Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Convictions and information

The sole fact that a person is no longer being prosecuted in his home country does not guarantee an entrance into Switzerland respectively the Schengen area without complications. Critical are the inscriptions in the Swiss and/or European data bases where the person entering Switzerland respectively the Schengen area is not allowed to be publicised for arrest or refusal of entry.

This factsheet (PDF, 12.9 kB) explains how to access the relevant information. Please note that this Embassy is not involved and able to assist you in this process.

In case of a conviction in New Zealand, you also have the possibility to inquire with an attorney at law in order to find out if your conviction has been registered in a Swiss and/or European data base.

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 types of visa, depending on the purpose of the intended stay 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.