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Old 11.08.2015, 13:42
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Need to know so much!

Hi, Quick introduction. I am currently living in Scotland with my husband and 3 children aged 8, 5 & 2.
We are increasingly fed up with the way this country is going and don't like the idea of bringing our kids up here anymore. We do live in a beautiful area in Scotland with a fantastic community, gorgeous beaches and countryside - we are happy for now.
However, as the government are busy setting up TTIP deals, selling licenses to Frack, selling off water, the NHS and fresh air if they get the chance; we can see that the future isn't going to be easy for the kids. Also, when we leave our lovely little bubble and go into the city and look around, I loose the will to live!
I look at teenagers in Britain, then look down at my young children. I want to pick them up and run....as far as possible from here!

Now, I am possibly being naive as my knowledge of Switzerland is limited hence the reason for joining this forum.
I have friends who own a ski apartment in Engleberg and they know Switzerland well. I go to Engleberg with my friends once a year during ski season so my view of Switzerland is obviously from an excited holiday maker on a girls ski weekend away or my friends opinions and knowledge; not my own.
There are so many aspects that appeal. The outdoor lifestyle. Children seem to be children for longer. It is so clean and beautiful and clearly people take pride in their areas. I love the people. They seem more natural and relaxed. I love the idea that each canton looks after their own areas and people get to vote on decisions effecting their own Canton. It's like they use common sense or something!
I even love the fact you pay a lot for your bin bags but pay for exactly what you bin - ok, that is a little bit pathetic but i am a huge fan of common sense and it is missing in Britain.
The plan is, to get a 3 month Visa and all of us come next summer or Summer of 2017 and rent some homes in different areas to learn more. Ideally ex pat areas where we can speak to people about moving to Switzerland from an ex pats point of view.
So finally, my first question is where are the best ex pat areas?

My second question and possibly this will be our down fall. My husband is a Joiner. He has a successful business and can also build hand made kitchens. He is successful here but I get the feeling that his line of work wouldn't be so desirable from an Swiss Emigration point of view. Would we get in to Switzerland with his occupation and the sale of our house? I think we would clear £450,000 - £500,000.
I am a stay at home mum and have been for 8 years. I have lost many, many brain cells!

Finally, where would be a good area for someone in his line of work?

If anyone could help us with any of those questions that would be great start. Especially if the answer is - not a chance. That would save a lot of further thought!
The emigration sites aren't that clear on who does and doesn't get in.
Thank you for reading what has now turned into War & Peace
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Old 11.08.2015, 14:23
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Re: Need to know so much!

You might wish to review the "Swiss Authorities Online" portal and links:

Working in Switzerland as a foreign national

https://www.ch.ch/en/work-switzerland-foreign-national/

Remember that non-highly skilled immigrants in most countries are at the bottom of the food chain.

Added:
Brits actually do very well in Zurich, even better than Swiss. A single, unmarried Brit in Zurich earns CHF 67'500, the highest of any nationality. Married Brits in Zurich also do very well with only French married couples earning more:

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/datenbl...-der-schweizer

This article shows where foreigners live in Zurich. Seefeld is popular with Brits:

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/datenbl...laender-wohnen

Last edited by Mullhollander; 11.08.2015 at 14:58.
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Old 11.08.2015, 15:08
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Re: Need to know so much!

Unsure, why Switzerland and not another country in the EU (while GB is still part of it )? I would rather go the easy way and not deal with high cost of living and immigration issues.
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Old 11.08.2015, 15:11
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Thank you Mullhollander for the links.

[@teriyake] Partly because I like the way Switzerland is run and the way of life in certain parts. It is beautiful and I have fallen in love with skiing there. I have said though that I am naive at the moment and I may be looking at it from a holiday makers point of view so you may have a point!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2015 at 23:19. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 11.08.2015, 15:40
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Re: Need to know so much!

Maybe you should read this book, and keep it as a reference, buy a recent edition. We pay for water here, & except for air, nothing is free.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...ng+switzerland

The downside to all the democracy is it is expensive, and nothing changes. There is room for every Swiss to add to the discussion, resulting in an often old fashioned attitude.

