Learn more about visa application and entry requirements in Switzerland

Visa Application

Entry into Switzerland is subject to several rules and regulations. Rules for citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are different from other countries. The responsible authority to regulate Switzerland’s entry and stay requirement is the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Schengen Visa – For Short Stays

A Schengen visa is mandatory for staying up to 90 days in the Schengen area. This is for individuals wishing to enter Switzerland for a short stay of up to 90 days for tourism, a visit to relatives or friends, short-term language studies, participation in a conference, sporting/cultural events, etc. 

People who stay in Switzerland for more than 90 days out of 180 days are subject to approval by the cantonal migration authority responsible for the intended residence—long-term student, family reunification, marriage in Switzerland, etc.

Requirements for Switzerland Travel Visa Insurance

As Switzerland is in the Schengen Area, travel insurance (for Switzerland) is must meet Schengen Visa insurance requirements, which means: it must include at least €30,000 in coverage for medical treatment and evacuation. It must be valid throughout. It must be helpful for the duration of your visit to Switzerland or the Schengen Area. 

Suppose you extend your stay beyond 90 days in Switzerland, these insurance requirements change. It is mandatory to have basic health insurance if you stay more than 90 days.  It helps if you go for a health insurance price comparison to get an affordable one. This health insurance quotes comparison helps you decide which one you should go for according to your age and how long you will stay in Switzerland. 

Work permits / Labor & Work Visa Requirements in Switzerland

The admission of foreign workers to a Swiss employer is subject to the approval of the competent cantonal authority only after the requested authorisations deliver it to the respected office.

The Swiss government recently increased the work permit quota for non-EU/EFTA nationals and raised the language requirement. Non-Swiss nationals must now speak and write at the A1 level in the dominant language of their Swiss canton. If you spend more time in Switzerland, you’ll need more fluency. If you apply for a B-level visa and do not speak any of the four official languages, you must show enrollment in a language course.

EU/EFTA Nationals’ Visa Requirements

EU/EFTA nationals can live and work in Switzerland without a work permit for 90 days. Your employer must register your employment with the government’s online portal or with the local canton authorities:

Permit L

This permit is for short-term residents who intend to stay in Switzerland for less than a year. EU/EFTA nationals are eligible for this permit if they have a three- to a twelve-month employment contract. The validity of the licenses corresponds to the term of the employment contract. 

Permit L is for job seekers who do not yet have a lucrative job.

Permit B
This permit is for ex-pats who plan to stay in Switzerland for more than a year. It is issued if the foreign national has an employment contract for twelve months or an indefinite period. Nationals from all EU/EFTA member states who do not have a profitable job are eligible for a B permit if they can demonstrate sufficient financial means and adequate health and accident insurance.

Permit G
This permit is for cross-border commuters and refers to EU/EFTA nationals who work in Switzerland but live in another EU/EFTA country. Work could be of the company or on one’s own. Cross-border commuters must return to their primary residence at least once per week.
Unless your work contract is for less than a year, this permit is valid for five years. The passport will then be valid only for the duration of the contract. 

Swiss Requirements for Permanent Residence

People who continuously stay for five years in Switzerland are eligible for Permit C. It includes spouses of Swiss citizens; spouses of residents; citizens of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

For non-EU/EFTA residents, you must have lived in Switzerland with permit B for ten years to qualify for Permit C.

Certain professions and children under the age of twelve may be exempt. For more information, you should contact your cantonal authority.
Furthermore, proof of integration into Swiss culture is necessary for permanent residence visas. You also need knowledge of Swiss laws and traditions and fluency in the national language. To obtain a permanent resident application, you must first contact your cantonal authority.

Switzerland Visa Requirements for Official Visits

Suppose you are traveling to Switzerland as part of an official delegation representing your country’s government, an organization, or an institution; you must apply for a Swiss Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations.


There are various kinds of visas applicable in Switzerland, and each one has different requirements. After reading this article, we hope you get to know all the requirements.