I’m an Italian citizen. I want to travel to and live in Switzerland with my children, who have card residence eu limite from Italy. Do they require a visa or are they covered under free movement?

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    You are Italian, but your children are not? Feb 11, 2021 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


To live in Switzerland you need a residence permit, not a visa. As an Italian you can freely travel to Switzerland for the purpose of tourisme of short business visits, and your family can accompany you. Normally you will not even encounter passport control when crossing the border.

But to live in Switzerland you will need to get a residence permit. And for that you will need to meet the conditions for a permit. You will need to apply for this permit in the Canton you intend to live. The procedures you can find on their website.

Your first job however will be to find a job. Have you started on this?

  • A job isn't necessary; see "Residing in Switzerland without gainful activity (PDF, 128 kB, 22.12.2020)" available from a link on Living and Working in Switzerland > FAQ – Free Movement of Persons > Factsheets.
    – phoog
    Feb 11, 2021 at 15:34
  • what happens when an Italian visitor without a residence permit overstays in Switzerland? do authorities hunt them down? Are they punished at the time they do exit the border and they see then that you overstayed (somehow, given that train travel in and out of Switzerland to EU countries is never logged on passports, so there's no way for them to prove the duration of your stay)
    – user610620
    Feb 14, 2021 at 10:50
  • @user610620 All roads lead to Rome: There is more than one way to determine if someone has overstayed. If you signed a rental contract more than three months previously and are still living there ; have been working longer than three months ; been paying utilities bills longer than three months ; your children have been attending a school longer than three months etc., etc., etc. Mar 13, 2021 at 19:44
  • @MarkJohnson if someone was there in January, and next appearance was May, no one will know they were just laying low in April, which is the three months in between when they were supposed to leave. Interruptions between each 3 month allowance period can go completely undetected and they can't prove otherwise... as for paying rent longer than 3 months, plenty of foreigners still pay rent on swiss apartments they owned before their residence permit expired. landlords don't do an annual check on residence permits. and the state doesn't check if the landlord has been receiving payments
    – user610620
    Mar 14, 2021 at 1:29
  • @user610620 Since the misuse is so small, a systematic checking is not considered worth the effort. That doesn't change the fact that through any cross checking cases may be noticed which could lead to a possible prosecution. Mar 14, 2021 at 2:50

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