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Old 16.10.2012, 03:18
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I want to live in Switzerland !

Hello,

My name is Val and I am from Cincinnati, OH USA. Me and my wife want to move, and after research and just a gut feeling, we area considering Switzerland. And I got so many questions. I really hope you guys can take a moment to answer some of them, it will really help us. I am reading previous posts on the topics I will be asking, so don’t think I am lazy))

1. I work in Offshore Oil industry, currently in Africa. So if I am working overseas, but live in Switzerland, how do I go about taxes? Is there a mandatory tax for living in Switzerland?

2. My wife is attending university, she studying master's degree in business administration program. A) What is the best city to possibly find a job? B) Is it hard to find a job with her degree, and speaking only English?

3. Is there recruiting/ or other web sites where you can submit a resume?

4. I assume we will have to move to a bigger city, where she will have more chances of getting employment. Is this thought correct?

5. How much income is enough for both of us to live on? 2 bedroom apartment, not a fancy live style etc?

Thank you so much guys! I hope we will go through with moving in Switzerland, and I will be meeting some of you in person…
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Old 16.10.2012, 03:46
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

1) Live in Switzerland, pay taxes in Switzerland. Them's the rules. Income tax varies substantially by canton -- Google is your friend. If you're a zillionaire and won't work in Switzerland (and you satisfy quite a few other conditions), you can strike a deal with a dwindling number of cantons to pay a pittance instead of a fair amount.

2) A) One that has employers in your wife's industry, which is ...? Business administration is not an industry. Having said that, the cities you've heard of are the most international and most likely to offer employment opportunities for foreign nationals. B) Yes, especially if she lacks EU citizenship and does not offer skills that are impossible to find in the Swiss population.

3) Yes. Again, which industry? Google for appropriate websites. If you're restricted to English, google in English. As always, the majority of the best jobs are not advertised and you'd be well advised to contact potential employers and recruiters directly.

4) See 2), above. However, please note that "Swiss city" is an oxymoron.

5) It's a well-documented fact that it it impossible to live in Switzerland on less than CHF 120,000 p.a. Google ...

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after research and just a gut feeling
Maybe it's just me, but I'd be inclined to come over and take a look at Switzerland before packing up and moving.
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Old 16.10.2012, 04:01
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

Welcome to the forum Val.

The forum has several subforums that will shed some light with respect to your queries.


Quote:
I am from Cincinnati, OH USA
As a non-EU ( i.e. American ), you would first need a job offer from the prospective employer who files an application for your permit. They would need to generally demonstrate to the authorities that your skills are not available by the locals or EU nationals.

http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/...gehoerige.html

Quote:
1. I work in Offshore Oil industry, currently in Africa. So if I am working overseas, but live in Switzerland, how do I go about taxes? Is there a mandatory tax for living in Switzerland?
http://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxation/

Everyone is subject to taxes ( parish, cantonal and federal level ) and declaration of worldwide income is required. Tqx will normally be at source for a B permit holder earning less than CHF120K p.a.

http://www.estv.admin.ch/dokumentati...x.html?lang=en

Quote:
2. My wife is attending university, she studying master's degree in business administration program. A) What is the best city to possibly find a job? B) Is it hard to find a job with her degree, and speaking only English?
Just about any major city in CH would be possible IF her skills are in demand.

However, with little experience, it can be very difficult, moreso without some measure of fluency in at least one of the national languages ( DE, FR or IT - EN is not an official language )

http://www.englishforum.ch/employment/ - many threads by many others like you

Quote:
3. Is there recruiting/ or other web sites where you can submit a resume?
http://www.englishforum.ch/employment/ especially the stickies which have many useful links. Note the Swiss format of the CV, better discussed in several threads in that subforum including this:

Swiss CV vs American CV

Quote:

4. I assume we will have to move to a bigger city, where she will have more chances of getting employment. Is this thought correct?
Switzerland is tiny and has an excellent transportation infrastructure. Get the job first, then find a home ( as demand outstrips supply, many have had to live in temporary places as over here the landlord chooses the tenant ) and then think of relocation internally.

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5. How much income is enough for both of us to live on? 2 bedroom apartment, not a fancy live style etc?
Difficult to assess ( the how long is a piece of string kinda query ) but search for cost of living ( Google powered option ) and you will find many other threads on the same topic.

http://www.englishforum.ch/daily-lif...f-library.html
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Old 16.10.2012, 04:08
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

Please take 22yards' and jrspet's comments seriously. It is very difficult for Americans to immigrate to Switzerland today.

