English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
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-   -   New, and in need of information. (https://www.englishforum.ch/introductions/256499-new-need-information.html)

PBN 01.07.2016 19:49

New, and in need of information.
 
So, I won't lie. Haven't browsed through the forums for any answers just yet... I've always gone with a direct approach and ask first.

My name is Nick. I currently live in the US, and I am looking to join my (soon to be) partner in Switzerland... and I guess I'm at a total loss on some things! I think we have a list of most, if not all the paperwork I will need, both for the marriage, my application for residency permit with my partner, and so on... but we are both at a lost in a few areas.

I guess the biggest question of all up front would be taxes... as a US citizen will I still owe taxes living in Switzerland? I figured since I will not be living in the country or earning money here anymore that I would not, as long as I do not owe anything. Is that true? We're also unsure as to how I would affect my partner's taxes. Until I found a job I would be dependent on him. He is still finishing an apprenticeship if this information helps. Even once I got a job, how would this affect him, or us? I was told taxes are done by the canton, and we would currently be living in the Thurgau canton. My partner has also spoken of the possibility that I would receive unemployment compensation until I found a job, as long as I have worked recently and provide information showing so. Is this true, and what information or paperwork would be required?

I know health insurance is mandatory, and I'm pretty sure I will be able to be put on a plan with his employer's provider, so I think that's covered, but if there is anything specific I might need in terms of paperwork for this that I need, I'm not sure of.

I am currently learning high german, and receiving influence from my partner and his family when I have visited and stayed. I would love to take it a step forward, because currently (mostly because I'm here in the US, and don't practice it with anyone other than my partner) I feel like I am going nowhere with it. Are there any state sponsored language programs for people who are immigrating?

I know this is a lot in one introductory post, but I've got a lot to try and figure out. We're trying to make this happen as soon as we can. It's been six years that we have been together by the end of this week. We're excited to start this chapter of our lives. Thank you for any information you can help us with!

SOBEIT 01.07.2016 19:50

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Welcome and enjoy.

lost_inbroad 01.07.2016 19:52

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Hello and welcome to the forum.

DantesDame 01.07.2016 20:04

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PBN (Post 2617394)
So, I won't lie. Haven't browsed through the forums for any answers just yet... I've always gone with a direct approach and ask first.


Welcome!

To be honest, the above approach isn't very nice. This forum is FILLED with information. Please do a search on your questions and THEN come back with any specific questions that haven't been answered. We love to help new people, but keep in mind that there are a lot of you, and answering the same questions (over and over) gets tedious.



Quote:

Originally Posted by PBN (Post 2617394)
We're excited to start this chapter of our lives.

It will be exciting and I wish you both well :)

PBN 01.07.2016 20:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by DantesDame (Post 2617402)
Welcome!

To be honest, the above approach isn't very nice. This forum is FILLED with information. Please do a search on your questions and THEN come back with any specific questions that haven't been answered. We love to help new people, but keep in mind that there are a lot of you, and answering the same questions (over and over) gets tedious.





It will be exciting and I wish you both well :)

Thanks! And I know it isn't... but that's not to say that I'm not currently browsing through :) I'm finding a lot of interesting topics that have 100% confirmed various other questions I have already figured out, but having knowledged sources to confirm them as well is wonderful. I believe I'm pretty much set... most of my biggest things I believe I still need to put together are just exactly what paperwork I need for everything.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lost_inbroad (Post 2617397)
Hello and welcome to the forum.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SOBEIT (Post 2617396)
Welcome and enjoy.

Thank you!

Medea Fleecestealer 01.07.2016 21:16

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Welcome to the forum and soon to Switzerland. :)

I'm assuming from your name and the fact you refer to your partner as him that this is a same sex relationship. Well, the Swiss don't recognise this as a marriage - it's a registered same-sex partnership here. If you're getting hitched here this is what you'll be entering into.

https://www.ch.ch/en/registered-partnership/

Unemployment, sorry no, not unless you've worked in Switzerland or the EU in the last 12 months.

Finances/tax-wise well, you're going to be in for a shock so take a deep breath.

