Moving to Switzerland for a perm job, can i stay UK registered?

Hi there. I'm moving to Zug for a permanent job in a few weeks. This is the first time I've worked overseas (on a permanent basis) so I'm unfamiliar with the rules.

Is there any overlap in my residency status that allows me to continue my UK services as per before I left? As it's a permanent position, i'm assuming (in theory at least), I will have to leave my UK residency status behind? Can I just stay UK registered or do i have to declare my new country of abode to the UK authorities - which then would have an effect on my services? And if so, would this be applicable from day 1?

Taking one example - i'm hoping to take my car (with my UK insurance, breakdown etc ) without having to cancel everything and then having to  reinstate it all via Swiss insurance, breakdown. Can I continue as normal or is there a cliff face that i have to fall off from day 1 of my move?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Alternatively Johnny do you have an email address and I will get my consultant to mail you.



You will continue a UK citizen. Initially if from the UK, you get Permit B status in Bern which is no status at all. Its a work permit and your taxes are taken upfront. Without getting into too many details (as this is best discussed with a financial advisor with full details), you will remain UK citizen.

And whatever you do, please do not bring your UK car to Switzerland. I owned a BMW while in the UK which I sold before I got here. the simple reason is that the UK drives on the wrong side of the road as most of mainland Europe would claim :)  also, you will incur costs not only of registration but a small fortunue on changing headlight assembly etc. For all these hassles including taking a parking ticket out of a machine (beng the wrong side) is irritating. not worth it. and like the BMW of the UK, you should not bring this if it is a rear wheel drive due to problems driving in winter.

Hope all goes well.

Best wishes

Hi Francis, thanks for your reply. Appreciated.

OK so if i'm officially a UK citizen until the permit is issued, then i'm happy to discuss with an advisor when i'm a bit settled over there. So long as everything stays legal, i'm happy. I'm just concerned if for instance i have a car accident, that my insurance company will wriggle out of it as they will always try to do. Then things can get nasty.

I did call the insurers and say i was moving to switzerland, and they advised the policy will need to be cancelled. But they're not experts in expats and i guess they just automatically assumed that moving means leaving the UK. That's why i came on the forum as it's about whether 'i personally declare myself' still a UK citizen or not. Which you say I am.

Do you happen to know what that cut-off date is (when i have to declare myself out of the UK)? Is it as soon as i get the permit? Or when 'i feel' settled ?!

Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

PS Thanks for the advice on taking a car. Need it regardless!

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

You will be required to declare/register your UK registered car with the Swiss authorities when you drive into Switzerland.  If the car is under 6 months old, you'll also have to pay import tax and VAT.  This link better describes the process.

As you've already found out, your UK insurance will no longer be valid, so you'll need to find some Swiss insurance before you leave; in these circumstances, they generally insure the vehicle using the VIN as opposed to the registration number, then update your policy once you have a Swiss registration number.

As for changing the headlights; my latest car has the ability to change the headlights from left to right-hand drive by a setting on the dashboard - perhaps yours is the same; it's worth checking before you spend some money

As to doing it; I drove a right-hand drive car in Berlin for 2 years; it was a nightmare, I would never willingly do it again.  If your current car is under a UK contract-hire or PCP agreement, you may well find that the financers may not allow you to export it; in some cases, although you are the registered keeper, you are not the legal owner; it's worthwhile checking with them.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

You will continue to be a UK citizen as long as you hold a UK passport, even if you are registered as living in Switzerland.

Thanks all. Good of you to answer.

I'm allowed to drive my car in Switz under my UK insurance for 3 months (and then return it to the UK within that period). From Cynic's link, i infer i've got a year where i don't have to register it. So, assuming my UK insurance is still valid (original question) - put a headlamp sticker on and get the vignette and i'm good to go (?) .

Hi SimCityAT, i'm confused as to the difference between UK citizenship and residency status. Are they one of the same thing? So I know i will stay as a UK citizen (of course i will retain my UK passport ), but it's the residency status that my question is about. All services (insurance, gas electricity etc etc) state I must be 'resident' in the UK. I still have a flat in the UK (albeit to be rented), have ties in the UK but i don't know whether the 'residency' status changes upon moving to work to another country. Can you be 'resident' in both UK and Switz?

Sorry to harp on about the same question, but if citizenship and residency status are not the same thing, then the original question still applies. Am i making a pickle out of nothing?!

Thank you ;)

The UK is one of the few countries that you don't have to register where you live. So you don't have to deregister if that makes sense.

Have a look at these 2 websites, … -national/

Nice one, great thanks. Seems like I'm ok to continue 'as is'.

Thanks a lot for your advice!

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