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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.

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 him/her and 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 on the Switzerland family reunification visa processing time, you can request the support of our local law firm.

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 on 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 the documents are ready, our specialist will also advise you on the Switzerland family reunification visa processing time.

Aspects to consider when applying for foreign relatives joining 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.

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 contact our immigration law firm.