Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

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The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has, until further notice, suspended the entry into Switzerland for business, visits and tourist purposes etc. (stays not subject to authorization) from the countries listed below. 

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • South Africa

For additional information, please consult the webpage of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Entry from the above listed countries is only permitted for third-country nationals for stays requiring a permit and in cases of special necessity. However, even proof of vaccination, regardless of the vaccine, is no longer sufficient for entry from these countries. Should you claim that your reason for travel falls under a special necessity case, kindly send an email to pretoria.visa@eda.admin.ch explaining your situation and the Visa section will revert back to you as soon as possible.

Regardless of nationality, the border sanitary measures of the Federal Office of Public Health FOCA must be observed at all times when entering the country (www.bag.admin.ch).

Please note that conditions may change quickly and at any time. Please verify the requirements with your airline, your travel agent and the destination country before travelling. The Embassy is committed to regularly publish the latest information on a regular basis but cannot assume any liability.

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.