When you arrive
Once you have arrived in the Canton of Zurich, you will have to organise your new life. You need to address the following issues within the first few days or weeks after your arrival:
Registration with your new community of residence
If you move to a community in the Canton of Zurich, you must register your arrival within 14 days of arriving at your new home. Within these 14 days, you must also apply for a residence permit («Aufenthaltsbewilligung») if you have not done so before. Your registration office («Einwohnermeldeamt») will tell you about all the necessary documents and the related registration fees.
Compulsory health insurance
To register at your new place of residence, you must provide proof that you are insured with a health insurance company. You have three months to sign a health insurance contract. If you cannot provide proof of health insurance («Krankenversicherung») when you register at your new place of residence, you must present a copy of your health insurance policy within three months.
In Switzerland, all children between the age of 4 and 15 are required to attend school. To enrol your children in kindergarten or school, please contact the local authority or the head of the local school in your place of residence.
Information and advice
Communities in the Canton of Zurich often welcome their new residents at special events. You will be informed if your new community is organising a social event for newcomers.
If you need further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the local authority of your place of residence. In many communities, special integration officers («Integrationsbeauftragte») will be happy to help new residents with problems or questions. There are also various information centres that specialise in particular issues. Some of these information centres offer services in various languages. Please scroll down to find a list of important contacts and information centres in the Canton of Zurich.
Contact addresses for integration issues
Public offices are usually open from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. - 12 noon and from 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m. Please check the exact opening hours before you visit any office in person and note that some offices will ask you to make an appointment in advance. You may have to expect waiting times.
Almost all shops are open from Monday to Saturday during the day. On Sundays, most of the shops are closed. The Canton of Zurich has several public holidays («gesetzliche Feiertage») when most shops are closed.
Mobile phone communication
In Switzerland, there are three major mobile communication providers, each with their own network: Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom. However, there are other mobile operators and costs vary greatly. It is always a good idea to compare services and costs.