Switzerland Visa Policy

Check the visa policy for Switzerland to discover the travel requirements you need to meet.

Visa policy for Switzerland

The visa policy of Switzerland is a set of regulations established for foreign citizens who intend to travel to the country. The requirements are determined depending on the traveler’s nationality.

If the traveler has a passport from one of the 26 Schengen Area European countries, they do not need a Swiss visa, This is because Schengen citizens are granted passport-free access to Switzerland for an indefinite stay, if they enter the country using a valid ID card.

Other visa-free citizens for Switzerland are required to present a valid passport to gain entry to the country, for a maximum stay of 90 days within every 180 days. These visits may be for either tourism, business, or transit purposes.

However, from 2022, all passport-required travelers with Swiss visa exemption will be subject to the ETIAS visa waiver program. Once introduced, pre-registering for an electronic travel authorization with this online application system will become a mandatory requirement for these citizens to travel to Switzerland.

Foreign passport holders from around 150 additional countries must apply for a Schengen consular visa from a Swiss diplomatic government office to travel to the country, no matter the intended period of stay or reasons for the visit.

An embassy visa application for Switzerland should be submitted well in advance, as it may take several weeks for the travel document to be correctly processed and approved.

Switzerland does not offer visas on arrival at Swiss ports of entry, nor does it currently issue any entry bans against any foreign nationality.

Find more information about the different types of visa for Switzerland below.

Tourist Visa Policy for Switzerland

Swiss visa law dictates different requirements to travel to Switzerland for tourism depending on the nationality of the visitor.

Depending on the passport the traveler holds, they may be able to enter the country for tourism without a visa or they may require a Swiss embassy visa.

At the moment travelers of around 90 selected countries do not need a tourist visa in order to visit Switzerland, and citizens of Schengen Area countries can cross Swiss borders for purposes of tourism using only their National ID card.

Over visa-free tourist travelers to Switzerland must present a valid passport at Swiss immigration control to gain entry for up to 90 days of stay for tourism.

However, starting in 2022 all visa-exempt visitors from outside the Schengen Area will need to pre-register for an ETIAS travel authorization to visit Switzerland for tourism.

ETIAS for Switzerland will be available through a simple application form online, which can be completed in minutes, and electronically linked to the traveler’s passport online approved. It will be valid for multiple tourist entries to Switzerland during its validity.

Swiss visa policy decrees that citizens of around other 150 countries need to apply for a tourist visa for Switzerland from an overseas government office well in advance of the intended travel dates.

Check below additional requirements for your nationality to visit Switzerland for tourism.

ETIAS for Switzerland

ETIAS is an electronic travel authorization that will become a mandatory requirement for all visa-exempt foreign citizens who wish to visit Switzerland and the Schengen Area for short stays. It is expected to become compulsory by 2022.

A multiple entry online visa waiver, an approved ETIAS Switzerland will allow the holder multiple entries to the country for a stay up to 90 days each time.

It permits travel for reasons of business, tourism, transit, or medical treatment and is valid for 3 years from the date of approval.

In order to pre-register for ETIAS, the applicant will be required to fill out a simple online form with biographic and passport information, as well as to answer some security questions

The applicant will also be required to pay a small processing fee to submit the application and receive an approved ETIAS for Switzerland linked electronically to their passport.

A copy of the approved ETIAS is also sent to an email address provided at the time of the application, which the applicant is advised to print and carry with them when traveling to Switzerland.

ETIAS-eligible citizens who wish to visit Switzerland for more than 90 consecutive days are required to apply for a Schengen visa from the nearest Swiss consulate or embassy.

You can check the countries eligible for the ETIAS online authorization below.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required

According to Swiss visa rules, nationals of around 150 selected countries need a Schengen consular visa to enter the country.

Travelers who need this type of document have to make an appointment at a Swiss embassy or consulate. It is recommended that the applicant arranges the appointment at least two weeks in advance of travel to Switzerland to allow for sufficient processing time.

During the application process the foreign national must fill out a form with personal and passport information, and select the type of Swiss embassy visa they require depending on the purpose of their travel.

A Schengen embassy visa for Switzerland may be issued as a visitor visa, business visa, student visa, work visa, or for a range of other purposes. The supporting documentation requested will depend on the visa option selected.

It is also necessary to pay a visa fee determined by the Swiss government in order for an embassy travel document to be approved.

A Swiss consular visa may be issued as either a single, double, or multiple entry document depending on the needs of the applicant.

Check below for a list of the countries that need a consular visa in order to enter Switzerland.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

Visa Not Required

Visa laws of Switzerland currently state that nationals of approximately 90 territories can travel to the country without a visa, with the period of stay permitted depending on their nationality.

Nationals of any of the 26 member countries in the Schengen Area are permitted passport-free entry to Switzerland for an indefinite stay. Though they do not need to travel with their passport, they must present a valid ID card when crossing Swiss borders.

However, visa-exempt travelers from outside of the Schengen Area must ensure that they have a valid passport to enter Switzerland. These foreign passport holders are permitted a maximum stay for up to 90 consecutive days for tourism, transit, or business purposes without having to obtain a visa or a travel authorization.

To visit for stays of the same length and purpose by the start of 2022, however, these same citizens will have to pre-register for an online ETIAS visa waiver for Switzerland.

This multiple entry travel authorization, available through a simple online form, will permit holders to enter all of the 26 Schengen countries for multiple short stays during its 3-year validity. See the ETIAS box above for further information.

If a visa-free traveler wishes to visit Switzerland for purposes not permitted with an ETIAS, they will be required to get a consular Swiss visa from an overseas diplomatic mission in advance of the intended entry date.

Find below a full list of visa not required nationalities for Switzerland.

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Switzerland

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