Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On 2 May 2022 Switzerland lifted all COVID-19 related entry restrictions and the pre-pandemic entry rules for Switzerland apply once again. Please consult the FAQ on Entry from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) for information about visas and travel documents, etc.

Important information for UK citizens and British Travel Document holders

UK citizens do not require an entry visa for Switzerland, neither for short stays (up to 90 days in any 180-day period in the whole Schengen Area) nor for long stays (over 90 days). For information on the validity of travel documents of third-country nationals (non EU/EFTA citizens) see SEM FAQ – Entry, Question 3.13.

As of 1 January  2021 the application process and conditions to be fulfilled for Swiss residence, student and work permits for UK citizens have changed. All queries about obtaining the necessary permit for living, studying and working in Switzerland must be addressed directly to the responsible cantonal immigration and labour market authorities and not to this Embassy.

Holders of British Travel Documents (Convention of 28 July 1951 and Convention of 28 September 1954) do not need a visa for short stays in Switzerland up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you are planning on entering the Schengen Area through another Schengen state, please check with their respective authorities whether they have the same entry requirements.

Visa type C (stay up to 90 days)
Book your appointment at the TLScontact application centre
Visa type D (stay of more than 90 days),
national visa 
Book your appointment at the Embassy of Switzerland
Where to book your appointment

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 categories of visa, depending on the length of stay and purpose of the journey 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.