Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Entry to Switzerland is due to COVID-19 travel restrictions currently not possible for third country nationals from high-risk countries without the right of free movement. Exceptions for entry are granted under the following requirements:

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Starting from 26.06.2021, entry will be granted for any travel reason if full vaccination can be proven at the moment of entry to Switzerland.

This embassy is not competent to approve local vaccination documents. Vaccination documents will be checked when boarding the airplane and by the border guards only. Please refer to the FOPH website for the list of accepted vaccines in Switzerland and further information.

Vaccination has not to be proven at the moment of visa application, however entry with such visa will only be granted by the border guards with valid vaccination proof.

Cases of special necessity

In cases of special necessity, it is possible to enter Switzerland despite the entry ban. A list of such cases is available on the SEM website. If such case can be proven, entry is possible without valid vaccination proof. In this case kindly submit with your visa application full proof of such hardship case.

Third country nationals without visa requirement have to proof such case of special necessity to the border guards at the moment of entry. It is strongly recommended to take direct flights with airlines aware of current regulations and to be informed about the requirements of the airline before the time of boarding. 

Due to these exceptions, this embassy accepts again short-term visa applications for any travel reason for persons with visa requirements.

Applications for long-term stays in Switzerland continue to be processed by this embassy as usual.

Travel recommendations

Please note for your travel, that all other sanitary regulations, as stated on the FOPH website, will apply. Kindly check beforehand if you need to have a valid COVID-19 test or report your contact data. Quarantine restrictions may apply for persons having spent time during the last 10 days in a country with variants of concern.  

Visa liberalisation for Ukraine

Starting from 11th of June 2017, Ukrainian citizen are exempted from the visa requirement when travelling to the Schengen area for a short stay of mot more than 90 days within a 180 day period.

The visa waiver applies only to holders of biometric passports.

The obligation to hold a visa with regard to exercising gainful occupation persists (also for an occupation not exceeding 8 days within a calendar year).

For additional information please refer to the Frequently asked questions FAQs (PDF, Number of pages 4, 422.5 kB, English).

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.

SEM

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.