The Swiss authorities online
Switzerland’s migration policy makes a clear distinction: On the one hand, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons makes it much easier for EU and EFTA citizens to enter and stay in Switzerland. However, conditions are more restrictive for third-country nationals.
Persons who are not gainfully employed (e.g. retirees and students) may remain in Switzerland if the following conditions are met:
Stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period do not require authorisation. For longer stays, foreign nationals have to register with the cantonal migration office as a non-employed person. The corresponding EU/EFTA residence permit will remain valid for a period of five years (for students, the permit will remain valid for the duration of education and training or will remain valid for one year and be renewed at one-year intervals). These residence permits will be renewed automatically as long as the abovementioned criteria are still met.
Special provisions apply to nationals of Croatia. The provisions are available in the Croatia factsheet:
Citizens of non-EU-26*/EFTA** countries must meet the following criteria:
Students must also submit the following documents with their visa application:
*EU-26 comprises the following countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Rumania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary and Cyprus.
**EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland