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Old 14.01.2020, 21:46
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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I don't know the answer, but my answer was not "useless" - I informed them how awesome it would be to live in Basel, where the job is
Fixed it.

But the question is where to live, and they probably have no choice.

Tom
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Old 14.01.2020, 21:48
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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So, still waiting for an answer:

as NON-EU, are they allowed to change cantons?

Until this is answered, most responses are useless.

Tom
Found this site: https://www.expatica.com

...where it states "Permit B – is an initial or temporary residence permit that is valid for one year but can be extended annually, as long as there are no grounds for it not to be reissued, such as being a recipient of welfare benefits. These permits are issued on a quota basis and are tied to the same employer. The permits often specify that you live in the canton that issued the permit and cannot move out of that canton." (emphasis is mine)
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Old 15.01.2020, 08:33
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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And another tip, try to make friends among the locals and get out of the expat bubble as soon as possible. The exapt grapevine is very efficient at peddling half truths and making many aspects of Switzerland sound far more gruesome than in reality they are. Don't let them discourage you.

Don't we know it.

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My first thought was "stay put". That sounds a bit harsh but have you both been to Switzerland, specifically Basel, for a "look see"? I would do this before making a decision. A good career move for one spouse doesn't necessarily mean it works for both spouses. Your wife may struggle to find work.

Yes, Switzerland is a beautiful country and from here one can travel within Europe and other destinations. However, it can be a lonely place for a spouse who is now at home after leaving a career behind, whether you are living in the middle of city of Basel or in a village.

So please do consider this move very carefully with eyes wide open.
I agree with you on many points, but I think the worst thing that can happen is to go back to their country. They should adjust a little their expectations though - fully immersing and integrating is not an easy task here and not because people wouldn't like to.
OP's wife needs to be a very independent spirit and not prone to depression as soon as she'll realise it's not easy to get a job (that really depends on her qualifications and sometimes the luck of the draw) and start thinking out of the box and recreate a life for herself that will probably not be the same as back home. It's good to have a positive attitude, but do expect some bumps on this road.

Last edited by greenmount; 15.01.2020 at 09:08.
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  #24  
Old 15.01.2020, 08:44
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

Just chipping in, I know a lot more trailing spouses that did not find work than did.
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Old 15.01.2020, 09:19
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Just chipping in, I know a lot more trailing spouses that did not find work than did.
Same here. There are a lot of overqualified foreign women living in Switzerland that are doing totally different things than they were trained into and had to start from 0 although they had a fairly decent career where they come from. Or simply wasting their potential. That's a problem the Swiss too (some of them) seem to know well - at least in the academic circles. Zurich city for instance started to offer more help in this direction.
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Old 15.01.2020, 09:27
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Fixed it.

But the question is where to live, and they probably have no choice.

Tom
I think their choice is probably limited to BS or BL as non EU citizens.

I think I read somewhere that the two have an agreement as they are classed as ‘half cantons’.
Don’t have time to look it up now though.
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Old 15.01.2020, 10:16
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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There are a lot of overqualified foreign women living in Switzerland
... and even men... some trailing spouses are male, I've heard!

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... they are classed as ‘half cantons’.
Not any more! There have been no half cantons since 1999. The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation (1999) lists simply 26 cantons.
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Old 15.01.2020, 10:36
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Only concerns are: is it "too" quiet/laid back, and would it be very difficult for my wife to find work vs the opportunities in Zurich? May be best as suggested to go, live in corporate housing for a few months, and then explore and evaluate opportunities.
What kind of noise level do you need? In relation to SF, no Swiss city could compare. Perhaps only the big European cities like London, Paris, Madrid, Rome etc. could be equal in terms of offerings and hustle and bustle. If you want to live in the city center of Zurich, look at paying almost SF prices for an apartment. Also, I believe what others have said, you actually won't be permitted to live outside the canton of Basel initially.

My first job as a trailing spouse was in Zurich, I didn't mind the commute from Basel and it helped me get my foot in the door into the job market. I would personally make a safe choice with Basel rather than going with the unknown.

You haven't provided information on your wife's career background...not sure which city would offer her the best opportunity. Perhaps it might be a good idea?
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Old 15.01.2020, 11:07
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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I think their choice is probably limited to BS or BL as non EU citizens.

I think I read somewhere that the two have an agreement as they are classed as ‘half cantons’.
Don’t have time to look it up now though.
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Not any more! There have been no half cantons since 1999. The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation (1999) lists simply 26 cantons.
I came to CH in 2002, before the quotas for EUs were abolished. My first B permit was tied to my employer. I could live in BL or BS (but not both ). It might have changed since then, but I really really doubt it.
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Old 15.01.2020, 11:13
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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... and even men... some trailing spouses are male, I've heard!
You're right, I was blinded by my feminist bias for a sec. I actually even have a good (overly qualified) stay-at-home-dad friend.
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Old 15.01.2020, 11:55
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Not any more! There have been no half cantons since 1999. The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation (1999) lists simply 26 cantons.
So they are not technically called half cantons any more but they are still treated as such for many things.
The six ‘half cantons’ each only have one member in the ‘conseil d’état’ whereas the ‘full cantons’ each have two.
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Old 15.01.2020, 12:08
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Just chipping in, I know a lot more trailing spouses that did not find work than did.
In contrast, apart those who either stay home by choice, or have recently arrived, I don't know of any stay-at-home spouses.

