Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Transit Visa: New Rules from 28 June 2024

As of 28 June 2024, UK residents holding a valid UK Biometric Residence Permit no longer require a transit visa in order to transit through a Swiss airport. Until 27 June 2024 a visa is required.

A valid UK visa does not exempt you from visa requirements for transit through Switzerland.

Important Information regarding appointments

The availability of appointments is updated on a daily basis based on the processing capacity at TLScontact and the Embassy of Switzerland. If you do not find an available appointment, you will need to log in again.

It is the responsibility of the traveller to book a visa appointment in advance according to planned travel.

Appointments for short stay (up to 90 days) visa applications can only be booked through our Visa Application Centre TLScontact.

Queries for earlier appointments will not be answered

UK citizens

Entry: UK citizens do not require an entry visa for Switzerland for either short stays (up to 90 days in any 180-day period in the whole Schengen Area) or for long stays (over 90 days). For information on the validity of travel documents of third-country nationals (non EU/EFTA citizens) see Question 3.14 in the Frequently Asked Questions on Entry.

Residence, study and work: All enquiries about obtaining a permit for living, studying and working in Switzerland must be addressed directly to the responsible cantonal immigration and labour market authorities. See also the Frequently Asked Questions for UK citizens.

British Travel Document holders

Holders of British Travel Documents blue and red cover (Convention of 28 July 1951 and Convention of 28 September 1954) do not need a visa for short stays in Switzerland up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you are planning on entering the Schengen Area through another Schengen state, you must check the entry requirements for British travel document holders with the respective authorities in that state.

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.

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.