Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Information about travel to Switzerland related to COVID-19

Starting February 8, 2021 Switzerland temporarily stopped accepting visa applications and issuing of Schengen visa type C for short-term stays of up to 90 days in the Schengen area for tourism, business or visit. At the moment, it is unfortunately unclear when the situation will allow the issuance of Schengen visas again. It will be published on this website, as soon as the acceptance of visa applications is possible again. 

Entry to Switzerland is permitted to Swiss citizens, EU/EFTA citizens and people with a valid residence permit or work permit. Japanese citizens cannot enter Switzerland until further notice. There are exceptions for extremely urgent cases of hardship and for certain family members of Swiss nationals or foreigners residing in Switzerland. For further exemptions, visit the following website: SEM FAQ border closure.

Proof of family membership must be provided with appropriate documentation. Unmarried partners must present the following documents when checking in or entering Switzerland:

  • Written invitation of the partner in Switzerland incl. passport copy of the partner
  • Written confirmation of a stable partnership (signed by both partners)
  • Proof of at least one mutual visit before the pandemic (flight tickets, photos, etc.)

The airline is doing the boarding at its own discretion. Therefore, we recommend that you contact the airline to verify boarding requirements.

If your trip to Switzerland includes transit through another foreign country, you must also check the entry restrictions of that country. Flying directly into Switzerland is recommended.

For further information, please consult the COVID-19-Ordinance or the website of the State Secretariat of Migration.

If you are eligible for an exemption on the basis of hardship but do not have documentation to prove this to the airline company and immigration officer at the Swiss border, please contact the embassy by e-mail (no phone calls please), provide your first name, last name, date of birth and nationality, and specify your situation.

The following changes will take effect as of February 8, 2021:

Important information on the entry requirements can be found on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

For further information please consult the State Secretariat for Migration SEM - COVID19-Ordinance 3 or the website of the Q&A - SEM

Applications for national type D Visa are accepted. Please consult Tokyo Visa Desk - Long stay visas D

Starting July 6, 2020, travelers from specific countries have to go into quarantine when entering Switzerland. For further information, please consult the website of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH

Please note, that the entry-ban issued by the Japanese authority is still in place for foreigners living in Japan.

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.