Your reasons to emigrate will determine where you should move to

The situation in the country where the person wants to emigrate to must always be considered. In many cases, the question of which country (Switzerland or Austria) to go to is quickly answered: If you have received a specific job offer, it is clear where you will move to.

If you are are interested in emigration, you can choose whichever country suits you best. There are some advantages and disadvantages of moving to both Austria and Switzerland. German is spoken in both countries, so linguistic intergration is fairly easy. From a cultural point of view as well, both countries are Germanic. In Arab or Mediterranean countries, for example, integration would be more difficult.

Emigrating to Switzerland
Emigrating to Switzerland

Pros and cons of emigrating to Austria

Emigrating to Austria
Emigrating to Austria
  • Austria is within the EU, which is why emigration is greatly simplified. Germans can settle in Austria with just a certificate of registration.
  • As Austria is part of European politics, it also deals with EU issues on a daily basis. This simplifies integration in the country as similar political interests exist.
  • In terms of price, the country has similar living costs to Germany. No major shifts in lifestyle have to be made in this respect.


Pros and cons of emigrating to Switzerland

  • It is possible to earn more money in Switzerland. However, the cost of living is correspondingly higher, which provides some offset to income.
  • Since Switzerland is not in the EU, European issues are not covered in-depth in everyday politics in Switzerland.
  • German is spoken in the northern part of Switzerland, in Zurich for example. However, regional dialects such as Züridüütsch, Baseldüütsch, St.-Gallerdüütsch and Berndüütsch are spoken within the whole of German-speaking Switzerland. In other regions of Switzerland, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romansh are spoken. You should keep this in mind when deciding where to move to.

(However, learning Swiss German dialects is easy; just take a look at our website:

  • In order to be able to live in in Switzeland, you will need a residence permit that defines your status as a foreigner. Germans are granted international status for EU-27 or EFTA member states if they can prove that they have been employed in Switzerland for an unlimited period of time or for at least 365 days. This is required in order for you to be able to conduct legal transactions and open bank accounts in Switzerland.

Final recommendations

If you want to emigrate in order to earn more and improve your standard of living you will be better off moving to Switzerland than to Austria. An alternative would be to work in Switzerland as a cross-border communter from Germany. This keeps running costs such as rent, shopping etc. low. The only additional costs that must be borne in mind are transport costs and time to your workplace. These costs could be kept low by choosing a place of work relatively close to the border.
It would not be profitable to commute to Austria from Germany on a daily basis because the cost of living is lower than in Germany. Because of this reason it would be better to consider moving to the country.


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Emigration to Switzerland or Austria?
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