Population 8.8 million
Area 41,285 km sq
Timezone GMT +1
Language German, French and Italian
A ranking and analysis report of 85 countries by US News & World, Switzerland ranks No.1 ‘Best Country’ in the world 2022, holding this position for the fifth time. It’s a country that cares most about equality, human rights and the environment with excellent quality of life, opportunity and social purpose.

Switzerland is not part of the EU, and there are restrictions in place around immigration, tax and property purchase even for EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries. Purchasing property is not a gateway to residency here.
There is a multi-layered legal system making matters complex, in particular for foreigners with third-nation status, which includes the UK. The country has a federal government and its 26 cantons each make their own rulings within federal guidelines. Underneath them sits communes (Municipalities) who make up another layer of legislation. There are opportunities as well as restrictions. So we advise you to consult government websites and qualified specialists.

The most straightforward way to move to Switzerland is through work. Swiss based employers may be able to secure visas that allow their foreign recruits to live there, even buy a home. Home ownership is low, with majority of residents renting.
This strategically placed country with highly desirable living standards and stunning scenery, is a relocation choice for the super wealthy. There are Residency for investment options, but due to criteria and the level of investment required these are beyond the means of most. Property is expensive, although transaction costs are lower than many other countries (under 4% typically).

The Swiss authorities are very careful to regulate property use and ownership. According to Federal law, Lex Koller, foreigners are allowed to buy only in designated tourist areas, typically mountain resorts, or around Montreux and Lake Lugano in the South and South West of the country. Terms, charges and conditions apply.
There is an annual cap on the number of foreign non-residents allowed to purchase property each year. The number is split proportionality amongst the Cantons. Only Swiss citizens or foreigners with relevant Swiss residence permits can buy in cities.

Foreign residents are free to buy main residence with valid permits. Foreigner non-residents can only buy one property up to 200m2 floor area, on a plot no larger than 1,000m2 in approved areas. You need to apply for permission to buy and property use needs to be agreed. There are further restrictions on the number of second homes in each municipality too. There may be local regulations around short lets. Again, seek specialist advise. Our partners may be able to help you too.
In some resorts investment property is available that must be rented out for at least part of the year. These are likely to be apartments sold furnished, be connected to a resort with on-site facilities, and they offer professional rental management. Typical yield is around 3%. Generally, there is not Capital Gains tax on property, but there are other taxes according to particular canton or municipality. Another reason why we recommend specialist advice.

Short ownership periods may incur higher tax charges as the country is keen to discourage property ‘flipping’. Resident foreigners are subject to Inheritance Tax and Gift tax, with non-residents liable only on Swiss property.

Our affiliate partners concentrate around the exclusive Villars ski area and their listings on our website are available to foreigners. Get in touch with us and we can connect you.
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