Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Corona update

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.


In light of the current Covid-19 crisis please be informed of the following:


Swiss borders with all Schengen states to reopen

Switzerland has reopened all its borders with EU/EFTA states from 15 June. From that date, all travel restrictions will be lifted and freedom of movement will be reintroduced within all states in the Schengen area and for citizens of other European states who have rights of free movement.

Restrictions will also be lifted for citizens with rights of free movement from non-Schengen states, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus.

COVID-19: Current visa restrictions

The current visa suspension (Visa C) will remain in force. At the moment it is not possible to apply for such a visa, regardless of the date of your planned journey.

The Federal Council will decide on a further easing of entry restrictions for third countries at a later date and in consultation with the other Schengen states.


Exceptions will be made, for the time being primarily for Students, Family Reunifications and Diplomats taking office.

Applications can be submitted and processed at your local Swiss representation. Please contact us by email at

General Information

The Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi-Arabia have outsourced the application process for short-term visas (so called Schengen visas) to the external service provider VFS Global 

Our external service provider will support you during the application process. VFS Global is responsible for receiving your visa application, checking the completeness and acceptability of your application form and application documents, collecting biometric data, receiving the visa fee and other fees (service fee and optional fees) and returning your passport. The decision whether or not to issue a visa is taken by the Swiss Embassy, VFS Global is not involved in the decision. 

The earliest you can apply for your visa: 6 months before your intended trip. 

The latest you can apply for your visa: at most 15 days before your intended trip. 

Where to apply for Schengen visas: VFS Global 

We however recommend you to start the application procedure as early as possible, but not earlier than 6 months prior to your entry date to the Schengen states, in order to avoid any inconvenience with your travel dates. 

We wish you a pleasant stay in Switzerland! 

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.