Regularize your situation

As expatriates, a divorce will probably lead to an important change in your administrative status regarding your ability to stay on Swiss territory. It’s therefore crucial not to neglect any detail and be careful to regularize your situation as soon as possible.

A spouse who has been granted a residence permit through the family reunification procedure may, in certain circumstances, remain in Switzerland following a divorce.

The situation is simple for a spouse who possesses a C permit, as the divorce will not affect their right to stay in Switzerland at all.

The situation is much more complicated when it comes to a spouse holding a B permit, given the wide discretion that authorities enjoy when determining whether a spouse can or not stay in Switzerland following a divorce.


EU citizens can apply for a residence permit if they are employed in Switzerland or if they have sufficient financial means to live in the country.


Non-EU citizens may stay in Switzerland providing that the marriage lasted at least three years, the spouse can demonstrate successful integration in Switzerland (ex. language, work, no criminal conviction).

They may also stay in case important personal circumstances make it necessary to continue living in Switzerland.

Are generally considered as “important personal circumstances” the following situations:

  • when the reintegration in the country of origin is highly compromised (TF 2C_460/2009, §C., November 4th 2009);
  • in case of domestic violence of paramount importance (TF 2C_460/2009, §5.3., November 4th 2009).

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