Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Jane Owen, and everyone at the Embassy wishes you and your loved ones all the best for the New Year!
As the Brexit Transition Period comes to an end on the 31st of December, we will continue to work hard to ensure that you have the information you need about living in Switzerland. We have summarised the most recent information and important links below.
As you will be aware, the UK and Switzerland have agreed on the UK-Swiss Citizen’s Rights Agreement, as well as a number of continuity agreements in other areas (which include trade, air services, road transport, insurance and services mobility), which are ready to come into force at the end of the transition period. These agreements provide a high degree of continuity for individuals and businesses in both Switzerland and the UK. For further information see: gov.uk/government/collections/eu-exit-transition-switzerland.
What to know about the Citizen’s Rights Agreement?
The UK-Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement protects the rights of UK nationals living in Switzerland, those who frontier work into Switzerland, as well as Swiss nationals living in the UK. It means that if you are a legal resident in Switzerland before the 1st of January 2021, you will be able to continue living your life in Switzerland broadly as you do now.
The deal protects your residence permit, your right to stay and to work, family reunification, access to healthcare, your social security benefits and lifelong access to an uprated state pension. Your professional qualifications will continue to be recognised. For further information see: gov.uk/guidance/living-in-switzerland
You do not need to take any actions to benefit from the Agreement. Your current residence permit will remain valid and you need to apply for a new residence permit (which will be biometric) before your existing one expires, as usual.
What will change from the 1st of January?
You will no longer be able to use the EU lane or e-gates when travelling, you will instead have to go through passport control. You will need to show your Residence Permit and Passport, which applies even when entering the Schengen Area in another country. Your passport will be stamped and should have at least six months left and be less than ten years old. There is a checker available at gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe-1-january-2021. You may be asked to show your residence permit as proof of residency when checking in at the airport.
As a Schengen resident, you will not need to obtain a visa to travel to another country in the Schengen Area (e.g. on holiday). Your residence permit and passport act as proof of residency. However you are only allowed a maximum stay of 90 days in any 180 day period in another country.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Your access to healthcare in Switzerland will not change, as long as you are covered by the UK-Swiss Citizen’s Rights Agreement. Private health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland and must be taken out within 3 months of arriving or beginning to work in Switzerland. From the 1st of January 2021, your UK-issued EHIC will no longer be valid.
If you live in Switzerland and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. Read our guidance on using an S1 form in Switzerland to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare here: gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-switzerland#s1
Want to know more?
For the latest news on the end of the Transition Period and information related to living in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, see our Living in Guides for Switzerland and Liechtenstein on GOV.UK, where you can sign up for email alerts.
You can also:
– Interact with us on Facebook where we hold regular Q&A sessions and can answer your questions.
– Visit gov.uk/travelaware for all your guidance relating to travel