Switzerland Visa Requirements: Swiss visa application form information on Switzerland visas for travel, tourist visa, visitor / transit visa, student visa. Swiss embassy address,...
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Traveler's Guide

Switzerland Visa Information

Learn4good provides general information on study, travel, work visa and business visa requirements and the addresses of embassies worldwide. You should contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information or visa forms.

Who requires a visa?
Switzerland has joined Schengen zone and became 25-th country – the participant of visa-free moving agreement. Under the Schengen agreement, transiting from one country to another within the Schengen area is done without border controls. The current Schengen area is composed of the following countries – Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Visa required for the airport transit
Citizens of the following states are required to hold an airport visa:

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola
  • Bangladesh
  • Cameroon
  • Congo (dem. Republic)
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkey

Visa is required for stays up to 3 months (90 days) by the nationals of the following countries:

Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Congo (Brazzaville)
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Costa Rica
Côte d'Ivoire
Dominican Republic
Equatorial Guinea
Hong Kong*
Marshall Islands
Myanmar (Burma)
Northern Mariana Islands 
North Korea 
Papua New Guinea
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Solomon Islands
Samoa (West)
Sao Tomé and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone
South Africa
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
Vanuatu (New Hebres)

* The following documents are valid for entry into Switzerland:
• Hong Kong Special Administrative Region People's Republic of China Passport (HKSAR Passport); visa exemption - V1
• Hong Kong British National Overseas Passport (BNO Passport); visa exemption - V1
• Hong Kong Certificate of Identity; obligation to hold a visa - V
• Document of Identity for visa purposes containing under the heading “nationality” the entry “Chinese.” In this case, the document is a Chinese passport. (If holder’s nationality is not mentioned, the document is not valid for entry into Switzerland.); obligation to hold a visa - V
(The “Hong Kong British Dependent Territories Citizens Passport” is not valid anymore for entry into Switzerland.)

What are the requirements for entry into Switzerland?
Swiss citizens have an unrestricted right to enter Switzerland. All that is required is to show a valid Swiss passport or ID card.
If the person does not have a travel document, he/she may enter Switzerland if Swiss citizenship can be proven or shown to be plausible. The Federal Office for Migration (FOM) therefore recommends that the following documents be presented:

  • Photocopy of a valid passport or ID card,
  • An expired travel document,
  • An official document showing the person’s identity and/or citizenship (e.g. driver’s licence).

EU or EEA citizens must satisfy the following entry requirements:

  • They must present a valid ID card or passport;
  • They must not pose a threat to public order and security.

Types of visa:

  • A Type C visa is required for short-term stays of up to three months and destined for tourist purposes, such as visiting relatives or friends, participating in sports or cultural events, for business, and schooling or study programs. Type C visas are valid for the entire Schengen area, which is why they are commonly referred to a Schengen visas.

Please note that people intending to come to Switzerland for the purpose of pursuing gainful employment, are required to hold both a valid Schengen visa and work permit.

  • A Type D visa is required for stays of more than three months' duration. This visa is a national visa, issued to people who wish to stay in Switzerland legally and for a prolonged period of time. Stays subject to type D visa requirements need to be previously authorised by the appropriate authorities Type D visas are typically issued to people wishing to work or study in Switzerland, and for purposes of family reunification or lengthy medical treatment.

How long does the visa procedure take? 
Once a Swiss representation has considered a Schengen visa application to be admissible, the application will, as a rule, be processed and a decision taken within fifteen days. Applications are considered to be admissible if the representation has received the applicant’s passport, photo, and identity documents, and if the applicant has been fingerprinted and the visa fee been paid. Under certain circumstances, the period for processing an application may be extended by 30 to 60 days.
Dealing with applications for a national (Type D) visa falls under cantonal jurisdiction. Stays subject to Type D visa requirements must be previously authorized by the competent authorities. The time cantonal authorities need to process an application may vary according to canton and purpose of stay.

How much does a visa cost?
The cost of submitting an application is EUR 60. An additional EUR 60 is charged for a renewed application following a rejection. This amount does not include processing fees.

Time required to issue a visa:
The procedure usually takes between 6–8 weeks, sometimes longer, depending on the season. We therefore recommend you submit your application as early as possible.

How long is the visa valid for?
A student permit is valid for the length of the study period.
Visitor visa is valid for up to 3 months.
Transit and airport transit visas are issued to nationals wishing to pass through Switzerland or continuing on a connecting flight to another country.Holders of transit visas must leave Switzerland within 24 hours of arrival and holders of airport transit visas must continue their journey within 48 hours.

