American Moving to Zurich From US
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Moving has always been a tedious task isn’t it? With tons of packaging, cost of transportation, country rules, visa requirements, and accommodation facilities, moving to a whole new country is quite more challenging than it seems. But, several expats decide on transitioning from one country to another for distinct purposes. Considering this, one such excellent city to relocate in Switzerland is Zurich. If you are here, we are assuming you are all set to move into the beautiful city of Zurich. However, how about doing some homework first? Read on!
Situated in the north Eastern tip in the beautiful country of Switzerland, Zurich is a perfect spot for exploring the nearby Alps. However, there are lots to discover when you plan to visit this vibrant city. Right from old-world charm to advanced industrialism, the Financial capital of Switzerland is way more than a banker’s paradise. After all, with the availability of exceptional educational facilities, healthcare system, and job opportunities, there is no doubt why it ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the globe. Not only does Zurich serve as a vibrant tourist spot in Switzerland but it boasts some of the best schools in the country! Isn’t it brilliant?
That said, if you are looking forward to moving to Zurich from US, you will need to gather tons of information before your relocation process. Zurich is probably known as one of the most prosperous and amazing cities in the world. It has an excellent culture, history, and places to explore and experience. To assist you further on your expat move, here is a country guide for you to make your transition more comfortable and decision much stronger!
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Relocating To Zurich From US
The average cost of moving from US to Zurich is around $3,450. Generally, international moves are costly as th.e items are involved in them. However, this cost highly varies depending on a range of factors. These factors include the number of items that you are moving, nature of items, special items, distance, and packing/unpacking services.
If you wish to know the actual cost of relocating to Zurich from US, connect with our friendly team at Earth Relocation today. Fill our quote above and get your moving estimate today. We charge affordable and cost-effective rates only.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT ZURICH
Capital of the Canton of Zurich
Swiss German, English, French, Italian
Romans, Catholic, Protestant
Swiss Franc (Fr.) (CHF)
Country Dialing Code
Expat Destinations In Zurich
Zurich is a huge city that spreads over 88 sq. km. While you move to Zurich from US, there are plenty of communities to choose from. However, being a US citizen, choosing the correct place can be a bit challenging. To help you find the best place to live, here are 3 expat destinations in Zurich where you can enjoy staying.
Niederdorf: This is an upscale part of the city of Zurich. It has enormous clubs, old architecture, exciting restaurants, bars, and shopping centers, etc. Even if you don’t stay here, you will end up visiting this place.
Langstrasse: Known as a red-light district once, this place is famous for its incredible nightlife. There are a lot of clubs, bars, and restaurants in the area. If you are a shopaholic, this place has trendy shopping areas to enjoy!
Lindenhof: This place is filled with a touch of old public squares, guild houses, excellent views, and is right next to a business district.
Offering cost-effective shipment rates, we at Earth Relocation deal in providing door-to-door freight shipping service by calculating accurate moving rates as per your preferred services. Send us a mail right away and get your final shipping rates today.
American Working in Zurich
Although there are a plethora of job opportunities for Americans moving to Zurich from US, you may face difficulty finding one. Usually, you will find lucrative opportunities in the IT sector, wealth management, banking, and engineering sector. In fact, these sectors are considered big businesses. Additionally, there is a range of vacancies for English-speaking expats in Zurich. However, bear in mind that these fields are highly competitive. Hence, you should be extremely vigilant about seeking jobs here. But once you find a job here, it will open plenty of doors for you and it will be enough to adjust to a new country.
Furthermore, working in Switzerland calls for certain work authorization. The problem lies when gaining these permits becomes difficult. This is due to the increasing anti-immigration sentiment within the Swiss Government that led to a decrease in permits for both citizens of EU and Non-EU countries. Any EU resident is free to enter Zurich and apply for work authorization. In cases of Non-EU expat including US, expats need to obtain a special residence permit with proper authorization to work in Zurich, Switzerland. Consequently, your current work quotas, educational level, work experience, and several other aspects will be considered to determine if you are suitable for any available position in the department.
Tip: Here’s a vital factor that US expats need to know. You need to secure work authority in Switzerland before moving to Zurich. In simpler terms, it denotes that you cannot enter as a visitor, tourist, or on a business trip and take on work later. You should apply for work in Zürich right from your home country. Upon acceptance, you can move to Zurich for work. However, we always have exceptions like students, investors, and retirees.
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Income Taxation In Zurich
Staying as an expat, your taxes will be levied by the Government of Switzerland. Consequently, you will need to pay wealth taxes, income taxes, and all the other taxes. The funniest part is, if you belong to any church or are a member of any church, you will have to pay church taxes as well!
Similar to US expat taxes, your Swiss taxes will follow a regular calendar year. The maximum federal tax rate is 11.5%. To be more precise, the maximum Canton, federal, and municipal combined rate in Zurich is 21.15% roughly. (only if you have access to all the public amenities). As of 2021, this amount has ceased down to 19.7%.
Tips To Save US Expat Tax Return
While you need to file income taxes in both the US and Switzerland, thankfully several protections help you to avoid double taxation. This includes,
- Foreign Tax Credit: This permits you to decrease your tax bill on any leftover income by a certain amount paid to the foreign government.
- Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: This permits you to lower your taxable income on your 2019 US expat taxes by the first $105900 of foreign earned income.
- Foreign Housing Exclusion: This helps you get an additional exclusion from income for specific amounts paid for household expenses occurring from living abroad.