And, in addition to the permit issues, understand that Americans are pretty much personae non gratae* in Switzerland these days, due to the heavy-handed tactics of Uncle Sam. Some Americans are having difficulties opening bank accounts and accessing financial services due to the difficulties FATCA presents to overseas financial institutions. (In some industries, FATCA is making it difficult for companies to hire Americans as well.)

Unless your wife is working in a specialized technical field with unique skills and years of proven experience - learn German. Or French. Or Italian, depending on where you decide to live. The days when one could get by in English only are waning, as with the economic downturn more and more EU folks are immigrating to Switzerland, employers already have such a large pool of talent to draw upon - most of whom are multi-lingual.


Switzerland is a very expensive country; do not underestimate what it will take to find a comfortable lifestyle here. And do not expect a US lifestyle. Housing is scarce; expect to live in an small by US standards flat.

No one can tell you what you need to earn, as that is totally individually dependent. But do a bit of searching on the Homegate site to get an idea of housing prices, do a bit of browsing on the Migros or Coop sites to get an idea of food prices. Health care is mandatory, browse the Comparis site to get an idea of costs. One can lead a nice life in Switzerland, by Swiss standards - but it won't come cheap.

I don't want to sound too discouraging, but too many Americans look at Switzerland with rose colored glasses, and are unprepared for the high hurdles it takes to get here, and unprepared for the reality of the place once here. Before you go further, you need to thoroughly think this through, eyes wide open.


----


*Unless you are seriously minted, as per 22yards' post.
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Old 16.10.2012, 04:22
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

You're from Cinci, and you're living in Africa? I can appreciate wanting to escape Ohio, Cinci in particular, but what makes you think Switzerland is shangri-la? I grew up out in corn country with a German (citizen, not just somewhere in the family tree) mother and I thought I had some idea of what I was getting into in terms of type-A uptightness. Not even close. And then, to add insult to injury, after coming back, everyone comes out of the woodwork to tell me how much they hated living in Switzerland (unbidden I might add, but still touching in it's American sort of way of not wanting to be a debbie downer but then wanting to share over the corpse).

If your wife wants to work without sharp language skills, it will be hard. If she wants to work and have children and without sharp language skills it will be harder. If you make upwards of 150kCHF, the taxation from both sides will make that also harder for her. In short, if your wife wants a life that doesn't include hausfrau in her CV, you need to think hard and do a lot of homework about what tradeoffs you're really looking for. Switzerland is no paradise, but I understand a lot of outdoorsy republican types really dig it.
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Old 16.10.2012, 04:47
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

And another thing to consider very carefully when considering leaving Cincinnati...

There is no Skyline Chili in Switzerland.



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Old 16.10.2012, 16:00
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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And another thing to consider very carefully when considering leaving Cincinnati...

There is no Skyline Chili in Switzerland.



Mmm...I should open a chili bar ala skyline. I'll have to make a pot for dinner now.... I'm pretty sure that the entire Bavarian plain has never met a spice it would consider palatable.
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Old 16.10.2012, 16:30
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

Hello fellow Ohioan (I was born in Toledo).

The other posters are correct in that you should really use a LOT of forethought and do a LOT of research before moving here.

Your wife will probably find it very difficult to find a job here if she isn't fluent in the language. The job market here is extremely competitive, even among the natives. I tried to get a job at an English bookstore here and they told me that it requires a degree in book-selling!

While Switzerland is known for having (relatively) high salaries, that doesn't necessarily mean that it balances out the high cost of living. Many people here are forced to live much more minimally than many Americans are. Most people here live in apartments because houses are very expensive and there aren't many of them. So lack of space and privacy is often an issue. And there is a lot of competition when it comes to trying to find an apartment.

Also, as an American citizen, you would still be required to pay U.S. taxes if you make (something like) $97,000 or more per year, even if your employer is a Swiss company. So you may be double-taxed -- having to pay both Swiss and U.S. taxes. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong here, but that's what I remember reading).

So I'm curious as to why exactly you've chose Switzerland as the country in which you think you want to live. The lack of crime and in-your-face poverty here is nice, but the weather is not so great. The winters are gloomy and rainy and the summers are very short. Often, the summer weather doesn't really begin until July.