Visa appeal procedure:
The Embassy has refused my visa application (receipt of form refusing a visa)  
You may appeal against the refusal of a visa (delivered by means of a standard visa refusal form according to Annex 5.3 of the Federal Office for Migration’s directives on issuing visas) within 30 days of receipt of the refusal. The appeal must be made in writing (in German, French or Italian) and be substantiated. It may be submitted to the following address:
Federal Office of Migration
Quellenweg 6
3003 Bern-Wabern
either by your host in Switzerland or your host’s legal representative. If you do not have a host or a legal representative, the appeal may be submitted to the Swiss representation abroad. The Federal Office for Migration requires an advance on costs before beginning the visa appeal process.

Other information:
I would like to extend my visa. What must I do?
Based on the prevailing division of competence between the Federal Government and the cantons, the cantonal authorities are responsible for the extension of visas or the granting of aliens police residence permits. For this reason, we ask you to address your enquiry directly to the cantonal migration authorities responsible for your place of residence.
Please note that, in general, you are only permitted to stay in Switzerland for a maximum of 3 months within any 6 month period.

I have to send a letter of invitation. What format should I use, is there an official form?
You do not need a special form for the letter of invitation. However, the letter should contain the reason for, and the length of, the stay as well as details about who is financing the stay in Switzerland.

I have to submit a sponsorship declaration. Where can I find the form?
You will be given the sponsorship declaration form (formerly declaration of guarantee) at the Swiss representation when you present your visa application (provided a guarantee is considered necessary).

What documents must I present when applying for a visa?
Please contact the Swiss representation abroad responsible for your place of residence for detailed information.

I recently visited Switzerland on a visa. When may I return, what is the maximum length of time I can stay in Switzerland as a visitor?
The duration of visits is limited to a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period, i.e. a total of 180 days within the course of a year. There must be an interruption of at least one month between two stays of 90 days. Shorter stays also marked in the visa remain reserved. There is, however, no automatic right to a visa.

My passport soon expires. Can I still use it to enter / leave Switzerland?
Please check the visa regulations for your nationality. If no specific information is indicated, your passport must simply be valid for the duration of your stay.

I would like to extend my visa. What must I do?
Based on the prevailing division of competence between the Federal Government and the cantons, the cantonal authorities are responsible for the extension of visas or the granting of aliens police residence permits. For this reason, we ask you to address your enquiry directly to the cantonal migration authorities responsible for your place of residence.

I have a Schengen visa. Do I also need a visa for Switzerland?
Before the entry into force of the Agreement between Switzerland and the EU Member States (probably not until December 2008 at the earliest), a Schengen visa does not entitle you to enter Switzerland. Thus you will need a visa for entry to Switzerland.

Exceptions: Holders of a valid passport and a valid Schengen visa from the following countries may enter Switzerland without a separate visa: Taiwan, Thailand, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi-Arabia, United Arab Emirates.

Persons with a valid residence permit from Great Britain, Ireland, Canada or a Green Card from the USA require a visa for Switzerland.

I am travelling in Europe and would like to go on a trip to Switzerland. How can I get a visa?
As a rule, visa applications have to be filed at the Swiss representation responsible for your place of residence. Should this be impossible, please contact the nearest Swiss representation. There is, however, no automatic right to a visa.

I would like to travel through Switzerland during my journey by car. Do I need a visa?
There are no exceptional provisions for transit through Switzerland by car. The usual visa regulations apply.

Work Visa
If your employer has applied for your work permit in Switzerland and it has been granted, you still must apply for a visa to enter Switzerland with the competent Swiss representation abroad.

To apply for the visa, you must submit the following documents to the competent Swiss representation:

One national (type D) visa application form, fully completed and signed by the applicant. For stays up to 3 months or authorisations for a 120 day visa, the regular Schengen visa application form should be used. Applications which are not duly completed, dated and signed will not be accepted. Please also indicate your e-mail address and a contact phone number in case additional information is required.
Two passport photos per applicant (very strict requirements, please consult the details on the webpage)
Applicant’s valid original passport, plus a copy
Visa fee (only money order or cash)
If applying by mail: one prepaid, self-addressed, return envelope with a tracking number

Embassy contact information:
Please contact the nearest Swiss embassy for information on what documentation you may require to enter Switzerland.

Disclaimer: The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only, in good faith. The use of this website is at the viewer/user's sole risk. While every effort is made in presenting up-to-date and accurate information, no responsibility or liability is accepted by the owners to this website for any errors, omissions, outdated or misleading information on these pages or any site to which these pages connect or are linked.

Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and copyright owner/s is the:
- Swiss Visa VFS Global - URL: https://ch.vfsglobal.co.uk
- Federal Office for Migration, Switzerland - URL: www.bfm.admin.ch

The viewer/user of this web page should use the above information as a guideline only, and should always contact the above sources or the user's own government representatives for the most up-to-date information at that moment in time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.