Advisory Services Welcome Center

Entry conditions

Various regulations apply for entering Switzerland. A basic distinction is made between citizens of EU and EFTA countries and those of other countries. The State Secretariat for Migration is the responsible authority in Switzerland.

Travel documents

To travel to Switzerland, you require a valid travel document recognized in Switzerland, e.g. an identity card or a passport. Check the expiry date of your travel document and renew it if necessary.

Visa and work permit

For researchers and lecturers from non-member states in particular, it is important to make precise arrangements with the recruiting institute before applying for a visa. The employer applies for the work permit which is a prerequisite for a successful visa application!


For most EU/EFTA member states, entry is simple and does not require a visa.


  • Quotas and exceptions nevertheless exist for Croatia. (January 2017)
  • The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the United Kingdom expires on December 31, 2020.

Make the necessary inquiries in good time before leaving and talk to your institute.

General information:

  • Do you need a visa? Before departure, find out about the current entry and visa regulation from the Swiss consulate in your homeland or your current place of residence.
  • Allow at least 8 weeks for a visa application and make arrangements with your institute. Note: The work permit must be obtained through the employer first! Only when the approval is received, the entry visa can be granted. 
  • No entry with a tourist visa! Anyone who wants to work (or study) in Switzerland must await the decision concerning the visa or confirmation of a work permit in their homeland or outside Switzerland. Anyone who enters the country as a tourist beforehand runs the risk of being sent back to their homeland.
  • People completing a sabbatical or with a scholarship from their home university also require a visa with a work permit. Please contact your host institute for further arrangements.