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Old 09.12.2016, 10:18
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Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

I am Swiss and my wife is from Hong Kong, and we currently live in Hong Kong. Planning to move to Switzerland latest by 2020, having set our target on Basel.

Our kids are also Swiss citizens, so it's just my wife that need a residence/work permit - and at some stage, citizenship. It used to be such that the wife of a Swiss automatically got citizenship - but I think by now, it must be earned ...

Having lived in several countries for extended periods, our language and culture is a bit diverse - but we are SO ready for Switzerland, even what some consider downsides.
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Old 09.12.2016, 10:25
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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I am Swiss and my wife is from Hong Kong, and we currently live in Hong Kong. Planning to move to Switzerland latest by 2020, having set our target on Basel.

Our kids are also Swiss citizens, so it's just my wife that need a residence/work permit - and at some stage, citizenship. It used to be such that the wife of a Swiss automatically got citizenship - but I think by now, it must be earned ...

Having lived in several countries for extended periods, our language and culture is a bit diverse - but we are SO ready for Switzerland, even what some consider downsides.
Well you sure plan ahead welcome to EF.
Your wife will get a B "Verbleib beim Ehemann" (continuance with husband) for a start.
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Old 09.12.2016, 12:03
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

Welcome to the forum.

Well, not really. There is still facilitated naturalisation for spouses and the rules aren't that onerous.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...uergerung.html

She'll get a B permit under family reunification when you do decide to move, but check and make sure whether she'll need a Type D visa to enter Switzerland long term, i.e. for more than 90 days. If so she'll need to apply and get it from the Swiss embassy/consulate in HK.
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Old 09.12.2016, 12:06
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

i am from Hong Kong as well!

hello to your HKers!
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Old 20.12.2018, 06:41
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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i am from Hong Kong as well!

hello to your HKers!
Lei hou ah, Luga

So it's still not 2020, but goal is set to be some time in 2019.

We have now been married for over 6 years and despite not living in CH, I have been told by the HK consulate that my wife can already apply for citizenship now. She is studying German and also Swiss history/geography at the moment. We have been many times to CH for vacation. Passport is in no rush, as long as she can live and work in CH.

Goal is now changed from Basel to the West/Northwest. Maybe SG, TG or somewhere in that region. Optimum would be a house in the countryside to rent, with possibility to buy it later, if we like the area. Maybe not realistic?

We want to be in the countryside, although with some local community (kids will be around 4 and 5 1/2 when we move there). The eternal compromise to have everything within reach, yet have a quiet life.

Was looking at Eco community village life - saw Sennrüti in Degersheim, SG (under Wil). Don't know the details yet but this seems very interesting. The size of the ajourning village of around 4000 or so has the basic needs of schools, daily shopping, doctors and such. 12 minute walk to the station, 1:30 by train to the airport, with only one change in St Gallen station.

Taxes won't be too much of an issue due to double tax agreement with HK - at least not to begin with. Costs for insurance, rent and other associated costs weigh up more. We should be OK financially, though.

We definitely want to live in the German speaking part of CH - not in a city, not in a remote Dorf either.

Thoughts for or against?

Where would YOU go to, if you had to start all over (considering our situation)?

Any other eco villages that are not radical religious but focus mainly on bio, recycling, 0-energy and such? Not that it has to be, but we will definitely take a look into that lifestyle.
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Old 20.12.2018, 07:52
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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Well you sure plan ahead
He‘s Swiss, right

Welcome to the forum! I note you have ruled out cities....but I wonder if that‘s because you compare them to Hong Kong or other international places?

I‘m not a city person (hated living in London, chose villages when living in UK and Luxembourg, found Düsseldorf rather too much), but have found Swiss cities to be far more manageable. In both Bern and St Gallen we found apartments right next to green areas where walking and running were possible, and felt more like a village than a town. Yet in both cases, 15 minutes or less to the main train station.
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Old 20.12.2018, 14:40
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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He‘s Swiss, right .
Yeah well, so am I. But the 'plan ahead for many years' gene I seem to miss.

OP, welcome again after two years.

<<Goal is now changed from Basel to the West/Northwest. Maybe SG, TG or somewhere in that region>> SG, TG etc. are in the EAST part of Switzerland

I know nothing about Herzfeld Sennrüti apart from what I just read on their website. Did you visit them yet? This is a very special way of living and while it could make things and integration easier for your wife and kids it could also become a double culture shock.

There is a difference between moving to a community (a town or village) and get to know neighbours and moving to a community like Herzfeld Sennrüti who seems to aim more at an extended-family-community.
If the latter is what you like, good. But inform yourself well as there are already huge changes waiting for your family without this special project.
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Old 21.12.2018, 07:02
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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He‘s Swiss, right

Welcome to the forum! I note you have ruled out cities....but I wonder if that‘s because you compare them to Hong Kong or other international places?

I‘m not a city person (hated living in London, chose villages when living in UK and Luxembourg, found Düsseldorf rather too much), but have found Swiss cities to be far more manageable. In both Bern and St Gallen we found apartments right next to green areas where walking and running were possible, and felt more like a village than a town. Yet in both cases, 15 minutes or less to the main train station.
We are well aware of that, heckenhocker. We have also considered it. And yes, it also has to do with HK and the cities.