Firstly the US tax system is based on citizenship, while the rest of the world operates on a residency based system. So yes, you'll pay tax here as you'll be resident here. However, that doesn't let you off the US hook as Americans are obliged to file US tax returns and yes, may owe the US tax too, no matter where they live in the world. There are some exemptions/reductions you can claim, but no guarantee that you won't owe the US something depending on how much you earn. Even if you owe nothing you still need to file unless you're below the filing amount. Start your research on that here:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...g-requirements

Second, Swiss bank accounts. As a US citizen you're pretty much a person non gratis outside of the US and particularly here in Switzerland thanks to the US's FATCA law. You will be able to get a basic checking/salary account, but that's likely it. No mortgage, no investment account unless you're already very wealthy. To open that account you'll need to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account info on to the IRS. Your partner may also have to do this if the bank is being particularly paranoid about the American taint.

KEEP YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS SEPARATE FROM YOUR PARTNER'S. Why? Because as well as filing annual returns (which your partner may also need to do - check the IRS website) if any "foreign", i.e.outside of the US, account/s in your name or that you have signing rights on like a joint account come to an aggregate figure of more than $10,000 at any time of the year they will also have to be reported on a FBAR form, detailing said account/s and the figure/s in them. This is adminstered by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network - which gives you an idea of how Americans living abroad are seen by the government.

Third, Swiss tax. You'll both be included on the one tax form and there are 3 levels of taxes - gemeinde, canton and federal. The canton is the base one, gemeinde is worked out from the cantonal tax and federal is a different rate. If you get a job you may be taxed at source. Best to have a chat to with the cantonal tax office to work out what's the best route for filing.

Health insurance - all residents have to have Swiss health insurance cover, it's mandatory. All providers offer the basic cover which is the same, but you can have different franchises which will lower your monthly payments, but mean you have to pay more up front first before the insurance kicks in. You can also add on supplementary insurance for things like a semi-private or private room, cost of calling an ambulance out, etc. Pre-existing conditions can't be excluded from the basic cover, but it's likely to be difficult to impossible to get supplementary, depending on what the condition is. Make sure that you have accident cover included, your partner is covered for this by his employer as he works over 8 hours a week, but you won't be so will need to add it on. If/when you find a job where you work more than 8 hours a week, then you can cancel the accident part of your health insurance policy.

As well as reading the various sticky threads here on the forum I suggest you get hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after you move. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the internet.

PBN 01.07.2016 22:25

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2617434)
Welcome to the forum and soon to Switzerland. :)

Thank you! You assume right, that is why I kept referring to our partnership, and not marriage, though I probably should of stated that directly. Honestly that was our biggest problem was working out taxes. I knew I would have to still file my US taxes, as well as Swiss taxes... but I had no clue and could find no sources saying if I would actually owe anything on my US taxes, other than what I already owed. I own no assets other than my own personal items here, and for the first bit while we adjust I would be unemployed with no income.

Thank you for taking your time and answering a few questions. I've learned quite a lot so far, and found quite a few helpful resources here.

IoannisGr 01.07.2016 22:29

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Welcome m8:msncool:

heckenhocker 01.07.2016 22:53

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
welcome!

as far as paperwork goes....the best advice I can give is to get a ring binder and plastic pockets. Put everything you can think you possibly need in it (birth certificate, copy of passport ID page and Swiss visa page, copy of residence permit when you get that,copy of rental contract where you are living...)

then add all the documents you think no one would ever need (passport size photographs, copy of medical insurance registration, employment contract if you find a job, letter confirming you are allowed to live where you live if you are not on the rental contract....)

Take it to all appointments where you are registering/arranging anything....I've done this the last two international moves, and it has saved me so much time hunting out documents or returning for another appointment with the right stuff. Having spare copies ready of the key stuff (passport, residence permit) can make officials quite happy :msngrin:

tgif 02.07.2016 14:33

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Good luck and welcome to EF!

DantesDame 02.07.2016 20:26

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Oh, speaking of resumes (CV), be prepared to completely re-work yours. The Swiss CV is nothing like a US CV. You'll need to include things like age, nationality, a photo...

Medea Fleecestealer 02.07.2016 21:01

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DantesDame (Post 2617774)
Oh, speaking of resumes (CV), be prepared to completely re-work yours. The Swiss CV is nothing like a US CV. You'll need to include things like age, nationality, a photo...

And most important your PERMIT STATUS! As a non-EU national you're last in the jobs queue, but your family reunification permit will negate that. So make sure it's prominently shown on your CV. I would put it as: Marital Status: Registered Partnership - B permit. The Swiss will probably want to know your marital status anyway so put the two together which makes it obvious you have a permit that allows you to work.

