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Switzerland or Australia: Where Should You Migrate?

25 May, 2016

UPDATE: This article was updated on May 10, 2017.

Switzerland made news in the financial world when it announced that it was considering giving each adult citizen 2,500 Swiss francs (approximately 3,400 Australian dollars) monthly after-tax, working or not, as part of its incoming referendum.  This will be the first time a minimum wage is introduced in the country, and could probably replace welfare services. This characterizes Switzerland’s capacity to extensively provide its citizens outstanding benefits.

So how does the nation famous for its watches, chocolates, and the Alps compare with the Land Down Under as a migration destination? We highlighted the most important components to better help you decide.


Employment Opportunities


Switzerland has one of the strongest and most stable economies in the world (it ranks first in the world in the 2016 Global Innovation Index). The political stability and long-term financial security drove investors and migrants to its ports, further increasing foreign investments and workforce. Primed by its economic sectors, such as industrial, trade, tourism, agriculture, banking, and watch-manufacturing, it has successfully trimmed its unemployment rate down to 3.3%, one of the lowest even by first world standards.

Aside from the main economic zones, industries such as machinery, chemicals, textiles, precision instruments, insurance, and information technology also contribute to the country’s financial momentum. These industries exhibit vast employment openings and career opportunities.


Manufacturing, telecommunications, banking, and the recent mining boom are the country’s leading industries. There are a diverse range of work opportunities everywhere, with the service, information technology, and hospital industry constantly improving.

Unemployment here is currently at 5.9% which means 6,400 jobs were lost last February 2017 but there was an increase of 27,100 for full-employment.




Despite strong economic performances, owning a home is still yet to be a norm in Switzerland. Currently, approximately 60% of its citizens rent their homes. Logically, owning a property is mostly relegated in rural areas and lowest in major cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. The rise in population in urban areas over the last five decades also mean the decrease of the already limited housing stock, thus skyrocketing the prices.

As a foreign migrant, your options might be limited when it comes to owning properties, since only those who are EU or EFTA nationals with a Swiss residence permit who resides in Switzerland those or hold a Swiss C Permit can purchase properties here. Renting is the option to go.


Much like Switzerland, owning a house is also not very common in Australia. Only around 31% of residents here live in fully-owned properties, 28.7% rent their home, while 33.3% of homes are mortgaged.

Suburban fringes of cities and towns sport the inner-city medium to high-rise apartments and the low-density townhouses/fully detached houses, while Melbourne and Sydney cradles the inner-city where public housing is generally found in. They are usually 3-5 story walk-up flats and 11-22 story high-rise towers. Low-density suburban estates are located in almost every city and town in the country.


Public Transport


Switzerland is located right in the heart of Europe, that’s why it boasts of a complicated, yet well-developed, networks of roads and railways for dynamic travelling of people and goods in and out of the country. Its public transport network has a sheer length of 24,500 kilometres and encompasses more than 26,000 stations and stops. The country’s railway system includes urban rails, mountain rail. As for the road public transport, the country has buses, trolleybuses and taxis operating nationwide. It also has an efficient car sharing system ran by the Mobility Carsharing cooperative.

A one-way bus ticket here costs around AU$4.62, while a monthly pass is at AU$106.31. Starting taxi tariff is AU$ 9.23 with AU$5.32 for the first one kilometre. If you would prefer to get your own car, a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or equivalent new car) will set you back AU$32,174.00, while a litre of gasoline is at AU$2.09.


Despite the very good public transport system, driving is the most used mode of transport in the country, and this number continues to rise. It is followed by train, walking (the country has a very good culture of walking), and then bus. All Australian cities have reliable, affordable public bus networks and train lines, plus taxis operate nationwide. These train lines include commuter rail networks, trams, light rails, and rapid transits.

Fares are less expensive here compared to Switzerland. A one-way ticket sets you back by AU$3.93, while going for a monthly pass will increase it by AU$130.00. A kilometre ride of taxi is AU$2.17. If you want your own car, A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or any equivalent new car) will cost you AU$25,000.00 plus AU$1.32 for every litre of gasoline.


Health Care


Switzerland universal health care is monitored and provided by the Swiss Federal Law on Health Insurance. There are no free state-provided health services. Private health insurance is mandatory for all people residing in Switzerland within three months of taking up residence or being born in the country.

The whole healthcare system’s general objective is the promotion of the general public health and the reduction of costs while bolstering individual responsibility.

To allow coverage of some of the treatment categories not covered by the basic insurance and enhance the standard of room and service in case of hospitalization, the compulsory insurance can be complemented by private “complementary” insurance policies. This can include routine dental treatments, complementary medicine, half-private or private ward hospitalization, and others which are not covered by the compulsory insurance.


