Swiss permit and visa procedures – COVID19

Following the exceptional measures taken on the 16th March 2020 by the Council of State regarding the current state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OCPM and all immigration authorities will be closed to the public until further notice.

Urgent matters only will be assessed by appointment. Permit applications are still being processed under closed doors. Naturalization tests are also suspended.

You can book your urgent online appointment via : https://www.ge.ch/contacter-ocpm.

To protect the population from the COVID-19 pandemic, Switzerland has closed its borders and suspended all Schengen visas and non-EU visas as well as D visa nationals until the 15 June 2020. Only foreigners coming coming from authorized EU-28/AELE countries will be able to enter Switzerland under some conditions (Ordonnance 2 sur les mesures destinées à lutter contre le coronavirus COVID-19, modification du 18 mars 2020).

Foreigners who fulfill the following conditions can cross the borders:

  • possess a cross-border authorization (G permit) or any other Swiss permit or a business visa for health related matters
  • EU-28/AELE citizens must have a professional motive to cross the border and be able to produce a Swiss work attestation or the formal approval from authorities
  • transiting Switzerland directly to another country
  • be a person of importance specialized in health matters

Exceptionally all foreigners who cannot leave Switzerland after their visa or permit expiry date, due to the pandemic and grounding of flights, are allowed to remain. They should proceed to notify authorities to prolong their stay.

D visas or transit visas can be granted in these cases. This procedure is important if you must exit the Schengen area via another country after the 90 days allowed within the 180 days period.

Therefore, an overstay due to the exceptional nature of the current situation does not apply.

22/03/20 -  Alexa Mossaz, immigration specialist 

Legal Expat team remains at your service during the current state of emergency, you can contact us by email for legal advice and to book a phone consultation: legalexpat@oalegal.ch.

For further information, contact us

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This website aims to provide general information regarding Swiss law and should not be regarded as a legal opinion. For more specific advice, do not hesitate to contact us.