Your husband can easily get a job here, albeit he must speak the local lingo. This could be a major stumbling block, as to become fluent enough for safe working takes a few years!

Search for a Schreiner, http://www.jobs.ch/en/suche.php

Avoid Zurich and Geneva, they are full of bankers and everything is expensive. That leaves plenty of decent small cities, where you will no doubt be very happy, and all of them have English speaking clubs.
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Old 11.08.2015, 15:48
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Re: Need to know so much!

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Hi, Quick introduction. I am currently living in Scotland with my husband and 3 children aged 8, 5 & 2.
We are increasingly fed up with the way this country is going and don't like the idea of bringing our kids up here anymore. We do live in a beautiful area in Scotland with a fantastic community, gorgeous beaches and countryside - we are happy for now.
However, as the government are busy setting up TTIP deals, selling licenses to Frack, selling off water, the NHS and fresh air if they get the chance; we can see that the future isn't going to be easy for the kids. Also, when we leave our lovely little bubble and go into the city and look around, I loose the will to live!
I look at teenagers in Britain, then look down at my young children. I want to pick them up and run....as far as possible from here!

Now, I am possibly being naive as my knowledge of Switzerland is limited hence the reason for joining this forum.
I have friends who own a ski apartment in Engleberg and they know Switzerland well. I go to Engleberg with my friends once a year during ski season so my view of Switzerland is obviously from an excited holiday maker on a girls ski weekend away or my friends opinions and knowledge; not my own.
There are so many aspects that appeal. The outdoor lifestyle. Children seem to be children for longer. It is so clean and beautiful and clearly people take pride in their areas. I love the people. They seem more natural and relaxed. I love the idea that each canton looks after their own areas and people get to vote on decisions effecting their own Canton. It's like they use common sense or something!
I even love the fact you pay a lot for your bin bags but pay for exactly what you bin - ok, that is a little bit pathetic but i am a huge fan of common sense and it is missing in Britain.
The plan is, to get a 3 month Visa and all of us come next summer or Summer of 2017 and rent some homes in different areas to learn more. Ideally ex pat areas where we can speak to people about moving to Switzerland from an ex pats point of view.
So finally, my first question is where are the best ex pat areas?

My second question and possibly this will be our down fall. My husband is a Joiner. He has a successful business and can also build hand made kitchens. He is successful here but I get the feeling that his line of work wouldn't be so desirable from an Swiss Emigration point of view. Would we get in to Switzerland with his occupation and the sale of our house? I think we would clear £450,000 - £500,000.
I am a stay at home mum and have been for 8 years. I have lost many, many brain cells!

Finally, where would be a good area for someone in his line of work?

If anyone could help us with any of those questions that would be great start. Especially if the answer is - not a chance. That would save a lot of further thought!
The emigration sites aren't that clear on who does and doesn't get in.
Thank you for reading what has now turned into War & Peace
I suggest you read the complaints corner to see the reality of life here vs the rose-tinted holiday view.
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Old 11.08.2015, 16:03
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Re: Need to know so much!

You've got Nicola looking after EVERYONE now, what's there to worry about .

Seriously though, I think you've thought far too hard about your life in Scotland. In reality, does the politics of the country affect your life THAT much? You live in a very beautiful corner of the world...look at the number of French, German and SWISS tourists that go through each year.

Given the situation that you described, I think you'd find it hard to match the quality of life you have now here in Switzerland.
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Old 11.08.2015, 17:47
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Re: Need to know so much!

Welcome to the forum.

You don't need a visa/permit so long as you're not here for more than 90 days as a tourist. Only if longer than that do you need to register as being resident here.