Maybe they don't find jobs that meet their qualifications or expectations. And indeed some do jobs that blur the line between empoyment and hobby (like teaching pottery classes 2 hours a week). But as fars as the tax office is concerned, they are in work.
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Old 15.01.2020, 12:09
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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So they are not technically called half cantons any more but they are still treated as such for many things.
The six ‘half cantons’ each only have one member in the ‘conseil d’état’ whereas the ‘full cantons’ each have two.
AFAIK, that is now the only remaining difference.
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Old 15.01.2020, 12:14
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

The whole move can be quite stressful. I saw a very high rate of couples splitting/divorcing as a result of the move. Esp. where one moves for the job and has a 'normal' life and the other is left isolated without friends/support network/ability to speak the local language.
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Old 15.01.2020, 12:27
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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In contrast, apart those who either stay home by choice, or have recently arrived, I don't know of any stay-at-home spouses.
Big cities vs. small communities. The difference is like day and night.

Being immobile, allophone as the system promptly labels them (us), stuck for noons/mornings at home and in an area where even locals don't find jobs and leave, doesn't help the new career, tbh. I know this but also know quite a few who do better than in their home countries. How does it go with the "lemons"..

Whether they find sufficient support and understanding is another thing, though. One doesn't always feel like a winner. It is easier where one knows how to reduce risks and has one's family and support. Or at least support of the partner's family here, which isn't always the case.
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Last edited by MusicChick; 15.01.2020 at 12:46.
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Old 15.01.2020, 12:43
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

Not sure about the rules, but when I moved here in 2014 as an American on a B permit, I was able to live in a canton (GE) different to the one where my job was based (VD).
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Old 15.01.2020, 12:51
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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So they are not technically called half cantons any more but they are still treated as such for many things.
The six ‘half cantons’ each only have one member in the ‘conseil d’état’ whereas the ‘full cantons’ each have two.
It's just that our councillors are twice as efficient as those from the big, fat, lazy cantons.
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Old 15.01.2020, 12:54
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Not sure about the rules, but when I moved here in 2014 as an American on a B permit, I was able to live in a canton (GE) different to the one where my job was based (VD).
Just why you'd choose to live in the highest-taxed, highest-cost-of-living canton and commute to work is another question...

Actually, I take that back, the tax rates in GE are surprisingly low, especially compared to VD. I always had this image of the Socialist Republic of Geneva bleeding its residents dry, but apparently income tax payable there is in the bottom 25% of all Gemeinden/communes across Switzerland.

This is a handy reckoner and map (from 2019, in French, but very easy to work out how to use) to see how your tax bill in your Gemeinde/commune stacks up against the rest of Switzerland, as a ranking of the 2,222 Gemeinden/communes. For my personal situation, the highest-taxing commune (Les Verrières, in NE) would take 7 times what I'd have to pay for cantonal and communal tax in the lowest-taxing Gemeinde, Baar, in Zug!
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Last edited by 22 yards; 15.01.2020 at 13:36. Reason: Correction re. tax in GE
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  #39  
Old 15.01.2020, 16:30
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

As a Bay Area native who lived in Zurich for 5 yrs I would vote for Basel. We used to joke that the best thing about Zurich was that it was so easy to leave; meaning great airport, train and road connections to Europe and ROW. We used them a LOT!

Basel is a border city, so even easier to get to France or Germany. Basel Airport/Mulhouse might not have as many intl options as Zurich, but you can always catch a train to Zurich airport, if necessary.

We loved the areas from Lyon to the Alsace-Lorraine for food and sightseeing. TGV to Paris is only a couple of hours. Europe will be your oyster!

Learning to speak German can be challenging as High German is not the preferred "dialect." We found lots of French speakers in Basel.

Good luck!
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Old 15.01.2020, 20:16
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Re: Where to move for 30 year old American couple

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Just why you'd choose to live in the highest-taxed, highest-cost-of-living canton and commute to work is another question...

Actually, I take that back, the tax rates in GE are surprisingly low, especially compared to VD. I always had this image of the Socialist Republic of Geneva bleeding its residents dry, but apparently income tax payable there is in the bottom 25% of all Gemeinden/communes across Switzerland.

This is a handy reckoner and map (from 2019, in French, but very easy to work out how to use) to see how your tax bill in your Gemeinde/commune stacks up against the rest of Switzerland, as a ranking of the 2,222 Gemeinden/communes. For my personal situation, the highest-taxing commune (Les Verrières, in NE) would take 7 times what I'd have to pay for cantonal and communal tax in the lowest-taxing Gemeinde, Baar, in Zug!
I'm surprised to learn Geneva has low taxes.

I always imagined them to be crazily in debt, while committed to spending as if there was no tomorrow.

But I guess things have changed?
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