Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Situation in Afghanistan - important information

The requirements for entry and residence in Switzerland in relation to the current situation in Afghanistan are as follows:


According to the Asylum Act, asylum applications cannot be submitted abroad.

Humanitarian visa

In principle, Swiss law provides that persons who are in concrete, immediate and serious danger may apply for a humanitarian visa. An application for a humanitarian visa must be submitted in person to a visa section of a Swiss representation offering consular services. Please note that the Embassy of Switzerland in Tashkent does not offer consular services and cannot issue humanitarian visas.

To apply for a humanitarian visa the following requirements must be fulfilled cumulatively:

  • The person concerned must be in individual and immediate life-threatening danger due to the situation in Afghanistan. Merely belonging to a possibly endangered group is not sufficient.
  • The person concerned must also have a close and current connection to Switzerland, such as close and regular family ties to relatives living in Switzerland or a long previous stay in Switzerland with close links to Switzerland, or was exposed by employment for a Swiss state organisation until immediately before the Taliban took power. For members of the nuclear family (i.e. spouse and minor children) there is the possibility of family reunification in accordance with the ordinary provisions of the law on foreigners.

If you meet the requirements listed above and need additional information, please contact the Swiss representation in Islamabad:

Embassy of Switzerland
Street 6, Diplomatic Enclave, G-5/4
Islamabad 44000

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.