Case study:
How a family
relocated from
China to Europe
A Packimpex success story. Find out how we relocated a family from China to Europe with a nanny, a large dog and two snakes.

One of the most challenging relocations we handled recently was that of a family of three moving from Shanghai in China to Zug in Switzerland. At first glance, this family’s relocation looked fairly easy – the only obvious challenge was the fact that the Rotkreuz-Zug region is notoriously hard to find a home in because of its low taxes.


However, things were far more complicated than they seemed.

These were the main relocation challenges:
The family consisted of two parents, a child, a German Shepherd and ….. two corn snakes!
While the snakes were non-venomous, they still needed special moving procedures and substantial paperwork – like other European countries, Swiss law is very strict when it comes to pets, especially those brought in from another country.
The 6-year old child had a speech impediment, so special arrangements for education had to be made.
Additionally, the family wanted to bring along their live-in nanny, whom the child was very attached to. This is not widely known, but in Switzerland, unlike other European countries, it is almost impossible to get a work permit for a live-in house aid.
The family needed to move within four weeks and had booked temporary accommodation for one month only.
An additional challenge came up (as it almost always does despite careful planning): given the size of their dog, they needed larger-than-usual temporary accommodation, much larger than normally available in the Rotkreuz-Zug area.
The Packimpex solution: how we handled it

In cases like these, the main concern of our relocation consultants is to minimise the stress and the amount of information coming our clients’ way. In any relocation, there are so many variables that need to be kept in balance that our clients are often overwhelmed. But with careful planning, loads of experience and mountains of local knowledge, our amazing consultants always make it seem like a complex Asia to Europe relocation is a walk in the park.


Because we wanted to minimise the stress of our clients, we have in time developed a close knit network of key suppliers of relocation services. In cases like this one, working with a single relocation partner that can provide all the services you need makes all the difference.


In this China to Europe relocation example, we were mandated by our client to handle the following services: Immigration, Home-Finding, Settling-in Support, coordination of the International household goods Move, and Temporary Housing – everything the family needed for a safe and stress-free intercontinental relocation.


Here at Packimpex we have a holistic approach to relocation. This means our customers have a single point of contact. They don’t need to juggle shipping providers, real estate agents, school applications, or transportation. Everything is done for them, within predictable budgets and timeframes.


One of the most important roles a relocation consultant plays is that of a counsellor and adviser on what to expect at your destination.


In this case, our relocation consultant got started with managing the family’s expectations:


Timeframe: Our consultant explained that a 4-week timeframe is unrealistic for such a relocation. Arrival takes between 8 and 12 weeks after the documents have been filed. We usually recommend a 3-month timeframe (12 months), especially when there are challenges as the one listed above or when the clients have strict expectations regarding their new housing.
Nanny: we let the family know that bringing their nanny along might either be impossible or very expensive. Swiss cantons (regional authorities) have separate immigration quotas for nannies and approval can differ depending on the canton. Normally, the nanny would only be allowed to accompany the family only if she lived and worked with them for the past 3 years. The family would need to provide a contract and a Swiss salary, along with all the social costs and insurance payments.
Housing expectations: the family was living in a 5-bedroom apartment in Shanghai. They wanted a central apartment in Zug, with minimum 4 bedrooms and costing no more than CHF 2,500 per month (approx. EUR 2,500) with all costs included. However, the housing market in Zug is extremely tight. Houses are much smaller and more expensive. We advised our clients to adjust their budget to CHF 4,000 (approx. EUR 4,000) per month for a basic apartment in the outskirts of Zug, or to CHF 8,000 (approx. EUR 8,000) for a premium, city-centre apartment.
How it all turned out
From the very beginning of the relocation, the family was counselled by experts with extensive knowledge in Swiss immigration laws.
They received information about the best way to accommodate their child’s special needs, as well as how to best proceed about bringing their live-in nanny and their pets.
They were able to make informed decisions and be as involved as they wanted to be in the entire process, from which paperwork to fill in to finding a home.
While not all of their requests could be met, they were always presented with the best alternatives and in due time.
Because of the time constraints, Packimpex handled most of the work (looking for a home, starting the immigration procedures, finding temporary accommodation) before the family even set foot in Europe.
Due to our connections with landlords and real estate agents, we were able to secure their first home option quickly and safely, even despite all challenges.
Our work was not over when the property contract was signed. The Packimpex relocation consultant spent some additional time with the family and explained everything they needed to know: how to get around in Zug, how to care for their new home, how to find the best supermarkets in the area, and even how to dispose of the garbage according to the municipal regulations.


This relocation may seem out of the ordinary, but in fact, our Europe-wide network of relocation consultants handle similar requests daily.


After 45+ years in this industry, we know that relocation is not just about immigration, transportation, home-finding and shipping. It’s about people. When people move, lives change.


A lot of human and cultural sensitivity is needed for every relocation. This is why we like to say that our relocation consultants are something between high-end organisational talents, and personal counsellors and therapists, supporting our clients with both the practical and the emotional aspects of their transition at every step of the way.


Do you want to learn more about how Packimpex can support you or your company? We’d love to tell you about how we work and what you can expect once you book a relocation project with us.

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