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Family Reunion Visa in Switzerland

Family Reunion Visa in Switzerland

Switzerland is a great country to move to and foreign citizens who relocate can establish themselves here by applying for temporary or permanent residency. After one of these documents is obtained, the foreigner can act as a sponsor and bring family members to live with them. The family reunion visa in Switzerland can be obtained under specific conditions. Our immigration lawyers in Switzerland can assist residents who want to reunite with their families and live here.

Requirements to be met by family reunion visa applicants in Switzerland

Given the fact that Switzerland is not an EU member state implies that just as third-country nationals the former must obtain residence permits before arrival here. However, under the Free Movement Act, citizens of EU and EFTA states have the right to bring certain family members to Switzerland by applying for family reunification visas.

 Quick Facts 
 Visa typeFamily reunion visa in Switzerland is a type of visa designed to reunite family members with their relatives residing in the country. 

Eligible family members 

Typically includes spouses, children, parents, and other close family members of a resident or Swiss citizen. 

Sponsorship requirement 

The resident or Swiss citizen acts as a sponsor and must demonstrate the ability to financially support the family member. 

 Application submissionApplications are submitted to the Swiss consulate or embassy with the help of our lawyers in Switzerland. 
Required documentation 

 Necessary documents may include proof of: 


Sponsorship letter;

Financial statements;

and valid passports, etc.
Processing time 

2-3 months. 

Language requirements 

Depending on the canton, language proficiency requirements may apply, and applicants may need to demonstrate basic language skills. 

Health insurance 

Family members must have health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Switzerland to meet visa requirements. 

 Integration courses

Some cantons may require family members to attend integration courses to facilitate their social integration into Swiss society. 

 Duration of stayThe Family Reunion Visa allows family members to stay in Switzerland for a specified period, usually linked to the sponsor’s permit. If you have further questions about family reunion visa in Switzerland, our lawyers can help you. 
Employment opportunities 

Family members holding a Swiss family reunion visa may have the right to work in Switzerland, depending on the specific conditions of the visa. 

Travel within Schengen Area 

Family reunion visa holders can typically travel freely within the Schengen Area during the validity of their visa. 

Rejection reasons 

Visa applications may be rejected for various reasons, such as insufficient documentation or failure to meet eligibility criteria. You can reduce the chances of visa denial with the help of our lawyers in Switzerland. 

Appeal right 

Applicants have the right to appeal visa decisions, and the appeal process typically involves submitting additional information or clarifications. 

Legal assistance Seeking legal advice with the visa application process can be beneficial to navigate complexities and ensure a smooth reunion process. Contact our immigration lawyers in Switzerland for help. 

The family reunion visa in Switzerland can be obtained for the following close relatives:

  • the spouse and children (including stepchildren) no older than 21;
  • the parents (including the parents of the spouse).

The relocation of these family members is available regardless of the nationality of the Swiss resident. However, the sponsor must also meet certain requirements before inviting relatives to join them.

Here are the main requirements to comply with when applying for a Swiss family reunification visa:

  1. the Swiss resident must have suitable accommodation where his/her family can live;
  2. in the case of employment visa holders, there are no financial requirements to meet, as the salary is proof of self-sustenance;
  3. in the case of sole traders and self-employed persons, proof of financial means to sustain the relatives moving with them must be submitted;
  4. relatives entering Switzerland to reunite with a family member also have access to the local labor market.

It should also be noted that the residence permit available for the family member joining a Swiss resident will have the same validity as the document of the sponsor. If you have any questions about the Switzerland family reunification visa processing time, you can request the support of our local law firm.

Our lawyers can help you move to Switzerland. We will first review your case and then propose the type of visa you qualify for, as well as if you enter one or more categories of immigrants. Contact us and get an appointment to explore your options and start the relocation procedure as soon as possible.

There are various ways to obtain a residence permit in Switzerland. Employment is one of the safest for both EU and non-EU citizens who want to live here. Get in touch with our lawyers and explore your options regarding relocation, as well as your chances of living here permanently.

We are at your service, should you decide to apply for a B permit for Switzerland. We can assist with the preparation of the documents, their filing, and ultimately renewal, which can be awarded with permanent residency. Contact us for details on all the services we can provide for you and your family.

How to apply for a family reunion visa in Switzerland?

The procedure of obtaining Swiss family reunification visas is straightforward and implies filing various documents with the local office of the cantonal immigration office where the sponsor lives. A list of the offices can be found in the State Secretariat for Migration.

The documents to be filed depend on the relationship between the sponsor and the family members joining him/her. Among these, the following must be prepared:

  • the valid passport of the relative;
  • four biometric photographs;
  • the marriage certificate in the case of the spouse;
  • the birth certificate in the case of children;
  • three copies of the Swiss residence permit or passport of the sponsor;
  • copies of the criminal record and personal registration certificate of the applicant;
  • proof of residential address of the applicant in Switzerland.

Documents issued in foreign countries must be translated into German, French, Italian, or English and certified before submission.

