Things to do when moving to Switzerland – Get health insurance

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Things to do when moving to Switzerland

Switzerland, known for its exceptional quality of life, breathtaking outdoor experiences, safety, attractive salaries, and abundant career prospects, remains a highly sought-after destination for foreigners, despite its relatively high cost of living. If you’re among those considering a move to Switzerland, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the necessary information and legal procedures to ensure a smooth transition.

Applying for health insurance

While there may be a few exceptions, People planning to stay in Switzerland for more than 90 days are generally required to obtain health insurance. However, it’s important to note that you can only sign up for health insurance once you have applied for a residence permit. Even if you still need to obtain the permit, you can still apply for insurance by providing proof of your pending application.

Conduct thorough research on various insurance providers and choose a plan that aligns with your specific requirements. Once you arrive, make sure to register with a local healthcare provider to guarantee access to essential medical services.

Switzerland’s healthcare system is highly regarded and ranks among the top 10 systems worldwide. However, unlike healthcare systems in other European countries, the Swiss healthcare system is not funded through government taxes. Instead, individuals are responsible for paying for their healthcare individually.

Finding accommodation

Finding suitable accommodation can be one of the most challenging aspects for foreigners settling in Switzerland. To begin this process, conducting online research and seeking assistance from professional real estate agencies are recommended. Switzerland offers various housing options, including apartments, houses, and shared accommodations. Begin your search in advance, considering factors like location, budget, and proximity to schools or workplaces.

Renting is a prevalent practice among Swiss citizens, with nearly 60% of the population opting for it, including foreigners and residents. Homeowners, on the other hand, are typically found in rural areas. If renting is your preferred option, it’s important to act swiftly due to the high demand, particularly in major cities like Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Lausanne, where rental prices are typically higher.

If you’re considering purchasing a house, it’s worth noting that only Swiss citizens and individuals holding a Swiss permanent residency or Permit C are allowed to buy residential properties in the main cities of Switzerland. Others can only purchase properties in tourist areas and ski resorts.

Open a bank account

One of the most financially prudent decisions you can make when relocating to Switzerland is to open a bank account as soon as possible. Although it’s feasible to open an account before your arrival, doing so requires sending the necessary documents through the mail, which can be inconvenient. A simpler approach would be to visit a Swiss bank in person and open the account on the spot. The majority of banks in Switzerland have English-speaking staff, so language barriers shouldn’t be a concern.

Opening a Swiss bank account will simplify your financial transactions and provide access to local banking services. Compare different banks, their account features, and fees. Prepare the required documents, such as identification and proof of address, to complete the account opening process.

Learn the local language

Immersing yourself in the local language is a valuable endeavor when living in Switzerland. With multiple official languages—German, French, Italian, and Romansh—spoken across different regions, acquiring proficiency in the local language of your chosen area can greatly enrich your experience. Enrolling in language courses offered in your region or taking advantage of language-learning apps and online resources can be an excellent way to enhance your communication skills and connect with the local community on a deeper level.

By investing time and effort into learning the local language, you’ll be able to engage more comfortably with locals, make new friends, and navigate everyday situations with ease. Additionally, mastering the local language can also facilitate professional opportunities. Being able to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients, and potential employers in their native language showcases your commitment to integration and can enhance your career prospects.

Working in Switzerland

Moving to Switzerland offers numerous advantages, including attractive job opportunities and high salaries. However, securing employment in Switzerland requires obtaining a work permit. For citizens of EU-27/EFTA countries, a work permit is not necessary if the stay is limited to three months. However, if you plan to stay longer, a work permit becomes mandatory.

While the process of finding employment in Switzerland may seem daunting, social media platforms and online job portals can greatly simplify your job search. These platforms provide a convenient way to explore job listings and connect with potential employers. Job requirements vary depending on the specific position, but language proficiency is often a common requirement. Depending on the canton in which you intend to work, fluency in German, French, Italian, or even English may be expected.

By leveraging online resources and networking platforms, you can streamline your job-hunting process and increase your chances of finding suitable employment in Switzerland. Keep an eye on job listings, research the language requirements of your desired location, and showcase your skills and qualifications to secure a rewarding professional opportunity in the Swiss job market.

Understand the local customs and culture while also connecting with expat communities

Understanding the local customs and culture is key to integrating smoothly into the Swiss community and creating lasting connections. Swiss culture is known for its richness and diversity, encompassing unique customs and etiquette. By familiarizing yourself with local customs, social norms, and traditions, you will navigate social interactions with ease and demonstrate respect for the local way of life. This understanding will help you build strong relationships and foster a sense of belonging within the Swiss community.

In addition to understanding the local culture, connecting with expat communities is highly beneficial. Joining expat communities and social networks provides a valuable platform for networking, making friends, and seeking guidance from fellow expatriates who have already established themselves in Switzerland. By attending local events, meetups, and social gatherings organized by these communities, you will expand your social circle, embrace the multicultural environment, and find support from individuals who share similar experiences and challenges.