The information on this page was collected from public resources and does not constitute legal advice.

General information on border crossing?

People who are leaving Ukraine due to the war and seeking protection may currently enter Switzerland legally (and free of charge on public transport), even without a valid travel document or visa: Ukrainian nationals, people of other nationalities and stateless people โ€“ each with their family members โ€“ who can prove, by means of a valid short stay or residence permit, that they have the legal right to reside in Ukraine.

Refugees from Ukraine are permitted to enter Switzerland, where they will be given accommodation and receive temporary protection (protection status S) if they need it.

Your application to obtain protection status โ€˜Sโ€™ is handled by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). As part of this procedure, SEM will allocate you to one of Switzerland's 26 cantons. From then on, that canton will be responsible for your living accommodation and other care. This may include the payment of social assistance benefits, if necessary, to cover your basic daily needs in Switzerland.

More information here mceclip0.png.

Questions can be sent to

ukraine@sem.admin.ch

or you can call the Ukraine helpline on

+41 (0)58 465 99 11, Monday to Friday, from 10am to 12am and 2pm to 4pm.

What documents do I need to enter?

Given the current emergency Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian resident permit holders can enter Switzerland without a biometric travel document or visa since 28th February 2022.

What happens after a border crossing?

Persons who arrive in Switzerland after fleeing Ukraine can report directly to one of the six federal asylum centres with processing facilities mceclip0.png and register for protection status S. Waiting times at the centres may be long due to the large number of people currently trying to register. The website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) mceclip0.png provides information on how busy each individual centre is. In any case, it is best to register quickly to ensure access to medical care and smooth processing of any claims for asylum social assistance (see the relevant section below).

In order to avoid waiting times, the SEM recommends that all persons seeking protection who are already accommodated apply for registration via RegisterMe mceclip0.png as quickly as possible as a first step. The person seeking protection will then receive written confirmation from the SEM that the application for temporary protection has been submitted. People seeking refuge who do not yet have accommodation do not have to register for a registration appointment via RegisterMe. They can go directly to one of the six federal asylum centers with a procedural function to be accommodated and registered. There, the examination and decision regarding the request for temporary protection will take place. Subsequently, people seeking protection are then allocated to a canton mceclip0.png.

How can I get from the border to the capital (a certain town)?

Refugees from Ukraine have the opportunity to use public transport (2nd class) free of charge to travel to their destination in Switzerland or for transit.

For free trips to the authorities, federal asylum centers or cantonal welfare authorities, you can be provided with appropriate travel tickets.

How can I travel to another (specific) country?

Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian resident permit holders can travel in the Schengen area without biometric travel document or visa for up to 90 days.

Many European companies are offering free transport options for refugees fleeing Ukraine. For more information on this and on protection in the EU Member States please consult the following page: Information for people fleeing the war in Ukraine | European Commission mceclip0.png

Refugees from Ukraine have the opportunity to use public transport (2nd class) free of charge to travel to their destination in Switzerland or for transit.

For free trips to the authorities, federal asylum centers or cantonal welfare authorities, you can be provided with appropriate travel tickets.

How long can I stay?

You can stay in Switzerland for 90 days visa free. Once arrived you can apply for status S within these 90 days. Status S resident permit is currently limited to maximal 1 year, there is however the possibility to prolong it. After five years, persons in need of protection may receive a B residence permit, which is valid until the temporary protection is lifted.

Persons who are granted protection status S may travel abroad and return to Switzerland without a travel permit. They may engage in gainful employment (including self-employment) without a having to wait a certain period to do.

Where can an unaccompanied minor get help?

