Visas for EU citizens in Switzerland

People across Europe know that Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

But the country still allows the people from the EU to move, reside and work freely within their cantons. Anyone from an EU-25 country or EFTA state including:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Poland
  • Portugal

enjoys full freedom of movement to live and work in Switzerland.

However, you will still need to get a residence permit for stays longer than three months. The process is simple. Just provide a passport or valid ID and enter the country. Then register with the Residents Registry Office at the cantonal migration offices within 14 days of arriving in Switzerland. You must apply for a residence permit if you want to stay for longer than three months. In case you came to look for work but haven’t found a job after three months, the canton can grant you a short-term residence permit for a further three months or up to one year.

There are different types of permits you can apply for.

  • Type L EU/EFTA short-term residence permit is only for an year’s stay or for however long your work contract lasts under one year.

  • Type B EU/EFTA residence permit is for those with employment contracts of more than 12 months and the self-employed such as business owners.

  • Type G EU/EFTA cross-border commuter permits for those who live in EU/EFTA member states but work in Switzerland. This one requires you to return to your home outside of Switzerland once a week.

  • Type C EU/EFTA settlement permits are the main residence permit that allows you to stay in Switzerland indefinitely.

In case you get the type C permit and end up living in the country for at least five years, then you can apply for a settlement residence permit and then Swiss citizenship after ten years of residence. Remember that the rules might differ slightly for some citizens, for example, citizens from Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

So, make sure you check with your local authorities before planning the move.

For more information about EU visas in Switzerland, please fill out the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.