How it works

Family reunification allows for family members of Swiss residents or Swiss permit holders to be granted a B permit. The family reunification conditions and procedure depend on the main applicant’s situation.


Family reunification must be requested within 5 years from the moment the main applicant arrives in Switzerland or from the birth of the child. For children above the age of 12, it should be requested within 12 months of arrival (art. 47 LEI). A long-term visa must sometimes be requested at the Swiss consulate of the applicant’s country of residence allowing the family members to enter Switzerland and wait for the permit to be prepared. From 2019, the law requires all B permit holders to be able to speak the language of their canton (A1 level or higher depending on the canton) when renewing their permit (art. 58a al. 3). The language certificate will have to be provided as part of the renewal documents. 

Spouses and children of a Swiss citizen have the right to obtain a B permit to be able to live reunited as long as the family lives at the same address (art. 42 LEI). The same rule applies to spouses and children of a C permit holder under certain conditions (art. 43 LEI):

  • the family must be living under the same roof;
  • the housing arrangement must be spacious enough to house the applicants;
  • the main B permit holder must not be relying on social support (“Hospice général”) and be financially independent;
  • the person requesting family reunification must not be receiving any supplementary benefits (LCP). 


Children under the age of 12 automatically obtain a C permit (art. 42 al. 4, 43 al. 6 LEI).

Spouses and family members of a B or L permit holder can also apply for a family reunification procedure under the same conditions previously mentionned (art. 44 LEI).

Create an account, log in and upload your documents to request a familiy reunification permit


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This website aims to provide general information regarding Swiss law and should not be regarded as a legal opinion. For more specific advice, do not hesitate to contact us.