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Old 09.03.2022, 16:14
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Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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Hello everyone!

Given the large inflow of Ukrainians to Switzerland, a gathered information on practical aspects of life in Switzerland would be super useful. Does anyone know if we have something like this set up on the forum?
Information starting from what's typically needed upon the arrival (insurance, bank account, etc) to the list of supermarkets, swiss-specific rules (like garbage, Sundays and late evening noise, etc), integration process (like language courses) as well as kids related information.
Thank you. I think this is a very good idea, so I'm opening this new thread for it:
Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

First of all, to any refugee newly arrived from the war in Ukraine, welcome to Switzerland.

I hope many people will add to this thread.
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Old 09.03.2022, 16:15
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Permitted stay in Switzerland
  1. You are permitted to enter Switzerland by showing your Ukraine passport, possibly also if you have another passport and documents proving that you have been living in the Ukraine.
  2. You are then permitted stay in Switzerland, without a visa, for 90 days.
  3. If you wish to stay beyond 90 days, you must register with a Swiss Refugee organisation before the end of the 90 days.

Please note that this information has been updated, below.

Last edited by doropfiz; 11.03.2022 at 15:06.
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Old 09.03.2022, 16:15
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Accommodation
  1. If you have your own money, you are allowed to live at your own expense, in a hotel, AirBnB, etc., of your own choice.
  2. You can find a private host through an organisation (I hope someone will post the links to those groups, below).
  3. You can register with an official Swiss Refugee organisation. They will then provide you with accommodation (that may be in a hostel, and it is possible that you will have to share rooms with other people), or they might help you to find a room with a private person or family.

Edit: please see also post in this thread:
https://www.englishforum.ch/3399795-post54.html

Last edited by doropfiz; 20.03.2022 at 13:28.
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Old 09.03.2022, 16:15
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Items for Everyday Use
The refugee centres are not all the same, and can be different in towns and cities across the country. In any case, the accommodation will have beds, chairs and tables.
If you are not given basic items like bedding and towels, pots and pans, or lamps and writing material, or clothing, etc. please
  1. ask the leaders of the centre, or
  2. ask at a church, mosque or synagogue. Many groups have been collecting goods to help, and someone, somewhere, will probably find what you need, or
  3. post your need here on this Forum, to see if anyone can help.
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Old 09.03.2022, 16:17
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Transport
  1. You are allowed to travel on all the trains belonging to the SBB (Swiss national train service), for free. This was decided during March 2022, and it has not yet been announce until when this special condition will continue.
  2. This does not apply to local city transport, where you will need to buy a ticket at the ticket-machine before you enter the bus or tram.

Please note that this information has been updated on 21 March 2022 in post 58 and 59, below.
https://www.englishforum.ch/3400027-post58.html

Last edited by doropfiz; 21.03.2022 at 19:20.
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Old 09.03.2022, 16:17
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Medical Costs and Insurance
  1. While you are a guest/tourist: If you become ill or have an accident, you will not be able to access free medical services If you need treatment, you will have to pay for this yourself. However, if you do not have the money to pay, please ask at a Refugee organisation, or at a church, mosque or synagogue.
  2. As soon as you register with an official Swiss Refugee organisation: you will be given free medical insurance, which will cover the costs for any medical treatment you need.
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Old 11.03.2022, 12:55
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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Transport
  1. You are allowed to travel on all the trains belonging to the SBB (Swiss national train service), for free. This was decided during March 2022, and it has not yet been announce until when this special condition will continue.
  2. This does not apply to local city transport, where you will need to buy a ticket at the ticket-machine before you enter the bus or tram.
Please note that this information has been updated, from the post above.

The correct information is set out by Axa in this thread:
https://www.englishforum.ch/transpor...izens-sbb.html

Free travel on the Swiss Rail network, for people from the Ukraine, is not for travel in general, while you are here. It applies only to those
  • entering the country and travelling to one's destination in Switzerland, or
  • crossing the country (transit) to leave again to go to another country.

Please note that this information has been updated, on 21 March 2022 in post 58 and 59, below.
https://www.englishforum.ch/3400027-post58.html

Last edited by doropfiz; 21.03.2022 at 19:20.
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Old 10.03.2022, 20:10
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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Accommodation
  1. If you have your own money, you are allowed to live at your own expense, in a hotel, AirBnB, etc., of your own choice.
  2. You can find a private host through an organisation (I hope someone will post the links to those groups, below).
  3. You can register with an official Swiss Refugee organisation. They will then provide you with accommodation (that may be in a hostel, and it is possible that you will have to share rooms with other people), or they might help you to find a room with a private person or family.
Here is updated info from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration SEM about
Obtaining the status of "Refugee"
which then gives you access to accommodation.

Here the steps are set out, to register and be assessed:
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ine-krieg.html
Scroll down to:

How can persons from Ukraine apply for asylum in Switzerland?
Anyone can apply for asylum on entry
  • at a border crossing,
  • at border control at a Swiss airport, or
  • directly at one of the six federal asylum centres with processing facilities.
The State Secretariat for Migration SEM examines each application individually and carefully according to the actual circumstances in each case. It establishes whether the asylum seeker has refugee status under Article 3 of the Asylum Act.

