Sunday Sep 24, 2023

Know facts about living In Switzerland without gainful employment

Third-country nationals, i.e., people from outside the EU/EFTA, must meet several requirements set out in the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals and Integration (“FNIA”) and the Ordinance on Admission, Residence, and Gainful Employment to establish a residence in Switzerland without working (“OASA”). For a stay of fewer than 90 days (within a reference period of 180 days) as a tourist, no permit is necessary, but people must meet all visa requirements. Suppose you have planned a more prolonged stay without gainful employment. In that case, you must secure a permit before entering Switzerland. You may request this at the cantonal migration office responsible for the chosen location of residence.

This blog provides an overview of the options for residence without gainful employment for education and further training, medical reasons, and retirees. Depending on the purpose of the stay, the conditions for obtaining a permit differ. Please keep in mind that the issuing of permissions is not a right.


Requirements for a Swiss residence permit

Citizens of EU/EFTA member nations have the right to enter and stay in Switzerland without having to work, according to the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) between Switzerland and the EU.


Economically inactive persons (e.g., tourists) who wish to stay in Switzerland for less than three months do not need a permit. If the stay is more than three months, the foreign national must register with the migration office of the canton in which they desire to stay as an economically inactive person. The officials will provide a five-year residence permit (B EU/EFTA) upon acceptance.


A valid passport or identity card is required. This permit is good for Switzerland, and the authorities automatically renew it. The awarded residency permit will be valid for two years. In some circumstances, the authorities may impose restrictions. If a person’s financial resources have run out, they can cancel or refuse to renew their residence visa.

To gain the right to live in Switzerland, you must meet the following requirements:

Economically inactive people must have sufficient financial resources to ensure they do not become homeless and rely on Swiss social security benefits (welfare). Hence, a financial burden on the state the country will be hosting.

After health insurance price comparison, economically inactive people must have full health insurance coverage (all risks, including accident insurance).

What is the meaning of having the “adequate financial means” to live in Switzerland?

If they exceed the Swiss welfare entitlement criterion, you may consider financial means sufficient. If a Swiss citizen in the same situation could not apply for social assistance or supplemental benefits, financial resources are considered sufficient.


The Swiss Conference for Social Welfare (SKOS) standards, which serve as a reference for determining social assistance benefits, specify the social subsistence level. One can establish the necessary financial resources for living in Switzerland through a calculation of all normal costs, such as accommodation, food, and health insurance. You may get cheap health insurance in Switzerland by contacting any health insurer in Switzerland. 


An EU/EFTA candidate for residency in Switzerland who does not work can show sufficient financial resources by displaying liquid funds or collateral (e.g., bank guarantees). The source of the money does not make any difference. The most important factor is if the applicant has access to the finances.


Significant differences in the cantons

When determining whether funds are “adequate,” cantonal authorities have great flexibility. The requirements for financial resources vary significantly between cantons. One explanation for this is that people use multiple calculation bases. Some cantons consider the financial means sufficient if the applicant can work for the remainder of their life. Other cantons compute the requisite minimum financial means for a specific period.


Furthermore, some cantons allow future events (e.g., real estate sales and other incoming future cash) and consider them when evaluating permission applications. In contrast, others do not require confirmation of liquid funds available at the assessment time.


You must apply for a residence permit from the cantonal immigration and employment market authorities to stay in Switzerland without employment. Depending on your nationality, you may also need a visa from the Swiss representation abroad.

You must comply with the exact requirements as citizens of EU/EFTA countries:

You must have the financial resources to support yourself without government assistance and have enough health and accident insurance.

With their application for a residence permit, students must also submit the following documents:

A personal study plan that outlines their academic objectives, evidence of their acceptance into a recognised educational institution (matriculation certificate), a resume, curriculum vitae, and an indication that they will depart Switzerland when they complete their studies. 

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