Moving from France to Switzerland

There’s quite a bit of paperwork involved when moving from France to Switzerland. This is a rough account of what happened after the housing agent called to say we had been selected to get an apartment. It might be useful to anyone considering, or in the process of, moving to Switzerland from abroad. However, it’s by no means a complete account, and you should always check with authorities or others who have done the same if in doubt.

Initial paperwork:

  1. Signed the rental agreement at the housing agent’s premises.
  2. Wrote an inventory for the current apartment.
  3. Got a certificat de la perception from the French tax authorities.
  4. Got a certificat de changement de résidence from the nearest town hall.
  5. Set up a deposit account with three months’ rent, and got a “garantie bancaire.”
  6. Paid the first rent & charges and got the receipt for that.

Later we brought the following documents to get the keys to the apartment:

  • Formulaire d’entrée: The entry form for the apartment, with the instructions for moving in.
  • Garantie bancaire
  • Proof of personal liability insurance (assurance responsabilité civile) for each tenant.
  • Proof of household insurance (assurance menage).
  • Recepisse BVR 1er loyer & frais divers: Receipt for the payment of the first rent and charges.
  • Bail signé: Signed rental agreement.

When moving, we had to present the following to the French customs:

  • The certificat de changement de résidence or certificat de la perception.
  • Proof of residence (rental agreement in our case).

After moving in, we still had a bit of paperwork for the apartment:

  • Delivered the bon d’entrée to the janitor.
  • Delivered our account details for possible reimbursements and a request for a plaque for the letter box and door to the housing agent.
  • Paid the frais d’établissement du bail + frais de plaquettes.

Other formalities:

  • Sent address changes everywhere.
  • Got the mandatory health insurance.
  • Called the electricity company to prepare for our arrival.
  • Called a telecom company for telephone + Internet.
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