Come and experience the best of Switzerland! Located in western, central, and southern Europe, Switzerland is a highly-developed country with a world-renowned reputation for excellence. Officially known as the Swiss Confederation, the country boasts top-tier performance in multiple national metrics, and has an area of 41,285 km2 and a population of 8,508,898. Although it has no official capital, the city of Bern is its de jure capital, while its two largest cities Zürich and Geneva are both global cities and major economic hubs. Don’t miss out on Switzerland’s amazing offerings – come explore it today!
Switzerland Entry Requirements
Due to the common travel area of the Schengen Region, wherein the participating countries have annulled barriers for their population, if you are a EU/EEA occupant, an identification document will suffice to enter Switzerland. On the other hand, if you are a non-EU/EEA visitor looking to visit Switzerland, the following must be presented at the Swiss border:
A passport or travel document – A passport or identification document – Legitimate for a minimum of three months beyond your expected time of leaving Schengen, and given within the past 10 years.
A visa – If you are subject to the Swiss visa authority.
The Swiss border officer may question you about your travel to Switzerland. For instance:
- What is your purpose of visiting Switzerland?
- How long you will be staying in Switzerland?
- Where are you going to stay in Switzerland?
Who Needs Visa to Enter Switzerland?
You may require a short-stay visa to enter Switzerland and any other country in the Schengen Zone, if you belong to one of the mentioned categories:
- You are a citizen of a growing country with which the Schengen nations have not yet finished at a visa liberalization agreement.
- As a national of a third-world country that has successfully signed a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states, you have the opportunity to enter Switzerland and any other Schengen country with ease. Don’t let your previous visa rejection stand in the way of making your travel dreams come true. Take advantage of the visa liberalization agreement and explore the Schengen states with confidence.
Note: Visa permits you to stay in Switzerland for 90 days within a 180-day time period. If you require to stay for long in Switzerland, apply for a Swiss National Visa instead.
What Documents Are Required for a Switzerland Visa Application?
When applying for a Switzerland visa, there are certain documents that must be provided in order to be considered. The list of documents that must be submitted with a Switzerland visa application includes:
- valid passport
- two completed and signed visa application forms
- two recent passport-size photographs
- proof of residence, proof of financial means
- travel itinerary
- copy of travel health insurance.
- Copies of your previous visas
- Proof of accommodation (Hotel reservation in Switzerland)
- Proof of civil status
A cover letter mentioning why you are applying to visit Switzerland, how long will you stay.
Schengen travel visa insurance
For foreigners travelling to Switzerland, travel health insurance policy can be purchased online from Europ Assistance or Mondil Care. Both these organization are accepted by Swiss authorities globally.
Additional Swiss Visa Requirements Based on Your Employment Status
- Employment contract
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Leave permission from the employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
If a student:
- Proof of enrolment
- No-objection certificate from school or university
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
- Proof of regular income generated by a property, for the last 6 months.
Additional Swiss Visa Requirements for Minors
If you are a minor applying for a short-stay visa to Switzerland, or if you are a parent applying on behalf of your minor child, you will need to complete additional Swiss Visa Requirements in your application file. To ensure your application is successful, be sure to review and follow these requirements carefully.
- Birth certificate of the minor travelling to Switzerland.
- Switzerland application form signed by both parents.
- Family court order. In cases where only one parent has full custody of the child.
- Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents
- If the minor will be travelling alone with another person:
- An original and copy of the accompanying person’s passport page containing the holder’s data, expiry date, a recent photograph and a valid visa copy.
- A notarized parental authorization to travel to Switzerland, signed by both parents/guardians
Note: When applying at the Swiss embassy in the home country, the parent or guardian should accompany their underage children.
Additional Requirements Based on the Purpose of Entry to Switzerland
Depending on the purpose of your trip to Switzerland, you will need to supply some extra documentation. Here are the additional Switzerland visa requirements that are based on the purpose of your visit.
Switzerland Airport Transit Visa Requirements
If you need to make a stop in Switzerland for a connecting flight on your way to a non-Schengen destination country, you will need to apply for a Switzerland Airport Transit Visa. With this visa, you can wait in the international area of the Swiss airport until your flight to your destination departs. Don’t miss out on your chance to fly with a quick and convenient stopover in Switzerland – get your Switzerland Airport Transit Visa today!
Required Documents for an Airport Transit Schengen Visa to Switzerland
When it comes to obtain a Switzerland Airport Transit visa, following additional documents are required:
- A valid visa (if required) for the final country you are making travel to
- The flight ticket for the final country you are making travel to
Switzerland Tourist Visa Requirements
Maximize your travel experience by applying for a Switzerland Tourist visa for short stays. With a valid visa, you can explore the stunning sights of Switzerland for vacations or sightseeing. Make sure to apply for the visa in advance of your trip.
When it comes to obtain a Swiss Tourist visa, you must provide the following documents:
- Bank statement for the last 6 months.
