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Old 11.10.2015, 16:15
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Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Hi everyone, my name is Emma, I'm a French and English teacher living in Mexico City. I'm a French native speaker from Lille and I've been living/working in San Francisco California, Edmonton Canada and Mexico City for the past 12 years. I´m now the mother a daughter and my priority is her well-being. Yes, Mexico City is not a kid friendly place. Moving back to France seems out of the question, especially when it comes down to entrepreneurship. So, I've been thinking about moving to place like Geneva or Zurich. Zurich seems very business friendly, expats are open-minded and it seems like a good place to start a business. Actually I´m currently self-employed and I have the project to open a language school. I already know the drill, probably the Swiss administration and taxes may be challenging at first but I'm willing to learn.

Anyway, this is my introduction. Feel free to bother me anytime with your insights.

Emma
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Old 11.10.2015, 17:08
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Hi Emma

English and French are languages taught at every public school, both are compulsory.

You'll find many schools with competitive prices and good quality teachers for those languages in Zurich and frankly, all over Switzerland. Very popular and with very competitive fees is MIGROS Klubschule.

Be aware that child care and housing is costly here, there are lots of threads where you'll find information about prices, systems and availability.

I'm not sure how easy it'll be to open your own business, but there are maybe some threads about that on the forum, too.

Wish you luck.
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Old 11.10.2015, 17:12
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Hi Emma, welcome to EF. The "business & entrepreneur" subforum may be of interest to research the right place for you to settle down. All the best with your move and hope everything works out well.

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Hi everyone, my name is Emma, I'm a French and English teacher living in Mexico City. I'm a French native speaker from Lille and I've been living/working in San Francisco California, Edmonton Canada and Mexico City for the past 12 years. I´m now the mother a daughter and my priority is her well-being. Yes, Mexico City is not a kid friendly place. Moving back to France seems out of the question, especially when it comes down to entrepreneurship. So, I've been thinking about moving to place like Geneva or Zurich. Zurich seems very business friendly, expats are open-minded and it seems like a good place to start a business. Actually I´m currently self-employed and I have the project to open a language school. I already know the drill, probably the Swiss administration and taxes may be challenging at first but I'm willing to learn.

Anyway, this is my introduction. Feel free to bother me anytime with your insights.

Emma
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Old 11.10.2015, 20:46
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Have you thought about Bern or Basel as well? The Canton
of Bern also has French as an official language. Basel is, of course,
on the border to France.
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Old 11.10.2015, 21:12
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

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Have you thought about Bern or Basel as well? The Canton
of Bern also has French as an official language. Basel is, of course,
on the border to France.
Really? I know Bienne is dual language, but I've never heard anything other than German in Bern canton otherwise. Fribourg canton is dual French/German.

The question is Emma, what market are you thinking of aiming for? Because most young Swiss will learn French at school whatever part of Switzerland they're in. English too come to that. There are a lot of different language schools here from the Migros Klubschule that marischi mentioned to the Wall Street Institute. You may find the market quite competitive.
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Old 12.10.2015, 04:58
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Hi everyone,

I'm currently teaching to adults, specializing in Business English and French, I also give courses to prepare the French naturalization and I've been tutoring several students for the past several years. I have a MBA in international business and I love teaching and sales. I've discovered this passion in 2003 when I moved to the States.

I'm quite flexible and I can adapt to any market. I'm a good salesperson and I've been able to sale my services from Mexico to the whole world. Results are there and I'm quite confident that I can offer a good service even if the Swiss market is saturated. I currently have about ten students from Lausanne and Zurich (among many others) who've been complaining about French courses taken in traditional language schools. The approach is always the same and never natural. My method is natural and fast.

I've developed my own method, so far so good, results are great and students keep coming. I'm currently teaching French online to a group of Harvard students and I haven't had any complains.

My concern is not so much on the sales and financial level. I'm mostly concerned about the bureaucracy. I've heard that the administration can be a nightmare. My plan is to start a business and work as soon as possible. I just have to make sure that I can get the right permit to start my venture and not wasting time.

Thank you again for your advice and for your warm welcome, I really appreciate everything

Emma
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Old 12.10.2015, 08:23
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Well, these links may help.

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

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

What I'm not sure about is whether or not you'd need actual qualifications in teaching languages and if they'd have to recognised here. SERI would probably be the best place to start to check on that.

http://www.sbfi.admin.ch/diploma/025...x.html?lang=en

Another concern might be if you had/still have a US Green Card. Americans/Green Card holders aren't that welcome at the banks here since the US's FATCA law was brought into being so you may need to do some research on that. Getting an ordinary personal account would need you to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to pass the account info on to the IRS. Obtaining a business account is almost impossibe unless you have several thousand Swiss francs to start with. If you've never had a Green Card or gave it up properly using an I-407 form when you left the States then you life will be much easier here.
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Old 12.10.2015, 10:34
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

You advertise yourself quite well here on EF, I can see the smart salesperson. Then go for it! Since you are apparently teaching over skype et al., local clientèle seems not to be that important to you.

