Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Registration: Auslandische Personen

Today we registered as foreign residents in Zurich, which involved going to the Kreisburo (a bit like a ward office), and giving our details and identification to a very friendly and helpful man who put it all into a computer. We were issued with our papers, a guide to Zurich, and very detailed information about recycling and rubbish disposal in our neighbourhood.

I am rather proud and humbled to now have a very important piece of paper that says I am a foreigner resident in Zurich. This unlocks diverse doors of great magnitude, including help finding a job from the employment bureau, registration with a doctor, buying the Halbe Tax (an ingenious rail card that makes all rail tickets half price), getting hold of a Swiss sim card, and many other useful things. I'm also astonished at how easy and friendly the registration process was - no difficult questions, no bureaucratic inefficiency - considerably more enjoyable as a process than registering our intent to marry in Hounslow last year. My occupation was listed as 'accompanying/kept by her husband' - I am reminded that as newly minted, unemployed immigrant anything that makes it easier for me to stay here must be welcomed - being a dependent means I am much less likely to be sent home again when my initial visa expires. But it does feel a bit odd.

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