This is that Article 3 (the legal definition of a refugee)
https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/1999/358/en#art_3
Here are the addresses of the centres where you can register:
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/asyl/adressen.html

See also post 42 of this thread:
https://www.englishforum.ch/3399312-post42.html

Update 22. March 2022: For advice from the Canton of Neuchatel, see also post 60 of this thread:
https://www.englishforum.ch/3400128-post60.html

Last edited by doropfiz; 22.03.2022 at 12:32.
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  #9  
Old 10.03.2022, 20:16
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

This is a well-respected refugee organisation - they are connecting refugees and hosts in Switzerland.



https://www.fluechtlingshilfe.ch/
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Old 13.03.2022, 09:49
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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Accommodation
  1. You can find a private host through an organisation (I hope someone will post the links to those groups, below).
Here are three websites that might be useful for private accommodation:

1. https://www.fluechtlingshilfe.ch/
2. https://campax.org/
3. (Global) https://www.ukrainetakeshelter.com/
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Old 13.03.2022, 09:54
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

It is very important that hosts realise that the legal situation re health and accident insurance has not been resolved with the Authorities as yet.
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Old 13.03.2022, 10:06
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

This article is in French but now that the government has decided to grant the S permits to refugees from Ukraine (and other nations depending on the circumstances) it seem that they would be covered for health insurance.
This would only apply to those who have applied for refugee status and have an S permit not people who are staying as tourists.

https://www.lemanbleu.ch/fr/Actualit...-refugies.html
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Old 16.03.2022, 17:47
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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It is very important that hosts realise that the legal situation re health and accident insurance has not been resolved with the Authorities as yet.
As stated in more recent posts, the health insurance situation has been clarified (health insurance kicks in upon registration, which can be done online).

As for accident insurance, as far as I know, there is no general accident insurance in Switzerland, unless you have a job - no? If this understanding is still accurate, there would be no accident insurance for refugees, either, until they have a job. I have not seen any discussion of accident insurance for refugees yet, accordingly.
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Old 10.03.2022, 20:13
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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Permitted stay in Switzerland
  1. You are permitted to enter Switzerland by showing your Ukraine passport, possibly also if you have another passport and documents proving that you have been living in the Ukraine.
  2. You are then permitted stay in Switzerland, without a visa, for 90 days.
  3. If you wish to stay beyond 90 days, you must register with a Swiss Refugee organisation before the end of the 90 days.
Please note that this information has been updated, from the post above.

Here is updated info from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration SEM about
Ukraine citizens entering Switzerland
  • without a biometric passport,
  • without a Covid vaccination certificate and even
  • without any papers at all.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ine-krieg.html
Scroll down to
Can Ukrainian citizens enter Switzerland without a biometric travel document?
Yes. Switzerland is showing solidarity and will grant exemptions to
  • Ukrainian citizens who do not have a biometric travel document or a visa, and to
  • Ukrainians who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination,
unless there are compelling reasons in an individual case for refusing entry.

In addition, Ukrainians can also enter Switzerland
  • if they have no travel documents at all, provided they can credibly show that they left their country because of the conflict.

Last edited by doropfiz; 11.03.2022 at 15:07.
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Old 18.03.2022, 23:35
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

i have registered as a host and received an email from Campax that i will be contacted when i am matched. i was wondering if there is a locator or forum for refugees to find each other? i am trying to build a resource list for when they come.
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Old 19.03.2022, 18:45
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Basel: Ukrainian Refugee Help & Support facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1009316716635784

Hosts and people who want to support but can't host themselves.
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Old 19.03.2022, 18:56
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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i have registered as a host and received an email from Campax that i will be contacted when i am matched. i was wondering if there is a locator or forum for refugees to find each other? i am trying to build a resource list for when they come.
Judging from the FAQ here https://campax.org/standwithukraine-...-d673cf56-26fd the charities will ensure that the refugees will be able to find each other.
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Old 19.03.2022, 22:00
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Language Primers for Ukrainians.
English.
German
French

I hope I've got the links right, given the webpage is in Ukrainian!
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Old 19.03.2022, 22:05
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

Has anyone tried how good deepl.com is with ukrainian translations?

Am hoping to use it to communicate a bit.
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Old 19.03.2022, 22:14
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Re: Ukraine Refugees already in Switzerland: Practical Tips

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Has anyone tried how good deepl.com is with ukrainian translations?

Am hoping to use it to communicate a bit.
I communicate regularly in Russian via Deepl and back. It seems to work quite well so long as you keep the sentences short. Here's a sample from his blog - it's really quite good.

Quote:
The bus opened its doors and a wave of cold air rushed into the cabin. From the open yawn the darkness of the city at night stared out at me, pierced by thousands of lights of the vast city and filled with the noise of endless cars. I finally shook off the remnants of the half-sleep-half-dream I had fallen into, almost immediately waking up almost all the way from the border. Taking my backpack and suitcase - my loyal emigration companions - I switched on my smartphone, found my final destination and strode briskly into the night.
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