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Neu in der Schweiz - Einleben leicht gemacht November 02, 2018

Du bist neu in der Schweiz? Dann kannst du hier nachlesen, was es alles zu beachten gibt, wenn du frisch aus dem Ausland zugezogen bist.



Apply for a residence permit

First, you need a residence permit, which you apply for at the Office for Migration in your canton. There are four possibilities:

  • First of all, the short-term residence permit L. You will receive this permit if you are resident in Switzerland for less than one year.
  • The residence permit B. You can apply for this if you want to stay in Switzerland for a foreseeable period of time, for example for a course of study, an internship or a temporary job. After one year, the B permit must be renewed at the Office for Migration.
  • You will receive the C residence permit if you can present an open-ended employment contract. Residence permit C is valid for five years.
  • The fourth option is to marry someone with a Swiss passport. Then you can apply for facilitated naturalisation. But even then, certain criteria must be fulfilled, such as a certain period of residence in Switzerland.
  • You can apply for ordinary naturalisation after 12 years. The conditions for ordinary naturalisation vary from canton to canton. If you are interested in becoming a Swiss citizen in the long term, it is best to ask in your municipality.

Ask the Migration Office which residence condition you fulfil and which identity card you can use to apply for.




The registration is pending. Register in your new municipality and deregister in your old municipality. To register in a Swiss municipality, you will need the following documents:


  • Valid passport or identity card
  • Aliens card (if already available)
  • Passport photo (if no foreigner's identity card is available)
  • Tenancy agreement or residence permit
  • Proof of health insurance


Note that the new registration in a community is not for free and costs about 30-40 francs.

Check the website of your new community to see what is written there about the registration conditions.



The Compulsory Health Insurance Fund

In Switzerland, health insurance is compulsory. By law, every citizen living here must have health insurance. However, if you have health insurance abroad and can prove your insurance status, you can be exempted from compulsory health insurance in Switzerland for up to three years. You can find out more about this either from your local authority or from your cantonal compensation office.



Open an account and sign a mobile phone contract

If you plan to live in Switzerland for a longer period of time, you should open a bank account in Switzerland. First of all, choose a bank. The best way to open an account is to go to a branch and get advice there. Note that you need a residence permit to register a bank account.


The same applies to a new mobile phone contract or a new SIM card with a Swiss telephone provider. You will also need a residence permit for this.


With a residence permit, both banks and telephone providers want to prevent you from opening countless accounts and concluding contracts and then settling abroad. With a residence permit number, you can find yourself more quickly if you have outstanding bills and cross the border.



Social integration as well

So much for the paperwork. Because if you're new to Switzerland, you certainly want to get involved socially and make new friends. A tip that comes again and again from newcomers: get involved in social projects, join a club or try to find social connections via a hobby. Because you'll notice that polite distance is part and parcel of Swiss social interaction. But once you've made it into a circle of friends and won their hearts, you'll settle in quickly and probably never want to leave again.

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