Returning to Switzerland (deregistration from the register of the Swiss abroad)

Returning to Switzerland involves a number of administrative steps, beginning with reporting your departure to the Swiss representation where you are registered and possibly also to the competent foreign authorities, observing the customs formalities in the host country or reporting your arrival in Switzerland.

You can report your new address to the representation using the Online desk.

Be sure also to initiate in good time the procedures for authorisation of the entry and residence of any family members who are citizens of a foreign country and require formal authorisation prior to entering Swiss territory.

Documents deposited with a Swiss representation abroad

When returning to Switzerland do not forget to reclaim any certificates of origin you have deposited with the Swiss representation at the time of registration. You will need these documents when registering with the municipality of your place of residence in Switzerland.

For Swiss nationals returning to Switzerland, the following information may be useful:

  • Swiss men who are subject to military service obligations must register with the Section Controller (Sektionskontrollführer) within 14 days of arrival in Switzerland. They may be called up for recruitment until the end of the calendar year in which they reach their 25th birthday. They can be called up for basic training until the end of the calendar year in which they reach their 27th birthday. Swiss nationals abroad who are returning to Switzerland permanently are once again subject to all the military obligations. If a Swiss national has resided abroad for longer than six years without interruption and is no longer required by the army, he will be called up only at his own request. However decisions are taken by the relevant military authority on a case-by-case basis, depending on the length of the period spent abroad, army requirements, and the age, previous military training and occupational skills of the person concerned.
  • For persons returning to Switzerland who are seeking employment the consular post can provide a fact sheet with application forms from the Federal Office for Migration - FOM. The fact sheet contains useful information for persons returning to Switzerland; the application forms are sent to the relevant cantonal labour offices.
  • Concerning duty-free importation of household goods the consular post can also provide a fact sheet and the declaration required by the Swiss Customs Office. Household goods are defined as goods which the person moving to Switzerland has used personally or in the exercise of his or her occupation or trade for at least six months abroad and will continue to use himself or herself in Switzerland. Special regulations apply to alcoholic drinks and vehicles.
  • The new Law on Health Insurance entered into force on 01.01.1996. It introduced compulsory health insurance and freedom of choice as to the insurance provider. Insured persons can therefore move to another basic insurance scheme at any time without disadvantage. The compulsory basic insurance with comprehensive healthcare benefits is separate from any additional insurance coverage. This new law permits persons who return to Switzerland to take up basic health insurance at any time, regardless of age and without any disadvantages or reservations. Any health insurance provider may be chosen, but this choice must be exercised within three months of taking up residence in Switzerland. The insurance cover is back-dated to the date of taking up residence provided the person concerned has registered with the local authority during these three months.