connect, grow & thrive.

Your First Steps

Welcome, Herzlich Willkommen and Grüezi in your new home, Switzerland! It’s amazing, right? The beautiful landscape of mountains and lakes, the old cobblestone roads and, not to mention, the fresh cakes and bread at the bakery.

In all its beauty and charm it can also be quite overwhelming, but not to fret we are here to help you navigate your way through the most important steps once you arrive.

These are some of the first things you are going to need to do:



Apply for your residence permit or “Aufenthaltsbewilligung” first! You will need it for everything! Here is an overview of Swiss Permits.

Register in your “Gemeinde” or place of residency.

Register for health insurance within the first three months. This is obligatory. Here is an overview of Health Insurance in Switzerland.

Register at the Swiss Bureau for Radio and TV Fees at (obligatory if you have a device to listen to the radio or watch TV).

Switch your driving licence over to a Swiss one within the  first year and make sure you get Swiss car insurance.

Compare providers and open a bank account. here is an overview of local banks.

And, obviously, come by the LiLi Centre for a warm and friendly welcome and some one on one advice.

Here are some other helpful websites: The city has a website with tips and addresses for various services.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.