Entry & Residence


Entry and visa

Switzerland is part of the Schengen area. Citizens from EU/EFTA countries need a valid identity card to enter the country. For third-country nationals (citizens from non-EU/EFTA countries), a valid passport is required. Detailed information concerning visa requirements is available from the website of the Federal Office for Migration.

Moving to Switzerland

There are numerous professional relocation firms that can ease the process of moving for you; they will take care of everything from finding housing to enrolling your children in a local school.


After you arrive in the Canton of Zurich, and after every change of address, you are required to register with the Residents’ Registration Office of the City of Zurich or with your municipality’s Residents’ Office.

Residence and permanent residence

With regard to residence permits, there are differences between citizens of EU/EFTA member states and other countries. Special conditions apply to Croatian citizens.

Residence and permanent residence permits are issued by the Migration Office of the Canton of Zurich. No permit is required for stays up to three months. Depending on the type of permit, it may be possible to work. Foreigners who reside in Switzerland receive a foreigner’s permit with the type of permit indicated on the document.

Stays without gainful employment

A permit is required for stays lasting more than three months, even for those who are not gainfully employed (pensioners, students, job seekers and others). The permit is issued by the Migration Office of the Canton of Zurich.

The Handbook for Investors provides a good overview of visa regulations, residency and work permits.