How Can I Move to Switzerland Long-Term?

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Switzerland is a particularly popular place to immigrate to because of its high standard of living, employment prospects, education, superior healthcare, and its beautiful surroundings. In total, nearly 140,000 immigrants, both from within the EU/EFTA and outside of it, entered Switzerland only in 2018.

However, depending on your country, Switzerland’s immigration laws and regulations vary.

Relocating to Switzerland is much simpler for EU/EFTA nationals than for non-EU/EFTA people because they are not subject to an annual quota constraints and do not have quota restrictions.

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Switzerland Immigration for EU/EFTA Citizens:

Despite not being a member of the EU, Switzerland still benefits greatly from it as a result of its membership inside the EFTA (European Free Trade Association).

The European Economic Area (EEA) connects the EFTA nations—Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway—with the EU, allowing for free trade and movement between all of the members of the EEA.

The Freedom of Movement Act enables citizens of the EU and EFTA to migrate freely to Switzerland and take use of the same rights for work, residence, and healthcare. EU/EFTA citizens do not require a visa to enter Switzerland, but if they intend to stay there permanently, they must sign up and request for a Swiss residency visa (more than three months.)

Switzerland is also a member of the Schengen region, a group of 26 nations that have created visa-free travel and open borders. Schengen nationals can also immigrate to Switzerland without the need for a visa, but they must request for a residence permit if their stay will be more than three months.

There are no limitations on the number of EU/EFTA/Schengen nationals who can relocate to Switzerland each year and be granted a residence visa. However, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania, three more recent members of the EU, may be subject to some limitations.

Different and stronger laws are in place for nationals of countries outside the EU.

Switzerland Immigration for non-EU/EFTA Citizens:

The annual inflow of non-EU/EFTA immigrants into Switzerland is being reduced.

To that purpose, it has put stringent annual restrictions on the number of residence and employment permits it issues to people who are not citizens of the EU or EFTA.

Furthermore, in order to be admitted to Switzerland in the first place if you aren’t an EU/EFTA citizen, you may probably have to request for something like a Swiss long-stay (national) residence permit. You cannot enter Switzerland or begin the application process for a Swiss residency visa until you have been issued a long-stay visa.

How do I relocate to Switzerland?

These two actions must be followed in order to relocate to Switzerland:

Apply for a family visa, study visa, or work visa for Switzerland.
Obtain the necessary residency permit.
Purchase a Swiss C Residence Permit (the permanent residence permit).

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