Switzerland has a population of around 7 million residents – nearly 2 millions of which are foreigners.
Yet, moving to Bern as an expat is never a simple matter, as you’ll have to deal with some legal and bureaucratic steps before arriving in the city.
Let’s see them in detail!
Moving to Switzerland: key requirements
1. Getting residence and work permit
Working in Bern means taking part in one of the most competitive economies worldwide, thanks to strong industry sectors like finance, tourism, health, and technology.
In order to work in Switzerland, you need a regular work permit and residence. The conditions for residing and working in the country involve several factors, such as your nationality, languages knowledge, work skills and experience.
- Citizens from EU/EFTA can stay in Switzerland without a visa up to three months while they look for a job;
- Workers from the third states – outside of the EU and EFTA – require a visa and an employment contract.
Yet, your work permit’s requirements really depend on the purpose and duration of your stay. So, we suggest you check in advance if you need a visa, by contacting the cantonal migration authorities.
2. Finding suitable accommodation
In addition, another step you’ll have to face out before your arrival is to look for accommodation.
As we’ve recently seen, this can be challenging because of the competitive real estate market in Switzerland. So, you’d have three solutions:
- Checking Bern’s online portals, such as Homegate, Comparis.ch, or ImmoScout24;
- Contacting a real estate agency if you are willing to face a higher expense;
- Relying on a microliving provider – such as City Pop – to easily book your first apartment online and visit it autonomously.
3. Dealing with the health insurance
What’s more, living in Bern means benefiting from one of the best private healthcare systems in the world.
So, just bear in mind that for the mandatory basic health insurance you will pay an insurance premium that’s up to 8% of your income. While, if you need further specific treatments, you have to pay a 10% collaboration quote and open additional policies.
4. Managing bank and taxes
Last but not least, you should be aware of the major Swiss taxes, such as:
- The unemployment insurance;
- The non-professional accident insurance;
- The occupational pension scheme.
The pension fund will be automatically deducted from your salary, while you’ll have to autonomously pay the other taxes. Yet, taxes are fairly low if compared to neighboring European countries – indeed, the maximum you can pay on income tax is 13%!
On the other side, opening a bank account in Switzerland is quite easy, since the country houses the best banks in the world. However, we suggest you asking the apply requirements to each specific bank.