Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Entry requirements for Switzerland

Update 17.02.2022

Entry requirements for third-country nationals due to the pandemic

  • Entry to Switzerland is currently possible without pandemic-related measures.
  • Your entry to Switzerland is subject to the general entry requirements (e.g. travel document and visa).
  • If you are travelling through another country on the way to Switzerland, please find out about the entry requirements in that country.

To see what rules apply to your own particular situation when entering Switzerland, consult the online Travelcheck.


Persons travelling by plane to Switzerland could be required to produce a confirmation of a negative PCR test result, please check directly with your airline.

We wish you a pleasant stay in Switzerland!

For information on the Coronavirus and the current situation, the following link may be useful:

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH directly:


1.     You are already holding a Schengen Visa

A Schengen visa obtained by any of the Schengen Area member countries allows free movement to its holder within Switzerland up to its validity and period limitations.

The visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. At border (or during other controls) you may have to provide additional documentation, for example information on that you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents, presented initially when applying for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay).


2.     You do not have a valid Schengen Visa

Your main destination is Switzerland:

The Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi-Arabia have outsourced the application process for short-term visas (so called Schengen visas) to the external service provider VFS Global.

Our external service provider will support you during the application process. VFS Global is responsible for receiving your visa application, checking the completeness and acceptability of your application form and application documents, collecting biometric data, receiving the visa fee and other fees (service fee and optional fees) and returning your passport. The decision whether or not to issue a visa is taken by the Swiss Embassy only, VFS Global is not involved in the decision.

The earliest you can file a visa application: 6 months before your intended trip.

The latest you can file a visa application: at most 15 days before your intended trip.

Where to apply for Schengen visas:

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.