Step by step arrival guide

1. Find somewhere to live (this may be temporary).

Ask your new colleagues, look on flat-share websites and try and find a room to rent in a flatshare (colocations) or an apartment to sub-rent (more on this here).
*You need to have an address in Lausanne in order to get your permit. You cannot rent a property directly from most rental agencies yourself until you have a bank account and a permit, and payslips from your job. Possible to rent direct from some agencies (e.g. Gerances Guyot, on the basis of your ID card, work contract, last 3 months payslips.

*See Bus and Train on getting around in Lausanne.


2. Obtain the EPFL enrollment certificate from human resources (needed for Controle des habitants).


3. Go to Contrôle des habitants to apply for your permit (B) and receive an “Attestation” (more info here).


4. Set up a bank account.
With PostFinance and Credit Suisse (on campus) you can open a basic bank account before you receive your permit, which you will then be able to upgrade when you receive your work permit.
*With PostFinance you can open an account without your attestation (but you’ll need your work contract), with Credit Suisse you need to take your attestation with you.


5. Now you can give your bank details to human resources and receive your salary!


6. If you want to get a mobile phone, you can get a pay as you go with your passport only. If you want a contract, you will need to wait until you get your permit.
*Warning: Orange and Sunrise don’t have signal in much of EPFL and some of Lausanne. Check what works in your apartment and your lab before deciding. (Seems that Swisscom have a monopoly here…).


7. Office des Pursuites. Go here to get papers showing that you are not in credit with anyone in Switzerland (around CHF20).
*Often needed for renting an apartment but you can try to argue that you just arrived in Switzerland so it wouldn’t be that useful…


8. Deposit: The deposit for a flat is often 3 months rent, plus you need to pay the first month’s rent upfront. This adds up to a huge sum of money, so if you don’t have the funds, go to Swiss cautionSwiss caution


9. Billag – TV & radio. Everyone has to pay regardless of whether you have a TV or not.


10. Internet providers: Citycable, Swisscom.


11. Driving licence: EU citizens can drive with the licence from your own country for a year, but you need to change to a Swiss driving licence within a year of you moving here (otherwise you risk being asked to sit a Swiss driving test; more info on how to proceed here). For non-EU, one needs to check the regulations for their respective country, some will only need to take the theory examination for exchanging (e.g. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, USA), other will need to pass both the theory test and the practical driving examination. More info here.


Some more useful links

ACIDE International Spouses: Welcome to Lausanne

HR page with information for newcomers