If your current place of residence is outside of Switzerland, please deal with the formalities for your entry into the country at an early stage.You should apply to the Swiss representative in your native country for any visa that may be necessary. Please note that as a rule there is a delay of 6-12 weeks between submitting the application and the issue of a visa.
Switzerland was born in 1291 as a deffensive alliance among 3 cantons, named the Swiss Confederation. It grew since then to 26 cantons and now has its capital in Bern, although Zurich is the largest city in the country. The 3 main governing bodies are: the Federal Court with a judicial role, the federal Council with executive role and the Federal Assembly, a bicameral Parliament that consists of the Council of States and the National Council, with legislative role. Switzerland doesn't have a President or a Prime Minister,
Switzerland consists of 3 cultural and liguistic areas: German, French and Italian, but the national spirit is strong and these areas do not consist independent groups. The neutrality is a distinctive characteristic of this country, that has been respected over the time by the other nations. Thus, Switzerland was not involved in any of the two World Wars.
As it is not part of the EU, Switzerland has its own currency, the Swiss Frank (CHF). It is also an expensive country to live in compared to the European average. Here you can see a rough estimjation of the income distribution in Switzerland:
Again as a very rough approximation, a Swiss family spends its income as follows:
* 25-35% for rent of a condominium or house
* 10-20% for assurances (health, liability, theft, car), health care and savings deposits
* 15-20% for food (at home and in restaurants)
* 20-40% for other expenses (non-food, car maintenance, phone bills, vacations, recreational activities)
* 5-15% for taxes (Taxes vary across the different cantons quite a lot)
Switzerland is predominantely mountaneous (60%) with picturesc landscapes. Very famous for its skiing facilities, Switzerland is one of the most popular European holyday destinations.