Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

On 18 March 2020, the Swiss Federal Council decided that entry at the Schengen external borders is generally prohibited with a few exceptions.

The Federal Department of Justice and Police (DFJP) announced in mid-May that the borders with Austria, Germany and France would be fully reopened on 15 June 2020 in agreement with the authorities of those countries. In view of the current pandemic situation, it will also be possible to lift the existing entry restrictions applicable in respect of other EU/EFTA countries and the United Kingdom on 15 June 2020.

The Federal Council will decide on further lifting the entry restrictions for third countries at a later date and in consultation with the Schengen member states.

Until further notice, Switzerland will no longer issue Schengen visas. National visas will only be issued in exceptional cases. In this context, please be informed that you are not allowed to enter Switzerland with a previously issued Schengen-visa type C. 

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

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.


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.

Personal appearance and fingerprint

Starting from November 2013, all diplomatic representations of the Schengen member states in the Philippines have to capture the biometric data (finger scans and facial image) of  persons applying for a Schengen visa. The data will be kept in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 5 years.

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.