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Discover Switzerland

Prepare for expat living with our handy guides to life, work and managing your money in Switzerland.

Want to move to Switzerland?

Switzerland is a popular expat destination with highly sophisticated cities, excellent financial opportunities and a great quality of life. Home to some of the world's most prestigious brands, Switzerland attracts a skilled workforce and is a particularly popular destination for professionals working in the financial services industry.

With high salaries and high living costs, managing your money when you move can help you enjoy the high quality of life Switzerland has to offer. With it’s modern feel and welcoming expat community, it can be easy to settle in and feel at home in Switzerland.

Working in Switzerland

Switzerland’s strong labour market and thriving export industry makes it a promising destination for expats. And with business-friendly legislation and a highly skilled workforce, it’s also an excellent location for starting a business.

Swiss workplaces value efficiency, transparency, and merit-based progression. The business culture is formal, advocating punctuality and smart dress, with a hierarchical structure. However, an equal approach to decision-making encourages free voicing of ideas. Successful work is denoted by meeting deadlines and diligent preparation for meetings.

Business language is primarily in English, with regional languages used in their specific areas. Working hours are typically Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00.

Expats generally earn well in Switzerland, filling gaps in the local skills market.

Explore life in Switzerland

If you’re looking to move to Switzerland, we’ve broken down the essentials to help you get ready, including accommodation, employment and education.

A top choice for expats, Switzerland offers a high standard of living, superior infrastructure, and world-renowned chocolate. Living costs can be high, but for many, the quality of life is worth the price tag. 

Should you get an offshore bank account?

An offshore account can be useful for expats looking to keep some money in a central location, rather than one specific country or region. 

Our Expat Bank Account is an offshore account that comes with a range of benefits, including:

  • A Global Money Account - Make quick and easy payments across borders.
  • Relationship manager - Someone to help you and your family manage your money.
  • Online and on mobile - Manage your banking, FX and investments wherever, whenever.

You can set your account up in USD, EUR or GBP and you can hold it alongside accounts in the country you're leaving or the one you're moving to.

Top tips

Here's what expats have told us about living in Switzerland.

Take advantage of the excellent local state schools which offer intensive language lessons for expat children for free. Young children learn languages very quickly when given support.
If moving to the Italian part, the process of obtaining a work permit might be a little more complex than elsewhere. It is also difficult finding information if you do not speak Italian, since everything tends to be in Italian only. The people are very friendly and welcoming here and the nature is just amazing.
Don't keep converting the price of everything into GBP from CHF all the time when you are shopping. Accept that the high price of things is a factor of your higher net income.

You might be interested in

Discover how offshore bank accounts can help you manage your international finances.
Looking to build better financial future abroad? Discover our plan to help you get there.
Read our 10-step guide to moving abroad to make sure you've got everything covered.

Additional information

    All Expat Explorer survey data, including the tips in quotation marks, is provided by HSBC.

    All other content is provided by, Globe Media Ltd and was last updated in July 2023. HSBC accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

    This information is purely for orientation and to inspire further research, it does not constitute advice and no liability is accepted to recipients acting independently on its contents. The views expressed are subject to change.

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