When you move to Switzerland (and other countries), you must register with your Canton to let them know 1) you are here and where you live 2) that you have a good reason for being here 3) how long you plan on staying 4) you are married legally (if you are) and 5) that you have not committed any crimes. Knowing this ahead of time, we asked what documentation we needed to bring so that when we went to register we would be prepared. Armed with passports, photos, marriage license copy, letter from the ETH, and lease agreement, we headed to the Kreisbüro, about a 15-minute walk from our apartment. We also knew that everything closes down from 12.00-13.30, so we planned our walk accordingly. It was fun to see a different section of our neighborhood.
Using our very best reading German, we found our way to the correct office (on the first floor, one flight up) and were seen immediately by a friendly young woman. Although we did have all of the correct paperwork, we somehow did not know that we needed to go to the immigration office, so after photocopying our documents, asking us various questions about our parents then typing our answers into her computer, she made an appointment for us at immigration for next week. We’ll only need to take our passports then. She sent us home with receipts saying that we have applied for residency and also saying that we need to remember to deregister a week or two before we leave. As we left, H said, “Vielen Dank. Sie sind hilfreich.” (Many thanks. You are helpful.) That garnered a smile from her.
Switzerland has 26 Cantons (akin to our states, but obviously much smaller and with a good deal more independent control), and Zürich is in the Canton Zürich. The city of Zürich has twelve districts (Kreise) and we live in Kreis 7 in the neighborhood called Fluntern. Fluntern is home to the Zoo. And us.