Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Important information for the applications of Schengen visa

Due to the current situation of COVID-19, the Swiss government has decided to stop the issuing of Schengen visa and national visa until 15 June 2020. Therefore, for all pending applications, the passport will be returned to our external service provider, VFS Global  and the visa fees will be reimbursed from them.

For additional information, do not hesitate to contact the visa section or visit our internet site

Please also consider the following information: 

Decision by the Swiss Federal Council regarding the issuance of Schengen visas (PDF, 317.2 kB, multilingual: English, German, French, Italian)

Guidelines for holders of previously issued visas (PDF, 231.2 kB, English)

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.