You have been traveling outside Switzerland as a valid Swiss residence permit holder, and you have lost your residence permit. Now what?

If your Swiss residence permit has been lost or stolen while you are abroad, you can apply for a Switzerland Return visa.

Note that the return visa is only available to Swiss residence permit holder whose physical permit has been lost or stolen. If you lose your residence permit because you stayed outside of Switzerland for too long, you need to reapply for a residence permit and/or long-stay Swiss visa.

Where can I apply for a Switzerland Return Visa?

You can apply for your return visa at the Swiss embassy of the country where you are staying. Depending on the country, you may or may not need an appointment beforehand.

However, in all cases, you have to submit your application in person and pay a fee.

Requirements for a Switzerland Return Visa

When you submit your return visa application, you must provide the following documents:

  • Long-stay visa (national or D-visa) application form, completed and signed.
  • Two recent passport-sized pictures
  • Your passport. Must be valid for at least three months after planned leave from Schengen area and have at least 2 blank pages.
  • Photocopies of your passport’s relevant pages (personal information, issue and expiry date, copies of all previous visas)

Note: In some cases, you will also have to provide a police report, proving you have reported your Swiss residence permit as lost/stolen.

After you submit your application to the Swiss authorities, they will forward it to the cantonal migration office at your place of residence in Switzerland.

If the cantonal authorities authorize your application, then the Swiss embassy will contact you. The processing time can take around 5-8 days. It is the cantonal offices which are in charge of processing the Swiss return visa.