Australians Can Now Move to Switzerland Without a Visa

Australians Can Now Move to Switzerland Without a Visa
Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by Matt Graham.

Switzerland has removed the requirement for Australians wishing to work or reside long-term in the country to apply for a visa as of 1 January 2022.

However, Australian nationals would still need to apply for a local work or residency permit in Switzerland in order to gain employment or stay longer than 90 days.

Australian tourists could already travel to Switzerland without a visa for up to 90 out of every 180 days. But previously, Switzerland issued around 500-800 visas each year to Australian citizens seeking to work or stay longer than three months in the central European country.

In return, the Australian government is now offering Work and Holiday (462) visas to up to 200 Swiss citizens annually.

Swiss working holidays now possible without a visa

Switzerland has not previously offered a formal working holiday visa to Australians – and still doesn’t. Australians aged 20-30 years old could already take advantage of the existing trainee exchange program to work for a Swiss employer for up to 18 months. But under the new arrangement, Australians could theoretically live and work in Switzerland for an extended period without needing a visa.

Other requirements may still need to be fulfilled.

This arrangement is better than getting a working holiday visa because there is no age limit or limit to the amount of time you can stay in Switzerland. There are also no requirements to hold a university degree, which is often the case when applying for a Work and Holiday visa in other countries. This means Switzerland is now an option even for Australians over 30 or 35 years old who want to enjoy a working holiday – or would like to move to this country.

View of Switzerland from a Swiss Air plane
Australians can now move to Switzerland without a visa. Photo by Matt Graham.

Other requirements still apply

Australians wishing to work in or move to Switzerland still need to meet the other conditions of entry and residency requirements. These include having sufficient financial means to cover the stay in Switzerland without relying on social welfare assistance. It is also a requirement to hold “adequate accident and health insurance”.

To stay long-term or work in Switzerland, Australians are also still required to apply in advance for a residence permit from the relevant local migration or employment authorities in the canton they plan to live or work in. You’ll need to apply for any necessary permits before arriving in Switzerland and then register with the local communal authorities within 14 days after arriving.

The website of the Swiss embassy in Australia has further information about the new visa exemption for Australians and living in Switzerland.

Matt Graham

Matt is the founder of Working Holidays for Aussies. Passionate about travel and always looking for great deals, he believes that gap years & working holidays are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and gain invaluable life experience. Originally from Australia, Matt has travelled to over 80 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

14 thoughts on “Australians Can Now Move to Switzerland Without a Visa

  1. In practice, moving to Switzerland is simply not as easy as it sounds. Australians are considered third country nationals and permits for stays longer than 90 days are simply not “applied for and granted”. Permits residence with the right to work are issued under a quota basis per Canton and require employers in Switzerland to provide sufficient reason that a EU / EFTA or Swiss national is not available to fill the position.

      1. No it’s not. The visa and the permit are two different things. Switzerland grants rights for residence and employment via permits, the visa is an entry approval only.

  2. Epic news. Do you or does anyone here have any info on apply for a resident permit? Is it hard? Do they have limited quotas?

    1. Yes they have quotas and yes it is hard. English only roles at non professional levels are almost impossible to obtain and then to have a permit for this kind of role would be almost impossible since there are many Swiss or EU/EFTA people that could fill the position. Most permits for employment for third country nationals are given in areas of management / education / professional skilled roles. Basic information can be obtained here

      If you are under 30 there is an alternative route via a young professionals scheme but it is also not so easy.

  3. They ask for a reason why you want to stay longer than 90 days. answer is simply i need a break and one to take a year holiday. is this acceptable or does it have to be a complex answer?

  4. It is very unfortunate that this article makes it sound so easy as if ‘you can simply move to Switzerland and work’ which is obviously no the case when you look deeper into it.
    This article should simply say that as an Australian you can live in Switzerland as long as you wish without the need to apply for a visa to stay longer than 90 days…. And that still has requirements, like registering with the local authorities etc.
    Please update and correct this information.
    I am a professional Rope Access Technician with a globally recognised certification with IRATA and regardless of the visa exemption there’s probably very little chance they would employ me over an EU citizen.

    1. You make a fair point. This article was originally written just after the announcement, when these details were not yet entirely clear. But I have now updated it to make it more clear that other requirements like applying for a residency permit still apply.

  5. How hard is it for Australians to obtain seasonal work at a ski resort in hospitality?

    1. If you’re just looking for temporary work in a ski resort over winter, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a hospitality job for a few months.

  6. I’ve been seeing a lot of conflicting information on the internet, as I am not sure if these rules of changed since 2022. As a 31 year old Australian, I plan to reside and work in Switzerland for no more than say 45 days. Will I need some kind of visa/work permit in 2024, or does this exemption still apply as I am going to be residing for less than 90 days?

    1. As best I can tell, although you wouldn’t need a visa, you would still need a permit to work in Switzerland for any amount of time.
      This is the information directly from the Swiss government: “Australian nationals also remain subject to the provisions governing the residence of foreign nationals in Switzerland. They require a permit if they plan to stay in Switzerland for more than three months or if they intend to work in Switzerland. They must apply for the permit from the competent authority in their intended place of residence or work before entering Switzerland .”

      Also see:

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