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New in Zurich - Move to Switzerland

You are moving to Switzerland for a new job, your studies or just your next adventure? There are a lot of things to consider. Get important information and useful tips on the topic of entry, residence and housing.

Entering, staying and working in Switzerland

For entry and residence in Switzerland, a distinction is made between EU/EFTA nationals and third-country nationals. It also makes a difference whether you want to work or study in Switzerland. A short overview is given here. Please consult the official authorities to be on the safe side.

EU/EFTA nationals

Are you a citizen of the EU/EFTA? Then you can stay in Switzerland for up to three months without a residence permit. This means that you can change your place of residence to Switzerland or Zurich at any time. For entry you need a valid passport or a valid identity card.

If you want to stay longer than three months, you need a residence permit and must report in person within 14 days to the responsible Residents' Registration Office and submit a residence application. This will be forwarded by the Residents' Registration Office directly to the Migration Office of the canton. If the requirements for issuance are met, the Migration Office will issue the corresponding foreigner's identity card.

You are gainfully employed and would like to work in Switzerland? Here too, you may work in Switzerland for up to three months without a permit. The following residence permits for gainful employment are available from three months:

Short-term residence permit (L) - is granted if you have an employment contract of more than three months but less than one year. In addition, the average working time must be more than 12 hours per week.

Residence permit (B) - is issued if there is an employment contract for an indefinite period or for more than one year. In addition, the average working time must be more than 12 hours per week.

Cross-border commuter permit (G) - EU/EFTA nationals can be granted a cross-border commuter permit if they reside in an EU/EFTA state and are employed by an employer in Switzerland.

Third-country nationals

For third country nationals it is a bit more complicated. In addition to the residence and work permit, which are issued by the migration office of the canton, you need a visa to enter Switzerland.

The migration office checks the application for a residence permit and informs the responsible Swiss embassy or consulate in your country of residence if a visa is needed and the application is accepted. The visa must therefore always be issued by a Swiss embassy or consulate abroad.

A work permit for third country nationals is only issued under certain rather restrictive conditions. However, there are some exceptions to these conditions, but each case must be considered separately.

As a rule, the application for a work permit must be submitted by the prospective employer to the Office of Economics and Labor (AWA).

Study in Switzerland

You come to Switzerland to study? Students from EU/EFTA countries as well as from Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Great Britain are exempt from the visa requirement. However, you must register at the Residents' Registration Office at your new place of residence within 14 days of arrival and apply for a residence permit.

Students from all other countries must apply for a national visa "D" at the responsible Swiss representation abroad (embassy or consulate) at their place of residence. This visa is valid for 3 months and entitles you to enter Switzerland once. After entering Switzerland, you will receive a residence permit for Switzerland, which must also be applied for within 14 days at the Residents' Registration Office at your new place of residence.

Further detailed information for students can be found at the respective universities, e.g. ETH Zurich or University of Zurich.

Finding an apartment in Zurich

Finding an apartment in Zurich is not always easy.

If you prefer your own apartment, Homegate or Flatfox are the most common platforms. For shared apartments, Facebook, and are the best options.

Of course, the search for an apartment on site is much easier. One possibility is to book a hotel or AirBnB for the first few weeks. This gives you time to find a suitable apartment.

You can apply for a residence permit only after you have found a long-term accommodation and have received a rental contract. Contact the district office responsible for the temporary address and find out how to proceed if you have not found a long-term accommodation after two weeks.

What are the advantages of coliving?

Living in a new country is enormously exciting. There is a lot to discover and learn. You meet new people and have many new experiences. Especially in the beginning, it is important to meet open-minded people. People who can tell you something about the new city, are interested in exploring the place themselves or simply enjoy doing something with others.

That's where Coliving comes in:

In a coliving house, you meet people who deliberately live in a community in order to do something with others. Instead of living alone, you cook something together in the evening, watch a movie or explore the city. At the same time, you have your own room where you can retreat if you don't feel like company. TomoDomo houses are fully furnished and you can move in with just a suitcase. The cleaning of the common areas and the wifi are included in the price. Moreover, you can declare your residence at our address and thus register with the city.

Connect, Enjoy, Grow

TomoDomo stands for community. In our coliving houses you will meet exciting people, make contacts and make new friends. You bring your own talents to the house by cooking with others, organizing an outing, or joining in on your roommates' events. Each community communicates via Slack on its own channel, so everyone knows what's going on.

We have invested a lot of love in the design of our houses, so that you feel completely comfortable and have a beautiful home.

We are convinced that the shared experiences will bring you further, that you will have a great time and that both you and the community will grow.

Apply today

Can you imagine living like this? Apply today at for a chat with us. We'll tell you more about our community and find out together if this is something for you.

Living in Switzerland - Important to know

Bank account

To manage your payments in Switzerland as easily as possible, we recommend that you open a Swiss bank account. Note that you can only open a bank account after you have received your foreigner's identity card.

Health insurance

After moving to Switzerland, you must take out health insurance with a state-approved health insurance company within three months. The coverage of the so-called "basic insurance" is the same for all health insurance companies and can therefore be easily compared. For this we recommend Comparis.

SERAFE - Radio and TV fees

All persons of legal age registered in Switzerland are obliged to pay the radio and TV fees annually. The amount is CHF 335.- per year. Our coliving houses are registered as collective households, therefore the fee per resident is much lower.

Car vignette

If you come to Switzerland by car, it is good to know that you need a vignette for the highway. This costs CHF 40.- and is available at gas stations. You stick the vignette on the windshield, it is valid until the end of the year.

More useful tips


Timetables and tickets for public transport in Switzerland.


Migros and Coop are the largest Swiss retailers. There are also Aldi and Lidl in Switzerland if you want to shop cheaper.

Zurich Card

Ticket for public transport and other discounts. Ideal for visitors and available for CHF 24 for 24 hours and CHF 48 for 72 hours.

Züri rollt bike rental

Rent a bike for free and explore Zürich.

Sources and further links

Bundesamt für Migration (SEM)

Migrationsamt des Kantons Zürich

Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit Zürich

Kreisbüros Zürich

Please note: The information on this page is for information purposes only and is not guaranteed. The underlying regulations may have changed since the last review. For legally binding information, please consult the relevant authorities.

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