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Switzerland Travel Guide


Passport & Visas Requirement in Switzerland

» PASSPORTS: Passport valid for three months after intended period of stay required by all except:
1. nationals of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden and the UK holding a valid national identity card;
2. foreigners holding national Identity Cards issued by the governments of Belgium, France or Luxembourg , provided they are resident in one of these countries.
nationals of Czech Republic, Hungary (only with valid national identity cards that are green and blue), Slovak Republic and Slovenia with valid national identity cards, only if their stay does not exceed three months;
nationals of Germany with passports expired for up to one year;
5. nationals of Liechtenstein who may enter Switzerland without valid identity papers;
6. nationals of Latvia with an alien's passport.

» VISAS: Required by all except the following for stays of up to three months:
1. nationals of countries referred to in the chart above;
2. nationals of countries in South and North/Central America, including nationals of Caribbean island/West Indies states (except nationals of Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti and Peru who do need a visa);(c)
3. nationals of Andorra, Brunei, Bulgaria, Croatia, Fiji, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, Israel, Kiribati, Korea (Rep), Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tuvalu and Vatican City;
4. nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan (China, PR), Thailand and United Arab Emirates, if in possession of a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa (valid for all Schengen states);
6. holders of a travel document issued to refugees by the EU with a blue cover and two golden stripes in the top left hand corner and mentioning the agreement of 28 July 1951; 7. nationals in direct transit traveling within 48 hours providing they hold all valid documents.

» Types of visa and cost: Tourist ; Visitor ; Business ; Transit ; Airport Transit . All visas cost £25 for passengers over 18 years of age (children aged under 18 included in a parent's passport are not required to pay a separate visa fee); £12.50 for unmarried passengers aged under 18 with separate passports. Fees can vary due to exchange rates.

» Validity: Three months. 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 continue their journey within 48 hours.

Note: Stateless persons require a transit visa at all times. Nationals of Iraq and Somalia do not require a transit visa if they hold a residence permit for an EU country, Canada , Iceland , Norway or the USA . Nationals of Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Congo (Dem Rep), Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Turkey do not require a transit visa if they hold a visa or residence permit for an EU country, Canada, Iceland, Norway or the USA.

» Application to: Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy responsible for place of residence; see Contact Addresses section). UK applicants should note that residents of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Cheshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Durham, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Tyne & Wear and Yorkshire must obtain their visas from the Swiss Consulate General in Manchester.

Visa applications must be made in person; postal applications are not accepted.

» Application requirements:


(a) Passport or travel document valid for at least six months after intended visit accompanied by valid travel documents. Nationals other than nationals of Ghana must show valid residence and re-entry permits.
One completed application form (available to download and complete prior to arrival from the Embassy of Switzerland website www.swissembassy.org.uk ).
One recent passport-size photo (three for student visas).
(d) Fee, payable in cash only.
Return/onward ticket.
Proof of sufficient funds in the form of a recent bank statement/travellers' cheques (approximately equivalent to £50 per day: students must submit proof of about £25 per day, provided that they can submit evidence of their student status, such as a student identity card or letter from their educational institution).
(g) Hotel reservation and/or package tour confirmation.

Transit: (a)-(g) and, (h) proof of flight with an airline licensed in Switzerland. (i) Visa(s) for ongoing destination(s).

Visitor:(a)-(f) and, (g) Invitation letter from Swiss residents sent directly to the Embassy, accompanied by a copy of the Swiss resident's Swiss Passport/ID card or Swiss Resident Permit. In special cases a declaration of guarantee completed by the applicant and the resident may be required, which must then be endorsed by the Aliens Police of the resident's canton.

Business:(a)-(g) and, (h) Proof of existing business connections or an invitation from Swiss company or business partner sent directly to the relevant Embassy.

Student: (a)-(g) and, (h) CV, including explanation of intentions of applicant in Switzerland , plus diplomas/school reports and attestation from educational institution in Switzerland , and proof of payment of school fees.

» Working days required: Visas may be issued within 24 hours, but travelers are advised to apply at least one week prior to departure and no earlier than three months before proposed travel. Some applications may need to be referred to the Swiss authorities, which can take six to eight weeks for approval.

» Temporary residence: Nationals of most European and some other countries do not require a visa if they intend to take up employment or residence in Switzerland ; however, before entry they must obtain an Assurance of a Residence Permit from their employer in Switzerland . Students who wish to attend school, college or university for more than three months must apply for a Residence Permit well in advance through their local Embassy or Consulate.
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