Returning to Switzerland, working and studying in Switzerland

Swiss citizens who are working or studying in Switzerland are liable for military service even if their place of residence is abroad.

Switzerland has concluded inter-state military service agreements with several countries: Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Colombia, Argentina (not yet ratified) and the USA. Clicking on a country will take you to the relevant agreement and more information.

Swiss Abroad who are returning to Switzerland are recruited up until the end of their 24th year. They are subject to military service for 10 years after promotion to soldier, provided they have not completed military service in another state.

If you have been exempted from military service and do not belong to the army, a military service exemption tax is levied (maximum 12 years and up until your 37th year). Dual nationals who can prove that they have completed military service or alternative service in Germany, France, Austria and Italy are exempt.

Cross-border commuters from the Principality of Liechtenstein should get in touch directly with the St. Gallen district command.

For detailed information we advise you to consult the Swiss army website or to contact the competent authority in this matter directly:

Kommando Ausbildung
Personelles der Armee (Pers A)
Rechtsanwendung und Vorgaben
Rodtmattstrasse 110
3003 Bern
Tel. 058 464 20 63
Fax 058 464 32 70

Short stay in Switzerland

Citizens who have obtained leave for a period of residence abroad and Swiss expatriates liable for military service who are spending no more than three months in Switzerland after an uninterrupted period abroad of at least twelve months, do not have to inform the authorities of their whereabouts. Their military leave for residence abroad will not be cancelled and remains valid. On receipt of a justified, written request submitted in advance, the competent district command for the applicant's place of temporary residence can prolong the length of the stay by a maximum of six months without notification.