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Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Switzerland?
Switzerland is not an EU member state even though it takes part in the Schengen area, in which European member states have jointly agreed their common visa rules towards third country nationals. Schengen area refers to the free travel area established by most EU member states in which freedom of movement is granted. You can check online to make sure whether you will need a visa to visit Switzerland.
Switzerland Visa Types
Different visa types for visits to Switzerland can be broadly categorized on the basis of short term or long term stays. They can be issued as single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry visas for visits up to 90 days in periods of 180 days. Single-entry visa grants one-time entrance whereas double-entry visa holders may travel twice in designated timeframe and multiple-entry visa allows for consecutive visits to Spain. You can benefit from the online visa system to proceed your applications for tourist, business or visit visas for short term stays.
What is Schengen Visa?
Schengen visa allows its holder to move freely within the Schengen area for a short period. The Schengen area comprises of 26 European countries, namely the Schengen States, among which border controls are abolished. Therefore, passengers who wish to travel in the Schengen area either for business-related or touristic visits are obliged to obtain Schengen visa for stays up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. The complete list of Schengen States include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Switzerland Schengen Visa (Category C visa- For Short Stay Visits)
Switzerland Schengen Visa Types:
- Switzerland Airport Transit Visa: is required if the passenger will make a stopover to change planes in Switzerland. An airport transit is valid only for the international zones of the airport.
- Switzerland Business Visa: is required for those who would like to visit Switzerland with the purpose of doing business for stays up to 90 days. An invitation letter from the company you will be visiting and proof of business events if applicable should be presented during visa application.
- Switzerland Tourist Visa: is granted to third country citizens who seek to visit the Switzerland or other Schengen states for entertainment purposes with time restrictions that shall not exceed 90 days.
- Switzerland Visitor Visa: is required for the third country citizens who would like to travel to Switzerland with the purpose of visiting family members, relatives or friends. Visitor visa is valid for to 90 days within 180 days.
- Switzerland Cultural Visa: can be obtained for short term cultural visits that include attending cultural, sports or religious events. An invitation letter, if applicable, is required to prove the nature of events you will be participating.
- Switzerland Medical Treatment Visa: is given to the travelers who seek to go to Switzerland for medical treatment purposes. A local medical report explaining the health status of the patient is required. Also, the healthcare institution in Switzerland shall be contacted to provide further details of the future treatment for the visa application. Medical treatment visa holders cannot stay in the country for periods exceeding 90 days.
Switzerland Schengen Visa (Category D visa- For Long Stay Visits)
Switzerland National Visa Types:
- Switzerland Student Visa: is issued to third country citizens who wish to study in Swiss education institutions. Admission to a study program and proof of adequate financial assets is among the prerequisites for applying to a long-term student visa.
- Switzerland Employment Visa: is granted to non-EU citizens who fulfill the specific conditions and are found eligible to work in Switzerland. The applicant must be in possession of an employment contract or a binding offer signed by the prospective employer. Moreover, third country nationals should be highly qualified to work in Switzerland, meaning that they are required to have a higher education degree and possibly several years of work experience.
- Switzerland Job Seeker Visa: is given to recent graduates in the form of one-time residence permit following six months after graduation. Graduates of Swiss high education institutes can apply for a job seeking visa to work with prospective employers. As part of the application procedure, you should be able to demonstrate the financial means along with the required documents.
- Switzerland Family Reunion Visa: can be obtained by family members of Swiss residents who wish to travel to Switzerland with the purpose of visiting their relatives. The applicants must submit the necessary documents including a letter of invitation by the his/her immediate relative to explain the nature of the visit.
- Switzerland Researcher Visa: is applicable to guest scientist or visiting scholars coming from third countries for planned research activities in established research institutions over a fixed period.
- Switzerland Freelancer Visa: is granted to third country nationals who seek work in Switzerland as self-employed. Portfolio of previous works, professional authorization, plan and letters of commitments from future customers are among the prerequisites for applying to a freelancer visa.
- Switzerland Language Course Visa: is given to non-EU citizens who intend to enroll in one of the spoken languages in Switzerland (German, Italian and French) course for designated periods. Confirmed registration to the course along with other documents is required to obtain this type of visa.
- Switzerland Student Internship Visa: are given to third country citizens who would like to do an internship in Switzerland. A letter of confirmation by the future employer which explains details of the traineeship is among the most important documents to submit during your application. However, be aware that an internship visa does not entail a long term work permit.
