Start of page

Last update: December 2012

Legal basis: Article 20 “Accompanying Persons” of the Ordinance to the Federal Act on the Privileges, Immunities and Facilities and the Financial Subsidies granted by Switzerland as a Host State of 7 December 2007 (Host State Ordinance, HSO).

The following persons are authorised to accompany the principal individual beneficiary (principal individual beneficiary being defined as the person holding a legitimation card B, C, D, K with pink and black band, or K with blue and black band) and, provided that they live in the household of the principal individual beneficiary, are entitled to the same privileges and immunities and facilities (Article 20, paragraph 1 HSO):

a) the spouse of the principal individual beneficiary

b) the same-sex partner of the principal individual beneficiary if the partnership has been registered in Switzerland or under an equivalent foreign provision or if the partner is treated by the institutional beneficiary concerned (the Embassy of the sending State) as an official partner or as a dependant

c) the cohabiting partner of the principal individual beneficiary (persons of the opposite sex who are not married as defined by Swiss law) if the cohabiting partner is treated by the institutional beneficiary concerned (the Embassy of the sending State) as an official partner or a dependant;

d) the unmarried children up to the age of 25 of the principal individual beneficiary

e) the unmarried children up to the age of 25 of the spouse, same-sex or cohabiting partner of the principal individual beneficiary if officially in that person’s care

Important

  • The aforementioned persons are not required to contact Protocol prior to their arrival in Switzerland for authorisation to accompany the principal individual beneficiary
  • On the other hand, for persons wishing to accompany a principal individual beneficiary holding a legitimation card E or K with purple and black band, the Embassy concerned must request prior authorisation from Protocol, by sending a “Declaration of Guarantee extended to family member/s” with a photocopy of the passport of those concerned
  • On the other hand, prior to entering Switzerland all persons must consult “List 1: Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality (column: Visa required for stays of more than 90 days)” of the Federal Office for Migration to see if they need to request a visa from the competent Swiss Embassy in their place of residence or if they are exempt from the Swiss visa requirement.
    Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality

The following persons may, on an exceptional basis, be authorised by the FDFA (Protocol) to accompany the principal individual beneficiary (holding legitimation card B, C, D, K with pink and black band, or K with blue and black band) if they live together in the same household; they shall be issued with legitimation card H but shall not be accorded privileges, immunities or facilities (Article 20, paragraph 2 HSO):

a) the same-sex partner of the principal individual beneficiary if he or she is not recognised by the institutional beneficiary concerned (Embassy of sending State) as an official partner or dependant, but for whom the application for a residence permit is nonetheless submitted by the institutional beneficiary concerned and the relationship can be shown to be long-standing, and if it is not possible for the persons concerned to register their partnership under Swiss law or under the law of another State

b) the cohabiting partner of the principal individual beneficiary (persons of the opposite sex who are not married as understood by Swiss law) if the cohabiting partner is not recognised by the institutional beneficiary concerned (Embassy of sending State) as the official partner or a dependant b u t for whom the application for a residence permit is nonetheless submitted by the institutional beneficiary concerned and the relationship can be shown to be long-standing

c) the unmarried children over the age of 25 of the principal individual beneficiary if they are in the principal individual beneficiary’s sole care (for example, due to physical or mental handicap)

d) the unmarried children over the age of 25 of the spouse, same-sex partner or cohabiting partner of the principal individual beneficiary if they are in the principal individual beneficiary’s sole care (for example, due to physical or mental handicap)

e) parents or grandparents (direct relations only) of the principal individual beneficiary, of the spouse of the principal individual beneficiary or of the same-sex partner or the cohabiting partner of the principal individual beneficiary as contemplated by Article 20, paragraph 1 of the HSO, who are entirely dependent upon the principal individual beneficiary (for example: where the parent or grandparent is unable to take proper care of him/herself, and because of this was already living with the principal individual beneficiary before the latter assumed functions in Switzerland, and for whom there is no other person or specialised care institution able to as-sume their care)

f) other persons who are entirely dependent upon the principal individual beneficiary, only in extreme cases, who cannot be left in the care of another party (individuals or specialised care institutions) in their home State (for example: a person for whom the principal individual beneficiary has legal responsibility due to a court ruling). The Department will only consider such cases in force majeure situations.

Procedure

Applications for persons wishing to accompany a principal individual beneficiary as contemplated by Article 20, paragraph 2 of the HSO must be submitted to Protocol by the Embassy, prior to their arrival in Switzerland. For this purpose the institutional beneficiary must submit a duly-evidenced verbal note to the FDFA (Protocol) with the form “Declaration of Guarantee extended for the purpose of family regroupments (Article 20, paragraph 2 HSO)” and the relevant annexes. In any event, before submitting an application the institutional beneficiary is advised to telephone the specialised contact person (see margin) who, if the applicable requirements for considering an application are met, will supply the relevant form.

The FDFA will determine, in each case, whether the person wishing to accompany the principal individual beneficiary meets the conditions stipulated by Article 20, HSO. All questions relating to this subject will be settled between the FDFA (Protocol) and the institutional beneficiary concerned in accordance with usual diplomatic practices and without any intervention whatsoever on the part of the individual beneficiary.

Prior to entering Switzerland persons granted authorisation by Protocol to accompany the principal individual beneficiary must consult “List 1: Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality (column: Visa required for stays of more than 90 days)” of the Federal Office for Migration to see if they need to request a visa from the competent Swiss Embassy in their place of residence or if they are exempt from the Swiss visa requirement.

List 1: Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality (column: Visa required for stays of more than 90 days)

Once these persons have arrived in Switzerland the institutional beneficiary should send Protocol a verbal note with the form “Supplementary application form for registration with Protocol of an accompanying person pursuant to Article 20, paragraph 2, HSO”; this form may be obtained from Protocol.

All staff members of diplomatic missions and consular posts permanently residing in Switzerland (holders of B or C Permits) must comply with the usual laws.

Last update 16.02.2022