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

Effective June 26, 2021, the USA is not considered a high-risk country any more and therefore, the regular entry conditions apply. 

To see what rules apply to your own particular situation when entering Switzerland please consult the online travelcheck.

All travelers arriving in Switzerland by plane must fill in the entry form (no exceptions). 

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

For further information please consult the COVID-19-Ordinance or the website of the State Secretariat of Migration.

 

Information about QUARANTINE,  ENTRY FORM,  VACCINATION CERTIFICATE and negative COVID TEST

Travelers arriving in Switzerland from the USA do not have to go into quarantine (FOPH).

Mandatory for all airline passengers travelling from the USA to Switzerland:

  • Electronic form for all incoming travelers (no exceptions)
  • Present one of the following medical documents (if older than 16 years):
    - a COVID-19 vaccination certificate stating that you were fully vaccinated within the last 12 months with an approved vaccine 
    - a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours (time of specimen collection) before departure
    - a positive COVID-19 test result of a test taken within the last 6 months and a COVID-19 recovery medical certificate

For further information on quarantine and COVID Test requirements, please see the website 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.

Authorized Visa

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