A landlocked, mountainous country, Switzerland’s geographical position in central Europe and studious neutrality have given it the access and political stability to become one of the world’s wealthiest countries, largely through its banking industry.
Helvetic Celts inhabited the area of present-day Switzerland when Julius Caesar conquered the region, annexing it to the Roman Empire. After the decline of the Roman Empire, Switzerland was invaded by Germanic tribes from the north and west.
In 800, the country became part of Charlemagne’s empire. In 1291 leaders of the three Swiss cantons, or regions, signed an agreement declaring their freedom and promising mutual aid against any foreign ruler. The confederation was the beginning of modern Switzerland. Over the next few centuries Switzerland became a military power, expanding its territories until 1515 when it was defeated by France.
Soon after, Switzerland adopted a policy of permanent neutrality. The country was again conquered by France during the French Revolution. After Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815, the Congress of Vienna guaranteed Switzerland’s neutrality, a guarantee that has never been broken.
A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation, establishing federal responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters, as well as introducing direct democracy by popular referendum, which has no parallel in any other country.
Switzerland’s sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two World Wars.
Although it lies close to the geographical center of Europe, and most of its trade is with its European neighbors, Switzerland is not an European Union member, and it joined the United Nations only in September 2002.
Though lacking natural resources, Switzerland is a wealthy country with one of the world’s highest standards of living, with its prosperity founded on skilled labor and technological expertise in manufacturing and on earnings from tourism and banking.
Switzerland’s economy has fit well within the global marketplace. With a sense of order and stability, its tomorrows are likely to be wrinkle-free, its vistas smoothed by a stable and prosperous economy and a steely competitive spirit in manufacturing, services and tourism. Yet, Switzerland has charmingly invited travelers to swirl a bit of absinthe, savor a bit of cocoa and taste the icy smoke of its alpine verdures.
Although it lies close to the geographical centre of Europe, and most of its trade is with its European neighbours, it is not an EU member. A referendum in 2001 went against opening talks on joining.
Membership of the European Economic Area was also rejected by referendum in 1992 and Swiss-EU relations are now based on an extensive range of bilateral agreements.
Ties became closer in 2005 when a referendum backed membership of the EU Schengen and Dublin agreements, bringing Switzerland into Europe’s passport-free zone and increasing cooperation on crime and asylum issues. A further referendum the same year opened the job market to workers from the 10 newest EU member countries.
At the same time Switzerland has been gradually acceding to international pressure to allow greater scrutiny of its famously secretive banking sector, amid growing concerns about money-laundering and the financing of terrorist groups.
The country forms a European cultural and linguistic crossroads, with about two-thirds of the population speaking German, around one-fifth French and about 7% Italian. Romansch, the fourth national language, is spoken by less than 1% of the population.
The people are given a direct say in their own affairs under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, which has no parallel in any other country.
They are invited to the polls several times a year to vote in national or regional referendums and people’s initiatives. Constitutional proposals and major international treaties must be put to the vote, and parliamentary decisions can be subjected to a vote by collecting 50,000 signatures.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in Switzerland please contact our marketing department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
An unfurnished property is usually only equipped with a kitchen and nothing more. Sanitary appliances such as plugs, toilet and sink are usually included. A semi-furnished apartment contains a certain amount of furniture such as beds, sofa, cupboards etc, whilst a fully-furnished property comes with all furniture and fittings and in some cases also sheets and towels.
Usually, there is little flexibility when it comes to negotiating rent or furnishing, however, for properties that are considered to be of a higher price-level, negotiations may be possible.
This depends on the Relocation Package you have; HTLC Network Basic Package includes 8 properties and the Extended Package includes 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided will be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.
The only way to secure a property is to sign a contract and pay the required deposit. Securing a property by means of a ‘pre-contract’ is not standard procedure.
The payment of a deposit, usually one or two month’s rent. Any real estate commissions are usually covered by the landlord.
When renting a property, utilities expenses and annual housing expenses have to be paid in addition to the rent.
The tenant can access the property when the contract has been signed and a deposit has been made. HTLC Network will negotiate and prepare a rental contract for you. We will arrange a property inspection and walk through.
Please note: A residency or Work Permit is required in order to rent a property in Lugano.
Provided that the property and any furnishings are returned in the state in which they were consigned, HTLC Network will be able to negotiate a deposit return for you.
Kitchen and bathrooms must be repainted before moving out. In case of short let, this is sometimes waived. If you rent a house, general outdoor maintenance is usually the responsibility of the tenant. The tenant’s responsibilities will be specified in the contract. In cases of renting an apartment, general maintenance is taken care of by the building administration and paid for out of the additional expenses included in the annual housing expenses. An approximate amount to cover these expenses is added to the monthly rent and an annual account is rendered for each tenant.
This can only be done with the landlord’s permission and would be at your own cost.
