The requirements for entry into Switzerland depend on the purpose (e.g. tourism, visit, business, family reunification or studies) and duration of stay (short- or long-term).
The Federal Office for Migration recommends that travellers wishing to enter Switzerland first obtain information about these requirements before their trip. Information can be found on the following pages:
18 October 2013: New rule on calculation of the duration of stay within the Schengen Area
In accordance with previous Schengen rules, citizens of non-Schengen countries, regardless of their visa obligation status, might enter and remain within the Schengen Area without a residence permit for up to "90 days per 180-day period starting from the date of first entry."
On 18 October 2013, these rules have been changed so that stays within the Schengen Area without a residence permit are possible for up to "90 days over any 180-day period."
This change means that the 180-day period (i.e. reference period) will no longer correspond to 180 days following the date of first entry, but rather to the 180 days prior to the control date (border control upon entry into or departure from the Schengen Area, or police check within the Schengen Area). In other words, the duration of stay must not exceed at any time 90 days per 180-day period.
These new rules will not affect most travellers. However, they could have an impact in some situations (e.g. frequent stays in the Schengen Area). Stays that are permitted under the previous rules may no longer be possible under the new rules (see examples in the PDF file below).