Family Reunification of Third-Country Nationals

Would you like to know whether you are entitled to family reunification and which documents you need to submit? Please find all the necessary information below.

Family reunification requested by EU/EFTA nationals

EU/EFTA nationals may reunite in Switzerland with their family members from third countries. The provisions stipulated in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (FZA) apply to family reunification.

However, family members requiring a visa still need to apply for an entry permit in order to enter Switzerland.

Moreover, the authorities will always check whether the application for family reunification is made for unlawful reasons and whether there are any grounds for revocation.

Please find detailed information in our directives on family reunification and on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons.

Please click on the link Entry & Residence of EU/EFTA Nationals below if you are looking for detailed information on family reunification of EU/EFTA nationals requested by EU/EFTA nationals.

Family reunification requested by Swiss citizens

Swiss citizens may apply for an entry permit for their spouse or registered partner as well as for their children under the age of 18 if:

  • the deadlines for family reunification are complied with;

Deadlines for family reunification

The deadline for family reunification with spouses or registered partners and children under the age of 12 is five years. Children over the age of 12 must be reunited with their family within 12 months. The deadline for family reunification begins to run when the family relationship, i.e. the marriage or the registration of the partnership, is established, or when the child is born.

If a third-country national is naturalized and thus acquires Swiss citizenship, the deadlines for family reunification do not start running again.

  • the family will live in an adequate apartment/house;

Adequate family accommodation

Number of persons minus one results in the number of rooms required.

  • there are no grounds for revocation nor any indications suggesting unlawful action; and if
  • the family reunification does not entail any significant or continued dependence on social assistance.

Please find detailed information on family reunification requirements in our directive on family reunification.

Family reunification requested by residence permit or settlement permit holders

Third-country nationals holding a residence or settlement permit in Switzerland may apply for an entry permit for their spouse or registered partner as well as for their children under the age of 18 if:

  • the deadlines for family reunification are complied with;

Deadlines for family reunification

The deadline for family reunification with spouses or registered partners and children under the age of 12 is five years. Children over the age of 12 must be reunited with their family within 12 months. The deadline for family reunification begins to run when the family relationship, i.e. the marriage or the registration of the partnership, is established, or when the child is born.

  • the family will live in an adequate apartment/house;

Adequate family accommodation

Number of persons minus one results in the number of rooms required.

  • no dependence on social assistance occurs, or might occur, due to family reunification;
  • the joining spouse can provide proof of a German certificate level A1 or prove enrolment in a German language course in Switzerland;
  • no annual supplementary benefits are received under the Federal Act of 6 October 2006 on Benefits Supplementary to Old Age, Survivors' and Disability Insurance (ELG); and if
  • there are no grounds for revocation nor any indications suggesting unlawful action.

Please find detailed information on family reunification requirements in our directive on family reunification.

Family reunification requested by short-term permit holders

Third-country nationals holding a short-term permit in Switzerland, may apply for an entry permit for their spouse or registered partner as well as for their children under the age of 18 if:

  • the deadlines for family reunification are complied with;

Deadlines for family reunification

The deadline for family reunification with spouses or registered partners and children under the age of 12 is five years. Children over the age of 12 must be reunited with their family within 12 months. The deadline for family reunification begins to run when the family relationship, i.e. the marriage or the registration of the partnership, is established, or when the child is born.

  • the family will live in an adequate apartment/house;

Adequate family accommodation

Number of persons minus one results in the number of rooms required.

  • no dependence on social assistance occurs, or might occur, due to family reunification;
  • no annual supplementary benefits are received under the Federal Act of 6 October 2006 on Benefits Supplementary to Old Age, Survivors' and Disability Insurance (ELG); and if
  • there are no grounds for revocation nor any indications suggesting unlawful action.

Please find detailed information on family reunification requirements in our directive on family reunification.

Family reunification requested by recognized refugees with asylum status

Recognized refugees with asylum in Switzerland may include their spouse or registered partner and their children under the age of 18 in their respective refugee status under the condition that the family community already existed before they fled from their home country. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) decides whether family members may be included in the refugee status.

If the SEM rejects the inclusion of family members in the refugee status, recognized refugees with asylum in Switzerland may apply for an entry permit for their spouse or registered partner as well as for their children under the age of 18.

The requirements to apply for an entry permit are met if:

  • The requirements to apply for an entry permit are met if:

Deadlines for family reunification

The deadline for family reunification with spouses or registered partners and children under the age of 12 is five years. Children over the age of 12 must be reunited with their family within 12 months. The deadline for family reunification begins to run when the family relationship, i.e. the marriage or the registration of the partnership, is established, or when the child is born.

  • the family will live in an adequate apartment/house;

Adequate family accommodation

Number of persons minus one results in the number of rooms required.

  • the family reunification does not entail any significant or continued dependence on social assistance;
  • the joining spouse can provide proof of a German certificate level A1 or prove enrolment in German language course in Switzerland;
  • there are no grounds for revocation nor any indications suggesting unlawful action.

Please find detailed information on family reunification requirements in our directive on family reunification.

Contact

Migrationsamt

Address

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8090 Zürich
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Phone

+41 43 259 88 00

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