Law and Regulations for Buying Property in Switzerland

Depending on the country of origin some restrictions may apply when it comes to buying property. Swiss law distinguishes between "residents" and "persons abroad":


  • Citizens of a EU oder EFTA member country with permanent domicile in Switzerland (permit B, C or L)

  • Citzens of other countries than EU or EFTA member countries permanently domiciled in Switzerland holding a valid settlement permit C

Persons Abroad

  • Citizens of any nationality other than the Swiss nationality domiciled abroad

  • Citizens of other than EU or EFTA countries domiciled in Switzerland holding other than a settlement permit C

Property acquisition by Residents

Foreign nationals qualified as "Residents" are allowed to buy property in Switzerland just as Swiss citizens. This means that there are no restrictions on the number or type of property a Resident can buy. Residents are allowed to rent out property or own a holiday house as a second residence. Please note that in 2013 special restrictions for holiday houses were implemented.




Property acquisition by Persons Abroad

Foreign nationals qualified as "Persons Abroad" can acquire certain types of property such as commercial property. Under certain circumstances, Persons Abroad can buy residential or holiday homes.


Since each of the 26 Swiss cantons has its own legislation, special regulations may apply. It is inevitable to perform a research on the regulations in the respective canton before buying property.


Would you like to obtain further information on the federal laws and regulations? You may read in more detail about the possibilities in our Swiss Property Report or download the guidelines issued by the Swiss Government.