It is very important that you register your arrival with the Swiss authorities so that you can obtain all the help you need. Go to the closest federal asylum centre (BAZ) with processing facilities. You can find the addresses here mceclip0.png. Swiss migration authorities (SEM) can also be contacted via email at ukraine@sem.admin.ch or via the hotline +41 58 465 99 11

If you have arrived in Switzerland alone, make sure you inform the authorities and explain where your parents and you family are, if you know it. If you had problems during your journey, please share this information. If you need help you can also contact the following organizations which have experience in helping young people. Best is to talk to your parents or a trusted adult first, but you can also contact them on your own.

  • Social Service International Switzerland : They can be contacted via their hotlines: 0041 22 731 67 00 (in Geneva) and 0041 44 366 44 77 (in Zurich) or via their contact form.
  • Save The Children : They can be contacted via phone 0041 44 267 74 70 or email info@savethechildren.ch.
  • Ombuds Office Childrenโ€™s Rights Switzerland : They can be contacted via phone +41 52 260 15 55 or email kinderjugendliche@kinderombudsstelle.ch.
  • The UNHCR Office for Switzerland and Liechtenstein can be contacted via email swibe@unhcr.org or phone 0041 31 309 60 80.

Important tips

Take good care of your identity documents (such as ID card or passport) and show them only to the authorities or trusted organisations.
Always keep the contact details of your family or parents with you.
Help is free to all people. Nobody is allowed to make you work or ask for sexual or any other favours (things or money) in exchange for assistance or help.

Do not trust people you donโ€™t know and that do not belong to any trusted organization, who offer to take you away from your family to give you a place to stay, for work or school. Donโ€™t accept these offers if you donโ€™t feel comfortable.
No one has the right to treat you badly. If someone has hurt you or touched or treated you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or scared, or if you are afraid that someone will, tell an adult person that you trust or one of the organisations mentioned above. If someone you know has experienced someone hurting them, encourage them to get help. REMEMBER that this is not your fault, and you are not to blame. It is important that you receive the support you need. You donโ€™t need to be ashamed or shy to ask for help.

It is normal to feel upset after having to leave your country and seeing or hearing about so many terrifying things. You may have difficulty to put things that you saw or experienced out of your mind. You may be separated from people you love and worried about them or worried what will happen next. You may feel like nothing is familiar. Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Donโ€™t hesitate to ask for help.

Are there any Covid-related requirements and if yes, what are they?

There are also no quarantine restrictions. People fleeing Ukraine may also enter Switzerland without being vaccinated.

Information relating to coronavirus can be found on the FOPH website mceclip0.png. Asylum seekers and refugees are granted the same access to vaccinations mceclip0.png against COVID-19 in Switzerland as the rest of the resident population.

Where do I register for temporary protection?

Persons who arrive in Switzerland after fleeing Ukraine can report directly to one of the six federal asylum centres with processing facilities mceclip0.png and register for protection status S. Waiting times at the centres may be long due to the large number of people currently trying to register. The website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) mceclip0.png provides information on how busy each individual centre is. In any case, it is best to register quickly to ensure access to medical care and smooth processing of any claims for asylum social assistance (see the relevant section below).

In order to avoid waiting times, the SEM recommends that all persons seeking protection who are already accommodated apply for registration via RegisterMe mceclip0.png as quickly as possible as a first step. The person seeking protection will then receive written confirmation from the SEM that the application for temporary protection has been submitted. People seeking refuge who do not yet have accommodation do not have to register for a registration appointment via RegisterMe. They can go directly to one of the six federal asylum centers with a procedural function to be accommodated and registered. There, the examination and decision regarding the request for temporary protection will take place. Subsequently, people seeking protection are then allocated to a canton mceclip0.png.

You can also apply online mceclip0.png for temporary protection status.

What are my rights while I wait to get temporary protection?

You must send the form via email to : anmeldung_ukraine@sem.admin.ch Following your online registration you should receive an invitation to present yourself at one of the 6 federal centres.

Persons with protection status S have the right to reside in Switzerland, where they can apply for their family members to follow, are allowed to work and will be entitled to asylum social assistance and medical care.

What documents will I receive once I get temporary protection?

