The OSA is a foundation headquartered in Switzerland that is supported by a number of Swiss expatriates' associations, institutions and umbrella organisations. Based on the Federal Act on Swiss Persons and Institutions Abroad, the FDFA and the OSA have signed a service level agreement on their tasks and funding from the Swiss government.
The Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), the OSA’s highest organ, deals with important policy matters concerning Swiss citizens living abroad and represents their interests in other political affairs. To this end, the OSA works closely with the Swiss federal, cantonal and communal authorities.
The OSA provides Swiss citizens abroad with information about important events and developments in Switzerland. This involves placing relevant information on their website, such as banking conditions that apply to Swiss citizens living abroad. Another service is to provide general information for Swiss people abroad who are eligible to vote so that they can exercise this right. The OSA also provides advice and information in all matters relating to emigration, living abroad and returning to Switzerland. This is done via various channels: the Swiss Review, Gazzetta Svizzera, the OSA website and newsletter, and the SwissCommunity communication platform. In addition, the OSA is a network linking Swiss citizens living abroad together.