- Switzerland Partnership Visa: is given to spouse or registered partner of a Swiss citizen who holds his/her own country’s passport which does not have any bilateral visa free agreements with Switzerland.
- Switzerland Work Permit Visa: shall be obtained by people who are eligible to work in Switzerland. Citizens of non-EU countries should be highly qualified to work in managerial positions to be able to get a work permit in Switzerland. Moreover, the employer must prove that there is no other employee that fits the offered position from Switzerland or from an EU/EFTA country.
- Switzerland Relative Visa: can be issued to relatives of a Swiss citizen who is not in possession of EU/Schengen passport, residence permit or the passport of a country which has visa bilateral free agreements with Switzerland.
General Requirements to Apply for Switzerland Visa
Tourist visa application requirements for Switzerland under certain categories are explained below. In general, applicants must submit their applications that includes the requested documents. Applications shall be made to the Diplomatic Missions or authorized visa application centers in applicant’s country of residence. Visa application documents and the procedures may differ depending on the applicant's country of residence and category of visa.
Switzerland Visa Applications
- A passport with at minimum two blank pages and is valid for at least 90 days after the end of travel. Copy of the first page including personal data and previous Schengen visas if obtained.
- Completed and signed visa application form along with one color biometric photo that is not older than 6 months.
- Proof of travel with confirmed both-way tickets.
- Bank account details proving that the passenger can sufficiently fund his/her travel.
- Evidence of occupation in the form of certified documents through employer letter, student certificate, document of registration or demonstration of pension funds.
- Accommodation details through an invitation letter or proof of your hotel reservation throughout your stay.
- Documentation of travel health insurance that will cover up to 30.000 euros throughout the period of travel and is valid within the entire Schengen area.
There are specific documents to enclose your application depending on your employment status.
- Employment contract (original certificate of employment indicating the position in the company and the salary)
- Bank account statement of the past 6 months
- Approval letter of leave from employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Proof of business license (company registration)
- Company’s bank account statement of the past 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Documentation of University enrollment
- No-objection certificate from school management
- Pension statement documenting the past 6 months
- Proof of financial resources is nevertheless required
- If the person is not able to finance his/her own expenses, proof of a sponsor is mandatory.
What is Visa Sponsorship for Switzerland?
Students or unemployed/retired people who are not in a position to cover their own travel expenses will need to demonstrate support from a sponsor who will borne the full costs. Otherwise, your sponsor who must be a first-grade relative will have to prove the sufficient resources through meeting certain requirements such as filling out the sponsorship form and submitting the requested documents. You can check our website to reach further details.
Switzerland Visa Rules
- Visitors are asked to prove adequate amount of financial assets that will cover their needs during their stay in Switzerland and it shall be equal to at least 100 CHF or 92.34 € per day.
- Your passport must have at least two blank pages left, and it shouldn’t be older than 10 years.
Switzerland Visa Requirements
In addition to above mentioned application documents, general requirements include:
Switzerland Visa requirements for Non-Europeans
The general requirements for non-Europeans wishing to enter the EU conform to above mentioned procedures. In case of an invitation supporting the document, contact details of the host organisation or private host such as name, address, relation to the guest, purpose and length of visit shall be included to the application.
Switzerland visa for European countries
Citizens of European countries can benefit from visa-free travel opportunities within the borders of the European Union.
Switzerland Visa requirement for US, UK, and Canadian citizens
- US citizens holding US passports that is valid for at least 3 months from intended return date from Switzerland are not asked to have a visa for tourist or business purposes as well as airport transits for stays up to 90 days.
- UK is not included in the Schengen area. Moreover, the UK citizens won’t have the right to freedom of movement in the European Union since the UK officially leaves the EU as of 31 January 2020. However, the UK citizens can continue to travel within the borders of the EU with their UK passports until the formalization of procedures at the end of transition period.
- Canadian citizens are not obliged to get a visa to travel to Schengen countries for stays up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.
Switzerland Visa Fees
You can find below fixed visa fees for various visa categories which is determined as of August 2022. Generally, the visa fees cover the consultation, submission and processing of your application.
|Adults (12 years old and older)
|Children Between 6-11 Years of Age
|Children Younger Than 6 Years of Age
||Free of Charge
|Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine
NOTE: This article was prepared in August 2022. Please check up-to-date information published by official sources.
Frequently Asked Questions