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Corona: Questions and answers about entering and staying in Switzerland, the exceptions and visa bans

Are people from a risk country allowed to visit their partner or friend in Switzerland?

Unmarried couples with common minor children can be granted entry for visiting purposes. The existence of this constellation must be made credible at the border with appropriate documents such as extracts from family registers or other civil status documents. In the case of people who do not require a visa, the substantiation must be made at the border and in the case of those who require a visa to the Swiss diplomatic mission responsible for their place of residence.

Entry for the purpose of visiting couples, romantic relationships or other close partnerships of unmarried or registered partners or of people without children (civil partnership) are possible if:

  • an invitation from a partner residing in Switzerland, who is a Swiss citizen or a foreign person with a short stay, residence or permanent residence permit;
  • confirmation of the existing partnership is submitted;
  • and at least one personal physical visit or meeting in Switzerland or abroad is proven.

Pure holiday acquaintances do not entitle the persons concerned to enter the country. It has to be a long-term relationship that is cultivated on a regular basis. The persons concerned must make it credible that they have been in regular contact.

This relationship must be proven as follows:

  1. Written invitation from the person resident in Switzerland, with a copy of the Swiss passport or foreigner's ID;
  2. Confirmation of partnership signed by both, in letter form or as a scanned document;
  3. Documents that document a long-term civil partnership (for example, letters and e-mails, social media, telephone bills, flight tickets, photos);
  4. Evidence such as a copy of your passport with entry and exit stamps that at least one mutual personal visit or meeting has taken place in Switzerland or abroad.

The documents must be submitted by persons who require a visa as part of the visa procedure.

For people who do not require a visa, the documents must be presented to the border control authority. The diplomatic missions abroad can issue corresponding entry certificates free of charge if travel to Switzerland is not possible without such a certificate.

When traveling to Switzerland by plane, please note the following: If the conditions of a hardship are met and this can be substantiated by means of suitable documents, entry into Switzerland is possible if the usual entry requirements are also met. However, it should be noted here that the airlines themselves decide whether and under what conditions they transport passengers.

It is strongly recommended to enter Switzerland directly (direct flight). Transit through another country is not guaranteed with the certificate. The entry and transit regulations of the respective country apply.

Important NOTE:

All exceptions to the entry ban to combat the Covid-19 epidemic require that the usual legal entry requirements for foreign nationals are met. In the case of a short-term visit, a check is therefore always made, regardless of the pandemic, to determine whether it is possible to leave the country on time. If it must be assumed that this is not the case, entry will be refused. The prerequisite for timely re-departure is checked individually.

Travel outside the Schengen area is currently only possible under difficult conditions. There is often a lack of commercial and regular flight connections, and many states restrict entry and return even for their own nationals. For this reason, timely return after a stay of no more than three months is not guaranteed for these people. In some cases, an official permit is required to return to your home country.

Applications for a residence permit for cohabiting partners of Swiss nationals or foreign nationals with a residence or permanent residence permit are processed by the cantonal migration authorities. This also applies to requests for the preparation of the marriage or the certification of the registered partnership.

Cantonal migration offices

Swiss representations abroad