Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
Is it necessary to be in gainful employment to move to Switzerland?
No, you do not need to be gainfully employed if you can prove that you have sufficient financial means and adequate health insurance.
How is the health service organized?
Health insurance is private and compulsory; guarantees all residents universal access to an identical and comprehensive "package" of services defined at national level. The insurance gives the right of direct and free access without waiting lists to all service providers (generalists, specialists, hospitals and clinics). 86 Health Insurance Funds (mutuals), formally in competition with each other, provide residents with social health insurance. The amount of the premium is tax deductible.
What personal items can you bring from abroad without having to pay import taxes?
All household goods and any collections, animals and the car can be imported duty-free. The only prerequisite is that the imported goods have been used personally abroad for at least six months and that you continue to use them personally once in Switzerland.
Vehicles can also be imported duty-free provided they have been used personally for at least six months. If the vehicle you want to import belonged to the company you previously worked for, a company declaration must also be submitted, stating that the vehicle was used by you.
Is my driving license valid in Switzerland?
When you move your domicile to Switzerland, you can drive the car while continuing to use your driving license for one year.
However, you must convert your foreign driving license into a Swiss driving license within the first year. If you fail to convert your license during this period, you will need to take a practical exam before being authorized to drive.
Holders of an African (except South Africa), Asian (except Japan), Central or South American, Portuguese or Turkish driving license will have to take a practical exam.
Are pets also considered moving household items?
Yes, even animals are considered household goods and therefore must be included in the list to be presented to customs.
However, it should be noted that for some animals there may be import restrictions or veterinary impositions such as vaccinations, microchips, etc.
What language is spoken in Switzerland?
The official languages of the Swiss Confederation are German, French, Italian and Romansh.
The linguistic regions are divided into German-speaking Switzerland, which groups the cantons north of the Alps and represents 63.7% of the population, French-speaking Switzerland, which groups the cantons of eastern Switzerland and represents 20.4% of the population, Italian-speaking Switzerland, which is made up of the canton of Ticino and four valleys of the canton of Grisons and represents 6.5% of the population, and Romansh-speaking Switzerland which is composed of the canton of Grisons alone.
Some cantons may be bilingual such as Bern, Friborg and Valais where French and German are spoken, while the canton of Grisons is a trilingual canton where German, Italian and Romansh are spoken.
In Switzerland, the English language is often considered the lingua franca as it is spoken by a large part of the working population.
Do I have to have my professional qualification recognized to be able to work in Switzerland?
First of all, it is necessary to define whether the profession you wish to pursue in Switzerland is regulated. By regulated profession is meant a profession whose exercise is subject, by virtue of legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions, to the possession of certain professional qualifications. an official list of regulated professions and activities in Switzerland is available.
To start an accreditation procedure, the competent office must be contacted. Depending on the procedure and profession, the recognition of foreign qualifications is the responsibility of different offices from time to time.
Concerning non-regulated professions, recognition of professional qualifications is not required to be able to practice in Switzerland.
How is the Swiss school system organized?
Education, from kindergarten to tertiary level (university and higher professional training), is a task of the state. most of the pupils (95%) attend compulsory school in the public schools of the municipality of residence. 5% of the pupils attend a private school. All cantons offer one or two years of kindergarten free of charge, in Ticino, the kindergarten can last up to three years. Taking into account the kindergarten, compulsory school attendance lasts eleven years, starting at the age of four or five. Elementary level, including kindergarten, lasts eight years (school years 1–8) and secondary level I lasts three (school years 9–11). in the Canton of Ticino alone the middle school lasts four years.
After completing compulsory schooling, 90% of young Swiss people obtain a secondary level II diploma at the age of 18-19, which allows them to start a professional activity, access to a specialized secondary school or with a baccalaureate - the continuation of training at a university school.
Are there private schools in Lugano?
The City of Lugano also offers private schools and institutes, in addition to the public schools under the jurisdiction of the municipality or the canton. The various institutes offer kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school and university.
I would like to move to attend the University, which degree and master courses are available in Ticino?
The University of Italian Switzerland is one of the youngest and most dynamic Swiss universities. USI is part of the Swiss university system, pays particular attention to the quality and volume of its scientific research and is fully integrated into Swiss and European funding systems.
English is the second language of the academic community in both teaching and scientific research - a feature that allows the university to tap into a global pool of students, researchers, professors and institutional partners. USI cultivates close relations with the world of work and offers targeted support to both its students and graduates, and to the companies it collaborates with. Thanks to the integration between different disciplinary areas, to its multiple centers of competence and to particularly favorable framework conditions, USI offers the ideal context to give life to innovative and competitive projects at an international level.
The University of Italian Switzerland currently consists of four Faculties:
Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio
Faculty of Economics in Lugano
Faculty of Communication Sciences in Lugano
Faculty of Informatics in Lugano
Institute of Italian Studies (ISI)
Executive Master in Business Administrator
The Executive MBA (EMBA) is an advanced general management program taught in English and boasts a fully international faculty. Its format - based on monthly sessions of 4 consecutive days, from Thursday to Sunday, for a period of 15 months - is compatible with the needs of professionals who intend to pursue an MBA without leaving work. The EMBA is aimed in particular at managers and entrepreneurs with more than 4 years of work experience interested in acquiring advanced and specialized skills in business management.