Living in France, Geneva border

Hi all, anyone working in Geneva and moved away from Switzerland to live in France while working in Geneva?
I’m seriously considering it as it would save 50% on rent, utilities, groceries, and, strangely, on Assura monthly premiums.

Has anyone done it in the past?
Thank you

I’m currently living in the Cessy/Gex area during the week but I find rental prices quite high - considering that it’s countryside…
Probably cheaper than Geneva, though

Depending on your age, health insurance can cost as low as 190chf by month because population is young. You also have only the 300 chf premium at the price so a bargain.

You will pay the same price for a flat as Geneva with an extra bedroom. Be aware of private landlord advertising their flat way above the market price.

It depends on your life style but it may slow down your social interaction with your friends from Geneva. Buses will be sparse after 7pm/ weekend and you will need a car for everything.
If your job is stable go for it but if you will plan to change job after your move it could get complicated.

I did the opposite move as the life in Ain was like curfew even before covid.


Hi, 33 paying the max 400+ in Assura.
I pay now 2-3k chf for a 2 bedroom. In Gaillard should be 8-900 euro.

It already feels like curfew here in Geneva… there isn’t much activity after 19h in Geneva.
Job is stable… having the tram 12/17 should be OK to commute to Geneva center.

So it was not worth to rent/buy in Ain? May I know which zone were you living in?

I was living in ferney-voltaire and a 2 bedroom cost 1300-1500 € to rent an unfurnished. You rely on bus F or 66.
I live in Geneva now in a 1 bedroom for about the same price in chf. It is mostly to go out with friend or to the lake on the summer after work. It also can help if your partner is looking for a job but in my case it is a personal choice not money driven.

If you are French native living in Gaillard I think it will make sense. I live in Annemasse previously and it was OK.

What about taxes, aren’t income taxes in France reaching some crazy number like 40%?

30% is the default flat taxe applied on any investments and the wealth tax start only at 1,300 keuros. Not sure this other revenue will be added to your income if you stay with the default flat tax.

AFAIK, they get cancelled out by impot a la source in GVA.

Given two options, 1400 chf rent for 1 bedroom near the airport, < 40m2, in GVA or 850 euro for 1 bedroom, also 39m2, in Annemasse, what would you prefer?

Both are close tram and same distance to work.

You are the one planning to move. The question is “what do you prefer” ? Living in Geneva or France, both options have pros and cons. They vary for each one of us.

Your professional activity (now or in the future) can have an impact. More employers make/can make the residency in Switzerland mandatory. If you rent, you could easily move back. If you own a flat and have to sell it, it adds complexities.

on income and capital gains from financial products only. Income tax rate will vary from 0% to 45%. However, the tax at source withheld in Switzerland will be used as a tax credit.

Sorry it was without context but i meant 30% is the French Withholding Tax on dividend and capital gain so it can impact your investment.
The good things in France is the increase of the saving rate due to the cost of living/ life style.

Hi, I work in a stable company for some years now and most are frontaliers, so they don’t mind. I should stay there for few more years for sure.
The think is that, I believe, if i don’t stay there, it will be easy to rent it out to other expat/students - instead of selling it.

This is scary. All my colleagues tell me that this tax credit from GVA is all they pay and no need to pay taxes in FR. Only dividends and other income.


CASE 2: Other employees taxed by Switzerland (example: canton of Geneva)

You are not considered a fiscal frontier.

You are taxed in Switzerland at source and you must declare this income in France, the state of your tax residence.

However, there will be no “double taxation”: it will be eliminated on the French side by applying the terms provided for by the Franco-Swiss tax treaty (art.25A): taxation accompanied by a tax credit.

=> No double taxation - How to declare my income from CASE 2

Thank you

Regardless of Covid curfew, there’s also the issue of schooling your kids.

The Geneva state/canton has recently issued new rules whereby the kids living in France cannot be in Geneva public school system unless they have already started there. Depending on your goals, you could plan ahead and move out of Geneva canton only after your kids have started school. Of course, this depends on your view of public school systems on either side of the border.

Apart from the obvious fact that economically it’s way more interest to be in France, if your plan is to stay in the region temporarily, I think it makes sense.

All other living costs are also lower, seems like a no-brainer from numbers perspective.

Personally I plan to stick around, so, some kind of sense of belonging is important plus not really great fan of FR politics.

Wouldn’t move to Gaillard/Annemasse if rent was for free, but that is me.

But I understand people that move, RE is stupidly expensive, and there are few real advantages of living here from a finance perspective.

The Lamal costs seem like a gift from GVA for cross-borders, don’t understand why they don’t get diluted with the rest of the resident population if they have the same benefits.

Another aspect, could be the dating possibility if you are single.
Will it be easier to find partner in France or Geneva?

I guess it can strike anywhere, even in the supermarket, not sure it’s a factor ahah

While GVA may seem like curfew in most of the places, by Plainpalais there is always some afterwork/University ambiance and quite a lot of bars if that is your thing. Laughable when compared to major cities but for sure much better than the (non-existent?) night-life in dormitory-towns across the border. Unless you go to Annecy, but then you have 1hx2 per day stuck in an iron box called car.


:smiley: I have been reading more into it and the consensus is that Annemasse is horrible :smiley: There must be some other zones with nice neighbours or expats.

I’ll return to GVA if the kids decide to come back :smiley:


I did the exact opposite.
Living in Versonnex (close to the border) in the country side, I decided to move to Meyrin.
First for school. It is night vs day. France: no teacher, no will to have the children sucess, teacher sick, bad food for lunch, problem for after hours childcare.
My child was about to enter 6ième (eqv 7th grade) and would have had to ride 45 minutes the bus to and back from school…
$I had 45 minutes drive to work and my wife, working in meyrin) at laeast 30.

Now :

  • children are 5 min walk from school
  • my wife is 4 min walk from work
  • we have the personnal numbers of the teacher that calls us in case of a problem
  • sick teacher are replaced so children always have school
  • children are very happy with school lunch and after school care

from a financial point of view… not sure it is better but we surely have a far greater quality of life (even during COVID)

in Meyrin :


Moved to France a couple of years ago from GVA. I travel into Geneva three days a week, when there’s not a global pandemic on, and work from home for an extra day.

My house probably cost 30% of the cost in Geneva (maybe even less) and I really like the village I live in. I can get out into the mountains directly from my front door, which is important to me, and the community is friendly and open. Which didn’t seem to be the case in Geneva outside expat circles.

The way I see it if I can keep a swiss salary and French cost of living for a few years then I’ll have saved enough that I won’t need to worry about how much I’m getting paid after that. My next job after this will probably be a completely remote job in France. At this point I expect to be earning a lot less.


Congrats that is working out for you. Would you share the neighborhood that you live in? Maybe close to Saleve? I’m looking for rents from 700 to 900, but most people tell me it is more like 1000+ euro

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