Living in Switzerland – Information and counselling online  

Living of foreign spouses in Switzerland

The condition of a fixed residence in Switzerland is to obtain a residence permit. To obtain your permit, please contact the Migration Office in your canton.

Foreign spouses of Swiss citizens

The Swiss citizens are entitled to family reunification for their spouses and children.

Spouses originating from EU / ALEE Member State    
Spouse, children under 21 years and parents from the EU / ALEE have the right to follow their Swiss spouse. This also applies to spouses from the third country, if they have a residence permit in an EU country.The family is not obliged to live together.

Spouses originating from a third country
If family members are from a third country, the right to family reunion for children only applies until the child turns 18. Family reunification is only for spouses and children (regardless of their support). Family reunification should take place within five years; the arrival in Switzerland of children over the age of 12 must be made within one year of marriage.

The couple must live together.

Foreign spouses citizens of UE/ALEE

Under the agreement on free movement of persons, citizens of the EU / ALEE have the right to bring their families to Switzerland in the framework of family reunification, provided they have a big enough accommodation and sufficient income. Is considered as family: the spouse and children under 21 years, dependent and also dependent parents.

If family members are third country nationals, the right to family reunification in accordance with the agreement on free movement of persons, applies only if the family member already had a residence permit in a country of EU. 
The citizens of the EU receive a residence permit valid for 5 years which gives them a right of residence regardless of their partners. It is not required that the family live under one roof. 

The citizens of third country origin holding a permit B

They have no legal entitlement right to family reunification. However, they may request an authorization for family reunification with the cantonal authorities.

The citizens of third countries holding permit C

They can apply for family reunification regarding their husband / wife and any minor children, if they can justify a priority family relationship. See family reunification.

Registered partnership

All that is mentioned above also applies to a registered partnership between persons of same sex.

In this section: themen/ehe/aufenthalt/kindernachzug

Related links: