Magpies boss Rafa Benitez triggered his release clause at Deportivo La Coruna after their relegation from Spain's top flight.
Schar has 42 caps for Switzerland and played in three of his country's four games at the World Cup.
He will wear number five and is Toon's fourth signing of the summer after joining on a three-year deal.
Schar told Newcastle's website: “I’m really happy to be here. The club is a really big club for me. It has a big name, and it is a brilliant chance for me.
“I’m not like a typical defender. I, of course, defend, but I’m quite good with the ball – I like to play, I want to build up the game from behind, and I think that is a strength of mine. I have also scored some headers – that could also be a strength and hopefully I can use it here.
“I hope to start training with the team soon, and I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming. At the moment, I just want to get started.”
Boss Benitez added: “I’m really pleased to welcome Fabian to Newcastle United. He is an international, did well in the World Cup and has great experience.
“He adds competition in this position and that is a positive for the team.”
Benitez has openly admitted that he is strapped for cash and has even claimed he had NONE to spend.
The Spaniard has spent £4m on keeper Martin Dubravka after he impressed on loan from Sparta Prague last season.
Ki Sung-yueng has joined on a free from Swansea and Chelsea winger Kenedy has rejoined for the season.
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