Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021
The UK-Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement
The UK has reached an agreement with Switzerland, which protects the rights of UK nationals resident in Switzerland by the end of the transition period 31 December 2020. During this time, nothing will change for UK nationals who can continue to live, work and move to Switzerland.
The agreement protects UK nationals’ right to stay and to work, including frontier workers, family reunification and access to healthcare. It also protects social security benefits, access to an uprated state pension and export benefits, and the continued recognition of professional qualifications.
Visas and residency
Check the entry requirements for Switzerland.
The UK-Swiss Citizens´ Rights Agreement will protect UK nationals resident in Switzerland at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. If you are in the scope of the Agreement, you will not need to take any special action to benefit from it.
If you move to Switzerland, you must register at your local office of resident services (Einwohnerdienste or Centre du contrôle des habitants) within 14 days of arriving. Read the guidance by the Swiss government on notification of departure and registration.
If you stay and are employed for more than three months, you will need to apply for a residence permit with your local cantonal authority (Einwohnerdienste or Centre du contrôle des habitants).
You should reapply for a new permit before your existing one expires, as usual. This applies whether you hold a short or long stay permit, or a frontier worker permit.
Read the guidance on moving or retiring abroad.
There are no restrictions for those coming to Switzerland to work for less than 4 months.
International permits (cartes de légitimation)
International permits (cartes de légitimation) will not be affected by the UK leaving the EU. Special provisions will continue to apply to international permit holders wishing to retire and remain in Switzerland.
UK nationals with an international permit are not in the scope of the UK-Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement.
Passports and travel
The rules on travel will stay the same until the end of the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.
Check your passport is valid before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.
Passports from 1 January 2021
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip.
From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Switzerland, and you are in scope of the Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement.
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. You may also have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped for visits to these countries.
From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.
To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the country to which you are travelling. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You may also need to get a visa if your visit would take you over the 90 days in 180 days limit.
Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit. Travel to the UK and Ireland will not change.
Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.
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This information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Swiss authorities.