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Old 25.07.2021, 14:56
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Remote Job Offer - where to live?

I am an EU citizen (Italian) with an EU partner.

I have been offered a remote position in Switzerland starting the 1st of November and I am trying to work out the logistics.

My partner does not hold high education qualifications, and they simply have 2-3 years of experience in office/project roles in London.
They only speak English + another EU (non-Swiss) language.

With the current climate and the state of the economy, I am afraid they won't be able to find any English-speaking job anytime soon and so I want to plan our move to make sure that is taken into account.


Question #1: Where to live in Zurich Kanton

Our long-term goal is to live around Lake Zurich, and because I work in IT, that's where most of the jobs are, so when I want to change company I can do so without relocating again.

As said, I will need to be able to afford the costs for both of us

Current Salary:


I have been offered ~97-100k CHF per year (salary is translated from my UK salary so the exchange rate may vary).

That should be around ~6500-6600 CHF Brutto per month in Zurich with withholding tax applied.

Requirements for the municipality:

  • can afford between 3 and 3.5 rooms property - from my understanding this would be 1 bedroom + living room + another room? (need to set up home office)
  • within ~60 minutes commute distance from Zurich Airport
  • within 15-20 minutes to the Lake
I


Question #2: Is Ticino a better option?

Plan B would be for us to move to Ticino (maybe around Lugano) where taxation is similar (or slightly higher than Zurich) but I would be speaking the Kanton language and the house price should be much lower than Zurich.

However, there my partner would have virtually 0 chances of landing any job (unless remote).

I suppose reduce house price + perhaps purchasing some goods from Italian border could help us in terms of finances?

We would still like to move to Zurich at some points so this choice would be more stressful/disruptive and perhaps not worth the slight better living costs?


Question #3: Zug?

Last option I considered was Zug due to the lowe tax rate. But my income is not really high so I wouldn't reap the benefits of taxation and will probably incur in similar if not higher housing costs, whilst being further from Airport and Lake.
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Old 25.07.2021, 15:05
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

Lugano is not much cheaper than ZH, unless you live an hour outside of town.

Upper Valle Maggia, Valle Muggio, etc are cheap.

Unless you travel at least an hour into Italy, Italian prices for food are NOT much cheaper, however they DO have more interesting stuff foodwise.

Closest airport is MXP, but I still prefer ZRH.

Tom
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Old 25.07.2021, 15:17
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

All of your considerations are well-thought through.
Welcome to EF 🌸
Note that the concubine permit does not exist in every canton, so that will limit your choice.
If you are remote why Zurich?
Do you speak Swiss German or High German?

- Consider the best location linguistically
- Select the canton that allows a concubine permit B but also know that you could be obliged to ask permission to live in another canton other than the canton where your employer is located.
- I believe concubine permits are issued without lucrative activity, which means your partner can join you if you have the financial means to support him/her but this does not mean they automatically have the possibility to work.
If they find a job in their own right their permit is changed to a regular B work permit, which might be linked to their new employer.

Hope this helps 🌸
Any experts out there please correct me if I’ve misunderstood.
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Old 25.07.2021, 15:44
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

If it's a remote job, do you have to be in Switzerland?
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Old 25.07.2021, 15:49
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

Why do you want to come to Zurich in the first place? Am I correct in my understanding that the CHF 100k salary offer in Switzerland is just your UK salary converted into CHF? So you are currently making around £78k? If that is the case you are taking a massive cut in living standards to come to Zurich. Given your partner's lack of education and language skills (I'm guessing she's from Eastern Europe) you might find the adjustment hard for her and that can put a lot of strain on a relationship.

You're probably looking at a rental budget of CHF 2k/month which is a highly competitive market with a lot of people applying for any vacancy that comes up in the Zurich area (above 3k/month it gets a lot easier). With health insurance, transport, food & utilities you wont have much left over for entertainment (eating out and night life is expensive here compared to London).
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Old 25.07.2021, 16:33
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

Cost of living in Lugano is MUCH lower than the rest of Switzerland, hence the lower salaries.

Main examples:
- rent (empty apartments without tenants for over a year, 3.5 apartments in an upscale area for 1300.– and trending down, people are desperate to rent)
- price per square meter
- restaurants (please show me where in ZH you can find a high-standard 3 course weekday meal for 17.– or a pizza at a restaurant for 9.–)
- mandatory health insurance is probably inline or slightly above
- the list goes on
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Old 25.07.2021, 16:36
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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Cost of living in Lugano is MUCH lower than the rest of Switzerland, hence the lower salaries.
I earned far more in Lugano than in Zurich.

Food costs the same, apartment was 2400 until we bought it.

Tom
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Old 25.07.2021, 16:37
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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Note that the concubine permit does not exist in every canton, so that will limit your choice.
Certainly NOT in Ticino!

Tom
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Old 25.07.2021, 17:18
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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Certainly NOT in Ticino!

Tom
What do you mean?

It won’t limit your choices
or
The concubine permit doesn’t exist in Ticino?