I have lived in many countries, my wife mainly in HK. I have done a bit of experiments with renewable energy before (thermal solar) and want to continue that somehow. We could rent an apartment and live in the middle of it all, but it's not really what we want. We do want people around us to integrate and socialise with. Looking at a more remote older farm house would be ideal for energy experiments (I need some space also), but it would be worse for the kids - with regards to socialising.

Like so many other things in life - it's a compromise.

The planning part is mainly due to financial commitment that makes it nearly impossible for us to move - yet - but we expect to be able to during 2019. About time, because our older one will be 5 in a couple of months. Within the family we speak English, although it's neither of ours mother tongue. I am expecting the kids to steer our household language towards Swiss German, once they speak it with friends and KG/schoolmates.
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Old 21.12.2018, 07:22
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to West/Nordwest SG/TG/? (was:Basel)

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Yeah well, so am I. But the 'plan ahead for many years' gene I seem to miss.

OP, welcome again after two years.

<<Goal is now changed from Basel to the West/Northwest. Maybe SG, TG or somewhere in that region>> SG, TG etc. are in the EAST part of Switzerland

I know nothing about Herzfeld Sennrüti apart from what I just read on their website. Did you visit them yet? This is a very special way of living and while it could make things and integration easier for your wife and kids it could also become a double culture shock.

There is a difference between moving to a community (a town or village) and get to know neighbours and moving to a community like Herzfeld Sennrüti who seems to aim more at an extended-family-community.
If the latter is what you like, good. But inform yourself well as there are already huge changes waiting for your family without this special project.
Thank you, curley. It's more of a commitment, than a plan. We would have moved in 2016 if finances were aligned better.

As you can see in my previous post, I am interested in renewable energy. I have already done quite a bit of my own, spare time research, during the last decade (on and off, not in Hong Kong). I am also very interested in that localised life style, and interaction. Making your own things locally really excites me - and the extended family style of living. Sennrüti is interesting enough for us to want to visit it next time we go to Switzerland for vacation. Maybe it's us, maybe it's not. I have a warm feeling about it but ready to learn more first. I didn't even read about their financial model yet (I have encountered other eco villages where you surrender all your assets to the common pool - we will not be able to take it that far, but very happy and eager to share the costs and workload of the community)

Whether Sennrüti or a similar place would be a "double culture shock" remains to be seen. I think it will be a help, more than anything else. Being in a farm house in a sleeping Dorf would definitely have its challenges: How to create a network from the bottom up?

Since we don't have any specific areas we must go to, we are open to suggestions. I will need to make my way to the airport now and then, so it can't be the remotest alp Dorf there is - also needs to have some kind of community like KG/school (at least including primary), healthcare, supermarket and maybe even a Bauhaus type of place (like that "farmers bauhaus", forgot the name). We are NOT looking for bars and night life, but more so family related group activities, nature and open spaces.

Of places we visited, an ideal place could be somewhere we can afford a small house, parking for at least one car, local farmers around offering produce, open minded neighbourhood where we won't be "the isolated newcomers" for years.

Tax wise - as long as I pay most of my tax overseas (due to double tax agreements), then we have the luxury to be able to chose a higher tax but lower real estate price area. Looking into Credit Suisse publications and similar, trying to get an overview of things, I don't think we are moving to Zürich, Zug and such places.
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Old 21.12.2018, 09:36
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

I guess since your wife has been to CH before, she's prepared for the food shock...
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Old 21.12.2018, 11:47
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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I guess since your wife has been to CH before, she's prepared for the food shock...
She loves the food, we all do. You should see what is available in HK ... just being able to buy nice bread everywhere: In Hong Kong it's very hard to find, and when you do - it easily costs 10 CHF for a decent loaf of bread.

We are probably going to have raclette Christmas eve (in Hong Kong). My wife makes Rösti now and then, and we also some times eat cheese fondue (although we prefer raclette).

Sure, she will often cook rice or noodles, but that's not hard to find in Switzerland.

It's funny when people tell me it's so expensive in CH. When we shop in Migros or Coop, we are like kids in a candy store. Much better quality than Hong Kong, yet cheaper (except for items like cup noodles and such, which we hardly ever buy anyway).

I know other things are more expensive in CH than HK, and that DE/FR/IT are cheaper than CH. We are mainly happy that it's available. One should think oranges (Apfelsin = Apple from China) is cheaper in HK. We often pay more than 1 CHF - per orange!
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Old 21.12.2018, 18:00
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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Lei hou ah, Luga

So it's still not 2020, but goal is set to be some time in 2019.

We have now been married for over 6 years and despite not living in CH, I have been told by the HK consulate that my wife can already apply for citizenship now. She is studying German and also Swiss history/geography at the moment. We have been many times to CH for vacation. Passport is in no rush, as long as she can live and work in CH.

