Your Arrival

Once you have moved to and arrived in Zurich, you must report to several authorities and offices. Various information centres provide information and advice to new residents.

Table of contents

Upon your arrival

Once you have arrived in the Canton of Zurich, you will have to organize your new life. You need to cover the following issues within the first days or weeks after your arrival:

Registration with your new municipality of residence

If you move to a municipality of the Canton of Zurich, you will have to report your arrival within 14 days after arriving at your place of residence. Within these 14 days, you must also apply for a temporary residence permit if you have not done so before. Various documents are required for your registration. The respective Residents’ Registration Office is happy to inform you about all the necessary documents and the related registration fees.

Compulsory health insurance

In order to be registered at your new place of residence, you need to provide proof that you are insured with a health insurance company. You are given three months’ time to conclude a health insurance contract. If you cannot provide a health insurance contract when you register at your place of residence, you may submit a copy of your health insurance policy within three months.

School enrolment

In Switzerland, all children between the age of 4 and 15 are officially obliged to attend school. In order to enrol your children in kindergarten or school, please contact the local authorities or the principal of the school of your place of residence.

Information and advisory services

Municipalities of the Canton of Zurich often welcome their new residents at special events. You will be informed accordingly if your new municipality organizes such a welcoming event.

If you need further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the respective administrative office of your municipality. In a large number of municipalities, designated integration officers will be happy to help new residents in case of problems or questions. Moreover, there are various information centres that specialize in particular issues. Some of these information centres offer services in various languages. Please scroll down to find a list of important contact and information centres in the Canton of Zurich.

Opening hours

Public offices are usually open from Monday to Friday, from 8 to 12 a.m. and from 1.30 to 5 p.m. Please check the applicable opening hours before you visit any office. Certain offices will ask you to book an appointment in advance. Waiting times may have to be expected.

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. On these days, most of the shops are closed.

Mobile communication

In Switzerland, there are three major mobile communication providers, each with their own network: Salt, Swisscom, and Sunrise. However, there are further mobile operators. The costs vary greatly. It is therefore advisable to compare services and costs (comparison of mobile phone tariffs).

Information and counselling centres

Migration-specific advisory services

Infodona: 044 412 84 00

Infodona, the information centre for migrants domiciled in the city of Zurich, offers advisory services free of charge with regard to the following topics: Measures related to the Corona pandemic, living in Zurich, marriage and family life, legal issues, finances, work, and health.

Infodona provides information in the following 16 languages: German, Albanian, Arabic, English, French, Italian, Croatian, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Slovak, Russian, Kurdish (Sorani), and Turkmen (Iraq).

Information for migrants in Winterthur and the surrounding area: Telefon 052 267 36 93

You are welcome to talk to native speakers of your language and get information on topics related to migration and integration as well as on measures related to the Corona pandemic. The advisory services are free of charge for the residents of Winterthur and the surrounding area, and are offered in the following languages: Albanian, Arabic, Amharic, Bulgarian, Bosnian, English, Italian, Kurdish, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Tigrinya, and Turkish.

Integration Office of the City of Zurich: 044 412 37 37

The Integration Office of the City of Zurich provides advisory services free of charge on topics related to migration and integration in the following languages: German, English, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. This service is offered to residents of the city of Zurich.

MIRSAH: 044 291 00 15

This counselling centre provides legal advice related to migration and integration issues (e.g. right of residence, family reunification, work permit, visa, naturalization, etc.). Specially trained lawyers offer proficient legal counselling when it comes to issues related to the law on foreign nationals. An hourly fee of CHF 50 applies. Legal advice is offered in the following languages: German, English, French, Kurdish, Spanish, and Turkish.

ZüRAS: 044 415 62 26

The counselling centre for issues related to racism in Zurich, ZüRAS, offers counselling to persons experiencing discrimination or racism at work, in their neighbourhood or in their leisure time due to their origin, skin colour or religion. The counselling service is free of charge for people living in the Canton of Zurich and is offered at least in the following nine languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Hungarian, and Persian (and in further languages if need be).

General counselling

SOS counselling by the Swiss Red Cross (SRK): 044 360 28 53

Experienced social workers provide counselling to persons facing challenging situations and who are in urgent need for help, irrespective of their origin or residence status. This offer is aimed at persons who live in the Canton of Zurich. The counselling service is free of charge and is offered in the following languages: German, French, English, Italian, and Spanish.

Further information

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