Registration in the register of the Swiss Abroad

Are you obliged to register?

Yes, if you are a Swiss citizen, have taken up residence abroad, and are not registered with a Swiss municipality.

You have to register within 90 days after the announcement of departure to a foreign country and show a certificate of departure issued by the municipality of the last place of residence in Switzerland.

Registration will facilitate future administrative dealings with the Swiss representation responsible for your place of residence abroad, such as applications for Swiss passports and identity documents, transcription of a civil status event, registration for voting, etc.

How to apply?

Leaving Switzerland to take up residence abroad

You are living in Switzerland and about to take up residence abroad. When registering with the Swiss representation responsible for your new place of domicile you will need to submit the following documents:

  • an “Application for registration at a Swiss representation” form duly completed, dated and signed,
  • the Swiss passports or identity cards of all members of your family (originals); the documents will be returned to you at the counter (mail delivery is too insecure)

If you do not possess these documents, please submit an official foreign ID document (passport or identity document, originals) and obtain from the civil status office of your municipality of origin an individual civil status certificate or a family certificate (depending on your family situation) for submission at the time of registering.

If you are unable to print the “Application for registration at a Swiss representation” form, inform the Swiss representation responsible for your place of residence, by telephone or by mail, which will then gladly forward you the necessary documentation.

The documents necessary for your registration can be forwarded by registered mail or a secure equivalent to the postal address of the Swiss representation responsible for your place of residence.

The Swiss representation concerned will be glad to receive you in person during normal office hours for the purpose of registration.

In the case you send your documents by mail, you will have to collect them in person at the counter or give a third person the authorization to collect them for you.

What should you report?

You should report any event that affects your personal situation, notably:

  • on taking up residence in the consular district, for registration
  • any changes of address, telephone number or email address
  • an event affecting your civil status (birth, marriage, divorce, death)
  • acquisition or loss of citizenship
  • final departure from the consular district

Informing foreign authorities of your place of residence

Registration with a Swiss representation does not exempt you from the obligation to inform the foreign authorities of your arrival. It is your responsibility to enter into direct contact with the foreign authorities competent for your place of residence so that you may take the necessary steps to obtain a residence permit. In some countries, you might need formal authorisation prior to entering their territory. The Swiss representation cannot assist you in this matter.