General information

Here you will find all of the basics on residence permits in Switzerland

Stay up to 3 months

Generally speaking, foreign nationals can stay in Switzerland for three months without requiring a special residence permit.

Stay over three months

For a stay that lasts longer than three months, you will need a residence permit. The type of permit to be issued depends on the duration and purpose of the stay, as well as the person’s country of origin. 

Please note: If you are staying in Switzerland for less than three months and working at the same time, you need to observe the provisions of the online registration procedure

Dual System

Swiss immigration law distinguishes between nationals of EU/EFTA states and those of “third states”.

EU/EFTA nationals 

Due to agreements between Switzerland and the relevant EU/EFTA member states, EU/EFTA nationals have the right to a residence permit, as long as the statutory prerequisites are met. Special conditions may apply to nationals of the new EU states.

Persons from third states 

Residence permits for nationals of third states are regulated by the Swiss law on foreign nationals (AuG). This places more restrictions on immigration, whereby the authorities have discretion in issuing permits. 

Entering Switzerland

The following prerequisites need to be met in order for you to be able to enter Switzerland:

  • Valid travel document (passport, identity card)
  • Possibly a visa. Information on visa obligations can be found here.
  • Sufficient financial means for your stay in Switzerland