A 2% unemployment tax, good working conditions and high salaries are, I guess, the three main pillars that help feed the continuous immigration flow into Switzerland.
If you are one of the lucky expats whose company offered you a new position in Snowwhiteland, your worries will be small. Most likely, a relocation agency will arrange an apartment for you, and your company’s HR will help you get settled.
However, the number of immigrants in Switzerland who are still hanging on mom’s apron strings is just a small portion of the cake. The majority moves to Switzerland proactively or involuntarily, and they find themselves without the expat safety net.
New arrivals often find themselves fighting against the elements, swimming among new rules and regulations. Policies and paperwork often have little in common with familiar procedures in their native countries (or, as the Swiss like to call it, the Heimat).
Nevertheless, let me give you some good news: Wherever you may come from, I am almost certain the process in Switzerland is more organized, more controlled, and most likely faster than in your Heimatland.
So after I had gone through the immigration process myself, I decided to offer you some simple guidelines. Over the next few weeks, follow my 10 Steps to Settling in Switzerland to make your transition as smooth as possible! Check back tomorrow for the first step in this process: Getting a job.
(Photograph copyright by Arthur Mebius)