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Residence and work permit

Depending on the reason for the stay, the conditions are different. In general Estonians can stay in Switzerland as tourists and for job search for up to three months. If you are in Switzerland for more than three months or work, a residence and work permit is required.

The basis for obtaining a work permit is a valid employment contract. In the case of a fixed-term contract, the work permit is also fixed-term. That would be permit L. Residence permit B is valid for five years, C for ten years. In the case of L and B, taxes are deducted immediately from the salary (as in Estonia). In the case of C, an tax declaration must be completed.

More information on the website Staatssekretariat für Migration.

Health insurance

If you live in Switzerland for more than 3 months or work, it is compulsory to procure a health insurance for yourself and each family member. Switzerland does not have a public health insurance system, the service is provided by the private sector. The cost of health insurance varies depending on the canton, age, known diseases, etc. The system is very different from the Estonian one, so inform yourself online or ask acquaintances.

There are many health insurance companies, more information can be found here . The insurance can be changed only once a year - in November the KVG contract can be terminated, the termination of the supplementary insurance contract is usually earlier. The easiest way to compare different prices is the Comparis page.


Anyone who works less than 8.25h a week also needs an accident insurance.

Sunny Day in the City

Registration of residence

When moving to and in Switzerland, the local Migration Board must  be notified. This also applies if you move to a neighboring house, for example. In at least some municipalities, this can be done online, otherwise you have to go to the office. The conditions depend on the place of residence, e.g. the move to Bern must be notified within 14 days and costs CHF 35.

To make sure you will receive your invoices, letters and packages, the mail forwarding service is offered for one year.


Apartment search

Most people in Switzerland live in a rental apartment. Those who already have a work contract or come for a school, should ask the recipient for help. Especially in Zurich and Geneva, an apartment search can take months, but in other cities it usually is not a big problem. You can (and should) always have a look at the apartment, visiting times are either already indicated in the advertisement or agreed on personally.

It is worth examining the average price level in the area. If the apartment is incredibly cheap, then there is a high probability of a fraud. Money should never be transferred for apartment keys because the owner is abroad, etc. - this is only one of many fraudulent stories! The main real estate websites: FlatfoxHomegateImmo24Immo WeltAcheter-Louer,


Once you have found a suitable apartment, you must fill in the application form. In most cases, you must give the contact of your employer, submit a criminal record certificate , insurance, etc. The deposit is 1-3 months rent.

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