Moving to Switzerland from Canada

Switzerland enjoys the best of all four distinct seasons. Well known for world class skiing snow arrives late fall leaving early spring. Winter precipitation levels now require ski hills create artificial snow to be able to deliver the those expected great skiing experiences. Spring, summer and autumn (i.e. April thru October) present beauty, from spring meadows to fall leaves.

The desirability of retiring to Switzerland has high costs. Among the larger cities Zürich is more expensive than even New York.

Retiring to Switzerland requires a prearranged Type D Visa. Each of the 26 Cantons control their own immigration. All Cantons require residency permit arrangement within 14 days and a non-working residency permit. Note – Your Type D Visa requires proof of securing health care insurance from a Swiss insurance company.

Moving to Switzerland success depends on your destination Canton. As with many things in life, the devil is in the details. In Switzerland those details are under the control of each of the 26 Cantons. Cantons also have language idiosyncrasies. Over 60% of the population use Swiss German. Note that Swiss German includes over 3000 words outside of standard German. Over 20% speak French – western regions particularly. About 8% speak Italian – southern regions particularly. French and Italian used by the Swiss also have unique words, called Helvetisms. Local language consideration eases any successful move to Switzerland.

Remember that Switzerland is NOT part of the EU or European Union Customs Union, but its part of the Schengen area. While many of its operating realities follow European Union operation Switzerland retains its own independent sovereignty.

Recording of your possession inventory is critical, for the successful move to Switzerland. Unlisted, new or unused items, as well as prohibited items, will put your move and its costs at risk. Recording errors will delay processing requiring extended storage that in turn add unexpected demurrage charges.

Swiss culture is different. Yes translating from English to official language is required. It adds processing time, however there is also a less stressful attitude to dealing with household goods being imported, for those moving there.

Relocating to Bern
Moving to Bern from Canada

Relocating to Geneva
Moving to Geneva from Canada

Relocating to Zurich
Move to Zurich from Canada

Packing your possessions with an eye beyond just their movement between truck, train and sea will help with avoiding unexpected storage charges during Customs inspection. Unpacking and repacking can be needlessly time consuming, adding often unexpected charges for storage and handling. Allowing for efficient removal and repack reduces that risk.

To make a call to Switzerland

• Dial 011 ( for outside North America)
• Dial 41 ( code for Switzerland )
• Dial the 2 digit city area code
(Bern – 31, Geneva – 22, Zurich – 43 & 44 )
• Dial local phone number
In Switzerland calling out:
– area codes are often part of local numbers
– area codes have a leading zero
– 076, 078 & 079 are for cell phone
– dialing 00 for outside of Switzerland calls

Bekins has extensive international move experience. You benefit from timely information and precise help as possessions arrive.