Switzerland Passport Visa Requirement
Combining expansive greenery, slick cities and bucketfuls of fresh air, Switzerland is a stylish tourist destination offering countless outdoor adventures and contemporary urban breaks.
Switzerland’s Alpine vistas are so picture perfect, they can appear plucked from the pages of a storybook. But these disarming landscapes are alive and kicking, as a spot of skiing, hiking or mountain biking will attest. Ski resorts like Zermatt (home to the lofty Matterhorn), Verbier and celebrity-studded St Moritz provide everything from big, bad Olympic runs to encouragingly gentle novice slopes. And when the snow melts at low altitudes, the white-tipped mountain peaks remain against a backdrop of blue skies, providing a superb setting for summertime hiking.
The ancient capital Berne provides almost endless opportunities for sightseeing, shopping and traditional folk entertainment, while Zurich leads the way in art, design and nightlife; from opera and world-class theatre to stylish bars and nightclubs. Geneva is the sleekest and most upscale of Switzerland’s cities, acting as home to a thriving community of expats, many of whom work for the numerous international organisations that are headquartered there.
Yet Switzerland’s cultural offerings don’t stop there. When it comes to contemporary art, polished Basel reigns supreme, with more than 40 museums and galleries packed into this compact city. For a few days every year, it takes centre stage for the eminent Art Basel fair. French-flavoured Montreux also steals a moment in the cultural spotlight when it becomes the centre of focus for the jazz world during the Montreux Jazz Festival. Elsewhere, dotted around green foothills, are countless spruce towns and folkloric villages, where ancient farm culture survives and cattle still loiter amid flower-filled pastures.
Small, mountainous and wealthy, Switzerland is renowned for its enviable quality of life, with public services ticking along like clockwork. Come for the pungent cheese, smooth chocolate and luxury watches; stay for the exquisite culture, incredible scenery and sheer sense of fun.
Pleas Note: Our visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing, We strongly recommend that you verify critical information unique to your trip with the relevant embassy before travel. See also: List of countries with Visa Application form
Switzerland Visa and Passport Requirements
|Passport required||Return ticket required||Visa Required|
A passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay (or for the duration of stay for EU/EEA nationals) and issued within the past 10 years is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except (1) EU nationals holding a valid national identity card.
Regulations also apply to Liechtenstein (no border control between the two countries).
Passengers arriving at Basel or Geneva airports can enter either France or Switzerland, provided their documents for the country of entry are in order; both airports have two different exits, one to France and one to Switzerland. Therefore passengers can exit to the French part of the airport with a valid French or Schengen visa, if required.
The airport of Basel/Mulhouse is located on French territory.
Part of Geneva airport is located by convention in France and some flights between France and Geneva are considered as domestic flights while others are considered international flights. In this case, passengers must hold proper entry documents for either of the destination countries.
Visas are not required by all nationals referred to in the chart above for stays in Switzerland of up to three months.
Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Switzerland.
Types and Cost
Schengen visa: €60/£51.72. Reductions are available for some nationalities and for children.
Schengen visa: 90 days within a six-month period.
Consulate (or consular section at embassy). UK residents requiring a Schengen visa should apply to the Swiss Visa Application Centre (www.vfsglobal.ch/switzerland/uk); & www.vfsglobal.ch/switzerland/uk) a service charge of £22.10 applies. All visa applicants aged 12 and over must submit biometric data at their visa appointment.
Switzerland is part of the Schengen area.
EU/EEA residents planning on staying in Switzerland for more than three months to work must register with the local authorities and apply for a residence permit. The length of the permit depends on the duration of the work. Slightly different rules apply to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania. Contact the State Secretariat for Migration (www.sem.admin.ch) for details.
Allow at least seven days for visa processing. For some nationalities, it may take at least 14 days.
Schengen visa applicants must provide bank statements from the previous three months with their application.
Extension of stay
Schengen visa holders can only extend their stay in exceptional circumstances, such as force majeure, or for humanitarian reasons.
Embassies and tourist offices
Embassy of Switzerland in the USA
Telephone: (202) 745 7900.
Address: NW, 2900 Cathedral Avenue N.W., Washington, 20008-3499,
Opening times:Mon-Fri 0900-1200.
Embassy of Switzerland in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7616 6000.
Address: , 16-18 Montagu Place, London, W1H 2BQ,
Opening times:Mon-Fri 0900-1200.
British Embassy in Switzerland
Telephone: (31) 359 7700
Address: , Thunstrasse 50, Berne, 3005,
Opening times:Mon-Fri: 0900-1230 and 1330-1630; 0900-1200 (consular).
Switzerland Health Care and Vaccinations
If European visitors or any of their dependants are suddenly taken ill or have an accident during a visit to Switzerland, free or reduced-cost necessary treatment is available; in most cases on production of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Full travel insurance is advised for all travellers.
Food and Drink
There’s nothing to mark out Switzerland produce as particularly risky to general health, in fact food hygiene standards are very high across the country. The tap water is also safe to drink. However, resist the temptation to drink from streams or lakes, no matter how clean they look, as they may contain pollutants.
No immunisations are required to enter Switzerland, although it is advisable to make sure your standard vaccinations like tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, measels, rubella and polio are up to date before travelling.
Switzerland Public Holidays
New Year’s Day
02 January Note: May not be observed in certain cantons.
10 May Note: May not be observed in certain cantons.
21 May Note: May not be observed in certain cantons.
01 August Note: May not be observed in certain cantons.
Money and duty free for Switzerland
Currency and Money
Swiss Franc (CHF; symbol SFr) = 100 centimes (called centimes in French, rappen in German and centesimi in Italian). Notes are in denominations of SFr1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of SFr5, 2, 1, 1/2 and 20, 10 and 5 centimes.
Credit and debit cards are accepted at most places throughout Switzerland, including American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa.
ATMs are widely available throughout Switzerland, especially in the major cities.
Pound Sterling, US Dollar or Euro cheques are accepted at airports, railway stations and banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, visitors are advised to take traveller’s cheques in Pounds Sterling, Euros or US Dollars.
Mon-Fri 0830-1630 in bigger cities. Mon-Fri 0830-1200 and 1400-1700 in rural areas.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. Amounts equivalent to 10,000 CHF and higher need to be declared.
There are bureaux de change at train stations, airports, major hotels and banks.
Switzerland duty free
The following items may be imported into Switzerland by travellers with a minimum age of 17 years without incurring customs duty:
• 250 pieces /gr/ cigarettes / other tobacco products.
• 5L of alcoholic drinks up to 18% volume and 1L of alcoholic drinks over 18% volume.
• Goods to a value of SFr300.
Prohibited or restricted goods include endangered species, narcotics, counterfeit goods, cultural property, medicines, plants, radar warning devices, animals and animal products, and weapons.
Unlicensed firearms, counterfeit goods and narcotics. You must declare any cultural property.
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