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Old 19.12.2017, 21:21
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Moving to Switzerland from the UK

Hello,

I could use some sound advice, if anyone can give me any?

After more than 25 years of visiting Switzerland on holiday, I am wondering if it would be possible to move there from the UK.

I am 36, single, am trained and experienced in film/TV/web-video making, but also am an experienced housekeeper/cleaner, including from 5* chalet work in Switzerland. I also have intermediate level German, which could easily be improved on.

Due to the looming prospect of Brexit, the growing chaos of which is becoming alarming, and the loss of my EU Citizenship, either in March 2015 when Article 50 expires, or def-facto in 2020-21, when the proposed UK exit transition period (which will allow the UK all the facets of EU membership but without the political representation)ends, I am in bit of a race against time.

Moneywise - I have around £10,000 in the bank, and will at least double this over the next year, even potentially more when my parents move to their new house and I get a share of the sale price of the old one.

Is what I would like to do possible, or am I likely to be thwarted by Swiss Permit laws, or other obstacles, especially when I lose my EU Citizenship?

If anyone can advise me, I would be very grateful.

Chris Rosindale
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  #2  
Old 19.12.2017, 22:00
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

Welcome to the forum Chris.

Answer is nobody knows for sure what the future holds. At the moment as an EU national you can come here to look for work for up to 3 months as a tourist. If you don't find a job in that timeframe you can apply for a job seeker permit for another 3 months, providing you have sufficient funds to support yourself. General figure to work to is CHF100 per day so you're looking at around CHF18,000 to cover the 6 months.

If you find work you'll get a permit - an L if the contract is for less than a year, a B if it's for more than a year. As an EU national B permits are usually issued for 5 years before they need to be renewed, assuming you're still employed. You can also become self-employed providing you have a good business plan and sufficient funding to keep you going while the business gets established.

What the situation will be when the UK leaves the EU we just don't know. Switzerland is not part of the EU or EFTA although it has many bilateral agreements with the EU such as Free Movement. But the UK and Switzerland may well need to make their own agreements separate from any EU ones that are negotiated. As a "non-EU" national if you wanted to change jobs your new employer might be required to prove they can't find a Swiss/EU national who could do the job since they have hiring priority - but again, we just don't know what's going to happen. I think it's unlikely that any change in UK nationals' status here would be retroactive, but the Swiss are also looking at changing the rules on getting and keeping all types of permits.

https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...t-holders.html

There's certainly nothing to stop you trying to find a job here at the moment and in the near future, but post-Brexit is a complete unknown and will be for some foreseeable time.
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Old 02.09.2018, 17:26
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

Thanks Medea - even though it has been some time since you replied to my post!

Once my parents can sell their old house, and I get my share of the proceeds from that sale, I would look to move across before the end of 2020, or preferably before the end of 2019.

As a result of possessing a huge, extensive, detailed knowledge of Switzerland from over 25 years of visiting the country on holiday, both in summer and autumn, I am seriously considering the option of using all of this knowledge to set-up my own Swiss tourist tour-guiding business once I moved across. I would rather be self-employed than at the mercy of Swiss employers, especially once my EU citizenship rights are lost at the end of transition - assuming it goes ahead.

Initially, I would offer my services as a guide to other holiday companies, and then in the future set-up on my own. I have a special knowledge of the Swiss railway system, and contacts both within it and within the worldwide Swiss rail enthusiasts movement. As rail-themed holidays to Switzerland are a frequent sight among holiday adverts in the UK, I may be well placed to find work as a guide for them. Hiking holidays are another strong area of knowledge which I possess, and could use in a similar way.

Would my idea work in your view, and how would I go about registering myself as self-employed in Switzerland?

Thanks!

Chris
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Old 02.09.2018, 17:31
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

A lot will depend on how much money you have to start your adventure.

Do you have a business plan and suffient funds to set this up?
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Old 02.09.2018, 17:41
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

Hi Roegner,

I have not managed to think that far ahead, simply because until the old house is sold I do not know exactly how much money I will have, and I cannot make the move until I have it.

I have been working on an assumed base figure of £35,000 which converts to CHF40,000+. Any more than that I am unlikely to be able to raise before the transition ended. I would start small, with as few overheads as possible. The widespread use of the internet now makes it much easier to publicise a business, and it is much cheaper than hard copy methods, so I could generate interest in my business before I even left the UK.

Does what I am outlining here sound feasible to you?

Many thanks,

Chris
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Old 02.09.2018, 19:10
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

Again, it's difficult to say until we know what the status of UK nationals will be here. If still considered the same as EU nationals then with a good business plan and sufficient funds to keep you going while the business gets established it shouldn't be difficult.

