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Military service

Every male Swiss citizen is liable for military service. Special regulations apply for Swiss living abroad.

“Every man with Swiss citizenship is liable for military service. Alternative civilian service shall be provided for by law,” as determined by Article 59 of the Federal Constitution For women, there has never been a military obligation, however Swiss women can volunteer for military service or Red Cross work.

The Federal Council took account of the special situation of Swiss expatriates and separately regulated compulsory military service and other military obligations when drafting the Federal Act on the Armed Forces and the Military Administration.

On the web pages within these sections, you will find information about voluntary military service as well as what to look out for when you emigrate or live abroad and what obligations you have when you return to live or work or study in Switzerland. In certain cases a military service exemption tax must be paid. Separate conditions apply for dual nationals living in the country of their other nationality.