Healthcare In Zurich
Expats moving to Switzerland need to sign up for thorough health insurance within 3 months of arrival in the country. Even if you stay in Switzerland as a tourist for more than 3 months, you need to be covered by a Swiss health insurance provider. Although the Swiss need to pay for their health insurance privately, it runs under a universal system. This denotes that every healthcare provider should provide basic healthcare packages to expats. Moreover, they cannot reject anyone in any situation.
Switzerland has a world-class universal healthcare system. Having an excellent healthcare system compared to any other country, Switzerland boasts a fine life expectancy. However, unlike other countries, healthcare in Switzerland is not financed by taxes. In fact, all Swiss citizens contribute to canton-run Swiss health insurance schemes. Many opt for private health insurance. With the help of this, all the residents get excellent access to healthcare where the insurance covers up to 80-90% of costs.
Basic Swiss health insurance provides a huge range of advantages. These policies cover outpatient treatment, prescribed medicines, emergency care, and vaccinations. Additionally, policyholders get access to gynecology checkups, prenatal care, and rehabilitation. The best part is, you can also get access to mental health care with this insurance. All in all, if you relocate to Switzerland, you will find yourself getting healthier and living longer!
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Housing And Accommodation
One of the biggest glitches in this paradise is housing and accommodation. In Zurich, housing is quite expensive and scarce. Although we have no intentions of scaring you, finding a free-standing house and even a semi-detached area can be challenging. Hence, initially, you need to be prepared to shift into a house or apartment that is slightly smaller than you are generally used to.
This is another reason why the areas in Aarau, Winterthur, and Zug are growing popular. Each of these areas has brilliant international schools. The lake communities of Zurich hold a strong traditional and international community. The Winterthur area has exceptional rolling hills, Zug has a beautiful town situated on its lake, and Aarau Area is a valley peppered with Habsburg Castles.
For easy access, you can even try several house hunting sites to find the best accommodation for you and your family.
Visa And Registration
Even if you are not a member of the EU, Switzerland is one of those countries that come under the Schengen Area. This indicates that as a US citizen, you aren’t required to hold any visa before entering Switzerland. You are allowed to reside in the country for up to 90 days within 6 months. However, you will need to report to the local authorities immediately after your arrival with the proper documents required to travel abroad. Alongside, you need to share your details as well. In case you wish to stay longer for work purposes, you need to apply for a long-stay visa or get a working permit visa.
1.Long Stay Visa
First and foremost, you need to apply for a long-stay visa. You need this visa to enter the country. There are generally 3 chief types of long-stay Swiss visas.
- The Swiss Family Reunification Visa
- The Swiss Study Visa
- The Swiss Work Permit Visa
2. Residence Permit
Switzerland comprises 26 cantons. These are also known as federated states. You need to apply for a residence permit with the cantonal you want to move to. Upon entering, you need to go to the cantonal immigration and labor market authorities to file and receive your Swiss residence permit. Note that you will require this permit to stay and work in Zurich for over 3 months.
3. Permanent Residence
Obtaining a permanent residence in Switzerland takes a bit of time. Furthermore, the duration of the process depends on where you are relocating from. Simply put,
- Americans and Canadians can apply for PR after residing in Switzerland for 5 successive years.
- Members from an EU country can gain PR in Switzerland after staying in the country for 5 consecutive years.
- Citizens from non-EU countries can apply for Swiss Permit C after residing in the country with a Swiss Permit B for 10 consecutive years.
Education in Zurich
Upon relocating to a different country with family, one factor that matters the most is education. If you have a child, irrespective of any age, you must look for schools providing the necessary education to your child. After all, at all cost, education should not be at stake. That said, you must be wondering if private school is necessary for your child if you relocate to Zurich. Well, if you are planning to settle permanently, probably no. However, if you stay here for a shorter period and your child has started school elsewhere, you will need to look for an international private school.
The school system in Zurich is divided into 3 parts. The kindergarten, primary, and secondary. Kindergarten in Zurich has a 2-year program and is compulsory for every child turning four by 31st July. Primary education is split into lower(1-3) and middle(3-6) classes. Here, French and English are taught as foreign languages. Apart from this, secondary school lasts for 3 years and is divided into 3 departments. This classification of departments is based on the overall performance of a child’s time in primary school including behavior and academic abilities.
However, if you wish to opt for international schools in Zurich, there are a lot of prestigious schools in the city. You can go to Academia International School, Swiss Matura, Zurich International School, and Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz which offers an IB Diploma. Zurich also has two junior schools which have an English curriculum. These are the SIS Swiss International School and the Lakeside School Kusnacht.
Cost of living in Zurich
Moving to the cost of living, it is not expensive to stay in Zurich. For a clear picture, below is a price comparison for the basic cost of living in Zurich.
AVERAGE SWISS FRANC.
Meal at an Inexpensive restaurant
Water (12 oz Small bottle)
Milk (regular, 1gallon)
Rice (white, 1Lb)
Eggs (regular, 12)
Cigarettes Marlboro 20 pack
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915sq.ft apartment
1 min. Of prepaid mobile tariff local (no discounts or plans)
Internet (60Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL)
While international moves can definitely be stressful, it is significant to study the entire process of your move thoroughly. Regardless, it is an exhilarating decision for any expat. However, at Earth Relocation, our team of creative heads are here to offer the most feasible and efficient international moving services to Zurich. Offering a high-quality relocation service, we at Earth Relocation look after the entire custom processes involved in moving. While finding a moving company in Zurich, get in touch with none other than us. We deal in a complete range of services right from shipping to packaging and unpacking at affordable rates. Being one of the licensed moving companies Zurich, our team of expert movers is dedicated to rendering the most efficient transportation services. Give us a call right away and book your FREE estimate. The best part? Get excellent shipping advice at cost-effective rates too. Enjoy Relocating!
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