If a lease needs to broken earlier than anticipated, the tenant must either find a sub-tenant or otherwise pay rent up to the first possible break time that is agreed in the rental contract. These break times normally occur after one year and then at three-monthly intervals at the end of March, June, September and December.
Foreigners wanting to buy a property in Lugano should be aware that some areas in and around the city have quoatas on how many properties can be sold to non-Swiss citizens. These quotas have been introduced in order to limit the number of foreigners wanting to buy properties in Lugano. In cases where purchase is considered the best solution, it can be done in the name of the host company for which the Transferee is going to work. When purchasing a property, legal fees of approximately 2,5 % of the purchase price are involved. This includes the inscription into the cantonal property ledger. Any real estate fees are to be covered by the property seller.
Telephone, water, electricity and gas if available. Other utility expenses are normally included under “expenses” that are added to the rent.
Electricity is paid for in advance and then accounted for at the end of June each year. If you leave before June, the electricity supplier will come and read the meter. HTLC Network can arrange this as part of your departure. The water meters are similarly read once a year and charged per use. The bills can be paid at any post office, by direct debit through your bank or by e-banking.
Telephone lines are already installed in most residential areas in Lugano. When requesting a telephone number, a contract must be signed and a deposit must be paid. There are no taxes involved when signing the contract. In cases where a telephone line is not already installed, it takes approximately 24 hours from the time of request to install a telephone line. A one-off charge is added to the first bill after the installation.
Approximately one week. The telephone apparatus can also be rented.
Telephone bills arrive monthly and for an extra charge can be itemised.
Other than ISDN and Analogoue line, ASDL 600, 1200 and 2400 are available in most areas in and around Lugano. In cases where the telephone company has not yet cabled an area, a minimum number of 10 households are required before a new telephone line can be activated.
Yes, foreign driving licences are valid in Switzerland. A Swiss licence must be obtained after one year.
Foreign cars must be officially registered after two years. A relevant import tax will have to be paid.
Yes. Foreigners can buy a car on the same conditions as Swiss citizens.
Citizens from EU and EEA member states do not require a Work Permit, but just a Residence Permit. Other nationals a Work Permit, a work visa and a Residence Permit.
Yes, there are federal and cantonal quotas and only a limited number of foreign workers can enter Switzerland each year. There are no restrictions for EU and EEA citizens.
In cases where the worker brings along his or her family, a statement and documentation for the other family members must be submitted when applying for the permit. Family members will require a Residence Permit.
– Extensive rapidly growing client list.
– Exclusive partner/representative of many Global Relocation Service Providers.
– Exclusive representative of many International Law and Immigration Firms.
– Quality control guarantee: Head Office directs all relocations and immigrations in every destination.
– All staff required to attend on-going training sessions and workshops to keep updated as to global mobility needs.
– No language barriers – Assistance provided in all major European languages and many others.
– Corporate consultation with HTLC Network’s’ Representatives at location of choice.
– HTLC Network own ‘Resource Guides’ providing a wealth of everyday information for expatlife in destination city.
– Comprehensive FAQs for each country serviced.
– Red Alert List to prepare for the specific challenges of each destination.
– Extra ‘Safety’ section in Resource Guides for countries posing specific security threats.
– 24-hour Emergency Helpline for Transferees throughout the duration of the relocation.
– Complimentary 3-month Helpline.
During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.
HTLC Network will prepare the contract in the name of a legal representative of the Company. We require full data of the individual, a photocopy of his/her passport ID pages and a photocopy of the Company’ s document demonstrating position within the Company.
The prepared contract will be emailed to the appropriate Company contact and instructions will be given on how it is to be printed out and signed. Once signed, one of HTLC Network’ Local Counsellors will collect the contract and deliver it to the real estate agent for the signature of the landlord. A signed copy will be returned to the Company whilst the three copies of the contract are being registered, thereafter a registered copy will be delivered.
Arrangements will be made to take a thorough inventory in the presence of the tenant and landlord.
For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possible HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.
To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.
All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.
All Local Counsellors are trained by HTLC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.
All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.
All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.
In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.
HTLC Network aims to equip your workforce to settle into their new environment as soon as possible. Upon arrival they are presented with a local Information Pack. They are given access to our on-line City Specific Resource Guides that provide general local information as well as specific local information once a suitable property has been located.
We have a 24hour emergency helpline throughout the duration of the relocation. We provide a 90 day complimentary phone line that can be extended throughout the duration of the assignment.
Our aim is to teach the Transferee how to live in his new city and to equip him to be as independent as possible.
Area: 1852 km
Time Zone: GMT+1
Capital city: Bern
Bordering countries: Austria, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany
Climate: temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Legislative Branch: bicameral Federal Assembly
National Holiday: Swiss franc (CHF).
Population: Approximately 7,3 million inhabitants
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant.
Official languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch