Moving to Switzerland

A simple guide on moving to Switzerland.

Swiss cities consistently rank among the best in the world to live in. From beautiful architecture to safe streets and scenic nature, Switzerland shines with optimism and energy.

If you plan on moving to Switzerland, here’s how you do it.

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To move to Switzerland, you have to obtain the correct permit first

There are various permits, divided into two categories: nationals of EU-27/EFTA countries and third-country nationals.

To apply for a permit, you need to contact the Cantonal immigration and employment market authorities of the canton you want to move to.

But before you do that, make sure you meet all the requirements. Those requirements are based on your working status and nationality.

ch.ch: Easy answers about life in Switzerland

Everything about being an expat in Switzerland

Switzerland’s high quality of life and vast career opportunities make it the perfect place for expats.

On our expats in Switzerland page, you’ll find out what it’s like to move to and work in Switzerland. We’ve also included a checklist to help you determine if Switzerland is the right place for you.

Moving to Switzerland as an EU/EFTA national.

To stay longer than the permit-free 90 days period, just prove you have adequate accident and health insurance and the financial means to support yourself. If you’re a student, you also have to present your matriculation certificate to prove you’re enrolled at an educational institution.

If you fit the criteria, apply for a permit at the Cantonal immigration and employment market authorities. The permit will be valid for five years and automatically gets extended for another five as long as you meet the criteria. Students’ permits are valid for the duration of their studies.

Working in Switzerland: All you need to know

For many foreign workers, Switzerland is the ideal place to work and live in. The wages are attractive, unemployment is low and the labor laws are fair. Having a workforce in Switzerland is also beneficial for a company. Switzerland is a very productive country with the 2nd highest GDP per capita and 10th highest GDP in the world.

On our working in Switzerland page, you’ll learn what it’s like to work in Switzerland and how to find work here.

Moving to Switzerland as a non-EU/EFTA national.

Just as EU/EFTA nationals, you can apply for a permit at the Cantonal immigration and employment market authorities if you can prove you can support yourself financially and have adequate accident and health insurance.

If you’re a student, you also have to present:

  • a personal study plan indicating the goal of their studies.
  • proof of admission to a recognized educational institution (matriculation certificate).
  • curriculum vitae.
  • confirmation that they will leave Switzerland at the end of their studies.

For more information on how to move to Switzerland, visit the official website.

ch.ch: Easy answers about life in Switzerland
Podcast cover - Top researcher and entrepreneur: Hans-Florian Zeilhofer

A Bavarian’s moved to Switzerland

Hans-Florian Zeilhofer, surgeon, entrepreneur and Bavarian. He has lived and worked in Basel for 18 years. Has founded various startups and initiated many research projects in the high-tech sector. He particularly appreciates the short distances, the proximity to the border and the dynamic ecosystem.

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About Basel Area Business & Innovation

As the region’s innovation promotion agency, Basel Area Business & Innovation offers consultation and connections to help companies, entrepreneurs, and startups launch and grow innovative ventures. The DayOne Accelerator, as an example, has expanded its offerings and is supporting startups and companies that specialize in the fields of digital health prevention, diagnostics and treatment, no matter where they are located.

Furthermore, we provide introductions and help you build your network, we host events and workshops, and we help you get access to resources from funding to mentoring, accelerator programs, and collaborative workspaces.

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