Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Photo of famous Swiss mountain the Matterhorn
The Matterhorn, a 4,478-metre peak, is one of Switzerland’s most famous mountains. © GammaCygni - CC BY 2.0

Various regulations apply for entering Switzerland. A basic distinction is made between citizens of EU and EFTA countries and those of other countries. The State Secretariat for Migration is the responsible authority in Switzerland.

Information/reminders for entering the Schengen area can be useful if you are planning to visit Switzerland, expecting a visitor from abroad, or wish to invite someone from abroad. You will find information about entering into Switzerland (requirements, short-stay calculator, visa obligation, etc.) on the webpage of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

SEM – Do I require a visa?” with “Information sheet for entry to the Schengen Area/Visa Procedure” and “Declaration of Sponsorship”

State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) webpage – Entry to Switzerland

European Commission webpage – List of travel documents (on the right under « Info »)

Third-country nationals, regardless of their visa obligation status, can use the short-stay calculator to calculate the number of days available for short stays of no more than 90 days in any 180-days period within the Schengen Area.

State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) webpage – Calculation of short-term stays / short-stay calculator

Introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS)

On 11 October 2011 the Schengen member states introduced the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS will also be used to store the biometric data (10 fingerprins and the facial image) of the visa applicants. The diplomatic representations of the Schengen member states will be gradually connected to the system region by region.

Along with the connection to the VIS on 20.11.2015 all diplomatic representations of the Schengen member states in Spain have to capture the biometric data of persons applying for a Schengen visa.

An information leaflet of the European Union relating to the introduction of the VIS and the capture of biometric data can be found on our website.

Leaflet EN (PDF, Number of pages 2, 930.9 kB)
Leaflet FR  (PDF, Number of pages 2, 999.8 kB)