Did you know that there is a small village in Switzerland (with only 240 inhabitants) that is offering people from anywhere in the world the opportunity not to just settle in Switzerland (and become a citizen of one of the richest countries in the world), but also over $50,000 in cold, hard cash? That's the truth, and this story is going to better explain how the whole process works. Do note that they only accept applicants under the age of 45.
A Swiss Village Offers Money for Immigrants
Switzerland is a small landlocked country located on the Alps. It is neighbored by France, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Since some areas of the country (especially the rural ones) are sparsely populated, one village is offering migrants' money to settle in its territory.
The Village Only Had 240 Inhabitants
The village that offers money for new immigrants has had its population decreased to such an extent, that today they only have 240 citizens. That is why the citizens of this rural and picturesque village are offering a hefty bounty for new settlers.
Implementing the Migration Policy
This new type of policy that is being implemented by the government of the affected village is going to particularly beneficial to young people - especially those from developing countries, as Switzerland offers career opportunities rarely matched elsewhere.
The Village Wants to Pay 25,000 Swiss Francs per Person to Move There
The name of the village that is accepting immigrants is "Albinen," and the village is located in the scenic canton of Valais. The village wants to pay 25,000 Swiss francs (which is over $20,000) per person, with an added bonus for bringing in children.
Migrants Will Get Additional Bonuses
Under this new type of scheme, migrants and newly settled citizens won't just get money for themselves, but they will also be paid 10,000 Swiss francs (over $7,000) per child they bring with them. For a family of four, that could easily make over $50,000.
Most Previous Residents Have Left the Village
In previous decades, the village of Albinen had a much larger population, but over time most of the citizens moved to the bigger urban centers (like Zurich), as those places offered better career and dating prospects. The rural to urban migration is present in all countries in the world.
The Village's Only School Had to Be Closed Due to Low Population Figures
The village of Albinen had only one school, and even that had to be closed once the last three families that had children had to move out to a different place. Today the village has no school in its perimeter, which is something the town government wants to change.
This Was Never a Thriving Place
Reading this article, you might think that Albinen was a once thriving city, ready to rival even the larger and richer city of Zurich. That isn't true, as the village reached its peak population numbers in the 1900 census when the place had 380 citizens.
What's the Catch?
For some people, a story like this might sound too good to be true. To an extent - that is true, as there is a catch to the agreement that the village offers to new settlers. Don't worry though - the catch is nothing no deal-breaker, and most people will easily adjust.
You'll Need to Sign a Contract
The catch in the agreement of settling in this nice looking Swiss village is that you have to sign a contract, agreeing that you will stay in the place for at least 10 years. If you move away sooner, you would need to return all payments received.
Apart from the contract that specifies that you need to live in the village for 10 years, there are a few other clauses. First and foremost, applicants need to be under the age of 45 - it seems that the village hopes settlers are going to form families in their new homes.
You Are Also Going to Need to Build or Purchase Property
This might be the biggest "catch" in this whole story - part of the reason why the town is giving money away is that you are also going to either have to build or purchase property in the village - which in Switzerland can be extremely expensive and frustrating.
Officials Hope the Plan Will Boost the Town's Economy
The officials working for the town's government hope that the plan is going to bring millions of Swiss francs into the town's economy. With the ever-dwindling population, it seems that the place is having financial difficulties that worsen every year.
What Does the Town Offer?
Albinen is a small place - it is only six square miles in size, but features pristine Alpine land. It is at an altitude of 4,300 ft., which could take some adjustment for people that haven't spent a lot of time on mountain ranges.
Most of the Area is Farmland
You probably aren't going to be surprised by the fact that most of the area that constitutes the village is farmland - all towns with low population numbers are mostly centered around either growing crops and livestock, and the same is true for Albinen.
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