Embassies in Switzerland

Moving to Switzerland? If you’re coming from the U.S., you’ll need to go through several procedures before you can take up residence.

The most important point here is that you must already have employment lined up before you enter the country. Please be aware that anyone who finds work while visiting as a tourist will need to leave Switzerland and negotiate from the USA.

US Citizens relocating to Switzerland will need to ensure that their passport is valid, that it expires no sooner than three months before the intended departure date and that it has been issued within the last 10 years.

You’ll need to apply for long-term national visa (type D), as well as a residence permit and this can be done through the Swiss Embassy in the U.S. Permits for US citizens are reviewed on a per-case basis and will require proof of employment, usually your work contract.

Already in Switzerland? Embassies can assist in a number of ways in cases of emergency or if you need to renew your passport. There are three US Consulate buildings in Switzerland – the main Embassy in Bern and a Consulate Agency each in Zurich and Geneva. Emergency passports and visa extension pages can only be obtained at the Embassy in Bern.

All three offices are able to assist in other matters such as; voter registration, assisting with communication during emergencies, dealing with the logistics of repatriating remains and ensuring that you are receiving basic necessities if you are arrested or institutionalized.

While embassies will look to support you wherever they can, they cannot provide legal advice, a lawyer (although they may provide contact info) or financial support. If you become destitute in Switzerland, they can assist in getting you back the U.S.


Saskia Petz

Tanja Traut

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