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Living in Switzerland

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Are you currently living in Switzerland as an expat? If you are looking for some help or advice, we offer you some informations and advice regarding living in Switzerland.

Social insurances

Switzerland offers a social security system in case of unemployement, disability and for retired people (to some extent). Health insurance is not provided by the sate, but each citizen (Swiss or foreigner) has the obligation to take a basic insurance (or LAMal) in an insurance company.

Purchasing a home

New in Switzerland? If you want to purchase a home (whether a house or an appartment), you should know how does mortgage work in the country. Do not hesitate to get in touch with an estate agency. They will be able to help you to find a new home and tell you about the financial solutions to finance it.

Living in Switzerland and visa

Depending on your nationality, you will need a visa to stay in Switzerland. In all cases, a working permit or a legitimation card is required if you want to live in Switzerland. The process of obtaining these documents are made ​​by the employer.

Road tolls

There is no road tolls in Switzerland. However, if you want to use the highways, you'll have to buy a vignette. This vignette is annual and costs 50 Chf.

Arriving in Switzerland

Generally, if you are an expat in Switzerland, your employer will help you with the paperwork. However, the first thing to do is to show you up in the registration office of your new municipality (look for office des habitants or office de la population in french).


As an expat living in Switzerland, you could find some useful URL's providing informations for you: Easy Expat: Information for Expatriates, Expat Guides will offers many useful links. Or more generally, if you are looking for an online community, you could try Englishforum, offering advising and a community for expats.


When living in Switzerland, you will find that the shop hours vary from one canton to another. Generally, the largest shops open from Monday to Saturday. The opening hours are from 9am (sometimes 10 am) to 6:30 or 7 pm. Shops close earlier on Saturday (depending on your canton). Some days (always depending on the canton, generally on Thursday of Friday ), the shops stay open until 9pm or 10pm.

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