Repatriating to Zurich, Switzerland – Five Tips

We think it is vital to give you five key tips to handle your repatriation to Zurich, Switzerland. We have clients like Peter, a Swiss national, who decided to go on an international assignment that led him to spend several years in another country. He fell in love with a resident during his stay, and they married. As a result, their children obtained dual nationality. Eventually, when the assignment was over, Peter returned to Switzerland with his family, triggering a series of immigration and other challenges, particularly for his partner, who did not speak the local languages such as German or French.

Old Tram in Zurich

Here are five essential tips for repatriating to Zurich

1 – Plan and understand all legal requirements: Before leaving your host country, list all the tasks you must complete before departing. This might include closing bank accounts, canceling subscriptions, and saying goodbye to friends and colleagues. Also, consider what you’ll need when you return home, such as a job or a place to live. You can request our Global Relocation Checklist for Expats by replying “Checklist” to this email. If you married a “foreigner” in the host country, for example, and they do not speak German, French, or Italian, you must check the language requirements for “family reunification” in your new location. I advise that your spouse start learning the local language as soon as feasible. Please email me if you can’t find the appropriate information.

2 – Prepare for reverse culture shock: Returning home after living abroad can shock the system. You may experience feelings of disorientation, frustration, or even anger. To prepare for this, talk to other repatriates and read up on reverse culture shock. Consider finding a support group or Global Coach to help you overcome challenges.

3 – Keep in touch with your friends in the host country: Just because you’re leaving doesn’t mean you must sever all ties. You can stay connected by using social media, email, or snail mail, learning the language, or following local news and events.

4 – Plan your Taxes: Speak to a tax professional about the tax implications of your repatriation. Taxation can be a complicated issue regarding repatriation, as it depends on various factors such as your citizenship, residency status, and the tax laws of both your host country and your home country (or the following country, for that matter). It’s essential to seek professional advice from a tax expert to understand your tax obligations and any potential tax implications associated with repatriation. This can help you avoid any legal issues or penalties down the line. Before leaving your host country, please file all necessary tax returns and pay outstanding taxes. You may also need to inform your host country’s tax authorities about your departure and send them a forwarding address for future tax correspondence. When you return to your home country, you may need to declare any income or assets you earned or acquired abroad and any foreign tax credits or deductions you’re entitled to. Again, it’s best to seek professional advice from a tax expert to comply with all relevant tax laws and regulations.

5 – Focus on the positives: Repatriation can be a challenging experience but also an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and rediscover your home country. Focus on the positives of returning home, such as reuniting with family and friends, exploring new job opportunities, and enjoying the familiar comforts of home. By planning, preparing for reverse culture shock, keeping in touch with your friends in the host country, planning your taxes, and focusing on the positives, you can make your repatriation a smoother and more positive experience. If you’re looking for assistance with repatriation to Zurich, Switzerland, several resources and organizations can help.


Finding an Expat Coach in Zurich

You can find coaches who specialize in repatriation to Zurich by searching online directories or contacting professional organizations for coaches, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF) or the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). An intercultural coach like me would often be associated with interculturalists such as SIETAR Switzerland and Families in Global Transition (FIGT).

Additionally, you can search for coaching services specific to Zurich by using keywords such as “repatriation coach Zurich” or “expat coach Zurich” on search engines or online directories.

When selecting a coach, you must consider their experience, qualifications, and coaching approach. You may also want to read reviews or testimonials from their clients to get a sense of their coaching style and effectiveness. Mostly, you want to listen to your gut feeling, too. Is this a person you can trust and openly speak to?

It’s also a good idea to schedule an initial consultation or session to discuss your needs and goals and ensure that the coach is right for you. This can help you feel more confident and supported during your repatriation process. Most coaches offer an initial chemistry call or have videos where you can get an idea about how they work. There are many different types of coaches, and you can contact me if you have any questions about your criteria. It also helps if you understand their training and how they deal with specific expat topics.

Repatriating to an active role

I’d happily work with you since you are already one of my trusted readers or clients. Please clarify with your employer what your next role will entail and how they will ensure that it considers your international experience. Make sure that your home base salary is adjusted for the new role, as it might not have kept up with your salary development and career steps in the host countries.

If you need support with your transition to Zurich, Switzerland, please reply to this email or book a meeting via Calendly.

Repatriating into retirement

If you are repatriating for retirement, list all your life goals and use the “Ideal Week Planner” to have a structure when you are back in your home country.

Last year, I published “The Global Rockstar Album – 21 Verses to Find Your Tact as an Inclusive Leader”. This workbook is the basis for all my work with Expats and could help you now. We are also developing the RockMeApp to help Expats with their transitions and career and life goals.

The Global Rockstar Album

The Global Rockstar Album

The RockMeApp

The RockMeApp serves as a digital platform that leverages Global Mobility Coach Angie Weinberger’s expertise and coaching methodology to support and guide expats and nomads, helping you navigate the complexities of transitioning between countries and develop the skills needed for successful adjustment.

You are entitled to a free account.

If you need support with your transition to Zurich, Switzerland, please reply to this email or book a meeting via Calendly.

Find all our licenses here.

Zuerichhorn "Heureka" my favorite spot at lake zurich
Tingeluy; Heureka



Resources for Repatriating to Zurich


  • Swiss diplomatic or consular mission: The Swiss diplomatic or consular mission in your host country can provide information and assistance on various topics related to repatriation, such as immigration and customs procedures, legal requirements, and healthcare.

  • Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA): The FDFA is the federal department responsible for Swiss foreign policy and can provide general guidance on repatriation and consular services.

  • Swiss Citizens Abroad Organization: The Swiss Citizens Abroad Organization provides support and advice to Swiss citizens living abroad and can offer assistance with repatriation.

  • Swiss Red Cross: The Swiss Red Cross offers repatriation services for Swiss citizens in emergencies, such as natural disasters or civil unrest.

  • Swiss insurance companies: Swiss insurance companies, such as health and travel insurance providers, may offer repatriation services as part of their policies.

  • Swiss relocation companies: Swiss relocation companies can assist with the logistics of repatriation, such as packing and shipping belongings, finding accommodation, and navigating the Swiss bureaucracy. For example, Becomelocal is a service company that specializes in settling foreign managers and specialists in Zurich. It offers a comprehensive range of immigration and relocation services for talented international companies.



Moving to Zurich, Switzerland – First Things First 











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