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.

Although some Australian nationals may still need to apply for a local work or residency permit, they are now exempt from Switzerland’s visa requirements.

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 live and work in Switzerland for an extended period without needing any visa at all.

In fact, 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 simply 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.

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 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 60 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

4 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?

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