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Old 22.01.2021, 12:46
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First of all thank you everyone for reading this, it's my first time posting in this forum

I have a question around whether I can bring my parents to Switzerland~

- I have non-EU passport, I lived since 12 years here (Zurich)
- my Einbürgerung was approved by the Gemeinde, and I'm waiting for the Swiss passport right now
- My parents hold non-EU passport as well
- My parents and I have long term Investor Permit in EU country
- I own an 4.5 room apartment in Zurich

Since my parents are retired, do you know if I can bring them to Switzerland so that they could live near to us (not in the same apartment, they would like to buy their own apartment), and if I have a baby in the near future, they could help us a bit?

Does anyone has similar experience, or?

p.s. my dad learned some basic German when he was in school, but he says he has forgotten everything
Now after his retirement he is picking up German again, and will attend the A1 or A2 exam this year ^^
My mom doesn't have any German basics, but she is starting to learn German as well

Last edited by roegner; 22.01.2021 at 15:03. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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Old 22.01.2021, 13:06
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

There are several threads on the subject here on EF. It is very difficult, VERY- but depends on their income and yours, and so much more.

However, from experience with so many friends and family- even it you can get over the practical difficulties, like visas, permits, health insurance and so much more- the main issue is emotional and psychological. Moving people from their culture to another very different one, with a totally different language too, away from friends and family wider family members, can be very difficult for some people. Hard enough for the parents of a friend who moved to be with him from East London to the Midlands. They never could adapt. And what when they get much older if they need residential care. The cost is astronomical on speed.

I know for sure that my father could have never moved to be with us in the UK. He loved to come for holidays and visit the country- but after 2 weeks he just had to return to his Swiss forest- just could never have been up-rooted. My mum spoke excellent English and would have made the move to UK without blinking.
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Old 22.01.2021, 13:10
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/

If you can support them, you can bring them it seems..... (though they prob have to live with you)
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Old 22.01.2021, 13:51
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Thanks for your reply

Totally agree, the main issue is emotional and psychological~

Actually I think my parents likes Switzerland. They have been here many times and travelled by themselves to almost all areas of Switzerland. The local people are very friendly, when they don't know which way to go and just standing there, Swiss people will come voluntarily to help them (in English)

Thanks for your reply

Oh I haven't lived with my parents since 18 years old... If it turns out that's really the case, then we definitely need a house in order to keep some privacy :s

Last edited by roegner; 22.01.2021 at 15:03. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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Old 22.01.2021, 14:07
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

My parents absolutely loved the UK - as said, my mum could have made the move easily. She spoke English, studied in England, etc. My dad loved it too, they travelled extensively all over, on their own and with us- but living here forever is VERY different to being on holiday, knowing you are going back to your other family, friends, culture, foods, climate, etc, etc.
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Old 22.01.2021, 14:13
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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Thanks for your reply

Oh I haven't lived with my parents since 18 years old... If it turns out that's really the case, then we definitely need a house in order to keep some privacy :s
This would definitely be the case once you have Swiss citizenship. They would come here under family reunification which means they do have to live with you. It's part of the criteria to get the permits in the first place. And you have to earn enough to support them as well as your other dependents.
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Old 22.01.2021, 14:21
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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This would definitely be the case once you have Swiss citizenship. They would come here under family reunification which means they do have to live with you. It's part of the criteria to get the permits in the first place. And you have to earn enough to support them as well as your other dependents.
although nothing stopping them also buying a house nearby and mostly living there. I know people who did that. They could also just come here of their own accord with a B permit 'without the right to work' assuming their retirement income / assets are enough to be comfortable here. that's how i moved here. when it changed from B to C the right to work restriction is removed so theoretically I could now get a job here too.
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Old 22.01.2021, 14:22
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Thanks for your reply

Ohhh, then I definitely need to work hard to earn more money B-) I don't want to be stuck in a 130 m2 apartment with BOTH of my parents... especially times like this when everybody has to work from home, have to face them 24hours

Thanks for your reply

That sounds reeeeeally good if they could buy some place near my home after they got the permit

Regarding the permit you mentioned 'without the right to work', please could you reveal a bit more about how much retirement income / assets they need to prove?

Say, like pension + rent from the tenants + dividends from stocks thing like that? I heard something like 40'000 per year?

Or would real states count? say 1-2 Mio worth of real states would that be ok? Or do they need to liquid assets in other countries?

Last edited by roegner; 22.01.2021 at 15:04. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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Old 22.01.2021, 15:15
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

i don't think there are fixed rules. they want to know you are definitely going to be able to support yourself and your dependents and ideally contribute something positive (== money!) to the community.

i think the official poverty line is well over 40k, especially for two people so i double that would be enough passive income unless it was supplemented by some cash in a bank. pretty sure illiquid assets don't help. cash in a bank is what you'd be able to spend. a permit is 5 years so I suppose you'd want about 500k for them to be happy you'd be ok. if 200 of that is your 40k / year income and you had 300k cash in a bank i would guess they'd be happy. but as i said, the more marginal it is, the more chance they don't approve it. there is zero transparency to the process.

if they are able to buy a house here presumably they must easily be able to cover that?

your best bet would be to go and discuss with your cantonal migration department. people on this forum seem to have zero knowledge of this process and generally think its 'impossible' for people to move to switzerland. i'm no expert but I know what I did. I didn't do a ton of research - I just walked into the office and handed them my form I downloaded from the canton website.
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Old 22.01.2021, 18:33
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

Basically, the authorities want to make 100% sure that not now, and not in the future or even distant future- your parents will become dependent financially on the State- even if anything would happen to you (and yes, sometimes things happen to children who meet their demise before their parents.).

