Unmarried partners again allowed into Switzerland

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Unmarried partners again allowed into Switzerland
A couple ride their bicycle at sunset near Noville, western Switzerland, on June 2, 2020. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Swiss authorities have lifted restrictions on entry to people from third nations whose ‘significant other half’ lives in Switzerland.


At a press conference on Thursday, July 30th, State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) representative Barbara Büschi said unmarried couples will again be able to reunite in Switzerland from Monday, August 3rd. 

In order to enter, couples will be subject to strict rules and will need to prove the existence of their relationship to authorities. 

They will also require an invitation to enter. The invitation must be in writing and come from the member of the couple living in Switzerland.

People from all countries will be allowed to enter, however anyone entering from 'high risk' countries will need to comply with Switzerland's quarantine requirement. 

READ: Everything you need to know about Switzerland's new quarantine requirement 

In order to enter, travellers must prove to authorities that the relationship has been ongoing for 'a long time'. 

"A short vacation friendship is not enough" said Büschi. 

Letters, photos, plane tickets and stamps in passports can all be used to prove the legitimacy and the length of the relationship. 


What is the situation until Monday?

As residents of many countries outside the EU and Schengen zone are not allowed to enter Switzerland, couples where one partner lives in Switzerland and the other abroad have been separated since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The only third-country nationals permitted to come to Switzerland at the present time are people from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Also residents of some EU states outside the Schengen area — Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus — are granted access.

READ MORE: Switzerland opens borders to travellers from certain countries outside Europe 

But people from other nations considered to be ‘at-risk’ due to the high number of coronavirus infections are kept away.



Love is not tourism

A large-scale social media campaign, “LoveIsNotTourism", has been launched in Denmark, Norway and Austria to demand that states make an exception and lift their restrictions on unmarried couples waiting to be reunited.

The governments of these three countries agreed to let the foreign partners in.

Now Switzerland is set to follow this example.


“We have a lot of understanding for people in this situation. We will adjust our entry conditions as quickly as possible”, Barbara Büschi, deputy director at the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said in an interview.

However, strict criteria will be set regarding the eligibility of foreigners to reunite with their partners in Switzerland.

“We are in contact with customs and the Department of Foreign Affairs to set the criteria for entry clearance”, Büschi said.

What is certain is that people who met on online dating sites but who have not yet met in person will not qualify to enter.

Nor will anyone trying to immigrate to Switzerland under the guise of a reunion.

Editor's note: Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice. 




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