01. Which residence permit do I need if I am an EU/EFTA citizen?

The following countries are considered EU/EFTA countries:

EU-17: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden

EU-8: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

EU-2: Bulgaria, Romania

EFTA: Principality of Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland

If you come from an EU-17/EU-8/EFTA country, you may stay in Switzerland for three months without a permit. You may also work here, but you must report this. The registration procedure for short-term employment can be found at the Website of the State Secretariat for Migration.
If you are staying in Switzerland for longer than three months, you must register with your municipality of residence and apply for a residence permit. For this you need a valid identity card, an employment contract, a copy of the rental contract and a passport photo.

The following residence permits are available for EU/EFTA citizens:

L EU/EFTA permit (short-term residence permit): The short stay permit is valid for stays of less than one year. If you can prove that you have a job in Switzerland lasting between three months and one year, you will receive a short-term residence permit for a period of validity corresponding to that of the employment contract. This can be renewed after one year. You can also obtain an L permit if you are looking for a job. However, you will not be entitled to social security.

Permit B EU/EFTA (residence permit): The B permit is valid for five years for EU/EFTA citizens who can prove that they have a job for an indefinite period or for at least one year. The permit can then be extended for another five years if all conditions are met. Persons without a job can obtain a residence permit if they have sufficient financial means and adequate health and accident insurance.

C EU/EFTA permit (permanent residence permit): The settlement permit is granted after a stay of five or ten years in Switzerland. This right of residence is unlimited and is not subject to any conditions. A settlement permit after five years is normally granted to persons from the EU-17 states (except Cyprus and Malta) and the EFTA states.

Identity card Ci EU/EFTA (residence permit with gainful employment): This residence permit concerns spouses of officials of intergovernmental organizations and of members of foreign representations and their children up to the age of 25. It allows them to stay in Switzerland for the duration of the family member's employment.

G EU/EFTA permit (cross-border commuter permit): Cross-border commuters are persons who live in the foreign border zone and work within the neighboring border zone of Switzerland. If you are from one of the EU-25 or EFTA countries, you can live anywhere in the EU/EFTA and work anywhere in Switzerland. You only have to return to your place of residence on a weekly basis. The G EU/EFTA permit is valid for five years, provided your employment contract is unlimited or valid for more than one year. If your employment contract is valid for less than one year, the period of validity of the cross-border commuter permit depends on the employment contract.

If you have a Extension of your residence permit, the application can be submitted to the municipality of residence at the earliest three months and at the latest two weeks before the expiry of the residence permit.

For information on EU/EFTA residence permits, please contact here. Responsible in the canton of Obwalden is the Migration Department:

Migration department
Office for Employment Obwalden
St. Antonistrasse 4
6061 Sarnen
Phone: 041 666 66 70
Fax: 041 666 66 75
Email: migration(at)ow.ch
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 08.00-11.45 and 13.30 to 17.00

You can find more information about residence permits here.
Here you will find the residence application for non-employed persons from EU/EFTA countries.

Scroll to Top