PBN 04.07.2016 03:44

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DantesDame (Post 2617774)
Oh, speaking of resumes (CV), be prepared to completely re-work yours. The Swiss CV is nothing like a US CV. You'll need to include things like age, nationality, a photo...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2617791)
And most important your PERMIT STATUS! As a non-EU national you're last in the jobs queue, but your family reunification permit will negate that. So make sure it's prominently shown on your CV. I would put it as: Marital Status: Registered Partnership - B permit. The Swiss will probably want to know your marital status anyway so put the two together which makes it obvious you have a permit that allows you to work.

This I am aware of, other than that my permit would negate that. Wonderful to know, thank you all!

I've gotten the last thing I know I need with certainty that will take time to get ready to be ordered, we're currently taking a few months to ensure things are fine on the monetary front. I guess really the biggest thing now is to work on becoming fluent with german.

Medea Fleecestealer 04.07.2016 07:10

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Yes, so long as you are married to a Swiss/EU national or a non-EU national holding a B permit you are allowed to work and aren't subject to the non-EU hiring rules. However, should the partnership break up, then your employer would have to go through the non-hiring rules to be able to continue employing you as you would no longer be eligible for the family reunification permit and would need a new indpendent one.

Verbier 04.07.2016 08:03

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
I wanted to expand on your question of health insurance. Health insurance in CH is NOT handled via the company as you allude to in your question (as is often the case in the USA). It is handled independantly between the individual and one of the many insurance companies that offer the basic health insurance that you must have (everyone in CH is insured).

This base level of insurance (which is very good) is called LaMal in French or KVG in German (Krankenversicherung). The cost per month is dependant on your age, the canton/city you live in and what level of deductable you choose to self cover before the insurance kicks in. There are also several less expensive models available that are somewhat like HMOs in the USA that tend to have a lower cost but with restrictions. You can look at the options on a site called Comparis.ch. It will be in D/F/I languages.

As M-F mentioned, if you are not working, you will need to pay the accident insurance as well. It will be about CHF 10/month. This covers you for accidents that require medical attention (think skiing, hiking etc.)

Realistically, depending on your age, your health and the deductable you should count on about CHF 350/month.

Guest 04.07.2016 11:05

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Verbier (Post 2618167)
I wanted to expand on your question of health insurance. Health insurance in CH is NOT handled via the company as you allude to in your question (as is often the case in the USA). It is handled independantly between the individual and one of the many insurance companies that offer the basic health insurance that you must have (everyone in CH is insured).

This base level of insurance (which is very good) is called LaMal in French or KVG in German (Krankenversicherung). The cost per month is dependant on your age, the canton/city you live in and what level of deductable you choose to self cover before the insurance kicks in. There are also several less expensive models available that are somewhat like HMOs in the USA that tend to have a lower cost but with restrictions. You can look at the options on a site called Comparis.ch. It will be in D/F/I languages.

As M-F mentioned, if you are not working, you will need to pay the accident insurance as well. It will be about CHF 10/month. This covers you for accidents that require medical attention (think skiing, hiking etc.)

Realistically, depending on your age, your health and the deductable you should count on about CHF 350/month.

so you say if a person loses his job he will not have to pay that insurance around 300 euro but instead only that basic cover of 10 francs for accidents. Did I understand corectly ?

btw comparis has it in English too https://en.comparis.ch/

st2lemans 04.07.2016 11:14

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RHammer (Post 2618254)
so you say if a person loses his job he will not have to pay that insurance around 300 euro but instead only that basic cover of 10 francs for accidents. Did I understand corectly ?

No.

You will pay the CHF 10 or so for accident insurance on top of the CHF 300 or that you already pay for health insurance.

Tom

Guest 04.07.2016 12:00

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 2618263)
No.

You will pay the CHF 10 or so for accident insurance on top of the CHF 300 or that you already pay for health insurance.

Tom

and what if person cannot or doesn't pay ? is it deferred or...

Medea Fleecestealer 04.07.2016 12:12

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RHammer (Post 2618290)
and what if person cannot or doesn't pay ? is it deferred or...

Health insurance is mandatory, you have to pay it or you won't be covered, simple as that. There's no deferment. If you don't arrange cover yourself, the canton will put you on their default policy which may be more expensive.

If you have a job you purchase health insurance without the additional accident cover as this is provided by your employer. If you don't work then you purchase health insurance with the additional accident cover.

http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/krank...x.html?lang=en

Guest 04.07.2016 12:40

Re: New, and in need of information.
 
Jesus, it's even worse if you do not work.


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