- Travel Itinerary (description of your trip day-to-day)
- Proof of how you will be financing your trip to Switzerland
Switzerland Visitor Visa Requirements
You must apply for a Swiss Visitor Visa if you want to travel to Switzerland for a brief period of time to visit family or friends there on their invitation.
The following extra paperwork is required when applying for a visa to visit friends or family in Switzerland:
- Official letter of invitation from the host. The invitation must include the following information: the name, first name, and date of birth of each invited guest (exactly as it appears on their passport), as well as the reason for the visit’s duration.
- Host’s passport, identity card or residence permit
- Proof of relationship with the host residing in Switzerland
Switzerland Business Visa Requirements
You should apply for a Business Schengen Visa to Switzerland if you want to travel there for business and won’t be there for more than 90 days.
The following extra documents are required when requesting a Swiss Business visa:
Letter of invitation from the Swiss firm providing full contact information and the dates of your visit.
Evidence of the relationship between the inviting firm and your business
A letter from your work in which you should explain your motivation for visiting Switzerland.
Proof of trip funding – On the letter or invitation, the employer or the partner company must indicate that they will cover the applicant’s expenses while they are in Switzerland.
Switzerland Study Visa Requirements
You can apply for a Schengen Study Visa to Switzerland if you intend to go there to take part in a study programmed, training programme, or internship that will last less than three months.
You need to submit the following extra paperwork when applying for a student visa for Switzerland:
- No letter of protest from the university where you are presently enrolled (if applicable).
- Internship contract. signed by the trainee, the company in Switzerland, and the place of origin.
Switzerland Medical Visa Requirements
You must apply for a Switzerland Medical visa in advance of your trip if you intend to go to Switzerland for medical care, treatments, surgery, or any other type of treatment.
The following extra paperwork is required, when applying for a visa to Switzerland to obtain medical treatment:
- Original letter from a nearby doctor containing a medical report and a diagnosis.
- confirmation from the Swiss hospital or doctor confirming consent to treat the patient, projected length of treatment, and a cost estimate.
- Proof of the 50% advance payment is a hospital or doctor’s receipt from Switzerland.
Switzerland Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Visa Requirements
You must apply for a Switzerland Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Visa if your trip to Switzerland is only for the purpose of attending a religious, cultural, or sporting event, or if you’re a member of a film crew.
The following supplementary documents are required when applying for a Swiss visa with the intention of attending a cultural, sporting, or religious event in Switzerland:
A journey made to see a cultural event:
- Manifestations of cultural participation
- Studio contract and transfer slip for the first instalment of studio payments are required for recording.
- A contract outlining the duration and payment should be provided for festivals and performances.
- Contract outlining the duration and cost of classes.
- a letter of introduction, a musician card, and documentation of musical performances.
Journeys undertaken for Film Crew:
- Letter from the film company including the title, synopsis, and locations where the movie was shot.
- a complete list of the names and positions held by the travelling crew.
- Arrangements for film permissions have been confirmed in a letter from a Swiss organisation.
- registration certificate from the Association of Motion Pictures.
Switzerland Visa for Spouse of Swiss National Requirements
If you want to visit Switzerland for a brief period of time and you are the spouse (husband/wife) of a Swiss national, you must apply for a special visa designed just for this group of visa applicants.
You must submit the following extra paperwork when applying for a Swiss visa as the spouse of a Swiss native or citizen:
- Proof of Swiss citizenship (ID card or consular card or certification of Swiss nationality or naturalization order)
- Swiss marriage certificate
- Swiss family record book
Switzerland Visa for Official Visit Requirements
You must apply for a Swiss Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations if you intend to visit Switzerland as a member of an official delegation that is travelling on behalf of your nation’s government, an organisation, or another institution.
As a representative of an official delegation, you must submit the following extra paperwork when applying for a visa to Switzerland:
- A copy of the formal invitation.
- Evidence regarding the trip’s goal (negotiations, meetings, events by intergovernmental organizations, consultations).
How to Apply for a Swiss Short-Stay Visa?
You must carry out the following actions in order to submit your application for a short-stay visa to Switzerland:
- Determine which type of visa you need to enter Switzerland.
- Look for the address where you must submit your visa application.
- Fill out the short-stay visa application form for Switzerland.
- assemble the paperwork needed for a visa to Switzerland.
- Establish a visa appointment.
- Participate in the interview at the relevant Swiss Embassy, Consulate, or VAC.
Where to Apply for a Swiss Short-Stay Visa?
How the Swiss authorities in your country of residency have governed visa entry will heavily influence where you must apply. Based on it, you might need to submit an application at one of the following diplomatic missions that represent Switzerland in your place of residence:
- The Swiss Embassy
- A Swiss consulate
- A Visa Application Centre to which Switzerland has outsourced visa submission
- The Embassy / Consulate of another Schengen country to which Switzerland has outsourced visa submission
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa at the Swiss Embassy/Consulate/VAC?
If Switzerland is the sole nation in the Schengen Area you intend to visit, you should submit an application to the Switzerland representative body responsible for visa entry, which is based in your home country.
