Even if it is not a member of the European Union, Switzerland is a member of the European Economic Area which means that citizens from the Old Continent can move here based on simplified requirements. These also apply to citizens when moving to Switzerland from UK.
The great advantage for UK citizens who plan on leaving their home countries and relocate to Switzerland is that the UK exiting the European Union will not affect them moving here.
Below, our immigration lawyer in Switzerland explains the main steps and the visas available for UK citizens moving here.
Visa requirements for UK citizens moving to Switzerland
Moving to Switzerland from UK for a short period of time which does not exceed 90 days requires no visa for British citizens who want to stay in Switzerland, however, their passports must have a validity period of at least 6 months.
When British citizens want to move to Switzerland for extensive periods, they need to apply for one of the following types of visas:
- an L short-term residence permit which has a validity period of maximum 1 year;
- a B residence permit which can be obtained based on a work contract with a duration of more than 12 months;
- a C long-term or settlement permit which allows for an indefinite stay and which must be renewed every 5 years;
- a Ci residence permit which is issued for EU/EEA citizens working for governmental organizations.
The important aspect to consider when moving to Switzerland from UK is that when applying for the L and B short-term residence permits, these will have the same validity period as the employment contract. The B residence permit is a suitable option for those who want to start small businesses in Switzerland and act as self-employed.
If you are interested in immigration to Switzerland and need information on the types of residence permits you qualify for, our lawyers can guide you. We can provide full assistance for moving to Switzerland from UK.
Documents for moving to Switzerland from UK
The documents that need to be filed upon moving to Switzerland as a UK citizen depend mainly on the relocation reason, however, the following need to be prepared and filed with the Swiss Embassy in the UK:
- the valid passport (as mentioned above, it is recommended for this to be valid for at least 6 months at the time of the application);
- proof of rental agreement (for this, the applicant will need to secure a place to stay before moving to Switzerland);
- a recent passport-sized photograph;
- supporting documents proving the relocation reason (work contract, business plan, etc.).
Our immigration lawyer in Switzerland can help you with various information with respect to the cheapest cantons to move to. We can also assist with the preparation of applying for a residence permit in Switzerland.
Permanent residence for UK citizens in Switzerland
Moving to Switzerland from UK can be a definitive decision that can be doubled by applying for a permanent residence permit. This is the equivalent of the C settlement permit which can be obtained by British citizens after living in Switzerland for 5 uninterrupted years. The documents required to obtain such a permit are not different from those required when applying for a short-term residence visa, and our lawyers can help in this regard.
Assistance in moving to Switzerland from UK
UK citizens who want to move to Switzerland can benefit from extensive support from our immigration lawyers who can:
- explain the regulations applicable to their particular cases when moving to Switzerland;
- assistance in reviewing employment contracts related to relocation;
- advice on the preparation of immigration documents in accordance with the type of residence permit sought;
- guidance in registering with the cantonal authorities upon arrival in Switzerland;
- assistance in applying for long-term residency and renewal of temporary residence permits.
It is important to note that those moving to Switzerland from UK must register with the migration and employment authorities in the canton they will live within 14 days after entering the country.
If you want to immigrate to Switzerland, you can ask our lawyers about your options. We can also advise on moving to Switzerland from UK.
Foreign citizens living in Switzerland
According to a report published by SwissInfo.ch, 25% of the Swiss population was made of foreigners at the end of 2015 and 2016, as it follows:
- out of the country’s 8,3 million citizens, 2 million were foreigners;
- 80% of the immigrants came from EU countries, such as Germany, France, and Italy;
- 7% of the foreigners in Switzerland lived in Bern in 2016;
- approximately 396,000 foreign citizens were born in Switzerland in 2016.
If you want to move to Switzerland from UK and need assistance, please contact our lawyers.