are equipped with the most up to date technologically advanced facilities to be found anywhere in the world.
However, unless your employer pays for your cover, as an expat there is a price to pay for this level of care and it does not come cheap.
Healthcare insurance is mandatory, and costs vary depending on how much or how little cover you need. As a guide, you will pay approximately 10% of your annual salary.
As there are different levels of insurance available, you will need to explore these options carefully before you arrive in Switzerland.
The following web sites may help you find the right insurance for your circumstances.
Contacting White & Company
For further information on our removals to Switzerland service, or any other international destination, contact our international office on 01489 858779. Alternatively complete the form below with your details and we will contact you.
Export Packing UK To Switzerland
You will want to know that during your door-to-door service, your possessions are treated with respect and care. Our experienced teams located across the UK will pack and prepare your valuable, fragile and bulky furniture ready for export.
We use a modern range of environmentally friendly, purpose-made packing materials and can pack everything for you prior to your move. All china and glassware will be wrapped in special paper and then packed in double-thickness cartons. Furniture can be wrapped in paper blankets for extra protection. Items requiring specialist care, such as antiques, can be packed in made-to-measure wooden crates.
Upon arrival at your residence in Switzerland, our removal team will place boxes and furniture in appropriate rooms as directed. They will unpack your belongings onto flat surfaces and dispose of all packing materials.
White & Company
Removals to Switzerland since 1871
We recommend a personal visit, or a virtual survey be undertaken by one of our Surveyors for all European moves so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume
Popular Places to Relocate in Switzerland