Moving to Switzerland
Geographically speaking, moving to Switzerland is a relatively short distance, but this does not make it any less daunting. It is therefore essential to choose a European removals company you can trust. Greens carry out frequent removals to Switzerland. We have been helping customers move to Switzerland including the cities of Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne, Bern, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Lugano, Winterthur, Thun, Olten-Zofingen, Biel/Bienne and Chur for over 40 years, and use this expertise to ensure that we fully explain all the options available to you, and help you to select the removals service that best suits your needs.
The Greens team are friendly, efficient and experienced removals professionals.
For all European removals we can either provide you with a dedicated service or we can offer a groupage service where your goods are consolidated with other consignments before delivery is arranged. Greens will professionally pack, load and transport your goods to your chosen destination. Even difficult items such as pianos, motorbikes, cars etc can be expertly packed and moved.
Removals to Switzerland : Dedicated Service
A dedicated service will mean that your possessions are packed into one of our lorries and transported directly to your new home where they will be delivered by our own experienced staff. This is the most direct and fastest type of removals to Switzerland service that we offer.
Removals to Switzerland : Groupage Service
A groupage or part load service can be taken by those with less than a full lorry. This removals service entails your effects being collected from your home, transported to our warehouse and then grouped with other items destined for the same area in order to share a lorry and transportation costs. Each customer's effects are itemised and inventoried to eliminate the possibility of mistakes. Storage is also available for part loads. Our groupage service will take longer than our dedicated service as it may take some time for a full load to be consolidated.
Please be aware that one of the worst problems our drivers face when delivering in Switzerland is gaining access to properties, particularly in rural areas where country lanes can be very narrow, or in Geneva and the major cities, where traffic and parking can cause difficulties. If you think there might be problems gaining access to your Swiss property it is best to warn us in advance, and we will work with you to find a solution. Discovering delivery problems when the truck arrives can cause delays and incur extra costs.
Moving to Switzerland : About Switzerland
Many people choose to move to Switzerland due to its high standard of living. Whilst it is not the cheapest place to live, the benefits of the beautiful landscapes, clean air and outdoors lifestyle outweigh the high cost of living.
Switzerland is a small but beautiful country known for its banking and high quality luxury goods. It is not currently part of the EU, which means that moving here can be slightly more complicated due to the Swiss bureaucracy. So moving to Switzerland required carefully planning and good preparation. A good removal company such as Greens Removals can assist you with all aspects of your European move, ensuring it is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Moving to Switzerland : Population
A fifth of the 7.4 million population of Switzerland are foreigners. It is a densely populated nation with an average of 183 people living there per square metre. The average age is on the rise as people live longer and have fewer children.
Moving to Switzerland : Climate
Despite its small size, geographically Switzerland isdiverse. This is reflected by the climate, which differs tremendously from one area to another. Depending on the region, or the time of year, the Swiss experience Siberian or Mediterranean conditions.
The three prominent geographical regions are the Jura, Plateau and the Alps. The Alps are important and act as barrier, which means the northern weather is often very different from that of the south. As a result, residents in the south experience milder winters than those in the north.
Rainfall varies from region to region. For instance, Stalden in Canton Valais has an average of 20 inches (52 cms) of precipitation annually. Just 25 miles away (40 km) the peaks around Monte Rosa experience some 156 inches (400 cm) of annual rainfall.
Moving to Switzerland : Religion
The majority of people in Switzerland are Roman Catholics (46.1 per cent) with 40 per cent Protestant. Other religions make up 13.9 per cent.
Moving to Switzerland : Languages
The most commonly spoken language is German (63.7 per cent): 17 out of 26 of the Cantons speak German.
In the west. The "Suisse Romande", are four French-speaking cantons: Jura, Geneva, Neuchatel and Vaud. Bern, Valais and Fribourg are bilingual cantons with both French and German spoken.
In Ticino and four southern valleys of Grisons, Italian is spoken.
A minority of the Swiss population (0.5 per cent) speak Rumantsch, a language with Latin roots. This is spoken in the trilingual canton of Graubunden, which is also German and Italian speaking.
With many foreigners in Switzerland, they have brought with them their own languages, with the largest foreign language group Serbian/Croatian speaking. (1.5 per cent). The 2000 census showed one per cent of the Swiss population are English-speaking.
Moving to Switzerland : Currency
Switzerland is not part of the European Union so the Swiss currency remains the Swiss Franc (abbreviated to CHF). However, many shop prices are also given in euros, so visitors can make an easy comparison. Some shops do accept euros but your change is mostly returned in Swiss Francs.
Moving to Switzerland : Cost of Living
The Swiss experience quite a high cost of living, with some products sold at prices considerably above the average than in EU member states. Private households also experience higher health insurance premiums. Most Swiss are tenants. As there are a shortage of flats on the market, especially in the towns, prices are quite high compared to other countries.
Moving to Switzerland : Visa
Citizens from the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA do not need a visa for a three month maximum stay.
Those who need to stay beyond the maximum time limit, or for other purposes, will need a visa which you can apply for at the Swiss embassy.
Moving to Switzerland : Employment
An agreement on the movement of people between Switzerland and the EU allows people to enter the country, stay and take up work.
Non EU staff can only be employed under certain conditions.
Those who want to work in Switzerland will need to produce the following documents:
A valid passport. A promise of a residence permit in order to take up work. This must be gained from the employer from the competent cantonal authority if a visa is compulsory: a visa allowing the holder to take up employment issued by the correct Swiss representation abroad. Employment contact.
Moving to Switzerland : Education
In Switzerland the educational system is categorised into four stages: preschool, primary, secondary I, secondary II, tertiary and adult education. Most children go to state-run schools, although there is also a private education system.
There is no federal minister of education in Switzerland. The Swiss educational system is decentralised, with the bulk of the decisions on primary and secondary schools taken at cantonal level. Most of the funding is provided by the cantons.
Each of the cantons has its own head of education. Each is a member of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, which plays an important role to discuss and co-ordinate educational policy. The cantons, however, retain their right of power over education.
At the pre-school stage, children have a right to one or two years of education, depending on the canton. Pupils must attend the second and third stages of the educational system which lasts for nine years. The age of which children start their primary school education varies by canton. The youngest is 6.
Moving to Switzerland : Health
All those who choose to settle in Switzerland must arrange their own health insurance cover within three months of arrival. You do not enter into a health insurance scheme via your employer. Instead you have to take up your own policy by contacting a health insurance provider.
Virtually all social insurance schemes in Switzerland are compulsory. Swiss law states people who are domiciled in Switzerland should have illness and accident insurance and must make provisions for after their retirement, as well as for invalidity and for survivors (such as widows, widowers and orphans). Employees must be insured against unemployment, as well as against occupational illnesses and accidents. They must make contributions to a second, occupational retirement, survivors and invalidity provision by way of a pension fund or an occupational pension scheme.
Many state or private insurance companies offer basic insurance. The contributions that you must pay (premiums) depend on the insurance, where you live or the type of insurance you have taken out. All insurers offer the same benefits, however. Out-patient as well as secondary medical treatment and prescription medicines are covered, but the insurance does not cover dental treatment. The insured person can choose their own doctor and pays a yearly fixed excess.
Moving to Switzerland : Weights and Measures
Switzerland uses the metric system.
Moving to Switzerland : Electricity
The Swiss voltage is 220 volts/50 hertz, single phase for appliances and electrical equipment of up to 2,200 watts. The voltage is 380 volts, three phase, for appliances such as washing machines and cookers, for example.
Electric points and plugs: universal plugs type C are used and three pin plugs (type J) for electrical appliances.