Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Important notice

Effective 17.09.2018, all applicants applying for a Schengen visa have to submit their visa applications at our new External Service Provider (ESP) VFS Global. The VFS Global call center will be operational as from 01.08.2018 in order to provide visa information and make appointments.

The first appointments are available from 17.09.2018. If you wish to make an appointment in order to submit your visa application, please dial following number:

+ 66 (02) 118 7015


visit the website of VFS Global

Appointments on or before 13.09.2018 have to be booked by TLScontact. 

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.


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.