Entry and customs formalities

Deregistering abroad

Before you depart for Switzerland, deregister with the local authorities as well as with the Swiss representation.

Foreign spouse/partner

Spouses and partners who do not have Swiss citizenship are entitled to a residence permit in Switzerland in line with the principle of family unification. Depending on their nationality, they may require an entry visa, which has to be applied for in advance from the Swiss representation in the country of residence. Within 14 days after their arrival in Switzerland, they have to apply for a residence permit at the relevant authority for foreigners.

Depending on his/her origin, an unmarried partner who does not have Swiss citizenship requires an entry visa and has to submit a personal application to a Swiss representation abroad to enter Switzerland for the purpose of taking up residency. In order to apply for this type of residence permit, the future place of residence in Switzerland has to already be established. The relevant cantonal immigration authority will ask for documentation proving that the cohabitation relationship has already existed for some years, and will also specify certain conditions (joint place of residence, guarantee declaration, registration requirement, etc.). Without a residence permit, foreign nationals are not permitted to work in Switzerland. A residence permit can be issued to the foreign offspring of a couple living in a cohabitation relationship in keeping with the principle of family unification.

To obtain more detailed information about entry formalities and residence permits, please contact the State Secretariat for Migration.

State Secretariat for Migration

Customs formalities

As a rule, you can bring your personal/household effects into Switzerland without paying customs duty. The Federal Customs Administration will provide detailed information about the regulations and the correct procedure for importing personal/household effects.

Federal Customs Administration – personal/household effects

If you want to bring pets into Switzerland, you should ask the Federal Veterinary Office for detailed information about the relevant regulations.

Federal Veterinary Office – bringing pets into Switzerland