Your initial point of contact is always the residents’ registration office of the municipality. There you register and receive important information about life in the municipality. At a newcomer celebration, you will get to know your municipality of residence and the municipal authorities better. You will also be invited to a welcome chat at the Mintegra Foundation. This office advises newcomers from abroad on a variety of important topics such as work, social insurance and integration offers.
EU/EFTA citizens enjoy full freedom of movement, meaning that they are entitled to visit, live and work in Switzerland. Family reunion arrangements vary according to country of origin. If you live in Switzerland and hold an EU/EFTA residence permit, your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents are allowed to join you in Switzerland under certain conditions. Individuals from third countries (i.e. countries that are not part of the EU and/or the Schengen zone) who hold a Swiss permanent residence permit (C permit) can bring their spouses and children under the age of 18 to join them in Switzerland under certain conditions. For full details, please contact the cantonal migration office.
Alongside direct federal (i.e. national) taxes, you will also have to pay local taxes on your income and assets. You can use the tax calculator to calculate the tax payable in all the municipalities within the Canton of St. Gallen. For more detailed information, please contact your local tax office.
Yes. The overall crime rate in the Canton of St. Gallen has been falling for a number of years. Moreover, the Sarganserland-Werdenberg police region has the lowest crime rate anywhere in the canton. The police are highly visible and respected by local residents.
In exceptional circumstances (incl. if you move house or relocate to a new area), it is possible to change schools or enrol as a pupil during the school year. Registration is handled by the school administration in the area where you live.
Children and young people from migrant backgrounds are integrated into the Swiss school system in the same way as all other children living in Switzerland. Additional teaching is available for children who are not fluent in German. The DaZolino programme, which is intended for parents and their children and designed to encourage play and social interaction among young children at the same time as improving their language skills, operates in a number of municipalities alongside various other integration-focused projects.
Living costs in the Canton of St. Gallen are below the Swiss national average.
If you have a Swiss residence permit you can rent a house or flat with no need for any special permissions or permits.
For tenants from foreign cultural backgrounds, a fact sheet on the Swiss rental system is available in 17 different languages.
EU/EFTA citizens who are resident in Switzerland have the same right to buy property as native Swiss, and therefore do not require any special permissions or permits. Individuals from third countries must fulfil certain special requirements. You can obtain general information about your rights in this area by contacting your local land registry office.
A Vocational and Further Education Centre exists in both Sarganserland and Werdenberg. In addition to basic vocational training, there are also opportunities for higher vocational training and continuing education. At the Cantonal School of Sargans, students from the Sarganserland-Werdenberg region can attend a baccalaureate school, the secondary schools for business, computer science, and technical careers, or the night school offering preparatory courses for federal vocational baccalaureate examination for adults. The Interstate University of Technology NTB Buchs has been part of the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland (OST) since autumn 2020. Using the excellent connections offered by the public transport system, the University of St.Gallen (HSG) and the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich can be reached in about an hour. The University of Liechtenstein is even closer. There is also an International School in Buchs and other private educational opportunities in the neighbouring cantons and near the border in Liechtenstein and Vorarlberg.