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Basic Information to know about Immigration in Switzerland

Jenny t

To migrate to Switzerland, you must first apply for a work, study, or family visa in Switzerland.

High quality of life, better healthcare, quality education, career prospects, and pristine scenic beauty make Switzerland a sought-after destination for immigrants. In the year 2018, 140,000 plus people migrated to Switzerland. Immigrants include EU/EFTA citizens and non-EU/EFTA citizens. Despite nationality-based immigration regulations and standards, this figure makes migrating to Switzerland encouraging.      

Unlike non-EU/EFTA individuals, it is substantially easier for EU/EFTA citizens because they are not subject to annual quota constraints to move to Switzerland.

Basic Information on Migrating to Switzerland

All non-Swiss citizens must have immigration authorization to work in Switzerland, commonly a work permit or a combined work and residency visa. As a tourist, you can stay in Switzerland for up to 90 days without registration. However, you are not allowed to work during this time. You must have a work permit to work in Switzerland for more than eight calendar days per year.

You compulsorily need a visa to enter Switzerland if you are not from an EU/EFTA nation.

Immigrating to Switzerland: Basics to start

Scenario 1: Your company is transferring you to Switzerland, or a new employer has employed you: You will need to speak with the HR department of the employer to know what to expect.

Scenario 2: You are looking for a job in Switzerland: Before you begin your job hunt, speak with a Swiss immigration consultant to determine your immigration status.

Scenario 3: You are relocating as part of a self-employed business: To find out more about your immigration status in Switzerland, contact a specialist in the field.

What is the Best Way to Move to Switzerland?

 To migrate to Switzerland, you must first apply for a work, study, or family visa in Switzerland. And, then you must get the essential permanent residency permit, which is the Swiss C Resident Permit.

How to Obtain a Long-Term Swiss Visa?

There are different visa types for moving to Switzerland: Work Visa, Student Visa, and Family Reunion Visa. There are rules, requirements, and limitations attached to each type of visa. If you want to migrate as an employee, you must have an employment contract with a Swiss company and then obtain a Work Visa. If you want to migrate as a student, you must have a certificate of enrolment in a Swiss educational institution, which will help you get a Student Visa. The Family Reunion Visa is for foreigners who desire to move to Switzerland to be with a family member (spouse or parent), Swiss permanent resident, or citizen.

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In all these three cases, taking out health insurance is compulsory. Switzerland’s insurance costs are usually high. So, it is best to contact Switzerland health insurance companies to get the ideal package.

How to Obtain a Residence Permit in Switzerland?

If you are a non-EU/EFTA national, you must obtain a residence permit after your long-stay visa. Even EU/EFTA nationals must apply for a residence permit to migrate to Switzerland.

Within 14 days of entering Switzerland, you need to apply for a residency permit. If you migrate to Switzerland for the first time, you generally get Permit L or Permit B residency permits. Permit L is a Swiss short-term residence permit valid for one year. You may renew it for another 24 months, but only once. Permit B is for permanent or temporary residence in Switzerland. It is valid for five years for EU/EFTA citizens and one year for non-EU/EFTA citizens. You can renew it as many times as required. This permit is the initial or temporary residence since you can apply for a Swiss Permanent Residence Permit after living in Switzerland for ten years with a Permit B.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship in Switzerland

After a decade of continuous residence in Switzerland, you will be eligible to apply for a Swiss Permanent Residence Permit (C Permit). After you become a permanent resident and have lived in Switzerland for 10 years, you can apply to become a Swiss citizen. Earlier, a 12-year residency requirement was necessary before being eligible for naturalization.

In a few cases, you might be able to apply for Swiss permanent residency or citizenship sooner if your spouse is a Swiss citizen or the child of a second-generation Swiss resident, for example.

After only five years as an EU/EFTA national, you can seek permanent residence or citizenship.


Switzerland has been one of the preferred countries in Europe for migration, thanks to the healthcare benefits, good living conditions, law-abiding citizens, good education, and promising job and business opportunities. The immigration laws are well defined and binding, making the process transparent and clear. 

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