Medicare is the Australian government’s universal health insurance scheme. It provides Australian residents free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital and free or subsidized treatment for optometrist, dental care, and psychology services as well as treatment by doctors.

The extent to which the health care system is used is flexible among Australian citizens, overseas visitors, and temporary and permanent visa holders.  Their needs, entitlements, and expectations are influenced by many components such as the nature and degree of their health status, age, gender, location, and cultural background.

Check here how the Australian Public Health Care System Works.




With four European cuisine superpowers surrounding it (France, Germany, Italy and Austria), Switzerland is a melting pot of continental flavours.  As a result, it is brimming with restaurants and cafes offering European flavours. These include potatoes prepared in numerous ways, meat (veal, beef, pork, chicken and even horse), fish (mainly fresh water fish), vegetables, and sea food.

At AU$139.89, you can have a three-course fancy meal for two in a mid-range restaurant. You can dial it down by dining at an inexpensive restaurant for only AU$27.98 or you can buy a meal at a fast food restaurant for AU$20.00.


Just like Switzerland, Australia is also a fusion of different cuisines from various cultures.  Compared to Switzerland, dining out is way cheaper here. A three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant will cost you AU$80.00, you can save by going for an inexpensive restaurant instead, which will cost you AU$18.00. A McDonalds combo meal is at AU$10.00.

Australian cuisine is an adventure, as it is nourishment, especially for a migrant. They are unique, exciting, and sometimes a matter of acquired taste. Nevertheless, they are all enjoyable.

Check here for some of the most intriguing and delectable Australian dishes.


Weather and Climate


Climate in Switzerland is broadly temperate, but can also differ hugely in various areas, as characterized by the glacial conditions on the mountains and agreeable near-Mediterranean climate at the southern tip.

Summers are warm and soggy with occasional rainfall, making it ideal for pastures and grazing. Winters in the mountains experience long spells of stable conditions for weeks, while the lower lands tend to suffer from inversion, during these periods, thus seeing no sun for weeks.


Due to the massive land area, Australia goes through differing climates. This fact is characterized by the severely hot climate in the Kimberley region in the north-west of the continent to below zero in the Snowy Mountains in the south.

Depending upon where you are in the continent each month, the seasons will vary, the weather may be defined by the Temperate zone seasons or the tropical seasons. To find out more about the climate and weather patterns in each of the states in the country, check our blog here.


Benefits of Citizenship


  • Advantages of Swiss Citizenship include:
  • Vote in political elections upon reaching the age of 18
  • Start and sign a petition or citizen’s initiative for a referendum
  • Secure a Swiss passport or a Swiss identity card granting them the right to return to Switzerland at any time
  • Refrain deportation from Switzerland
  • Run for public office, including the Swiss Federal Council (even without being a member of any political party)
  • Ability to live, work, study, buy property and open a business anywhere in the European Union (via the bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the EU), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway


Advantages of Australian Citizenship include:

  • Being able to work for the federal government
  • Children will automatically be Australian citizens
  • The right to vote
  • Being able to run for public office
  • Avoid deportation
  • Entitlement for Australian passport
  • Access to consular help
  • Eligibility for the deferral of education fees
  • Full residence rights in New Zealand
  • Being able to adopt
  • Being able to represent Australia in international sporting events

For a more detailed information about these benefits, check our blog here.


The Takeaway

Switzerland and Australia are both wonderful places to settle. It all comes down to your nature and preference of environment.

Albeit a small country, Switzerland is an economic powerhouse brimming with job opportunities, high income employment, stable political climate, ultra-low crime rates, and exceptional standards of living. Most locations here can be just a walk or bus ride away. It also sports a climate characteristic of central Europe: a cool and amiable climate, even in the summer seasons.

As with other staggering first world nations, life here is fast-paced and the cost of living is very high. If English is your native-tongue, communication may be challenging.

Australia on the other hand, despite having a robust economy, offers a more laidback and less stressful way of life. You can strike a chat with anyone, even complete strangers. The taxi drivers, crews, and officemates are always open for a talk, while the beaches and parks offer silence and solitude. Though you may have to deal with a warmer rain forest climate and the erratic weather.


Interested in migrating to Australia and need professional assistance? Throw us a message in the enquiry section below or call us at 1300 619 977.

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5 comments on “Switzerland or Australia: Where Should You Migrate?”

    1. don't get confused, australia would be a better option to apply for citizenship, since they need more manpower and it's a very huge country. whereas switzerland limits the hiring of immigrants from abroad, since the country is very small. obtaining swiss citizenship is really tough nowadays because, if it was so easy, then everybody from all countries over the world would line up in a queue for the naturalized passport, causing the whole country to become over populated. australia got plenty of space to accommodate crowds of people

  1. Very well described. I'm lucky I lived in both Countries. But my first choice will always be Switzerland . It's closer to other countries, while Australia is far away from other Countries.





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