Nothing can go wrong if you follow this checklist!

This is the first complete checklist for  emigration. We used it ourselves when we moved from Germany (Munich) to Switzerland (Zurich) and passed it on to other friends and members on learn-swissgerman.ch. Over the last three years, we have worked on this list for moving to Switzerland and update it every month. If you have any questions about the checklist, feel free to leave a comment.

I can hardly wait; I'm finally off to Switzerland!!!
I can hardly wait; I’m finally off to Switzerland!!!

Six months before moving

Create a budget plan. What are your future living costs? How much salary will you need to earn and how much will you have to put aside for rent?

Check your job application papers. Is your CV current? Do you have all references and certificates? You might have to take new photographs.

Look for a job.

Get your teeth checked and, if necessary, get dental work done. Dentists are very expensive in Switzerland and are not covered by health insurance.

Get a preventive checkup and make sure all your vaccinations are current.

Make sure you have your birth, marriage and other civil status documents.

Find out all about living in Switzerland:

  1. Learn Swiss German 
  2. Taxation in Switzerland
  3. What type of permit do I need for Switzerland?
  4. All you need to know about working in Switzerland
  5. The 26 cantons.

Two months before moving

Give in your resignation. Cancel all service contracts such as apartment rental; electricity; gas; TV; TV licence; fixed and mobile telephone lines; internet; household and liability insurance; car insurance and automobile association; other no longer relevant insurances; standing orders; magazine and newspaper subscriptions; and fitness club and other memberships. Check if your insurances are valid in Switzerland.

Check if your and your children’s ID cards, passport are still valid. If not, get new ones.

Keep your birth, marriage and other certificates on hand.

Contact international moving companies that specialise in transporting furniture to Switzerland.

Look for a new home. www.comparis.ch/immobilien  is a good site for house hunting. If you are not organising your move by yourself, get offers from moving companies.

Household. What will you take, what will you sell and what will you throw out? Start clearing out your household early.

Make sure that your pets’ vaccinations are up to date.

Keep or dissolve your bank accounts. If you decide to dissolve your accounts, find out how your bank will handle the money transfer.

One month before moving

Arrange for your post to be forwarded.

Arrange for a phone connection to be installed in your new home.

Get your whole family to undergo a medical checkup.

Get health insurance quotes.

Get quotes on all other necessary insurances.

Make a list of the household effects you will be bringing into the country. Swiss customs require an itemized list in table form.

If you have school aged children, find out which school, kindergarten or daycare centre (Kita) you need to register them with. Do not forget to deregister them from their old schools, kindergartens, etc.

If you are on regular medication, make sure you have a 1-2 month supply and find out about similar medication in Switzerland.

Find out about customs and importation into Switerland

Inform your friends and family of your new address.

Take language lessons!

Going away party!

One week before moving

Hand over your apartment.

If you are officially registered anywhere in your home country, make sure you deregister.

On the day of moving

Do I have all the documents I need? Possible confirmation of deregistration; ID card or passport; work contract; rental contract; driving licence; customs form and list of relocation goods?

Be careful of how much cash you have on you. In Germany, for instance, if you take more than 10,000 EUR out of the country, you must declare provenance. In Switzerland, if you bring in more than 10,000 CHF, you must register it with customs as well as declare provenance. It is much easier to arranger large transfers of money with your bank.

If you are entering Switzerland with relocation goods, you must enter during custom’s opening hours.

Once in Switzerland

Registering with your commune is obligatory in Switzerland. You must also apply for a permit. Both registration and application must be done within 14 days of arrival.

Open a bank account.

Take out new insurances: household, liability, car, etc.

Neue Versicherungen abschliessen: Hausrat, Haftpflicht, Kfz, etc.

Order phone and internet iconnections.

Register your radio and TV connections.

Change your car registration. You have 12 months to change the registration of a used car and just one month for a new car.

Exchange your foreign driving licence for a Swiss one.

Checklist and tips for your move to Switzerland
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