Under protection status โ€˜Sโ€™, the persons concerned receive an S permit. This is limited to a maximum of one year, but can be extended. After five years, persons in need of protection may receive a B residence permit, which is valid until the temporary protection is lifted.

May I temporarily return to Ukraine? What will happen to my protection status?

The Swiss State Secretariat for Immigration (SEM) reports mceclip0.png that if Ukrainians travel to Ukraine for more than 15 days a quarter, their S protection status may be revoked. During this period, travel to Ukraine and return to Switzerland is allowed. This rule does not apply if you have left to prepare for the final departure home or have stayed in Ukraine longer for a good reason (for example, seriously ill relatives) and you can prove it. Revocation of a residence permit can also occur if the person has been in a third country for more than 2 months and the SEM may assume that you have moved your life there.

The SEM also determined that binational couples are not entitled to S protection status in Switzerland if one of the two persons is a citizen of the EU / EFTA countries, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, New Zealand or Australia. Also, if a person has already been granted protection status in another state, the protection status S will not be granted to him/her in Switzerland.

Can I move around the country and the European Union freely while under temporary protection?

Persons who are granted S status in accordance with the decision of the Federal Council of 11 March 2022 may travel abroad and return to Switzerland with a valid recognised passport without a travel permit. The entry regulations of the respective countries of entry apply.

Can I apply for asylum while under temporary protection? What is the difference?

Currently it is not possible to apply for asylum as a Ukrainian. All procedures have been put on hold. It depends on how the situation will develop. The temporary protection (Status S) has been introduced to facilitate the arrival of refugees from Ukraine.

How and where can I apply for the residency?

Under protection status โ€˜Sโ€™, the persons concerned receive an S permit. This is limited to a maximum of one year, but can be extended. After five years, persons in need of protection may receive a B residence permit, which is valid until the temporary protection is lifted.

How long I need to wait to get the residency?

Under protection status โ€˜Sโ€™, the persons concerned receive an S permit. This is limited to a maximum of one year, but can be extended. After five years, persons in need of protection may receive a B residence permit, which is valid until the temporary protection is lifted.

What if I don't have the international passport?

Switzerland is showing solidarity and will grant exemptions to Ukrainian citizens who do not have a biometric travel document and visa, unless there are compelling reasons in an individual case for refusing entry.

To cross the border with Switzerland, it is enough to have a civil passport of Ukraine.

Where can I take a photo for my documents?

There is a possibility to create a bioometrci photo online. e.g. here mceclip0.png and here mceclip0.png.

There are also many shops that offer such services. Look for printer shops and copy centers on Google Maps.

Where can I translate my documents?

You can contact certified translators mceclip0.png.

You can translate your documents at any translation agency in your city. Search for ยซรœbersetzung von Dokumentenยป on Google.

How do I get Mobile phone/internet services?

Some companies such as Sunrise mceclip0.png and Swisscom mceclip0.png have announced to support Ukrainian Refugees by distributing free sim cards receive a free SIM card that is valid for 12 months. The SIM card enables unlimited calls, SMS and mobile data in Switzerland as well as unlimited calls from Switzerland to Ukraine.

The free SIM cards are available in every Sunrise Shop in Switzerland
Terms and Conditions: Unlimited calls from Switzerland to Ukraine
Valid for 360 days from activation at no additional cost
Available in every Sunrise shop
CHF 20.- prepaid credit for calls to other countries
Available exclusively for Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland โ€“ to be identified by means of passport or ID and Swiss identity card S (for persons in need of protection).
You can find more information here mceclip0.png.

Do you have a legal question that you canโ€™t find an answer for in our FAQs?

Please write to us so we can provide you with legal support. Our pro-bono legal partners will try to respond to your legal request to the best of their ability and knowledge. Please note that due to a high volume of requests, you will receive an answer in a few days after submitting the request at the earliest. Thank you for your patience.