Switzerland: Entry restrictions to lift for workers from 3rd countries

Switzerland: Entry restrictions to lift for workers from 3rd countries


From July 6th, 2020, Switzerland will move to lift the Covid-19 related entry restrictions for workers coming from third countries. The relaxation of the restrictions will only apply to those individuals from third countries who are entering for work purposes and will not be applicable to those traveling to Switzerland on holiday. Entry will not be permitted for stays of less than 90 days that would not normally require an entry permit and exceptions will only be made in special circumstances.

What has changed?

Since May 11th, Switzerland has gradually been relaxing its Covid-19 related entry restrictions. Now, on July 6th, the Swiss Federal Council will lift the restrictions on the admission of workers from third countries (a country that is not a member of the European Union, whose citizens do not benefit from the European Union right to free movement). The Federal Council make this move in response to the recent positive developments made in combating the Coronavirus pandemic. However, restrictions will remain in place for those third country foreign nationals who seek to enter for leisure purposes, short courses, medical treatment or non-urgent business meetings, with stays of less than 90 days that do not typically require an entry visa. Entry for trips such as this will only be permitted under exceptional circumstances.

From July 6th, the usual quota system will re-open and it will again be possible to enter Switzerland to work in the tourism or culture sectors, or to participate in education or training courses while working. It will also be possible for third-country citizens who are not in employment, such as pensioners. Further to this, from July 6th, cantons will recommence the processing of applications as per the normal requirements for the admission of foreign nationals.

Following the guidance from the European Commission, a gradual and coordinated approach to lifting the ban on entry is planned and will be line with developments in the epidemiological situation in these third countries. The EU Commission will regularly update a list of third countries to facilitate coordination across the region.

For further information on who is permitted to enter Switzerland at this time, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at immigration@sterlinglexicon.com. 

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Leanne Cottrell
Leanne Cottrell

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