Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Effective June 26, the Swiss representations in the USA have resumed their visa services and accept all types of visa visa applications. Please register your visa application online at www.swiss-visa.ch.

Attention: Before applying for a Schengen visa, please make sure that you hold a valid Green card or a valid US visa allowing you to fly back to the USA. You may check if your visa class is accepted by the US authorities to reenter the USA on the website of the US Embassy in Berne – chapter Travelers using Visa or ESTA. If this is not the case, you will either need to present an additional national interest exception visa issued by the US Embassy in Berne or risk to see your Schengen visa application refused.

For further information please visit: SEM

Information about travel to Switzerland related to COVID-19

ENTRY FORM

All travelers arriving in Switzerland must fill out the entry form before departure (no exceptions).

 

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

VACCINATED travelers are authorized to enter Switzerland provided they present a VALID COVID-19 vaccination certificate proving full vaccination within the last 12 months with an approved vaccine. For more information, see the section entitled ”Entering Switzerland – Which COVID-19 vaccines allow entry to Switzerland?” on the FOPH’s website.

 

UN-vaccinated travelers are currently NOT authorized to enter Switzerland, unless they:

1)      are under 18 and travelling with an adult who has been fully vaccinated (parents, siblings, grandparents or other caregivers)
OR possess a valid Swiss, EU, or EFTA passport or residence permit
OR belong to another category authorized to enter Switzerland
OR benefit from the right of free movement – for example spouses and minor children of Swiss / EU / EFTA citizens
OR find themselves in a case of special necessity

The lists of exceptions allowing entry into Switzerland are available under the 3 sections entitled Entering Switzerland → Who can enter Switzerland? / Freedom of movement / Situations of special necessity on the SEM’s website.

AND

2)      Must present ONE of the following medical documents (only from the age of 16):
- a negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-PCR test taken at most 72 hours before departure from the first point of embarkation
- a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken at most 48 hours before departure from the first point of embarkation;
- a positive COVID-19 test result of a test taken within the last 6 months and a COVID-19 recovery medical certificate

Four to seven days after arrival in Switzerland a 2nd COVID-19 test is mandatory

 

If your trip to Switzerland includes transit through another foreign country, you must also check that country’s entry restrictions.

Please note that each airline decides which passengers they are prepared to carry and under what conditions. The Swiss authorities have no influence over this decision and cannot take any responsibility if you are denied boarding.

Please be advised: public health and entry requirements may change on short notice. The Swiss representations in the USA cannot guarantee that the above-mentioned information will be valid at the time of your travel and do not bear any corresponding responsibility. Please consult this website regularly and follow the instructions of your airline.


QUARANTINE

Currently, travelers arriving in Switzerland from the USA do NOT have to go into quarantine.

For more information and to follow the requirements, refer to the page entitled “Isolation and quarantine” on the FOPH’s website.

 

COVID CERTIFICATE

While a valid US vaccination certificate (CDC vaccination card) is sufficient to enter Switzerland, you will need to convert it into a Swiss digital COVID certificate to enter restaurants, bars and many other events or facilities in Switzerland.

You must apply for your Swiss digital COVID certificate at the cantonal authority responsible for the place where you will spend the majority of your stay in Switzerland. You can find information about how to obtain a Swiss COVID certificate at the following link: How do I obtain a COVID Certificate and how do I use it?

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 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.

Authorized Visa

For applicants whose work or residence permit request was submitted directly in Switzerland and has been authorized by the cantonal migration office