AUSTRALIA and SWITZERLAND: Eased Visa Measures Announced Between Countries

December 16, 2021

As part of continued efforts to strengthen long-standing diplomatic ties, Switzerland and Australia have announced eased visa measures and new visa opportunities between their nations. Both countries will introduce these changes on 1 January 2022.

Australia: Swiss Nationals Eligible for Working Holiday Maker Program

In the new year, Swiss citizens will be eligible for Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program. This program allows young adults between 18- and 30-years of age to holiday in Australia for up to three (3) years, during which they can undertake short-term work and study. Under this new allowance, qualifying Swiss citizens will be eligible for the Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462). These visas are issued for an initial 12-months, and renewable for two additional 12-month periods.

Switzerland: Visa Requirements Lifted for Australian Nationals

In a related announcement, the Swiss Federal Council confirmed that Australian nationals will be allowed to enter Switzerland visa-free beginning 1 January 2022. Currently, Australian citizens require a visa to enter Switzerland for short stays that involve working or for stays of more than 90 days. Once the change is in force, however, Australian citizens will not require a Swiss visa to enter the country regardless of purpose and duration of stay.

It is important to note that the conditions of entry laid down in Swiss legislation and in the Schengen regulations will continue to apply, including the requirement to have the financial means necessary for the stay. Australian nationals will also remain subject to the provisions governing the residence of foreign nationals in Switzerland. They require a permit if they plan to stay in Switzerland for more than three months or if they intend to work in Switzerland. Residence permits must be obtained from the competent authority in the individual’s intended place of residence or work before entering Switzerland.

Newland Chase Insights

Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, recently said of the changes, “Switzerland and Australia are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations this year and are elevating our strategic partnership and expanding cooperation. These arrangements strengthen the positive relationship between our countries and will further build economic and people-to-people links.”

Newland Chase welcomes this joint announcement and the new opportunities for increased and eased travel between these two countries. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Newland Chase dedicated contact or submit an inquiry here should you have any specific questions regarding this announcement.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Case for any case- or company-specific assessments.