Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

COVID-19 - Regulations for air travellers entering Switzerland as of 26 June 2021: 

On June 23 2021, the Federal Council decided to lift the entry restrictions for persons from third countries who are fully vaccinated.

For vaccinated third-country nationals, the regular entry requirements will apply again from June 26 2021. The vaccination certificate has to be submitted together with the visa applications.

Entry restrictions continue to apply to foreign nationals who are not vaccinated and are without rights of free movement, entering from risk countries or regions and who do not belong to any of the exceptional categories of the COVID-19 Regulation 3.

The following vaccines are accepted for entering Switzerland:

Vaccines recognized from Switzerland
Vaccines recognized by the European Medicines Agency
Vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization

To see what rules apply to your own particular situation when entering Switzerland, consult the online Travelcheck (this does not include the rules for visa).

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

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic there are special rules for people entering Switzerland. Please refer to the information of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

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.