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Legal Aliens

We are almost done with our inscription with the government here in Switzerland (Yeah!). We are now officially legal aliens, and that includes Diego and Valentina too. It is important to remember, that a stay in Switzerland is in all cases subject to approval, except for tourist stays of max. 90 days within 6 months. From our arrival in Zürich, we have fourteen days to register at the district office in our canton.

Alexis’ employer has been so helpful during this process. To be honest, probably we wouldn’t have been able to do all of the process by ourselves. There is so much to think and read and everything is in German. With the help of our Relocation Consultant, we went to the Registration Desk in the City Hall. The process took about one hour. The employee spoke little English, so it was great to have the consultant there to help us translate any information. We had to bring copies of our passports, Marriage Certificate, proof of employment and any property rental contract. They filled all the information and asked us a few questions such as which is our religion, when did we get married and to write our parents last names, etc. Once they got all the clarification they needed, we paid 324.00 CHF for both of us and they booked us an appointment to go to another office within two weeks in order to get our biometrics and pictures taken. After that, I guess we’ll be all set.

Diego and Valentina also had to go through a similar process. By law anyone keeping a dog in Switzerland must register the pet in the ANIS database. In order to do that, we are required to present the dogs to a local veterinarian office within 10 days from arrival. We found our veterinarian by searching on Google and choosing the one with the best reviews (feel free to email me if you need the contact information). Then, the veterinarian must declare the dogs in the ANIS database (including the foreign microchip or tattoo number) within the following 10 days. The vet checked on the paperwork we brought from the US, which included the documents stamped by the USDA office (same documents we used to check out the dogs from customs at the airport). The vet gave Diego and Valentina probably like 125 treats, so you can imagine how happy they were. She praised their teeth and said they have impeccable oral hygiene. After they were done with the paperwork at the vets office, (and 220.00 CHF later) we got a pet passport for each of them and copies of the ANIS declaration. The Pet Passport is a booklet that provides all of the essential information on your pet, including an identification number and proof of all relevant vaccinations. The passport remains valid for the whole life of your pet. Although not required, is great to have it when traveling to other countries in Europe with the dogs. When crossing the borders, we may be asked to present proof of the dog’s vaccinations and identifications. Instead of carrying several documents, all the information will be conveniently located in their passports. The next step in the process for them is to go to the local police department and pay the doggy tax. Yes, we have to pay taxes for owning a dog, in this case two of them.

Here are some websites that provide helpful information regarding these processes: Expatica Federal Department of Foreign Affairs-Switzerland City of Zurich

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