Aside from the question of residence permits, the responsibility for undertaking all other administrative formalities lies with sex workers themselves. It is therefore up to you to seek information and take action to acquire the insurance policies you need and declare your income. You must have a valid address at which you receive your mail and ensure this reaches you, and arrange for a trusted person to collect it in your absence.
All persons with their home address in Switzerland (Swiss nationals/workers with permits C, B or L) are required to take out health insurance with an authorised federal health insurer (LAMal) as soon as they arrive in Switzerland. Even if you join following receipt of your work permit, premiums are payable from your date of arrival in Switzerland. It is therefore important to set aside a minimum of 350 Swiss francs (CHF) per month in anticipation of your insurance payments.
Individuals who have obtained permit G (cross-border commuting) who live in a non-neighbouring country must also join a Swiss health insurance provider.
You may freely choose your own health insurance provider, but the body must be an approved provider of health insurance under the Swiss federal health insurance law (LAMal). For the purposes of basic cover, health insurance providers must accept customers regardless of their age or health status, without imposing reservations or a waiting period. The customer applies to join their preferred provider directly.
Only basic medical cover is compulsory; further complementary policies are optional.
Health insurance premiums are payable monthly. Not all medical fees are reimbursed. You must first pay the fees up to the excess amount stated on your policy (e.g. 300 or 2,500 CHF per year).
AVS (Assurance vieillesse et survivants – Old-age and survivors insurance or OASI)
Everybody who has their home address or carries out paid employment in Switzerland must be affiliated to the AVS. Those who work in the country for a relatively short period of less than three months per year are exempt from this obligation.
In Geneva, the AVS regards sex workers as self-employed, irrespective of their actual place of work. You are therefore personally responsible for contacting AVS and arranging to be part of the scheme. In order to grant you self-employed worker status, AVS will verify that you have registered with the BTPI.
AVS contributions are calculated according to income. For self-employed workers, this is estimated for the first year of activity, then adjusted if necessary according to the income declared to the tax authorities.
Residents of Switzerland and those undertaking paid employment in the country are subject to tax. People engaged in sex work are regarded as self-employed workers. You have a duty to declare your self-employed activity to the Swiss tax authorities. Once you have done so, you will receive an annual tax return containing a special form that must be completed and returned.