Entry into Switzerland (and Schengen area) and residence for non-Swiss and non-EU/EFTA nationals

If you are not a citizen of Switzerland or of a country in the EU or EFTA, the conditions for entry to Switzerland will vary in relation to your nationality, the reasons for your proposed stay (tourism, visit, employment, studies, family reunification, etc.) and the length of your stay (short or long duration).

The website of the State Secretariat for Migration SEM below will inform you whether or not you require a visa to enter Switzerland and on the travel documents that are recognised.

SEM – Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality

Persons who require a visa should submit their application to the Swiss representation competent for their place of residence.

The Schengen Information System (SIS) and your personal data

Do you want to know what the Schengen Information System (SIS) is? The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner FDPIC webpage provides you with the following information:

  • data concerning a specific person who can be recorded in the SIS
  • the authorities which have access to the SIS
  • the rights of a person concerning the data stored in the SIS
  • the right to be given information
  • etc. 

FDPIC – The Schengen Agreement and the Dublin Regulation
FDPIC – The Schengen Information System (SIS) and your personal data

FDPIC – Model letters / «Schengen» and your personal data

Territorial competence for visa applications

Visa applications should be addressed to the Swiss representation competent for your place of residence.

Schengen visa, type C (for a stay of 90 days or less)

The Schengen Visa, type C is for persons wishing to enter Switzerland for a short stay of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days, for example in the context of tourism, a visit, short-term language studies, etc.

State Secretariat for Migration – ”Short stay: entry requirements for Switzerland”

State Secretariat for Migration – “Information for Entry to Switzerland – Do I require a visa?” (with “Information sheet for entry to the Schengen Area/Visa Procedure” and “Declaration of Sponsorship”)

State Secretariat for Migration – Visa application forms

You can make use of the short-stay calculator to calculate the amount of time available for short stays in the Schengen Area for no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

State Secretariat for Migration – Calculation of short-term stays/short-stay calculator