However, if you want to travel to additional Schengen countries, you should only submit your application to the Swiss Embassy, Consulate, or VAC if:
- In comparison to the other countries, Switzerland will take up more of your time
- Despite entering the Schengen Area via Switzerland, you will spend an equal number of days in each nation
Additionally, you can only apply for a short-stay visa to Switzerland at a Swiss Embassy, Consulate, or VAC if you are one of the following:
- a national of the country you are applying from
- a foreign national with a valid visa for either long-term or temporary residence in the nation from which you are applying
Note: From a nation where you are already on a visa, you cannot apply for a short-stay Swiss visa.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Swiss Visa?
A short-stay visa for Switzerland may require up to 15 days for processing. Still, this time frame may be increased by up to 30 days depending on your particular circumstances. In rare circumstances, it can take up to 60 days because the Swiss embassies might need to speak with other Schengen consulates.
You should submit your application as soon as you can, but no later than three months before your trip, to prevent any delays in the issuing of your Swiss short-stay visa.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Swiss Visa?
The costs that must be paid are outlined in the Visa Code and the Ordinance on Fees Under the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals (SR 142.209). The payments must be made in the currency that the Swiss representation chooses.
Swiss Short-Term Visa Fees with a quick look:
|Swiss Schengen Visa Category||Fee in EUR||Fee in USD*|
|Children between 6-12 years of age||40€||48$|
|Children younger than 6 years of age||Free||Free|
|Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports travelling for official purposes||Free||Free|
|A family member of an EU/EEA national||Free||Free|
|Pupils, students and accompanying teachers during a school trip||Free||Free|
|Researchers travelling to perform scientific research||Free||Free|
|Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.||35€||42$|
* The applicable visa fee in USD (US Dollar) is as per the current exchange rate. It is subject to change without notice.
The application fee for the visa is due at that time and is not refundable. The application cost is not refundable if you withdraw it or if it is denied.
Regarding changes in exchange rates, the Swiss representative retains the right to modify the fees’ amounts at any time.
How Long Can We Stay in Switzerland Without a Visa?
You cannot enter Switzerland or any other nation if you are a citizen of a nation that hasn’t yet agreed to a visa-free travel area with the Schengen nations (aside from transiting).
In contrast, if you are a citizen of a nation that does not require a visa, you may enter and stay in Switzerland and the other Schengen nations for up to 90 days in a period of six months.
Note: Confirm that you are aware of the 90/180 Schengen Visa Rule. Breaking this rule—even for a day—could have consequences. Here, the effects of overstaying are displayed.
Can I Extend My Schengen Visa in Switzerland?
Yes, you can extend your Swiss Schengen visa, but only in extremely rare circumstances, such as when new information or unique circumstances develop after your admission into Switzerland, such as force majeure or humanitarian considerations. Here is a list of each canton’s migration office where you can request for a stay extension in Switzerland:
- Argovie (AG) – Migrationsamt Kanton Aargau
- Appenzell Rhodes-Intérieures (AI)
- Appenzell Rhodes-Extérieures (AR)
- Bâle-Campagne (BL) – Amt für Migration
- Bâle-Ville (BS) – Sicherheitsdepartement BS Dienste
- Berne (BE) – Migrationsdienst des Kantons Bern
- Fribourg (FR) – Service de la population et des migrants
- Genève (GE) – Office cantonal de la population
- Glaris (GL) – Fachstelle für Migration
- Grisons (GR) Amt für Polizeiwesen – Fremdenpolizei GR
- Jura (JU) – Service de la population
- Lucerne (LU) – Amt für Migration des Kantons Luzern
- Neuchâtel (NE) – Service des migrations – Section séjour et établissement
- Nidwald (NW) – Amt für Justiz Migration
- Obwald (OW) – Amt für Arbeit Obwalden – Abteilung Migration
- Saint-Gall (SG) – Ausländeramt des Kantons St. Gallen
- Schaffhouse (SH) – Kantonales Ausländeramt
- Soleure (SO) – Amt für öffentliche Sicherheit des Kantons Solothurn
- Schwytz (SZ) – Amt für Migration
- Tessin (TI) – Sezione dei permessi e dell’ immigrazione
- Uri (UR) – Amt für Arbeit und Migration – Abteilung Migration
- Valais (VS) – Service cantonal de l’état civil et des étrangers
- Vaud (VD) – Service de population – Secteur Etrangers
- Zoug (ZG) – Amt für Migration
- Zurich (ZH) – Migrationsamt des Kantons Zürich
For further information on when and how to extend your Swiss Schengen Visa, please read How to Extend a Schengen Visa in Switzerland.
Can My Swiss Schengen Visa Be Revoked?
Yes, if the relevant Swiss authorities determine that the requirements for granting the visa are no longer met, your visa for Switzerland may be withdrawn.
If your visa is revoked while you are still in Switzerland, you will be given a deadline to depart the country. You will be regarded as an unauthorised resident of Switzerland if you do not depart the country or the Schengen region within this time frame.
Please be aware that, although not automatically, the decision to cancel or revoke the visa may result from the visa holder’s failure to furnish the border official with the entry requirements.