Goal is now changed from Basel to the West/Northwest. Maybe SG, TG or somewhere in that region. Optimum would be a house in the countryside to rent, with possibility to buy it later, if we like the area. Maybe not realistic?

We want to be in the countryside, although with some local community (kids will be around 4 and 5 1/2 when we move there). The eternal compromise to have everything within reach, yet have a quiet life.

Was looking at Eco community village life - saw Sennrüti in Degersheim, SG (under Wil). Don't know the details yet but this seems very interesting. The size of the ajourning village of around 4000 or so has the basic needs of schools, daily shopping, doctors and such. 12 minute walk to the station, 1:30 by train to the airport, with only one change in St Gallen station.

Taxes won't be too much of an issue due to double tax agreement with HK - at least not to begin with. Costs for insurance, rent and other associated costs weigh up more. We should be OK financially, though.

We definitely want to live in the German speaking part of CH - not in a city, not in a remote Dorf either.

Thoughts for or against?

Where would YOU go to, if you had to start all over (considering our situation)?

Any other eco villages that are not radical religious but focus mainly on bio, recycling, 0-energy and such? Not that it has to be, but we will definitely take a look into that lifestyle.
Lai Ho ah.
i canot help much about where to stay, or tax issue. but one thing for sure, the property price here is way much reasonable then back to Hong kong. if you can afford to buy a flat in HK, definitely no problem to get one here.

I do not get the passport here, but i will renew my BNO soon. it was horrible to have my Hong Kong passport when i travel to Morocco last summer...
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Old 21.12.2018, 18:03
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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I guess since your wife has been to CH before, she's prepared for the food shock...
actually Hong kong is pretty western, bread, cheese, ham, we can buy these pretty easy and it is popular.

To be a very city girl, i am more shock about the party/clubbing's choice here...or maybe i just don't know too much.

I miss my Friday weekend fever a lot.
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Old 22.12.2018, 02:58
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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actually Hong kong is pretty western, bread, cheese, ham, we can buy these pretty easy and it is popular.

To be a very city girl, i am more shock about the party/clubbing's choice here...or maybe i just don't know too much.

I miss my Friday weekend fever a lot.
What do you mean Friday Fever? It's Friday every day in Wan Chai!

Right now, I just got home after working all night. And they keep shooting fireworks on and off, very loud rounds of firecrackers. I know it's only Saturday, but even Sunday morning at 5 am, someone here could suddenly feel the need to scare some ghosts away, and shoot off several seconds long round of firecracker.

THAT ... is something I won't miss from HK. Along with many other things. Can't wait for the peace and quiet.
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Old 22.12.2018, 04:12
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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actually Hong kong is pretty western, bread, cheese, ham, we can buy these pretty easy and it is popular.

To be a very city girl, i am more shock about the party/clubbing's choice here...or maybe i just don't know too much.

I miss my Friday weekend fever a lot.
I think Phil may have some insight into what Hong Kong offers
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Old 22.12.2018, 08:56
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

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I think Phil may have some insight into what Hong Kong offers
I think luba meant partying in Basel, not HK.
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Old 22.12.2018, 09:21
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to West/Nordwest SG/TG/? (was:Basel)

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...
Tax wise - as long as I pay most of my tax overseas (due to double tax agreements),..
While I'm aware that international taxation is complex, why would you be paying most of your tax overseas? And it you were, why do you think you would be saving money?

You pay tax where you're tax resident, and that's usually decided for you by the tax authorities. It's possible to be tax resident in more than one country, and dual taxation means that you don't pay more tax than the higher taxing country.

If HK tax you at 10% and CH at 20%, CH will give you a credit for the amount you paid in HK, but you still have to pay the rest. But why would HK tax you at all?
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Old 24.12.2018, 05:39
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to West/Nordwest SG/TG/? (was:Basel)

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While I'm aware that international taxation is complex, why would you be paying most of your tax overseas? And it you were, why do you think you would be saving money?

You pay tax where you're tax resident, and that's usually decided for you by the tax authorities. It's possible to be tax resident in more than one country, and dual taxation means that you don't pay more tax than the higher taxing country.

If HK tax you at 10% and CH at 20%, CH will give you a credit for the amount you paid in HK, but you still have to pay the rest. But why would HK tax you at all?
If I keep my work in HK, and commute to CH - then it WILL be the case. The dual tax agreement between HK and CH is such that you pay tax where it is earned. Done. I know because I have colleges who do just that.

If I earn money on the side in CH, and when my wife gets a job - that income will be taxed in CH.

That is why I say that choosing a place to live in CH where tax is somewhat higher, but real estate / renting is cheaper - will make sense for our family, as long as I commute.
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Old 24.12.2018, 10:01
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

Hmm. Tread carefully - it's a complex area. You should definitely get some informed legal/taxation advice rather than rely on colleagues' situations (who may even be doing it incorrectly), to avoid any unpleasantness in the future.

https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/mes...ents/21401.pdf
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Old 25.12.2018, 22:08
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Re: Swiss/HK couple moving to Basel

Regardless of your tax situation, all the best with your move!
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