Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

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.

Important information about appointment availability and fees (please read before applying for a visa)

Due to the high demand for visas, it is strongly recommended to arrange the appointment 90 days prior to your departure. Please consider that the slots for visa appointments are fully booked weeks in advance before you apply short-term before a trip.

Change of visa fees 

From the 02.02.2020, the Schengen visa fees will increase to 

Adult: 120.00 CAD ; Children: 60.00 CAD 

No fee is levied for the application and the interview. The only fee charged by the Consulates is the visa fee (equivalent to EUR 60.00 for an adult). If you are asked to pay other fees, it means that you did not apply at the Consulates directly, but through a private company.  

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.