I'm having a small one-woman-business on the side, journalism, editing and writing. It is no bureaucracy at all for me,there is no VAT on my work because I create it, that makes it easy. But I'm a citizen and have no ties to the fat cat. Follow Medeas useful links.
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Old 12.10.2015, 18:39
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

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Really? I know Bienne is dual language, but I've never heard anything other than German in Bern canton otherwise. Fribourg canton is dual French/German.

The question is Emma, what market are you thinking of aiming for? Because most young Swiss will learn French at school whatever part of Switzerland they're in. English too come to that. There are a lot of different language schools here from the Migros Klubschule that marischi mentioned to the Wall Street Institute. You may find the market quite competitive.


Berner Jura is also French speaking. There are also many small communities on Lake Biel( Bielersee ) that speak French.
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Old 12.10.2015, 18:49
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

I'd love to know more about this quick method to learning french!
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Old 13.10.2015, 17:40
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Merci à tous!!

I was a indeed an American permanent resident for 7 years but I'm planning on moving to Switzerland as a French citizen, so I don't think I should have any problems. Well, maybe some locals don't like french people
I think the self-employed status should be a good start in Switzerland. Thank you Medea Fleecestealer for your kind help

BLP, I always offer a free trial (about 30 minutes) and a recording which is a summary of the session. I invite you to send me a private message if you want to try. I swear I don't bite!

Again thank you everyone for your precious help!
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Old 13.10.2015, 18:54
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

The thing is, if you had a Green Card and didn't give it up properly then you're still required to file US tax returns and could owe US tax on top of Swiss ones. If you do still have a Green Card and try and open an account here then you should tell the bank as if you don't and they find out later that you had an American connection you could find your account closed/frozen until they're satisfied you're US tax compliant. Being an American abroad or connected to America isn't a fun thing these days.
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Old 13.10.2015, 19:57
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

Yes, hopefully I will be able to open an account otherwise I'll simply be a frontalier
Do all banks have to pass any account info on to the IRS? Even if I arrive as a French citizen? This is a bit pushy no?
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Old 13.10.2015, 20:09
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

It affects Americans/Green Card holders. If you've given up your Green Card properly and exited the US tax system you shouldn't have a problem. And you'd probably get the same problem in France btw. FATCA is worldwide unfortunately.
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Old 13.10.2015, 20:38
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

yes, it's fine. Green card was given up in 2010 but I don't like the fact my account can scrutinized. I guess the sacred privacy has no longer any value nowadays.

Anyway, thank you Medea for your insight
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Old 13.10.2015, 21:10
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

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yes, it's fine. Green card was given up in 2010 but I don't like the fact my account can scrutinized. I guess the sacred privacy has no longer any value nowadays.

Anyway, thank you Medea for your insight
a new french passport sans green card would make life easier maybe?
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Old 13.10.2015, 22:28
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

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a new french passport sans green card would make life easier maybe?
If it's in her passport then yes, that's a good idea BLP. The bank will want to take a photocopy of her passport for their records and that would immediately get them making enquiries on her US tax status. And unlike the CLN you get with a renunciation/relinquishment of US citizenship, you get nothing when you turn in your Green Card to show it's no longer active.

If it's not in your passport then you should be fine as a French citizen, you won't come under scrutiny as there'll be no indiciation of your previous "US Person" status.
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Old 13.10.2015, 22:36
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

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...If it's not in your passport then you should be fine as a French citizen, you won't come under scrutiny as there'll be no indiciation of your previous "US Person" status.
Maybe, maybe not. At the Forum dinner the other night, a newcomer told us that the bank had asked several U.S.-related questions before opening the account. This person is an EU citizen. I don't remember all the questions that were asked, but I seem to recall things like "Have you ever lived or worked in the U.S., do you have a green card, do you have a U.S. bank account" etc.
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Old 13.10.2015, 23:01
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

It's very annoying to see that after living in Canada and in Mexico for about 5 years, I can still have issues with the IRS. I left the States right after my divorce and I wouldn't even have imagined that one day I would have had the surprise to deal with the IRS abroad.

This is insane.

As for my passport, I renewed it not too long ago. I guess I wouldn't have to worry on this level but I just don't want to live in Switzerland and have my assets frozen. I live with my daughter and I cannot take any risks on this level.

I need to review my priorities here.
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Old 14.10.2015, 08:50
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Re: Moving from Mexico City to Zurich or Geneva

The Swiss banks have been hit hard in the US courts for helping Americans hide their money from the tax authorities so they're probably even more cautious now that FATCA is up and running. The situation may be better in France, but then again it may not.

Your other option is, of course, to lie if asked these questions. The bank has no way of knowing when you left the States, where you've been living since, etc. And again, it will depend on which bank you approach.

You could approach Barclays here in Switzerland. They've recently decided to exit the FATCA program.

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-...liance-program

They're more a wealth management/investment bank though.

No one saw this coming Emma and it's caused a lot of bad feeling and yes, heartbreak for many Americans. It's also been the final straw for many, coming on top of increasingly complicated tax filing requirements. It has pushed many to give up their citizenship just to get away from the onerus burden of having to file year after year and now find their banking options are also being squeezed or in some cases they've simply been dropped by their bank. The numbers run into tens of thousands now who have taken this step.
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