In addition to the information provided by the FDFA, please note the rules applying in the country concerned. This guidance is provided on a selective basis only and the FDFA makes no warranty that the information is accurate or complete. Article 5 of the Swiss Abroad Act provides that every individual shall exercise personal responsibility when planning or undertaking a stay abroad or when working abroad.

The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) confers rights on EU and Swiss nationals in respect of residency and access to, and the pursuit of, an economic activity. Since 2002, citizens of EFTA member states have enjoyed the same right to free movement under Annex K to the EFTA Convention. The AFMP gives Swiss and EU citizens the right to live and work anywhere within the territories of the contracting parties. Freedom of movement is subject to certain conditions. The AFMP also provides for the coordination of national social security systems, e.g. Old Age and Survivors' Insurance (OASI) and invalidity insurance (IV), and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

Free movement of persons applies in the following countries:

EU member states

Austria AT

Belgium BE

Bulgaria BG  

Croatia HR

Cyprus CY

Czech Republic CZ

Denmark DK

Estonia EE

Finland FI

France FR

Germany DE 

Greece GR

Hungary HU

Ireland IE

Italy IT

Latvia LV

Lithuania LT

Luxembourg LU

Malta MT

Netherlands NL

Poland PL

Portugal PT

Romania RU

Slovakia SK

Slovenia SI

Spain ES

Sweden SE

EFTA member states

Iceland IS

Lichtenstein LI

Norway NO

Switzerland CH 

The Agreement does not apply to the following territories within the European area:

  • Faroe Islands, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, Vatican City
  • GreenlandFrench Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Wallis Islands (Wallis and Futuna), Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (archipelago south of Newfoundland), Aruba
  • Netherlands Antilles: Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Saint-Martin 

Different entry rules and visa requirements may apply to family members who are not citizens of an EU/EFTA member state or Switzerland. Information should be obtained from the relevant representation in the person's country of residence.

Registration with the Swiss representation abroad 


Swiss nationals who are relocating abroad must register with the competent Swiss representation (embassy or consulate) abroad. They must do so within 90 days of the date on which they deregistered from their last commune of residence in Switzerland. You can register directly at the representation or via the online desk. To register as a Swiss citizen abroad, you need a valid passport (or a valid ID), a deregistration certificate and, if you have one, a certificate of origin.


Registration is free of charge. Registering will enable the Swiss authorities to contact you in an emergency and facilitate speedier processing of administrative matters such as issuing an identity or civil status document. Registering is also a good way to stay in touch with Switzerland. Swiss citizens who are registered with a Swiss representation abroad receive the Swiss Review – the magazine for the Swiss community abroad – free of charge. If you are over 18, you can also register to vote on initiatives and in referendums and elections in Switzerland.

Registering with the local authorities

If you want to spend time in an EU/EFTA country without taking up residence, you can normally stay for up to 90 days without needing to register. Some countries require individuals to register with the police, even if they are staying for less than 90 days.

You will need to register and obtain a residence permit on arrival if you are planning to stay for more than 90 days, take up residence or work in the country concerned. You can do this by contacting the local registration office.

Official information on specific countries and registration information may be obtained from the relevant authorities. Further information and contact details for the various authorities are available on the EU and EURES webpages.

Information for cross-border commuters

Cross-border commuters resident in Switzerland

Cross-border commuters are individuals working on an employed or self-employed basis in a country other than their country of residence. However, they are required to return to their place of residence at least once a week. Cross-border commuters do not need a residence permit. Anyone intending to work for a more than three months must obtain a special permit for cross-border commuters from the authorities in the country concerned. If you have an employment contract for a period of more than one year, you are entitled to a residence permit for at least five years. If you have a contract for less than a year, you will receive a permit that reflects the actual period of employment. 

Cross-border commuters resident in an EU/EFTA member state

If you are a Swiss national working Switzerland, but have made your home in an EU/EFTA member state and are not gainfully employed there, you will have the rights and obligations of an economically inactive person in your country of residence

Economically inactive persons

You are entitled to a five-year residence permit provided you can present the following documents for yourself and your family:

  • Valid identity card
  • Evidence of health and accident insurance
  • Evidence of sufficient financial means for the planned duration of stay

When you apply, your residence permit will be extended for at least five years provided you meet all the requirements.

However, you are not entitled to social assistance in the country concerned.

Vaccination and health

The Healthy Travel website provides vaccination recommendations and up-to-date information on infectious diseases. Please check vaccination recommendations before you travel.


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