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), which records the biometric data of the visa applicant (digital photograph and 10 fingerprints)

All Swiss representations already are connected to VIS. The capture of fingerprints is gradually introduced to the Swiss representations.

State Secretariat for Migration: ”Introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS)”