On the other hand if UK nationals fall under the non-EU rules it probably won't be possible.

SME are changing their documents on this atm - here's what I've found so far.

https://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu/en/home...-start-up.html

Found the one I was looking for.

https://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu/en/home...-national.html

The same applies for being employed by another company. EU national status it shouldn't be too difficult, non-EU and the company has to prove why they can't find a Swiss/EU national who could do the job.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html
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Old 19.12.2019, 21:08
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

It has been more than a year since I was in contact with you all, but my intended plan is now this, with the UK now exiting the EU on 31/01/20 and entering the transition period until 31/12/20, which would at last provide me with a long enough period of certainty to carry it out (before the 12/12/19 UK General Election result, this was not the case):

I am looking to use my remaining period of FOM rights to re-locate to Switzerland between 01/03/20 - 01/05/20, and set-up my business. I would be starting as a self-employed tour guide, and the business would be head-quartered in Switzerland, not the UK.

The business plan is already being drawn-up, and for ease of access to much of the country in terms of travel times, I am thinking of basing myself in or very close to Luzern, as that is pretty central and with good connections to much of the country.

My available funds, now that my parent's old house has been sold, would range between CHF 38400 and 64000, with my share of the sale's proceeds. The exact figure in that range is still to be negotiated with my parents.

What I need to know is:

1) Arriving by 01/05/20 would leave me with 8 months to get myself legally resident in Switzerland - is that enough to get a B Permit, as that seems to be the one I would most likely be able to obtain? Also, would 8 months be sufficient to set-up my business?

2) Given the now agreed Citizen's Rights and Admission to Labour Market Agreements, how would those impact my plans? As I understand it, as long as I can get myself legally resident on a B Permit at least, I will be safe in the long-term, or at least for 5 years until I would need to renew the permit or go for a C Permit?

3) How would my intended 8-month minimum period before the end of the transition period impact my chances of getting a rental agreement for somewhere to live? I am not sure how that relates to the previously mentioned, signed 2 agreements?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Chris
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Old 19.12.2019, 21:37
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

1) that will depend on the business you plan to run. You'll need to show you have sufficient funds to support yourself while the business gets established, but you may also need to show you have some clients already lined up ready to use your services. I'd check with the Luzern cantonal employment office on what they'd require for this. Also the cantonal migration office since they'd be the ones issuing the permit if they approve it.

2) You'd be fine up until your next permit renewal. Even with a C residency is only guaranteed as long as it's valid. If/when it expires and isn't renewed for some reason means you lose the right to live/work here. Same would apply for a B permit. New integration laws regarding the granting and renewal of permits came into force in January this year. The only guaranteed way to be sure of staying here long term is gaining Swiss citizenship, but that first requires you to have a C permit.

3) Again depends on the landlord/agency of the property. Some might want a shorter tenancy agreement so you'd be fine if you can get one of those. But make sure you read and understand the rental termination conditions.
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Old 19.12.2019, 22:19
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

Thank you Medea.

Would it be possible to renew a B or C Permit in the usual way after 2020, as I understood that UK Citizens rights - of those already legally resident before the end of FOM - would be protected for life under the Swiss-UK Citizens Rights Agreement? As long as the permit was renewed before the existing one expired, I thought I would be safe?

I would intend to go down the Swiss Citizenship route as soon as I became eligible, for that very reason, but is it/would it be possible to change from a B to a C permit in the future after the end of FOM, under the Citizens Rights treaty?

What were the new Integration laws which came into force in January this year, what do they specify? I assume that language proficiency is one of them, and being involved in Swiss society as much as possible?

Would I be able to obtain a rental agreement on a B or C Permit after the end of FOM, or would landlords discriminate against people in my position?

Thank you,

Chris
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Old 19.12.2019, 22:25
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

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Thank you Medea.

Would it be possible to renew a B or C Permit in the usual way after 2020, as I understood that UK Citizens rights - of those already legally resident before the end of FOM - would be protected for life under the Swiss-UK Citizens Rights Agreement? As long as the permit was renewed before the existing one expired, I thought I would be safe?

I would intend to go down the Swiss Citizenship route as soon as I became eligible, for that very reason, but is it/would it be possible to change from a B to a C permit in the future after the end of FOM, under the Citizens Rights treaty?

What were the new Integration laws which came into force in January this year, what do they specify? I assume that language proficiency is one of them, and being involved in Swiss society as much as possible?

Would I be able to obtain a rental agreement on a B or C Permit after the end of FOM, or would landlords discriminate against people in my position?

Thank you,

Chris
As long as your situation hasn't changed..... i.e. you are still making enough money, you'll be able to re-new your permit as normal. The deal CH & UK has done, allows people already resident here to remain.

