Residence in Switzerland – The Celebrity Fast Lane

Posted on 11 February 2007 by LegalBeagle

If you are very wealthy or a celebrity, there is a special fast-lane available for you. Numerous celebrities have chosen to make Switzerland their residence for tax reasons, as well as for the quality of life, the safety and stability of the country, the low criminality, and its ideal environment for raising children, as well as the culture of respect for people’s private life.

If you are rich or a celebrity, it doesn’t really matter what your country of origin is, you can obtain a Swiss residence permit when you invest in a Swiss company. This route is often taken by sports professionals (like formula 1 pilot Schumacher), rich businessmen whose businesses are elsewhere or who have sold their companies, actors, singers or diverse retirees.

In order to qualify for this procedure, you need to invest at least CHF 500′000 in a company in the canton in which you intend to reside. It is not sufficient to simply deposit 500k in a local Swiss bank account or invest such an amount stock of a publically traded Swiss company. It is necessary that the your investment helps the local economy and contributes to creating jobs.

Also, you usually need to demonstrate some kind of links with Switzerland, whether those links be friends, family, or sometimes regular travel. If you are an international celebrity, these ‘links’ become less important to the Authorities issuing the residence permit.

However, in principle, under this process it is necessary to reside in Switzerland for the majority of the year. Exceptions are possible as long as they are in good faith. This said, it is normally not possible to use this procedure and then live most of the year elsewhere only coming to Switzerland now and then for a few weeks of vacation.

Under this program, you receive a B permit renewable each year. The B permit gives you the rigth to live in Switzerland with your family – that is : wife and children under 18. You also have the right to buy real estate for your personal use and also obtain the right to be taxed under the much more advantageous lump-sum formula.

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