Anyone can come to Switzerland on a Schengen visa for a maximum of 90 days within a six month period without working. A long-term D visa must be requested before entering the country at the Swiss consulate for a longer period.
A long-term six month visa can be requested for three main purposes: a marriage procedure, a family reunification procedure or when a skilled migrant obtains the approval for a work permit, a D visa is delivered allowing to enter Switzerland and work lawfully until the permit is received.
The procedure to prepare a marriage in Switzerland can take a few months as some documents such as the birth certificate must be legalized or authenticated, depending on the country of origin.
The marriage preparation form must be lodged at the civil registry of the commune of residency of the couple or of the person who lives in Switzerland. The civil registry will examine whether the identity of the applicants has been verified and if the mariage conditions are valid.
During the procedure, the foreign spouse must be holding a valid visa or permit allowing him to celebrate the marriage legally in Switzerland (art. 98 al. 4 CC).
The foreign spouse must apply for a family reunification procedure to obtain a B permit allowing him to live and work in Switzerland after the marriage.
After 5 years of residency in Switzerland holding a B permit, the spouse of a Swiss citizen or of a C permit holder can request a C permit if the integration requirements are met (art. 42 al. 3 LEI).
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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.