However, getting permission to be self-employed here is not a given, not like in the UK where as long as you pay your taxes they don't care. I tried when I already had a B-permit (through marriage) and they said no, end of, no discussion. So whilst you should still go ahead with your plans, if you want to be sure of getting your residence permit in the next 12 months, I'd start looking for employed jobs too as a back-up plan.
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Old 19.12.2019, 22:31
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

Why did they say no to you starting a business? What were their reasons?

I have much experience in the hospitality industry, especially in the housekeeping/accommodation side, and am strongly considering offering myself to existing tour companies which operate in Switzerland as a first step. Would both of those be suitable as back-up options in the next 12 months? Could I find employment before leaving the UK, or would I have to wait until after I had arrived in Switzerland to job hunt?

Thanks!

Chris
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Old 20.12.2019, 00:37
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

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Why did they say no to you starting a business? What were their reasons?

I have much experience in the hospitality industry, especially in the housekeeping/accommodation side, and am strongly considering offering myself to existing tour companies which operate in Switzerland as a first step. Would both of those be suitable as back-up options in the next 12 months? Could I find employment before leaving the UK, or would I have to wait until after I had arrived in Switzerland to job hunt?

Thanks!

Chris
The reality of setting up a business is that 8 or 9 out of every 10 startups will fail and the authorities know this and are careful about giving out permits for self-employment. Things that will definitely help are:
- Experience of setting up a successful business in the past
- Experience of working in the same business in the past
- A well costed business plan and a commitment from potential customers
- sufficient financial resources to cover the cost of business operations plus personnel living expenses for the first two years.

Given the limited time period I suspect seeking employment might be the best approach.
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Old 22.12.2019, 20:02
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

I have seen the PDF page from Business Luzern, which clearly outlines what they would want in a business plan, and fortunately guaranteed customers is not among them.

From researching existing Swiss Cleaning companies in different locations around the country, I notice that they seem to want foreign applicants to already have a B or C Permit before applying. To get a B permit it would seem, from the same Business Luzern page which covers both options, that you need a confirmed job before you can apply for an employee's B permit.

How would that issue be solved, as finding work with one of these companies would seem to be my best option for employment after I arrived, as I have 8-9 years of experience in that business, some of which occurred in 5* ski chalets in Switzerland?
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Old 22.12.2019, 21:28
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

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I have seen the PDF page from Business Luzern, which clearly outlines what they would want in a business plan, and fortunately guaranteed customers is not among them.

From researching existing Swiss Cleaning companies in different locations around the country, I notice that they seem to want foreign applicants to already have a B or C Permit before applying. To get a B permit it would seem, from the same Business Luzern page which covers both options, that you need a confirmed job before you can apply for an employee's B permit.

How would that issue be solved, as finding work with one of these companies would seem to be my best option for employment after I arrived, as I have 8-9 years of experience in that business, some of which occurred in 5* ski chalets in Switzerland?
You can't really. Assuming you're still EU when you move here you have 3 months as a tourist to find a job. If you don't in that timescale then you can apply for an L job seeker permit for another 3 months.

The emphasis is on employers to hire people who already have permits to live/work here. That doesn't mean you won't find a job if you have skills they want.
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Old 22.12.2019, 22:41
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

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I have seen the PDF page from Business Luzern, which clearly outlines what they would want in a business plan, and fortunately guaranteed customers is not among them.
That represents the minimum acceptable, the more you have the better your chances.

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From researching existing Swiss Cleaning companies in different locations around the country, I notice that they seem to want foreign applicants to already have a B or C Permit before applying. To get a B permit it would seem, from the same Business Luzern page which covers both options, that you need a confirmed job before you can apply for an employee's B permit.

How would that issue be solved, as finding work with one of these companies would seem to be my best option for employment after I arrived, as I have 8-9 years of experience in that business, some of which occurred in 5* ski chalets in Switzerland?
For the moment, as an EU citizen, you can come here, find a job and apply for the permit, but you need to get moving....
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Old 23.12.2019, 00:37
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

I'd recommend that, for the moment, you shelve your plans to start up a business in Switzerland. I say this gently, but your posts here demonstrate that you do not understand how Switzerland ticks. And that's no reproach, and not surprising. Since you've visited often but never lived and worked here, how should you? I certainly didn't, not before I'd lived here for quite a while.

Yet understanding the Swiss way is, I think, essential for running a successful business here.

Therefore, I recommend you hurry along and come on over and find yourself a job here. And by "here", I mean anywhere in Switzerland, it doesn't really matter, to start with (i.e. I also recommend unhooking from the notion that it has to be Lucerne, at least to start with). To start with, keep your temporary accommodation costs as low as possible, for example by using Couchsurfing or renting a room in a shared flat, or getting a job with staff accommodation. Find any job in any field that will pay you enough to cover your living expenses and prevent you from having to dip into your capital.

