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Old 15.02.2010, 17:24
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Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

Hi, I`ve been in Zurich for a week, I need to set up a bank account for me and my fiancee so that our places of work can pay us and also so we can recive the relocation allowance. We have to wait for however long it will be for our work permits to be issued, but in the meantime I`m wondering if it`s possible to set up an account? What would I need?
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Old 15.02.2010, 17:36
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

I can not see any problem with this. (except if you are an US citicien)
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Old 15.02.2010, 17:42
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

I opened my account (Raiffeisen, Nyon) with just my UK Passport and Work Contract (in English).

At first the Raiffeisen Manager said no, you need a permit, but I said a colleague had just opened their account with UBS without a permit and I suppose I could go to UBS, the reply was a simple "take a seat, let me find an application form.".


Plus, an "attestation" (certificate?) from the population office that your permit application has been received and is being considered will always be sufficient.

Your Company HR dept. should provide that for you.
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Old 16.02.2010, 11:13
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

You can certainly set up an account with Post Finance at the post office. All you need is a passport and a swiss address.

I have been with Post for years and im a big fan. They dont heap on the charges like other banks...the only downside ive seen is the lack of credit card.
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Old 23.02.2010, 04:14
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

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You can certainly set up an account with Post Finance at the post office. All you need is a passport and a swiss address.
Can a US citizen open a Post Finance account as well? I've been to the website, and it appears that it's possible, but I stopped short of trying to open an account.

Thanks.
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Old 23.02.2010, 09:05
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

We opened an account @ Credit Suisse with Passport, work contract and proof of address (lease will do)
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Old 23.02.2010, 10:07
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

Have you already applied for your permit? We were given one part away with us on the day (sorry, I don't know the name of it). We took our employment contract, passports and this part of the permit to UBS and were able to open an account.
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Old 23.02.2010, 10:27
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

You should have been given part of your Auslander card when you registered at the kreisburo. From what I could ascertain, we needed that, our passports and our apartment lease to open the accounts.

I should also point out that it does tend to take a few days to open an account and get all of your cards and everything, so you might want to call your US bank and ask them to waive international fees, if any. Citibank was actually very cool about that for us. We had our moving money put in our US account and drew off of that before we got our Swiss accounts open.

Now our Swiss accounts are open, but we don't have our ATM or credit cards yet. It was a bit of a panic on Friday when my husband got paid and we needed money and were heading out of town early Saturday. Apparently, it's not like the US where your paycheck hits your account first thing in the morning. No, it hits it at 4 pm. The tellers generally close by 4:30. Good times! Thankfully, they were willing to forward us some of our cash.

Good luck to you!
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Old 23.02.2010, 10:46
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

I see from his profile info the OP is British so should be able to open an account armed just with his passport and his Swiss address.
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Old 23.02.2010, 10:55
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

Now our Swiss accounts are open, but we don't have our ATM or credit cards yet. It was a bit of a panic on Friday when my husband got paid and we needed money and were heading out of town early Saturday. Apparently, it's not like the US where your paycheck hits your account first thing in the morning. No, it hits it at 4 pm.
[/QUOTE]

I know the feeling - we got a fright with that too!! Had been here for four weeks and struggled by til pay day...then saw that the money wasn't there

That said, we had already put some money in the accounts so that our ATM cards would be sent to us, so we were able to access it in the evening...phew!!
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Old 23.02.2010, 11:14
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

Yeah, we had money, just in our UK and US accounts, not in our CH accounts... Now I'm just waiting (still waiting) for those cards to arrive. Still, it's a good way not to spend money!
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Old 23.02.2010, 12:08
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Re: Can I set up a bank account in Zurich without my work permit?

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Can a US citizen open a Post Finance account as well? I've been to the website, and it appears that it's possible, but I stopped short of trying to open an account.

Thanks.
My Russian friend opened with Post Finance with just his passport and an address so i dont see why a US passport holder couldnt do the same.
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