Living in Switzerland

SEM regulates the conditions under which a person may enter, live and work in Switzerland. It also defines who must be protected against possible persecution and examines asylum applications.

The entry and stay in Switzerland

The entry and residence in Switzerland are subject to specific rules. To enter Switzerland, foreigners must present a valid ID recognized by Switzerland. In some cases, a visa is also required. If the stay exceeds three months, foreign visitors must apply for a permit. Individuals who want to engage in gainful employment in Switzerland must also obtain a permit.

Migration policy distinguishes between the entry and residence of nationals of member countries of the European Union (EU / EFTA) and those of third countries. The agreement on the free movement of persons, in force since 2002, simplifies the conditions of residence and work of EU citizens. People from third countries are subject to restrictive provisions and must apply for a residence permit from the authorities.

Living in Switzerland

The right to health is a fundamental right. Any sick or injured person can receive medical treatment. This is as true for people without a residence permit, that is to say for "undocumented" or people "without status". Anyone who lives in Switzerland has the right and duty to take out health insurance.

Immigrant children have access to education as all other children living in Switzerland. When school is in a language other than their mother tongue, they can benefit from specific measures such as integration classes, language courses, etc.

Legal and social support helplines are in place in each canton to receive, inform and support migrants in their efforts.

Sources: SEM, Swiss Portal: entry and stay in Switzerland