Like the others, I'm not trying to be negative or dissuade you. But I think you are wise to ask the opinions of other expats and all the more wise to really do a lot of research before moving here.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Whatever you do, I wish you much luck and happiness.
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Old 16.10.2012, 17:23
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

Do either of you have Swiss or EU citizenship?

Tom
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Old 16.10.2012, 17:35
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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You're from Cinci, and you're living in Africa? I can appreciate wanting to escape Ohio, Cinci in particular, but what makes you think Switzerland is shangri-la? I grew up out in corn country with a German (citizen, not just somewhere in the family tree) mother and I thought I had some idea of what I was getting into in terms of type-A uptightness. Not even close. And then, to add insult to injury, after coming back, everyone comes out of the woodwork to tell me how much they hated living in Switzerland (unbidden I might add, but still touching in it's American sort of way of not wanting to be a debbie downer but then wanting to share over the corpse).

If your wife wants to work without sharp language skills, it will be hard. If she wants to work and have children and without sharp language skills it will be harder. If you make upwards of 150kCHF, the taxation from both sides will make that also harder for her. In short, if your wife wants a life that doesn't include hausfrau in her CV, you need to think hard and do a lot of homework about what tradeoffs you're really looking for. Switzerland is no paradise, but I understand a lot of outdoorsy republican types really dig it.
Outdoorsy - YES. Republican ?!?!? wash your mouth with soap - perlease!
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Old 16.10.2012, 18:00
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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Outdoorsy - YES. Republican ?!?!? wash your mouth with soap - perlease!

They are the ones with the money and Swiss bank accounts

Just to hammer in the point...not sure why you want to escape the US - if it is to pay lower taxes, do your calculations carefully as you could end up owing Uncle Sam if you are a US citizen or green card holder, and I am not sure that you come out ahead due to the high cost of living here. Not to mention extra paperwork required re:FACTA.

As a US citizen I also don't think you will be offered a residence permit to live here if you don't have a job here, unless you are a gazillionaire. I am not even sure if an EU citizen can reside here without a job?

Eating out really really prohibitive here. If that is something you like to do, Switzerland is not a good choice! I can't give you much info since we never eat out, but just for an example, our family meals at McDonalds exceeds $50 and that is usually only including 1 "normal" meal deal for an adult and 3 Happy Meals

I assume you currently still live in Cinci and are in Africa away from your wife for work. Are you looking for somewhere that would involve less travel time?

There are other places to live where you will find it easier and the people are friendly. But one needs to know your motivation to come to Switzerland and if it is only because it looks pretty...well, not sure that is the best reason.
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Old 16.10.2012, 18:27
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

Take heed and listen to all the posts on this string my friend. I just moved here with my wife and while I have a visa because my wife is a Swiss citizen, it is hard to get work, find housing, open bank accounts and you better have a truckload of money if you want to walk outside and do anything outside of mountain gazing.

Dont get me wrong - it is a beautiful place and if you have a job coming here making over $150K CHF you will probably enjoy all it has to offer but you need to have your ducks in a row.

Honestly if you are looking for a climate similar to Switzerland with cool people and high quality of living - turn your head to the West and consider Colorado or even Utah.

Not saying it is impossible and if you are set on trying it out, make sure have all of this well planned out in advance
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Old 16.10.2012, 18:45
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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They are the ones with the money and Swiss bank accounts

Just to hammer in the point...not sure why you want to escape the US - if it is to pay lower taxes, do your calculations carefully as you could end up owing Uncle Sam if you are a US citizen or green card holder, and I am not sure that you come out ahead due to the high cost of living here. Not to mention extra paperwork required re:FACTA.

As a US citizen I also don't think you will be offered a residence permit to live here if you don't have a job here, unless you are a gazillionaire. I am not even sure if an EU citizen can reside here without a job?

Eating out really really prohibitive here. If that is something you like to do, Switzerland is not a good choice! I can't give you much info since we never eat out, but just for an example, our family meals at McDonalds exceeds $50 and that is usually only including 1 "normal" meal deal for an adult and 3 Happy Meals

I assume you currently still live in Cinci and are in Africa away from your wife for work. Are you looking for somewhere that would involve less travel time?

