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Old 31.01.2015, 15:40
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Organising my move to CH

Hi all

I am due to start in my new job on the 4th of May in the Neuchatel area.
At the moment I work and live in the south of England.
I currently have a motobike and do not own a car.

On my to-do list I have in the next three months to:
- find an apartment near Neuchatel/Yverdon les bains
- open a bank account
- buy a car and get it insured, as I will need a car to go to work
- Get all my stuff moved from England to the new apartment.
(no panic!)

Now if the list things to do is more or less clear, I am a bit worried with respect to when to do them, and in what order. So my questions are:
- When would you recommend start looking then visiting appartments?
- Can I buy a car and get it insured before having an apartment there? A friend of mine living in Neuchatel has a parking I could leave the car in.

At this stage I am trying to organise everything and surely omit a lot of stuff. So any tips, recommendations on what you think I should pay attention is more than welcome.

Thank you!

Camille
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Old 31.01.2015, 16:10
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Re: Organising my move to CH

- When would you recommend start looking then visiting appartments?

Now. But you are unlikely to get an apartment until you have a permit and are able to get a attestation from the debts office. Perhaps talk to your new company HR about a company flat or some help finding a room for a few months?

- Can I buy a car and get it insured before having an apartment there? A friend of mine living in Neuchatel has a parking I could leave the car in.

The difference between the UK and Switzerland is that the plates are attached to you and not the car. So you will need an address and permit to get the plates. It's a vicious circle.

Also you can't open a bank account until you have at least applied for your permit. Same for a mobile phone sim card. When I came to Neuchatel I was able to get a PAYG one with my British passport but couldn't get a contract until my permit arrived

I assume you are going to work at a well known tobacco company who really should be giving you a relocation agent?
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Old 31.01.2015, 16:35
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Re: Organising my move to CH

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...
I currently have a motobike and do not own a car.
....
I will need a car to go to work...


Unless you have an employment contract explicitly stating that you must have your own car to use for work purposes, it is not necessarily so that you will need a car at all. The public transport in Switzerland is excellent (generally clean, almost always punctual), and many people (including high-earning executives and politicians) do not own cars at all, or at least, only ones they use in their leisure time.


I'd think one of the first things you should do is get hold of all the info about the public transport network(s) near your employer, the ticket types and fares, maps of the routes, the timetables, etc. That information will show you over which larger geographical area it'd be reasonable to look for an apartment. Sorry, I can't give you specific advice because I don't know it for the area in which you'll be living, but besides googling it, you may find the info on this forum, where there are many threads about public transport.


A commute of 20 minutes or less is considered luxury, and many people travel by train, tram and bus for an hour or more each way. That is not necessarily lost time: people use it for relaxing, meditating or working, (or telephoning, to the annoyance of their fellow passengers), for reading or doing the homework from their language courses.


Your To Do list doesn't include learning French. If you're not already fluent, I'd urge you to learn as much as you can before you arrive, and once you're here, go straight to night school. Learning the local language will faciliate just about every other step in your immigration and integration.


I wish you well as you prepare!


Edit: Oh, sorry, I just saw from your other post that you are French. Excellent! In that case, please just pass on the language tip to your partner.

Last edited by doropfiz; 31.01.2015 at 16:38. Reason: reading CamCam's other post
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Old 31.01.2015, 17:07
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Re: Organising my move to CH

Thanks for your answers!

I will not be working for the tobacco company no, but for a relatively small pharma company based in La Chaux de Fonds. The only help I receive is a bit of money to cover the move of my things. I may ask the HR though for any advice that may help getting accepted for an appartment.

I will probably live around the lake, depending where my partner find a job. Likely to be somewhere on the line between Yverdon, Neuchatel, and Biel.

There is a train that goes to La Chaux de Fond yes, but the company I will work for is quite remote and I will need a vehicle to get there. Maybe I will bring my motocycle in Switzerland instead and once established, buy a car for the winter.
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Old 31.01.2015, 17:25
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Re: Organising my move to CH

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I may ask the HR though for any advice that may help getting accepted for an appartment.

Oh, yes, do that! A potential landlord will be more inclined towards you if you have a letter from your employer confirming that you will be employed (especially if the letter states that it is a permanent position) from DATE and have a permit.


Also, HR may have connections to some property owners already. And they may also be prepared to ask around, or put up an ad up for you somewhere, internally or with connections they have.


Also a good idea to bring something with you that Shows you do not have debt. In Switzerland, there is an official government certificate. If you don't have an equivalent, you might ask your bank manager to certify that your account has been stable for x years, and that you have fulfilled your obligations.


Also, a letter from your current landlord, confirming that you have lived there since DATE, were a quiet and reliable tennant, and paid your rent punctually.


My guess is that for anyone in the topmost segment, none of the above applies. For all others, there is a general shortage of accommodation, so every little thing you can do right is worth supplying.

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There is a train that goes to La Chaux de Fond yes, but the company I will work for is quite remote and I will need a vehicle to get there. Maybe I will bring my motocycle in Switzerland instead and once established, buy a car for the winter.


Yes, that sounds like a good idea. Try it out.
Some people also lock up a bicycle at the nearest station, and use public transport to get there, and then cycle the last leg of the journey.
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Old 31.01.2015, 17:34
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Re: Organising my move to CH

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Thanks for your answers!

I will not be working for the tobacco company no, but for a relatively small pharma company based in La Chaux de Fonds. The only help I receive is a bit of money to cover the move of my things. I may ask the HR though for any advice that may help getting accepted for an appartment.

I will probably live around the lake, depending where my partner find a job. Likely to be somewhere on the line between Yverdon, Neuchatel, and Biel.

There is a train that goes to La Chaux de Fond yes, but the company I will work for is quite remote and I will need a vehicle to get there. Maybe I will bring my motocycle in Switzerland instead and once established, buy a car for the winter.
I mean wherever you will be living you can register the car to there
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Old 31.01.2015, 17:38
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Re: Organising my move to CH

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There is a train that goes to La Chaux de Fond yes, but the company I will work for is quite remote and I will need a vehicle to get there. Maybe I will bring my motocycle in Switzerland instead and once established, buy a car for the winter.
That sounds like a good idea to me. You'll be fine with a motorcycle when you arrive in May and then you can start looking for a car once you get here. You wouldn't want to be riding a motorcycle from Neuchâtel to La Chaux de Fonds in winter that's for sure.
Make sure you have all the paperwork for the import of the motorcycle if you do decide to bring it. As long as you've owned it for six months or more you can import it tax free as part if your move.
It's probably a good idea to establish yourself down near the lake somewhere, there's a better chance of you girlfriend getting a job for one and there is much more to do than there would be living up in t'Chaux.

As others have pointed out it is quite hard to do anything before you move over here but you should start flat hunting fairly soon. You can use your job contract or a letter from your employer until you get your actual permit.

Do the company not offer you some sort of temporary accommodation for the first few weeks?
End of June is one of the official moving dates so there are often more flats available at that time. ( end of March is another but that's probably too early for you).
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