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OSA advice

15.11.2016

 I would like to study in Switzerland. What would happen in terms of military service?

In Switzerland, all men are obliged to carry out military service before the end of the year in which they turn 30 years of age or 34 years of age if they had already completed military training school before leaving Switzerland. Upon your return to Switzerland, you will therefore be called upon to fulfil your military obligations based on your age and level of suitability. Swiss citizens can be recruited until the end of the year in which they turn 25 years of age. They will then be asked to attend military training school before the end of the year during which they turn 26 years of age. An exception exists for men who have already carried out military service in Switzerland, who have been granted military leave to go abroad or who have not been in the country for an uninterrupted period of over six years and are no longer needed by the army. Citizens not recruited owing to their age do not have to complete military training school but have to pay military service exemption tax. Swiss citizens abroad who wish to stay in Switzerland for a period of over three months have to notify the relevant cantonal district command within 14 days of their arrival.

If you hold dual nationality and have already carried out military service or alternative civilian service or have made an exemption payment in your country of origin, you no longer have to carry out military service in Switzerland. However, this does not release you from the obligation to provide notification of your arrival to the district command, and you may have to pay the military service exemption tax. If you have carried out military service or alternative civilian service in Germany, Austria, France or Italy, you will be exempt from paying the military service exemption tax owing to agreements that Switzerland has concluded with these countries.

You can also voluntarily decide to attend military training school in Switzerland as a Swiss citizen abroad. Requests in such cases should be addressed to:

Führungsstab der Armee, Personelles der Armee (FGG 1), Steuerung und Vorgaben, Rodtmattstr. 110, 3003 Bern

Tel. +41 58 464 20 63, Fax +41 58 464 32 70, Email: personelles.FSTA@vtg.admin.ch, Website: www.vtg.admin.ch

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