P and I have moved internationally before.  I spent a year in Scotland, P spent a year in India, and we both spent a year in England.  My prior moves had been much simpler than this one, and I was surprised by how many tasks we had to complete in order to be in compliance with all of the state and local rules.  Things that I thought would take only a few hours have ended up taking days or even weeks!  What made matters even more difficult was that we could not find a simple, comprehensive, clear list of requirements of new residents.  Despite our confusion, we’re mostly sorted out and next week, we should have all of our official documents!

We first had to register with our local Kreisbüro, an agency that is specific to the Kreis (district) in which we live.  The friendly people there provided us with temporary documentation demonstrating our official residence in Zürich, which is required to open a bank account, purchase a mobile phone plan, obtain health insurance, and register animals.

Next week, we will have to go to the Department of Migration to have our photographs and fingerprints taken for our more permanent residency documents.  Our impression is that these will be required (in addition to our U.S. passports) for any sort of international travel (in our outside of Switzerland).