@IslandMonkey, yes you do need to live here and have an employer who is legally established here.
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Old 25.07.2021, 17:23
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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Given your partner's lack of education and language skills (I'm guessing she's from Eastern Europe)
Or he.
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Old 25.07.2021, 17:38
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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@IslandMonkey, yes you do need to live here and have an employer who is legally established here.
Read the thread title - Remote Job Offer! They're being offered a job where they can work remotely so absolutely no need to move here for the job.
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Old 25.07.2021, 18:51
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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I earned far more in Lugano than in Zurich.

Food costs the same, apartment was 2400 until we bought it.

Tom
Only 2400.–? What a steal
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Old 25.07.2021, 18:53
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

Lugano trumps Zurich for significantly lower cost of living however if healthcare is important to you OP, hospitals are not great.

For standard procedures patients regularly get shipped to Lucerne due to lack of specialists in Ticino.
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Old 25.07.2021, 18:55
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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Read the thread title - Remote Job Offer! They're being offered a job where they can work remotely so absolutely no need to move here for the job.
Wishes and nice-to-haves are not necessatrily what Swiss immigration authorities agree to.
I do hope it is the case for the OP, nevertheless it is better to be fully informed before taking that step.
People arriving here do not necessarily know that a permit B can have restrictive requirements, or even that certain types of permit Bs can exist in one canton but not another (like the concubine permit B).

Last edited by Sky; 25.07.2021 at 19:20. Reason: typo
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Old 26.07.2021, 06:07
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

What nationality is your partner? And like others have said, why Switzerland?
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Old 26.07.2021, 07:29
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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The concubine permit doesn’t exist in Ticino?
Exactly.

Tom
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Old 26.07.2021, 08:25
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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If it's a remote job, do you have to be in Switzerland?
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Read the thread title - Remote Job Offer! They're being offered a job where they can work remotely so absolutely no need to move here for the job.
Remotely doesn’t necessarily mean you can actually work from outside Switzerland, it probably just means they can work from home and not have to go into the workplace every day.
For lots of reasons the OP may have to be resident within Switzerland in order to be able to do their job.
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Old 26.07.2021, 08:56
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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Read the thread title - Remote Job Offer! They're being offered a job where they can work remotely so absolutely no need to move here for the job.

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Old 26.07.2021, 08:57
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Re: Remote Job Offer - where to live?

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If it's a remote job, do you have to be in Switzerland?
Afaik if you have a Swiss contract as a cross border commuter you have to work 4/5 days in Switzerland. Suspended at present because of Covid.
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Old 26.07.2021, 09:06
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If it's a remote job, do you have to be in Switzerland?
I want to move to Switzerland, not moving because of the job, it's where I have planned to move and settle down for the future

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All of your considerations are well-thought through.
Welcome to EF 🌸
Note that the concubine permit does not exist in every canton, so that will limit your choice.
If you are remote why Zurich?
Do you speak Swiss German or High German?

- Consider the best location linguistically
- Select the canton that allows a concubine permit B but also know that you could be obliged to ask permission to live in another canton other than the canton where your employer is located.
- I believe concubine permits are issued without lucrative activity, which means your partner can join you if you have the financial means to support him/her but this does not mean they automatically have the possibility to work.
If they find a job in their own right their permit is changed to a regular B work permit, which might be linked to their new employer.

Hope this helps 🌸
Any experts out there please correct me if I’ve misunderstood.
Because I would like to live somewhere where there is an English-speaking community, and potential for more job opportunities in the future.

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If they find a job in their own right their permit is changed to a regular B work permit, which might be linked to their new employer.
Can you expand on this? My partner is EU citizen as well

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Why do you want to come to Zurich in the first place? Am I correct in my understanding that the CHF 100k salary offer in Switzerland is just your UK salary converted into CHF? So you are currently making around £78k? If that is the case you are taking a massive cut in living standards to come to Zurich. Given your partner's lack of education and language skills (I'm guessing she's from Eastern Europe) you might find the adjustment hard for her and that can put a lot of strain on a relationship.
Because I would rather live under a bridge than continue living in the UK.
Making a lot of money does not make up for a place I am not really fond of anymore.

I look for beautiful nature and a short distance to Italy.
I am Software Engineer so Zurich is where I can continue my career.

100k is my starting point to settle down but I can easily look for something around 120k in the next year to improve my living standards.

My partner is from Scandinavia and they are really excited about the move.

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You're probably looking at a rental budget of CHF 2k/month which is a highly competitive market with a lot of people applying for any vacancy that comes up in the Zurich area (above 3k/month it gets a lot easier). With health insurance, transport, food & utilities you wont have much left over for entertainment (eating out and night life is expensive here compared to London).
Could you define Zurich area for me? I have been looking at place like Thalwil and Horgen, are they considered 'Zurich' or suburbs/commuting-town?

Yeah when it comes to eating-out and nightlife we are very low-key so we'll be watching Netflix and saving money for the first months

@t2lemans thanks for clarifying that the concubine permit doesn't exist in Ticino.

That scratches it right off.


@Limegrass yes quality of health-care is one of the reasons why I chose Switzerland, so another point to Zurich (and definitely remove Lugano from my plans).

Last edited by MusicChick; 26.07.2021 at 09:25. Reason: merging consecutive posts - we multiquote here
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