Entry from abroad: First steps

Great that you’re here! Since Switzerland is constructed federally, you can take care of many matters locally and immediately in your municipality of residence – in a personal way, and from a single source.


As soon as you have arrived, you have fourteen days’ time in which to be registered at your municipality of residence. For this registration you need a valid passport or a valid identity card or proof of personal identity for yourself and for your immediate family members, the application for residence A1 (if relocating to the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell Innerrhoden or Appenzell Ausserrhoden), an up-to-date passport photo, a rental contract, your employment contract, or the confirmation of your appointment as a professor (the ‘Wahlprotokoll’).

Depending on whether you work in research or administration, the following contact persons are available to you:

  • If you are employed in the professional services and University administration, please contact the University HR department.
  • If you are employed in the administrative capacity at an HSG institute, the responsible personnel officer of that institute is your contact person.
  • If you have been appointed as a professor and will be conducting research at HSG in the future, you can contact the Faculty Affairs team.

Bank Account
To be able to draw your salary, you need a Swiss bank account. In order to open a bank account, you need a valid passport or a valid identity card or proof of personal identity, a Swiss confirmation of your residence or a Swiss residence permit or settlement permit, and your employment contract, or an appointment confirmation report if you have been appointed as a professor. Citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries also need further documents that you should enquire about at the bank in question. You can go to the bank of your choice and open an account during their given opening hours; you will find a list of different banks on the homepage of the Swiss National Bank (SNB). If you are a citizen of the United States of America, please contact our Faculty Affairs team, who will assist with the opening of an account.

Customs regulations on import of goods
Check with the Swiss Federal Customs Administration about importing your furniture, car, plants, pets, etc. You should make a list (rough draft) of what you are taking with you when packing your household goods in your home country. You will need to submit this list to customs later. When moving to Switzerland, you will have declared your car as household effects when crossing the border, just like the rest of your household.

Health insurance
Every person who lives or works in Switzerland must take out insurance with a certified health insurance company. Insurance policies for the Swiss healthcare system consist of the obligatory basic insurance and the supplementary forms of insurance. For more information on medical care in Switzerland, please visit our website.

Driving License
If you possess a driving license, then you should exchange it within twelve months after your arrival for a Swiss driving license at the motor vehicle control office of your canton of residence. If you miss the deadline, you must take a new driving test in Switzerland. You can find further information on the webpage of the motor vehicle control office of your canton of residence.

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