Far from home

First of all, we would like to emphasize the fact that the non-respect of military obligations is a punishable offence. Swiss expatriates wishing to avoid complications are advised to make the necessary inquiries about their military obligations in good time and, if in doubt, to get in touch with the competent authority.


Citizens wishing to spend an uninterrupted period of more than 12 months abroad and who inform their commune of residence of their departure must also request military leave for residence abroad. The 'Application for leave for residence abroad' form is available from the head of section or at the district command. The application must be sent to the district command in good time, generally two months before departure. The corresponding adresses are listed on the Army's Homepage.


This also applies to all officers. Leave for residence abroad is granted if applicants have met their full military obligations up to departure from Switzerland (military service, compulsory shooting, payment of the tax for exemption from obligation to serve, etc). Specific details concerning compulsory registration in Switzerland and abroad and return of personal equipment are dealt with by the competent district command.


A person whose stay abroad does not exceed twelve months or who does not inform his commune of his departure does not require a leave for residence abroad. These men remain liable for military obligations without restriction. They keep in touch with their head of section informing him of their temporary address or requesting a third party to act as intermediary. If a period of military service is announced during their stay abroad, they should send in a request for service postponement in good time. Men liable for shooting should also request to be exempted from compulsory shooting practice.










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