Switzerland Digital Nomad Visa & Remote Work


➡ 2024 UPDATE

Switzerland currently does not offer a specific digital nomad visa. Non-EU citizens need a work permit to live and work in Switzerland, while EU or EEA citizens can work as digital nomads for up to three months without restrictions due to the EU/EEA freedom of movement. For longer stays, alternative visas such as the Entrepreneur visa and the Golden visa are available and can be suitable for digital nomads and remote workers.

Nomad Visa Switzerland 2024

Famed for its exquisite chocolate and renowned as one of the wealthiest nations globally, Switzerland boasts a thriving economy and an exceptional healthcare system. Choosing to relocate to this country can be an astute decision for those seeking a high standard of living.

Switzerland’s natural beauty is universally acclaimed. From the majestic Alps, which draw countless tourists annually, to its enchanting waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes, the country offers a visual feast that captivates all who visit.

Does Switzerland Offer a Digital Nomad Visa?

Currently, Switzerland does not provide a specific digital nomad visa. Individuals who are not citizens of EU/EEA countries are required to obtain a work permit specifically linked to employment with a Swiss company to reside and work in Switzerland.

For EU or EEA nationals, the situation is slightly more flexible. They can reside and work in Switzerland as digital nomads for up to three months without restrictions, thanks to the freedom of movement accorded within the EU/EEA. To extend their stay beyond three months, however, they must register with a local municipal office.

Alternatives to the Swiss Digital Nomad Visa

Given the absence of a digital nomad visa, those looking to move to Switzerland have a few alternative options:

  • Apply for a different type of visa, such as the entrepreneur visa or golden visa.
  • Consider applying for a digital nomad visa in another EU country.

Switzerland Entrepreneur Visa

Non-EU/EFTA citizens aiming to become self-employed in Switzerland must meet certain criteria. Eligibility extends to those holding a valid C permit, or those married to a Swiss citizen or a C permit holder. To establish a business in Switzerland, one must have both a valid residence and work permit. Possible business structures include:

  • Sole proprietorship, where you are the sole owner.
  • General and limited proprietorship, typically a small business with a few partners and possibly external investors.
  • Limited liability company (GmbH), requiring the manager or director to be a Swiss resident.
  • Joint-stock company (AG), also requiring that the company’s manager or director reside in Switzerland.

Required documentation for an entrepreneur visa includes:

  • Proof of business formation in Switzerland.
  • Evidence of leased or owned office premises.
  • Proof of accident insurance coverage.
  • Statements of personal and corporate bank balances.
  • A comprehensive business plan.

Switzerland Golden Visa Program

The Golden Visa Program in Switzerland is specifically tailored to entice nationals from non-EU countries interested in investing in the Swiss economy in return for residency and the potential for future citizenship.

The program is notable for its relatively modest investment threshold and expedited processing times. After residing continuously in Switzerland for ten years, Golden Visa holders and their family members are eligible to apply for Swiss citizenship.

Eligibility criteria require applicants to be from a non-EU country and aged between 18 and 55. Additionally, applicants must have a clean criminal record and demonstrate a legitimate, verifiable source of income.

Investment Options for Obtaining a Swiss Residence Permit

Applicants have two primary investment routes to choose from:

1. Swiss Residence Program Through Lump Sum Taxation

This option involves paying a one-time lump sum tax of CHF 200,000 (approximately USD 203,000) to the Swiss canton where the applicant intends to reside.

2. Swiss Business Investor Program

This is the more popular option among investors. It requires the establishment of a new Swiss company that contributes to job creation, or making a significant investment in an existing Swiss company. The minimum investment required is CHF 1 million (about USD 1,129,317) per year.

Application Process for the Switzerland Golden Visa

The Switzerland Golden Visa offers a pathway to residency for non-EU citizens interested in making a significant investment in the Swiss economy. Here’s a detailed look at who can apply, what the requirements are, and the steps involved in the application process.

Who Can Apply?

Any non-EU citizen between the ages of 18 and 55 is eligible to apply for the Switzerland Golden Visa. Applicants must have a clean criminal record, be in good health, and have a verifiable, legitimate source of income. Additionally, it is required that applicants either rent or own property in Switzerland. The program also allows for the inclusion of immediate family members, such as spouses and children under 18 years of age.

Key Requirements for the Switzerland Golden Visa

To qualify for a Golden Visa and Swiss Residency, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a non-EU country national.
  • Be aged 18 to 55 years.
  • Have no criminal record.
  • Be in good health.
  • Have a legitimate and verifiable source of income.
  • Rent or own a property within Switzerland.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the Switzerland Golden Visa

  1. Choose Your Investment Option: Start by selecting the investment route that best suits your financial situation and goals. Switzerland offers various programs, including lump sum taxation or direct business investment.
  2. Seek Approval from Swiss Authorities: Visit the nearest Swiss Consulate or Embassy to sign necessary agreements and gather the required documents. Here, you will make your investment according to the chosen program.
  3. Apply for Visa Category D (National Visa): This long-term stay visa is essential for those approved by the Swiss government. Applicants need to submit all relevant documents, including bank statements and health insurance policies.
  4. Obtain a Swiss Residence Permit: Once you have your Visa D, you and your eligible family members can move to Switzerland. Convert your visa into a residence permit by collaborating with the local canton authorities and finalizing your investment.
  5. Optional Citizenship Application: After 10 continuous years of living in Switzerland, you can opt to apply for citizenship through naturalization. This step is optional, and Switzerland’s allowance for dual citizenship means you won’t have to give up your original nationality.

Timeline and Costs

The entire Golden Visa application process typically takes about 5 to 6 months, depending on the complexity of your investment choice. The application fee is approximately $84 USD for adults and dependents over the age of 12.

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