Work in Switzerland

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Moving, living and working in Switzerland
More and more people are dreaming of moving to Switzerland, a country not far from the Italian, French and German borders, but which knows no crisis. A higher quality of life, adequate salaries and low unemployment make this country a possible alternative for those who really want to change their lives. And deciding to move to Switzerland and find work is not even as difficult as it seems.

Languages spoken in Switzerland
There are 4 languages spoken in Switzerland: Italian, French, German and Romansh.
Knowledge of English is required for companies operating internationally, but is not necessary in most cases. It all depends on what kind of job you want to find and your personal and professional ambitions.

Documents required to work in Switzerland
All EU citizens can live and work in Switzerland without having to apply for complicated permits or special visas. However, you must apply for a residence permit at the migration office, within 14 days of your arrival in Switzerland, simply by presenting your identity card or a valid passport, a copy of your rental contract and a passport photograph, as well as a copy of your employment contract.
For non-EU citizens, you can check whether you need a visa and which travel documents are required to enter Switzerland on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Residence permits in Switzerland
Depending on your needs, there are different residence permits so you can work and live in Switzerland without any problems:

Permit L: Persons intending to live in Switzerland for a period of time usually less than one year may apply for an L-type permit. To obtain this type of permit, it is necessary to prove an employment relationship with a Swiss employer by presenting a copy of an employment contract lasting between three months and one year. Employment relationships of less than three months do not require a permit, but in this case the conditions of stay are regulated by a notification procedure.
Permit B: Permit suitable for people who want to live in Switzerland for long periods. The type B residence permit has a duration of 5 years and is issued if you can prove that you have a Swiss employment contract of at least 365 days, or better still indefinitely. This permit can be extended every 5 years if the same initial conditions are met. If the person concerned has been unemployed for more than 12 consecutive months, the first extension may be limited to one year.
Permit C: A type C permit is a residence permit issued after 5 or 10 years of residence in Switzerland. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) sets the date from which the cantonal authorities may issue the residence permit. It is also an unlimited permit without any particular conditions and EU citizens can obtain the C permit after a regular and uninterrupted stay of five years according to residence agreements and considerations of reciprocity.

What is the cost of living
The cost of living in Switzerland is very high. Goods and services are, in most cases, more expensive and the price level is constantly monitored by the Price Monitor. On average, prices in Switzerland are 60% higher than in other European countries (Eurostat yearbook data), and the items of expenditure that weigh most are:

  • Home
    • Just think that there are families who take out a credit that not only lasts a lifetime, but also continues on the sons (if they accept) at the death of their parents. The Swiss tax authorities, however, grant tax relief to those who have a credit to pay;
  • Health
    • every Swiss worker must have health insurance. In fact, Swiss health is not public, but you must pay for private insurance that covers all costs (“from the family doctor”, to specialists, to hospital admissions). The cost can reach up to 500 euros per month.
  • Food
  • Restaurants and hotels

How much do you earn
Fortunately, the cost of living is related to the cost of salaries: in Switzerland the cost of living is very high, but so are salaries. If you want to know how much a worker, a manager, a painter or a doctor earns, you can consult the Salarium section of the website provided by the Swiss government.

Try to enter your profession and see how much you could earn in Switzerland. We have done some tests and here are the results (estimated for a full time contract of 40 hours per week):

  • A worker without specialisation earns CHF 5,898 (Swiss francs);
  • A simple employee earns 6,631 CHF;
  • A manager/framework manager can earn up to 12,143 CHF.

Below you can find a list of the best job sites in Switzerland.

If you have any questions, please contact me via the contact form.