Our immigration lawyer in Switzerland can offer in-depth assistance in preparing the necessary paperwork for family reunification. Based on our soon as the documents are ready, our specialist will also advise you on the Switzerland family reunification visa processing time.

We offer case-to-case support in applying for Swiss C permits. These are the same as permanent residence visas issued in other countries and come with various advantages. Check out our articles and get in touch with our lawyers for guidance on how to obtain them by the law.

Aspects to consider when applying for foreign relatives to join Swiss residents

When applying for a family reunion visa in Switzerland, it is important to note that the authorities here can require a language certificate for the foreign national entering the country. Switzerland has several official languages, which is why knowledge of English, German, or Italian is accepted. However, it is also possible to enroll in courses that enable them to learn any of these.

Another aspect to consider when it comes to family reunification is that the procedure can be slightly different for those who come to reunite with Swiss permanent residence permit holders, as well as based on nationality. This can also influence the Switzerland family reunification visa processing time.

What to expect after getting a family reunion visa?

You have the following rights and obligations to fulfill once you get a family reunion visa in Switzerland:

  • If your family reunification application is approved, your family members will be granted a residence permit in Switzerland, and the type of permit will depend on your status.
  • In general, except for parents or grandparents, your family members are allowed to work in Switzerland without needing a separate work permit. However, those with a short-term residence permit (L permit) must apply for a work permit from the relevant cantonal authority.
  • If you have children joining you in Switzerland, they are required to attend free compulsory schooling until at least the age of 16, and the schooling system may vary from canton to canton.
  • It’s important to note that health insurance is mandatory and private in Switzerland. Make sure to arrange a health insurance contract for each family member.

For more detailed information and guidance, consider consulting with our immigration lawyers in Switzerland. They can provide further assistance and clarification on specific matters related to your situation.

Deadline to apply for a family reunion visa in Switzerland

For Switzerland to allow your partner to join you, your marriage or registered partnership must be officially recognized. If you are in a bi-national couple, being officially married is necessary for your partner to come with you. To ensure approval for a family reunion visa in Switzerland, you must have a home big enough according to Swiss standards for your entire family. The deadline for bringing together spouses, registered partners, and children under 12 is five years. Children over 12 should join their families within 12 months, helping them integrate faster into Swiss society.

How B and C permit in Switzerland are different from each other?

In Switzerland, B and C permits are types of residence permits that indicate the holder’s legal status in the country. If you are interested in immigration to Switzerland, please get in touch with our lawyers. Below our Swiss lawyers have provided information about the difference between B and C permits for general understanding:

B Permit (Residence permit)

  • The Swiss B permit is a temporary residence permit;
  • Possessing a B permit in Switzerland does not automatically grant the right to family reunification. So, consult our lawyers, they can offer you an appropriate guide on acquiring a family reunion visa in Switzerland;
  • It is typically issued for a specific duration, often tied to employment or other reasons for residing in Switzerland;
  • Holders of a B permit are allowed to live and work in Switzerland during the permit’s validity;
  • B permits are renewable, and their renewal is usually contingent on the continuation of the circumstances that led to the permit issuance.

If you are interested in moving to Switzerland on a B permit, please consult our lawyers. They can offer you practical legal assistance in this regard.

C Permit (Settlement permit)

  • The Swiss C permit is a permanent residence permit;
  • Having a C permit in Switzerland entitles individuals to family reunification, allowing holders of a C permit to bring their family members to live with them in Switzerland. If you are planning to immigrate to Switzerland, the services of our lawyers are at your disposal.
  • It is usually granted after a certain number of years of legal residence in Switzerland, often with a B permit. If a person has held a B permit for an uninterrupted 5 years and meets the other requirements, then he/she can apply for a Swiss C permit;
  • Holders of a C permit have the right to reside in Switzerland without any time limitations;
  • C permits offer greater stability and are not tied to specific conditions like employment.

In summary, while the B permit is temporary and tied to specific conditions, the C permit is a more permanent status, providing individuals with the right to reside in Switzerland on a long-term basis. The specific requirements and eligibility criteria for these permits may vary, so it’s advisable to check with our Swiss lawyers for accurate information. They can also assist you with the application for a family reunion visa in Switzerland.

Foreign citizens living in Switzerland

According to recent statistics:

  • in 2020, there were 2,210 permanent residents living in Switzerland;
  • out of these, 309 were German citizens, while 325 were Italian;
  • the same year, there were also 145 French citizens living in Switzerland based on permanent residency.

If you want to apply for a family reunion visa in Switzerland, do not hesitate to consult our immigration law firm.

Family reunion visa cost in Switzerland

Please find below the costs for a family reunion visa in Switzerland:

  • The cost for a family visa in Switzerland is CHF 88;
  • If you require the visa urgently or outside of regular working hours, there might be an additional charge, which could be up to 50% more than the standard price;
  • For children between the ages of 6 and 12, the visa is available at a discounted price of CHF 44.

It is important to pay the visa fee when applying. If you are interested in learning about any other related costs for acquiring a family reunion visa in Switzerland, please contact our lawyers.