Moving to Switzerland
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. European removals is a completely different process involving 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 of experience of 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 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 despatch. 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
- pornographic material
- 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:
When it comes to buying property, EU nationals living in Switzerland with a valid residence permit and C Permit holders have the same rights as Swiss citizens. However, the vast majority of people choose to rent.
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 9,545–12,863(£7285 – £9,818) per square metre for a 1 bedroomed apartment. To rent a similar property the cost is approximately Fr 1970 (£1503) per month.
The following site 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 depending on where they live.
Expats, particularly those who only intend to stay in Switzerland for the short-term, usually choose an international school, which will 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
As a rule, if you are a British citizen or British subject with right of abode in the UK, you do not require a visa to enter Switzerland. A valid British passport must be held for entry to and exit from Switzerland as a resident and visitor.
There is no minimum passport validity requirement, but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your visit. You must also carry proof of identity at all times.
If you wish to apply for residency. You must 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. However, they are not always cheap. You can purchase monthly passes for use on all public transport for around Fr 85 (£63).
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 40 (£30) 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, 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.
International Currency Transfer – When you are relocating to a new country, making sure you get the best currency exchange rate possible is crucial. Moving large amounts of money, such as when you purchase a new home, could potentially increase your return substantially.
If you want to beat your banks rates and services, simply contact our trusted FX partners Frontierpay. Opening an account with them couldn’t be simpler and it is totally free of charge. You can compare their rates with your own bank and see how much you can save.
Visit Frontierpay’s web site today:
Shipping My Effects To Switzerland
The whole moving experience can be incredibly stressful, especially so when relocating abroad. White & Company, with its 145 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 survey and quotation. It will be carried out by one of our qualified surveyors, who is 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 averaging Fr 530 (£393) per month, or approximately 10% of the average Swiss salary. There are different levels of insurance and 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 service to Switzerland, 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
International Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all International moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Popular Places to Relocate in Switzerland
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.