Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Important notice on COVID-19 related travel restrictions

As part of the measures to contain the spreading of COVID-19, individual Schengen States have introduced travel restrictions, including at certain borders between those states. Depending on the development of the epidemiological situation both within and outside the EU, travel restrictions may be eased or reintroduced. All travelers are responsible for verifying the travel restrictions in place before departure. Holders of a Schengen visas are not automatically entitled to enter the Schengen area but must respect the travel restrictions in place. Further information refer to: Re-open EU

The Swiss Federal Council decided, that entry into Switzerland is generally prohibited (with only few exceptions). If you are holding a valid Swiss National visa type D, you are still allowed to enter.

Please make an appointment with VFS Global to submit your national visa D application at one of our representations.

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

Health-related measures are issued by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). For information on such measures, please consult the homepage of the FOPH.

If you have further questions regarding visa matters please contact us via:

beijing.visa@eda.admin.ch

shanghai.visa@eda.admin.ch

guangzhou.visa@eda.admin.ch

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.