It's not a question of whether you get in or not. At the moment EU nationals have the right to live/work here without restriction. BUT I think he would definitely need to acquire a good level of one of Switzerland's languages - German or French depending on where you decide to move to. He has the skills, but will also need to be able to communicate with work colleagues or clients if he wants to set up his own business here. And of course things like contracts, etc, will be in a Swiss language and not English. The kids shouldn't have too much trouble adjusting at their ages and the Swiss are well organised to provide additional support for the language learning side.

https://www.ch.ch/en/becoming-self-employed/

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu-gruenden...x.html?lang=en

Get the book Sbrinz linked to - very useful I got it before we moved - and also the ch.ch website that Mullhollander linked to. And read the various sticky threads in the different sections of the forum. And yes, follow Phil_MCR's suggestion and go through some of the threads in the Complaint section. Switzerland isn't for everyone, even if you have spent holidays here. Day to day living is very different.

Bear in mind that yes cantons may look after their areas, but only a few cantons even allow foreigners to vote at all - and if they do it's only to elect their local commune/gemeinde council - not anything else usually.

Also bear in mind that the Swiss recently voted to curb immigration from the EU. How that's going to work is still being sorted out, but the government must bring in restrictions by 2017.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/quotas-a...-deal/37877780
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Old 11.08.2015, 20:26
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Re: Need to know so much!

I will ask my neighbour for some info on the job prospects, he is a joiner/carpenter and he builds and installs custom kitchens
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Old 11.08.2015, 20:33
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Re: Need to know so much!

Thanks everyone. I will look into all of the links.
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Old 11.08.2015, 20:43
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Re: Need to know so much!

I left Scotland for pretty much the same reasons, although I lived in a crap area.. That will soon be three years ago and we love it, best move ever. From the proper seasons to the views over the lake and mountains to the kids being able to walk to school to the friendly village life to honesty boxes and help yourself to local wine... It's just hard to describe but better. We're not super rich but we have a far better lifestyle here.

But we're lucky, some people find it hard to even find a decent place to live, some have difficult neighbours and some can't get to grips with the many wonderful rules and regulations. I'm pretty employable too being working for a big bank. If you came here with 800k chf you could buy a pretty small but nice flat, but no garden i would guess so if you really wanted to buy similar to what i guess you have, you'd need to use it as part deposit and start working. Buying is not seen as such a "must do" as the UK, far from it.

I really don't know about working as a joiner other than i've seen plenty of small-adds for bespoke kitchens furniture and stuff, if you could make a living on that i'm not sure. There's loads of construction going on if husband can do that side of joinery - might be a road in.

Area wise - Nyon is the nearest town to me, close to Geneva too .. There is a huge expat community in both. Probably more in Nyon percentage wise.

Many things to think about, good luck!
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Old 11.08.2015, 21:20
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Re: Need to know so much!

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If you came here with 800k chf you could buy a pretty small but nice flat, but no garden i would guess so if you really wanted to buy similar to what i guess you have, you'd need to use it as part deposit and start working. Buying is not seen as such a "must do" as the UK, far from it.
While I agree buying is not the norm here you can get very good and reasonable size properties for well under 800k, depending on where you live in Switzerland. There are several in and around my commune for well under that price, including a farmhouse to renovate for only 250k if you like/want a project. We're not far from Fribourg with good access to two motorways, train services to Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Zurich, etc. I would not suggest buying straightaway though, you need to be sure you want to stay here long term before taking the plunge as unlike in the UK mortgages aren't usually paid off EVER! The tax advantage doesn't make it worth your while to do so.
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Old 11.08.2015, 21:32
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Re: Need to know so much!

the idea you have is a good one to try on a short term basis, however you always have a honeymoon period when you move to a new country. beware cost of living is extreme in Switzerland!






The Swiss immigration authorities are better than most and very helpful in explaining and helping you understand what is possible, it is time consuming to say the least. rule, form and a fee for everything
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Old 11.08.2015, 23:06
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Thanks John. I heard that buying wasn't always the way. Need to look into that too. We live in a country where property is everything but it isn't necessarily a good thing economically. That could crash at any time. My husband builds houses, extensions, huge renovations but can also make hand made furniture and kitchens. He loves his job and is very unsure of leaving a thriving business. He can't bare the thought of the kids growing up in this country though.

Swisscanmom that would be brilliant. Thank you

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2015 at 23:21. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 11.08.2015, 23:27
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Re: Need to know so much!

