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Moving to Geneva

Several steps must be completed when moving home. This page presents a range of information and useful links to help you get settled in Geneva.

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Welcome to Geneva!

Welcoming new inhabitants to the city

The City of Geneva is pleased to welcome its new inhabitants. It organises a range of events and activities to facilitate their arrival and welcome them to their new home. Find out more about the measures implemented to welcome new inhabitants 

Discover Geneva and its activities

The What to do in Geneva? section helps you explore Geneva and its districts. Among other things, you will find a selection of historical anecdotes, unusual places to visit and tourist sites, suggested walking circuits or the agenda of events that play a part in city life.

Announcing your arrival

Citizens of Geneva and Swiss nationals from a different canton are invited to declare their arrival individually to the Cantonal Bureau of Population and Migrations and to the cantonal tax authority within 14 days by completing the relevant form. 

For foreign citizens, the procedures differ according to their status and nationality.

All information is available on the State of Geneva website: moving to Geneva, settling in, leaving

Completing tax-related procedures

After having notified the Cantonal Bureau of Population and Migrations of your arrival, the cantonal tax authority assesses whether you are subject to taxation at source on the basis of several criteria.

The procedures differ for people arriving from another canton and those from abroad

Finding accommodation

Where to look for accommodation in Geneva?

Find a list of websites and resources relating to finding accommodation on the State of Geneva website.

To help you find accommodation as quickly as possible within the territory of Geneva, the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) guides future tenants and explains the formalities to be completed.

If you are a young adult, the Finding accommodation for young people page offers numerous tips.

The Municipal Real Estate Management service (GIM) of the City of Geneva makes social housing available to people in need together with rental accommodation

You can also apply to the secretariat of the property foundations under public law for HBM subsidised accommodation in Geneva.

Housing benefits and legal advice service

Tenants can also contact the legal advice service of the Swiss Tenants’ Association (ASLOCA), which informs them of their rights in the event of disputes.

The cantonal housing and land planning office (OCLPF) allocates housing benefits under certain conditions.

Choosing your health insurance and household insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland and, in particular, enables you to obtain accommodation. There are several health insurance schemes at different rates. Premiums are paid monthly and the amount depends on the insurance and the type of excess selected. The Cantonal Health Insurance service provides detailed information on this matter.

Unlike health insurance, household insurance is not mandatory, but is strongly recommended. It covers material damage in the event of fire and flood and resulting from burglary. The personal effects of the insured party are reimbursed in accordance with the predetermined amount of the cover selected.

Often included in household insurance, civil liability insurance (CL) is useful as it serves to reimburse damage caused to third parties (tenants, store owners, etc.).

The Comparis website can provide assistance in finding the most suitable household insurance and civil liability insurance.

Paying TV and radio licences

Every tenant or owner with a TV setradio or reception device with access to Internet is required to pay the television and radio licences. The fees can be paid on a quarterly or annual basis. You can consult the licence fees and obtain more detailed information on this matter via the Serafe website. 

Schools and childcare

Enrolling you children at school

Anyone arriving in Geneva with children is required to enrol them in schools corresponding to their level of education. Children must be enrolled in the school located in their place of residence. All useful information is available on the State of Geneva website.

In the City of Geneva, several extracurricular childcare structures provide activities for children outside school opening times.

Finding childcare for preschool children

There are a certain number of nurseries and other early childcare structures in the City of Geneva suitable for babies and young children.

Completing procedures relating to your vehicle

Driving licence

Anyone wishing to exchange their foreign driving licence for a Swiss driving licence must consult the State of Geneva website for more information. 

It is also possible to request an international driving licence which is valid for 3 years.

Registration plates

Moving home may involve changing your registration plates. Don’t forget to notify the Office des Automobiles.

Motorway pass

If you move to Geneva from abroad and wish to use the Swiss motorways, you will be required to obtain a pass. Valid from 1 December before the year in question until 31 January of the following year, it is available from post offices, customs offices, petrol stations, garages and cantonal registration offices.

Parking

To enjoy unlimited parking close to your place of residence, it is important to obtain a sticker from the parking foundation. The Parking and parking spaces in the City of Geneva page provides more detailed information on this matter. 

Swiss customs

Any person wishing to bring movable or immovable assets with them when moving to Geneva must consult the list of documents to be presented to the Swiss Customs Office on the Swiss authorities’ portal

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Article modifié le 26.02.2020 à 15:55