Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Starting March 19, 2020, Switzerland temporarily stopped accepting visa applications and issuing Schengen and national visas.

The visa services will resume and/or have resumed as follows:

Beginning May 11, 2020:
- National type D visas for family reunification for family members of Swiss, EU and EFTA citizens
- Work visas

Beginning June 8, 2020:
- National type D visas for studies (over 90 days) and family reunification for family members of all nationalities

No Schengen visa applications type C are accepted for short-term stays of up to 90 days in the Schengen area for tourism, business or visit. It is at the moment unclear, when the situation will allow the issuance of Schengen visas again. As soon as the acceptance of visa applications is possible, it will be published on this website.

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.

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.