Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Various regulations apply for entering Switzerland. A basic distinction is made between citizens of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and those of other countries. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is the responsible authority in Switzerland.

SEM

Since Switzerland’s adherence to the Schengen and Dublin agreements came into force (12 December 2008), Swiss representations abroad are able to issue certain categories of visa, depending on the length of stay and purpose of the journey in Switzerland. Please select one of the following options.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Schengen Visa

On June 23, 2021, the Federal Council decided to lift the entry restrictions for persons from third countries who are vaccinated.

For vaccinated third-country nationals, the regular entry requirements will apply again from June 26, 2021.

Entry restrictions continue to apply to foreign nationals who are not vaccinated and are without rights of free movement, entering from risk countries or regions and who do not belong to any of the exceptional categories of the Covid 19 Regulation 3.

For additional information, please consult the webpage of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic there are special rules for people entering Switzerland. Please refer to the information of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

The arrangement of an appointment on www.swiss-visa.ch and the visa application form are free of charge. Long waiting times are to be expected.

Schengen visa for a stay of up to 90 days

For persons wishing to enter Switzerland for a short stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period: for example, in a context of tourism, a visit to relatives or friends, short-term language studies, participating in a conference or in sporting/cultural events, etc.

National visa for a stay of more than 90 days

For persons wishing to enter Switzerland for a stay of more than 90 days within a 180-day period. It is subject to the authorisation of the cantonal migration authority competent for the intended place of residence. For example: long-term student, family reunification, marriage in Switzerland, etc.

Airport transit visa

For citizens of certain countries who need a transit visa even if they are staying in the international transit area of the airport and do not enter the Schengen territory.

Labour / Work permits

Admission of foreign workers to an employer in Switzerland is subject to the authorisation of the competent cantonal authority. The entry visa is granted only when the requested authorisations have been delivered.