But as said, the biggest issue is to think long and hard about how your parents would settle and feel at home, not after a few weeks holiday, but over long term- and how different their culture is to what they would experience in CH- and how positive re the move they are and adaptable.
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Old 22.01.2021, 18:54
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

Thanks for your reply

Got it, so that 500K have be cash then, although I don't like the idea to start selling things like my favorite holiday house... but seems like in order to get that cash requirement we have to liquidate assets then... we are not rich people after all, we don't have 500K in cash >_<

Also thanks for the advice~ My previous lawyer left the job so I have to find a new immigration lawyer. Once I got a new lawyer I will need to have a detailed discussion with him/her on this ^^
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Old 22.01.2021, 19:24
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

You're focusing a lot on the financial aspect, which is important, but it feels to me like you might be doing so at the expense of other important aspects. You haven't mentioned where you and your parents are from. Don't underestimate cultural differences.

I'm going to quote a post of mine from another thread with some questions I recommend you consider. Just change mother/her to parents to fit your situation.

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...I think you'll want to contact SEM for information and instructions, particularly as your mother is not a Swiss or EU citizen. This site doesn't mention a right to bring parents, even for Swiss nationals, and it's usually got a lot of info:
http://www.binational.ch/en/?Residen..._reunification

Also consider what your mother's ties to CH are other than you. A few questions to ask yourself:
  • Does she speak the local language well enough to join a club and go about daily life?
  • Can she go to medical appointments on her own?
  • Are you able to prove you can support her financially without relying on social help?
  • If something were to happen to you after she uprooted her life, then what would she do/where would she go/how would she finance it?
  • If she had a stroke or other medical episode that necessitated going into a care home, could you afford it and could she manage it?

You don't have to answer me, but these are important questions to ask yourself.


When my father died, my first instinct was to try and bring my mother here. Then we talked about it. She doesn't speak a word of German. She has lived in the same house for over 40 years, and has a wonderful church community and great neighbors. Dozens of my childhood friends and even my teachers are only a few blocks away. She has a far stronger support system there than my husband and I could provide here.

I know (your home country) is not the same as (mine). But a lot of the questions are similar no matter where our parents live.

Best of luck to you and please keep us posted.
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Old 22.01.2021, 19:47
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

Indeed - and you have to think not about now, but 10, 20 years from now too.
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Old 22.01.2021, 21:01
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

You might also want to contact Meloncollie who's done a lot of research on possibly bringing their parents over a few years ago. It's almost impossible to do unless they're independently wealthy themselves. One of the criteria is that they have to already be financially dependent on you where they currently live and also that there are no other relatives around who could look after them.

And yes, the daily life side as well must be taken into consideration. When my mother-in-law passed away my husband and I did talk about possibly seeing if his father would want to move here with us, but we realised he would likely be very unhappy since he didn't speak a Swiss language, would have no friends here, have to rely on public transport most likely, etc.
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Old 22.01.2021, 21:10
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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You might also want to contact Meloncollie who's done a lot of research on possibly bringing their parents over a few years ago. It's almost impossible to do unless they're independently wealthy themselves. One of the criteria is that they have to already be financially dependent on you where they currently live and also that there are no other relatives around who could look after them.

And yes, the daily life side as well must be taken into consideration. When my mother-in-law passed away my husband and I did talk about possibly seeing if his father would want to move here with us, but we realised he would likely be very unhappy since he didn't speak a Swiss language, would have no friends here, have to rely on public transport most likely, etc.
Is Meloncollie Non-EU ?? Think it’s easier for Swiss (& EU) citizens.
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Old 22.01.2021, 21:14
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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Is Meloncollie Non-EU ?? Think it’s easier for Swiss (& EU) citizens.
IIRC she's American and has not yet naturalized as Swiss, but I could be wrong.
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Old 22.01.2021, 23:01
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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Is Meloncollie Non-EU ?? Think it’s easier for Swiss (& EU) citizens.
A side point. It's a bit counterintuitive but EU citizens who live in CH can bring their parents to live with them much much easier than Swiss nationals because the FMOP agreement applying to them is more generous than the generic AIG law applying to parents of (also naturalized) Swiss.
Parents of EU nationals living in CH actually have a legal right to a residence permit provided they had already been dependent on their children financially before the move to CH. (see 6.1 here about "Verwandte ... in aufsteigender Linie"). No such right for non-EU parents of Swiss nationals at all
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Old 23.01.2021, 00:18
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/

If you can support them, you can bring them it seems..... (though they prob have to live with you)
that's EU... Non EU don't have this luxury unfortnately...

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification/
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Old 23.01.2021, 00:37
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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that's EU... Non EU don't have this luxury unfortnately...

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification/
But the OP is now Swiss (ok, still not EU but you know what I mean).
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Old 23.01.2021, 08:32
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Re: Bring parents to Switzerland (non-EU)

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A side point. It's a bit counterintuitive but EU citizens who live in CH can bring their parents to live with them much much easier than Swiss nationals because the FMOP agreement applying to them is more generous than the generic AIG law applying to parents of (also naturalized) Swiss.
Parents of EU nationals living in CH actually have a legal right to a residence permit provided they had already been dependent on their children financially before the move to CH. (see 6.1 here about "Verwandte ... in aufsteigender Linie"). No such right for non-EU parents of Swiss nationals at all
Yep and to add to that, not only parents but also grand parents and children up to the age of 21 (and not 18 max like in the AIG) and children over 21 if they are financially dependent.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/

This was probably a concession when negotiating the terms of the FMOP treaty as part of the bilaterals and was not matched to Swiss law as it is assumed there is no incremental benefit for a native Swiss to have the right to bring their parents/grand parents to their own country. Same for children, the current law is extensive enough covering all sorts of cases (adoptions etc).
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