Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

COVID-19 Information regarding travel to Switzerland

Please note that despite Israel having been removed from the quarantine list of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, entry restrictions remain in place. Exceptions are outlined hereafter.

Persons, even those arriving from a high-risk country, can enter Switzerland if they meet at least one of the following requirements

  • They also have Swiss citizenship.
  • They hold a travel document (e.g. a passport or identity card) and
    • - a residence permit, i.e. a Swiss residence permit (L / B / C / Ci permits);
       
    • - a cross-border permit (G permit),
       
    • - an FDFA legitimation card;
       
    • - a D visa issued by Switzerland;
       
    • - a C visa issued by Switzerland after 16 March 2020 in a valid exceptional case or in order to work on a short-term contract;
       
    • - an assurance of a residence permit from a cantonal migration authority or an entry permit with a visa issued by Switzerland.
       
  • They hold a refugee’s or stateless person’s travel document issued by Switzerland, a passport for foreign nationals issued by Switzerland, a valid residence or permanent residence permit or an F-Permit.
  • They have rights of free movement. If they require a visa, a valid Schengen C-visa, a valid D-visa or a valid Schengen residence permit are sufficient.
  • In certain cases: They are simply travelling directly through Switzerland with the intention and possibility of entering another country.
  • They are in a situation of special necessity.

Travelers must be able to prove abovementioned requirements. Suitable documentary proof must be produced at the border.

For further detailed information please consult the COVID-19-Ordinance, the website of the State Secretariat of Migration and the website of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH for updated information on quarantine regulations.

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.

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.