There are other places to live where you will find it easier and the people are friendly. But one needs to know your motivation to come to Switzerland and if it is only because it looks pretty...well, not sure that is the best reason.
Ive been here for about 5 weeks now and Ive only ever eaten out once!That was not even a proper restaurant.

Im quite shocked that everybody has spoken against relocating to CH. You guys have painted such a grim picture for Americans!Im only a student here on a scholarship so I guess I am not experiencing the true life of CH. Makes me abit weary about trying to settle down here after I graduate.
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Old 16.10.2012, 18:45
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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Outdoorsy - YES. Republican ?!?!? wash your mouth with soap - perlease!
I'm neither outdoorsy nor republican. But no need to stop random generalizations. They make things easier, don't they?

I would be curious to know why the OP is interested in Switzerland. I have a feeling that the OP has a very different opinion of what Switzerland is than the reality.

Anyway, tax issues, I believe that there are special rules for seafarer/off shore workers (at least there are in some European countries) that you'll have to look into to see what the best tax options are if you are able to overcome the permit hurdles.
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Old 16.10.2012, 18:55
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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Im quite shocked that everybody has spoken against relocating to CH. You guys have painted such a grim picture for Americans!Im only a student here on a scholarship so I guess I am not experiencing the true life of CH. Makes me abit weary about trying to settle down here after I graduate.
It's not a grim picture, it's a polite tentative to bring someone to their senses (i.e. reality). You are partially in a different situation - you're studying here, you already live here, and so on.

There is no harm in dreaming of a change, and no harm in trying, but there is a certain trend on the EF of people having their own idea in their head about Switzerland (the "gut feeling" of the OP) which may or may not adhere to reality.

My interpretation of the responses is simply this: Switzerland is a great country in a lot of ways, but leave your gut feeling aside, be practical, and consider all these issues that you will have to deal with, which are very real: permits, banking issues being an American, tax implications, your wife may or may not find a job, you may or may not find a job, living arrangements, rules, etc. That's all.
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Old 16.10.2012, 19:16
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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I am not even sure if an EU citizen can reside here without a job?
EU Citizens can come & look for a job & get an L permit. EU Citizens who can support themselves are entitled to a B permit. Having a job is not a requirement.
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Old 16.10.2012, 19:35
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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Ive been here for about 5 weeks now and Ive only ever eaten out once!That was not even a proper restaurant.

Im quite shocked that everybody has spoken against relocating to CH. You guys have painted such a grim picture for Americans!Im only a student here on a scholarship so I guess I am not experiencing the true life of CH. Makes me abit weary about trying to settle down here after I graduate.

you were already coming here and didn't give us a chance to scare you off

Did we do so to the OP?
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Old 16.10.2012, 19:47
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

Hope for the best but expect the worst and if in doubt have a look at the thanks for the useful post for a inclination, however if you make it (and I would come here first for a lookie-see and don't get all starry eyed over the mountains and the Heidi idyll) then you will find a great place to live, also don't be put off by the doom and gloom lot, they made it, so did I (more or less) and so can you.
S'not gonna be a e-ticket ride though.
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Old 16.10.2012, 22:32
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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I'm neither outdoorsy nor republican. But no need to stop random generalizations. They make things easier, don't they?
Geez, everyone gets their pants in a twist over such a silly nothing. In an American context though, YES, by and large the ones who appear to like Switzerland more than your average Yankee are more conservative and enjoy the outdoors. You almost have to be to enjoy a country that makes Germany look downright laid back and where outdoorsy entertainments are on the cheaper side of the spectrum. If you don't fit that mold, well, there are exceptions to every rule except death and taxes.
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Old 16.10.2012, 22:46
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Re: I want to live in Switzerland !

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Geez, everyone gets their pants in a twist over such a silly nothing. In an American context though, YES, by and large the ones who appear to like Switzerland more than your average Yankee are more conservative and enjoy the outdoors. You almost have to be to enjoy a country that makes Germany look downright laid back and where outdoorsy entertainments are on the cheaper side of the spectrum. If you don't fit that mold, well, there are exceptions to every rule except death and taxes.
Indeed.

I'm a dyed in the wool New Englander, which means that I don't speak with neighbors I've known less than 20 years, I call the cops if my neighbors make noise without prior permission, and I like the fact that everything is closed on Sunday!

Really!

Tom
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