Don't delay. As long as you manage to find that job while you are still an EU citizen, your permit will be automatic and quick. You'll just have to register at the local office, and buy your compulsory medical insurance, and all will be well.

Then, while you're working here in Switzerland, brush up on your German, attune your ear to understanding Swiss German, and talk to lots of people who are already running small businesses in your field. Do the leg-work. Read up about the regulations of insurances, liabilities, taxes, employment law, social security and health and safety. And all the while soak up the Swiss culture and mentality. Go to the relevant government departments, just to ask the questions. Attend some startup courses. Network. Travel around Switzerland by train to see different areas. Couchsurf there on your free days. And everywhere, talk, talk, talk to people and listen, listen, listen, all the way. Explicitly research and seek out and ask to meet others who already do what you would like to be doing.

None of the above can be done properly from abroad.

After a year or so, you'll perhaps be able to find yourself a better job, with a more-than-minimum salary, and be a bit more comfortable. And you will be soooo much better equipped to decide whether, and if so how, to start up a business here.

Last edited by doropfiz; 23.12.2019 at 05:47.
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Old 24.12.2019, 22:32
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

I am intending to come across in late April/early May at the latest. Any earlier is difficult due to 1) the need to complete my online Tourism course, which cannot happen in less that 2 months. 2) the need to offload a lot of belongings which I will not need, and it takes time to sell everything. 3) I need to improve my German, which I am doing online at present.

Even if I wanted to, I cannot just drop my life at once over here. Loose ends need to be tied up.

Coming over in my intended timescale would give me 8 months before the end of my FOM rights - 3 months as a tourist, 3 months with an L permit (if needed) and an extra 2 just in case. I have planned this.

Doropfiz's advice is much appreciated, I will take it on board fully.
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Old 24.12.2019, 22:41
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

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I am intending to come across in late April/early May at the latest. Any earlier is difficult due to 1) the need to complete my online Tourism course, which cannot happen in less that 2 months. 2) the need to offload a lot of belongings which I will not need, and it takes time to sell everything. 3) I need to improve my German, which I am doing online at present.

Even if I wanted to, I cannot just drop my life at once over here. Loose ends need to be tied up.

Coming over in my intended timescale would give me 8 months before the end of my FOM rights - 3 months as a tourist, 3 months with an L permit (if needed) and an extra 2 just in case. I have planned this.

Doropfiz's advice is much appreciated, I will take it on board fully.
You won't get 2 extra. If you haven't got a job in 6 months you won't get a new job seeker permit so have no right to stay here.
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Old 25.12.2019, 01:24
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

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I am intending to come across in late April/early May at the latest. Any earlier is difficult due to 1) the need to complete my online Tourism course, which cannot happen in less that 2 months. 2) the need to offload a lot of belongings which I will not need, and it takes time to sell everything. 3) I need to improve my German, which I am doing online at present.
On line courses can be take from anywhere and since you donít need the gear, you could also pop over for a week or to later and sell the stuff then.

You are going to have to decide how much you want this move in the end.
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Old 25.12.2019, 20:56
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Re: Moving to Switzerland from the UK

I may not be able to guarantee my internet access when I come over, at least not initially, as it depends on where I could be living. I would prefer to avoid the risk of that threatening the course by completing the course before I came over.

Many of the belongings that I need to sell only I am familiar with. Trusting my parents to do it for me is unfair and risky, as we may end up haggling over who gets the money, and some items, especially models, need to be completed and packaged very carefully to A) make as much money as possible from them by ensuring they are of the highest quality B) that they do not get smashed to bits by careless postmen or Royal Mail sorting machines (putting "Fragile" on the box makes no difference in my experience!). Doing the sales takes weeks of work, as each auction lasts 7 days, any shorter and the items may not sell at all. There is a lot to get rid of and I need to do it my way.

Coming over to CH in April would give me enough time to sort all this out beforehand. I would also need to inform the Student Loans Company of my intended move, not least as I will be taking all of my money out of the UK to avoid it being threatened by banking fees or fluctuating exchange rates.

The need to improve my German before I arrive is of great importance, not least because it will directly affect my chances of finding a job in Switzerland. Re-programming my brain to think in a totally different language after 37 years of thinking in English is not easy, and takes time. I would rather do it before I come out than risk flailing around by trying to do it after I got there.

8 months after the end of April 2020 should be sufficient to get myself settled in Switzerland, especially since I could only stay for 6 months in total anyway without finding a job.

I know what I am doing, and having my motivation questioned by people who have never met me, and don't know all the facts, is bordering on the offensive to me. Be careful in future.
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