Welcome to Switzerland. Hopefully, you have found your dream apartment and are ready to move to Switzerland. Unfortunately, you can’t just pack up and go. The trip has to be well prepared and there is some paperwork waiting for you. To ensure everything runs smoothly, we have outlined everything you need to be aware of when moving to Switzerland.

A picture of a globe and a map of Switzerland with a moving truck

Customs when moving to Switzerland: Everything under control

First of all, the good news: all your personal belongings and household goods may be imported into Switzerland duty-free. This means that you do not have to pay anything extra to bring your so-called moving goods. All you have to do is prove that you have owned all the goods for at least six months and intend to continue using them yourself in Switzerland. However, everything must be declared to customs. Customs needs a detailed list of all items you are bringing with you. All goods including value and weight must be listed on an inventory list. You must also provide proof of your change of residence. For immigrants from EU and EFTA countries, it is sufficient to present either the new employment contract, a rental agreement or the deregistration confirmation in the country of departure. Furthermore, all immigrants must present a verification of their residence permit. The necessary forms can be obtained from the Swiss Confederation (Form 18.44 household effects). Customs clearance must then be carried out at a customs office for commercial goods during opening hours. This all sounds relatively complicated at first, but it’s not at all. If you move with a professional removal company, they will take care of all the formalities for you.

Moving to Switzerland with animals

Of course you can’t just leave your pets in your home country, they have to come with you too. Pets include companions such as dogs, cats, hamsters, birds and guinea pigs. As a rule, the same rules apply to pets as to household effects. Sounds a little unkind, but makes things a lot easier.

Larger animals may also be brought into Switzerland duty-free. For horses, however, you will need an equine passport and an import certificate. For any import of animals, whether horse or hamster, it is important that you comply with the Animal Welfare Act. If you own species protected animals, you must check the regulations individually with the customs authorities, as in this case, the process becomes more complicated.

Re-register your car and/or boat when moving to Switzerland

Importing your car or boat to Switzerland? Not a problem, you can import your vehicles into Switzerland duty-free. As with household goods, you must have owned your car or boat for at least six months and plan to continue using it in Switzerland. Bring the registration document and the sales contract to customs so they can verify the car belongs to you. Once you have arrived, register your car for a technical motor vehicle inspection at your new place of residence. If you plan to stay in Switzerland for more than one year, you also need a Swiss license plate and must have your driving license reissued within the first year.

The money thing

Generally, carrying large amounts of cash is always a security risk. If you enter Switzerland, a sum of 10,000 euros or more must be declared. To save yourself unnecessary stress, it is better to open a bank account with a Swiss bank abroad and transfer the desired amount there. To open a bank account in Switzerland you need a residence permit from the respective canton.

Become Swiss: Naturalization

It’s nice if you’re thinking about not only moving to Switzerland but also staying and obtaining Swiss citizenship. Of course, this cannot be done overnight – certain conditions must be met.

In general, a distinction is made between “facilitated” and “ordinary” naturalization. In order to get a facilitated naturalization, there is no way around the marriage of a Swiss citizen. That shouldn’t be a problem if love is the reason you’re moving to Switzerland anyway. But even then, certain criteria – such as the specific duration of residence in Switzerland – must be met.

Ordinary naturalization takes place through three instances. You must have lived in Switzerland for quite some time, at least 12 years. The requirements for naturalization vary from canton to canton and also depend on the place of residence. It is best to ask your canton or municipality.

How much does a move to Switzerland cost?

As already mentioned: With all the formalities involved in moving to Switzerland, it is best to have a removal company by your side. They know everything and you save yourself a lot of stress and paperwork. How much does a move to Switzerland with a professional removal company cost? This question is generally difficult to answer. The final price depends on where you relocate from and how much you want to bring with you. Our advice is to request quotes from international removal companies and compare prices. Make sure that the company you choose offers guarantees and insurance so that you are covered in case anything goes wrong.

Are you leaving Switzerland? Find all the steps to take before your departure according to your country of destination