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.

Novel Coronavirus

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the public can no longer access the counters of the Chancellery of the Swiss Embassy. For all questions concerning visa applications, the Embassy can be reached preferably by e-mail or by telephone from Monday to Thursday from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm and Friday from 9.00 am to 12.30 pm.

Please note that :

Until further notice, the Embassy is no longer able to receive and process visa applications for Switzerland and Slovakia.

In the case of visa applications which cannot be processed due to the decision of the Swiss authorities to stop the visa procedure, the submitted documents will be returned to the applicant and the visa fee will be refunded shortly.

Persons who already have a visa issued by Switzerland, but who cannot use it due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19, may be issued a replacement or follow-up visa free of charge, under certain conditions, in due course. Please consult our website regularly.

Detailed information can be found on the French page.

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.