If you would like to move to a new address in Switzerland, because of a job or to be closer to your family, you must inform your local authorities that you are moving. Some counties (cantons) have begun to move the process of changing your address online. However, it is still important to know what the process will be and what documents you must provide.
Changing address in Switzerland
After finding a new house in Switzerland, you must notify your new council (Gemeinde) of your move within 14 days of moving house. The process will involve deregistering with your old Gemeinde and re-registering with a new one. If you are moving to Switzerland for the first time, you must follow the guide to registration. All members of your household must officially change address, including children.
Online changing of address
To streamline the process of changing your address, the association of local councils and the Swiss government have created an online portal where you can change your address online. This process means that you no longer have to attend your local Gemeinde. This process is necessary in order to make sure that you are being charged the appropriate amount of taxation and receive all the benefits of social security.
If you are moving to or from the cantons of Fribourg, Geneva, Neuchatel, Schaffhausen, Ticino, Valais and Vaud, you must register your change of address in person at both the Gemeinde you are currently residing in and the Gemeinde where you wish to move to.
Key documents to provide when changing address in Switzerland
Changing your address within Switzerland is a process of switching your residence status for taxation and benefits. This is especially important if you are changing canton as each one has its own system of taxation and benefit programmes.
When you are registering your change of address online or in person, you must provide the following documents:
- Travel document such as a passport
- Your residence permit
- A birth certificate for any children
- Marriage certificate or certificate for divorce
- AHV number
- Rental contract for your new residence
- Card for all new residents’ health insurance
- Cash or a credit card for fees
How much does changing your address cost?
The costs associated with changing your address is based on the administrative fees of both local councils. This cost is combined online but can lead to two bills if you are changing your address in person. Prices also may increase if you are changing canton as well as Gemeinde. A typical price can range from 40 to 200 Swiss francs.
Who should I inform about my change of address in Switzerland?
Once you have changed your address officially, you can now start to inform the relevant parties. Below you will find some of the key people and companies that you must inform of your move.
It is essential that you inform your old landlord of your change of address before your official notice period as listed in your rental contract. This is in order to stop paying rent for your previous property and allow the landlord to find a new tenant. Be sure to time your move to a new address with the official moving-in-out- days listed by your canton. This will also be necessary if you would like to receive your rental deposit.
It is also essential to make sure that all your correspondences from banks go to the right address. You must inform your bank as soon as you have changed your address and moved into your new accommodation. This is in order to avoid missing vital documents or confusion when filing your next tax return.
It is important that you inform your utility company that you have moved, particularly if you have bought a house in Switzerland. If your previous place of residence made you responsible for water, electricity, and Internet, you must inform them of your change of address. Occasionally, utility companies may also request the details of the new tenants.
If your child goes to a school in Switzerland, you must inform the school that you are changing address. Typically, you are able to continue with your old school if the travel distances are reasonable or you are still within range of school buses. If your children cannot attend the same school, you must inform your local Gemeinde who will contact the local school or you can choose to contact an international school in the vicinity.
The post office in Switzerland has an innovative system where they are able to officially change your address and notify multiple partner businesses of the change at no cost. The post office can inform:
- Health insurance providers
- Utility companies
With a one-off payment of 30 Swiss francs, the post office will also forward any mail that is sent to your old address to you for a year.