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.

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 types of visa, depending on the purpose of the intended stay in Switzerland. Please select one of the following options.

Important information about visa

As from 1st December 2017, Kenyan Passport holders are subjected to a consultation procedure between the Schengen States. 

The minimum time for processing Schengen applications will therefore rises to 10 working days.  

Important information notice from Schengen Member States

According to Article 12 (a) of the Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009, commonly known as "Visa Code", the validity of a travel document shall extend at least three months after the intended date of departure from the Territory of the Schengen Member State. According to an official notification from the Kenyan authorities issued to all diplomatic missions, all Kenyan passports – except the new East African Community biometric e-Passport – will be rendered invalid from 1 March 2020. The Schengen Member States therefore wish to inform the Kenyan public that from 1 December 2019 only the new East African Community biometric e-Passport can be accepted for Schengen visa applications.

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.