It can be a real shock when you move from a large home with land into maybe an apartment or house Yes, with your budget and in the right area you should be able to get quite a nice place but probably in the less populated areas.
Of course you should rent initially as living in CH is a lot different from the UK and some people just cannot stand certain aspects and can never adjust.

I am a great believer in following your dreams as there is nothing worse in life than looking back and thinking - why didn't we try.

Maybe you could rent your place out, come over, see how things work out and if your husband finds it hard to find work - at least you haven't burnt your bridges.

He could possibly pick up lots of work from EF
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Old 11.08.2015, 23:31
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Re: Need to know so much!

Funny, I am not far from North Berwick on holidays (actually in the Scottish Borders) right now and always thought North Berwick and East Lothian to be such a lovely area! (Especially the golf course the Glen)

Do try to get a lot of information as Switzerland is also a different country to live in than to go on holidays to, as is Scotland.

Good luck with your choice!
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Old 11.08.2015, 23:45
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Re: Need to know so much!

1. Your husband is unlikely find work in his field without very good French/German.

2. The Swiss may (regularly) vote on what happens in the country/canton... but you yourself will get no say at all.

3. Yes you have rose-tinted ski holiday goggles on... take them off!
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Old 12.08.2015, 10:31
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Re: Need to know so much!

Your message did strike a cord, because we left our fairly comfortable life in a big city in England 5 years ago, paid for house we loved, a great circle of friends...Why? For many reasons, including the ones you've stated: we gasped at the consumerism and debts that were pushed down your throat in every corner of society. We watched in horror at the sexualisation of pre-teens in the media then in reality, the litigation mentality copying that of the US, the binge drinking, the low priority given to Education by society at large, the increased level of violence (especially in a big city), wondered how on Earth we could pay university fees for our two kids...then said: enough!


We never looked back, sold our house and enjoyed watching our kids grow into multilingual individuals, better than their parents at skiing, sailing, windsurfing, taking the bus or tram on their own without fear for their safety...Not all is rosy in Switzerland, there is crime, especially in Geneva where we live, but it is minute in comparison to what we knew. Like someone said, there is a honeymoon period and after 3 or 4 years you tend to miss your friends and relatives, you forget all the bad "bits" of life back home, but you know there is no turning back and enjoy the quality of life that you would not get in many places in our jobs (teacher + accountant).


As for you and your family, I would advise to live not too far from a "big" city (this is Switzerland, where "big" is still quite "small"!), if only for your husband's job opportunities. Geneva is highly Anglophone and some families get by without any French, although it is not recommended if you are planning on staying. A reliable, English-speaking joiner would have been our top choice for the renovation of our home, had we had the opportunity, and I'm sure many expats would feel the same way.


From Geneva to Lausanne, you are always close to a "British" community, wherever you choose to live! Somewhere like Nyon would enable your husband to work in Geneva and Lausanne (watch traffic jams on the motorway, though.)


Do look at some website for accommodation like immoscout24.ch or immostreet.ch to get a feel for the cost of life.


All the best!
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Old 12.08.2015, 11:08
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Re: Need to know so much!

Don't forget a lot of the success stories from families are from those with very little kids. I would fear moving your eldest would be very difficult, the kids are streamed at eleven to determine their future career path, then you've got the language issue as well.

It is also not unheard of for 'foreign' kids to struggle to be accepted especially in the remoter villages you may be after.

I would strongly urge you to really research schoolling to see if it's something you are prepared to put your kids through before going any further. It's not a simple task, and I've seen a lot of misery over the years in both local & international schools.
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Old 12.08.2015, 12:08
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Re: Need to know so much!

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[@teriyake] Partly because I like the way Switzerland is run and the way of life in certain parts. It is beautiful and I have fallen in love with skiing there. I have said though that I am naive at the moment and I may be looking at it from a holiday makers point of view so you may have a point!
Go to (south-)western Austria then - you stay in EU and still keep the beatiful (and cheaper) skiing areas.
Life is good there too.
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