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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland

Switzerland Visa and Passport Requirements

Passport required Return ticket required Visa Required
EU See below No No
USA Yes Yes No
Canadian Yes Yes No
Australian Yes Yes No
British Yes Yes No

Passports

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU) but a member of the Schengen Agreement. This means it allows free movements of EU nationals for up to 90 days.

EU nationals: When travelling from one border-free Schengen country to another by car, you are not required to show a passport or national ID card. However, transport providers like airlines, train operators and ferry companies will require you to show your passport or ID card to prove your identity.

Non-EU nationals: You must have a valid passport issued within the past ten years and with at least six months left is required, along with a return ticket and sufficient funds for the length of stay.

Beware that EU members such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania are not part of the Schengen area, so a passport or ID card is required if travelling to/from these countries.

Passport Note

Liechtenstein: Regulations apply to Liechtenstein as Switzerland handles immigration and custom enforcement for Liechtenstein.

Basel Airport (BSL), also known as Mulhouse (MLH) or EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (EAP): Passengers arriving at this airport can enter either France of Switzerland, provided that they have the appropriate documentation for the destination country. On the EuroAirport website, it states that pedestrians can cross the border between France and Switzerland inside the terminal even without a plane ticket, but must have a valid passport or identity document. The international section is at the departure level (level 3) and is open between 4am and up to 30 minutes after the last arrival (around midnight). Beware that you can't cross the border through the car parks.

Geneva Airport (GVA), also known as Cointrin Airport: Passengers arriving at this airport can enter either France of Switzerland if they have the appropriate documentation for the destination country. Beware that passengers arriving from an international flight must first pass through the Swiss customs, before they can use the exit to France. Also, only passengers with a valid air ticket for the day (or plus and minus one day) can pass through the international section between France and Switzerland within the airport.

Visas

EU nationals: You don't need a visa for Switzerland if the stay is less than 90 day. Those who plan to stay longer will need a residence permit.

Non-EU nationals mentioned in the chart above: Americans, Australians, British and Canadians can travel to Switzerland, and any other Schengen countries, without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events. For other purposes, you need to check with the embassy, high commission or consulate of Switzerland in your home country on what type of visa and/or work permit you may need.

The complete list of countries and territories whose nationals can visit Switzerland and any other Schengen countries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period are as follows: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

* For Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine citizens: visa exemption only applies to holders of biometric passports.

* For Taiwanese: visa exemption only applies to holders of passports issued by Taiwan which include an identity card number.

* Nationals from micro-states within an EU country (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City) are also exempted.

For nationals from countries not listed here, please contact the nearest embassy to check the visa requirements for Switzerland.

Visa Note

For more information about Schengen visas, follow the link to the article A guide to Schengen visas.

By the end of 2022, all visitors who currently do not need a visa to visit the Schengen countries will need to apply for ETIAS travel authorisation. For more information, follow the link to the article Applying for ETIAS.

Types and Cost

Schengen visa €80 for those who are above 12 years old, €40 for children aged six to 12, and free for children below six.

Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia pay €35.

In addition, the visa fee is waived for the following applicants:
• School pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training.
• Researchers from third countries travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research.
• Representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.
• Family members of EU/EEA (European Economic Area) citizens, falling under Directive 2004/38.

Validity

Up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Transit

Citizens of some countries need an airport transit visa when transiting through international parts of any airports within the Schengen countries, whereas citizens of certain countries are only required a transit visa for some of the Schengen countries. If you are not from a Schengen visa exempt country, please check with a consulate of Switzerland near you.

Application to

Contact the embassy, high commission or consulate.

Schengen Visas

Switzerland is a Schengen country, so the Schengen visa scheme applies.

Temporary residence

EU nationals: Will need to obtain a residence permit if the stay is more than 90 days.

Non-EU nationals: Will need a visa if the stay is more than 90 days.

Working days

Schengen visa applications usually take 15 calendar days, but sometimes up to 45 days. Be mindful of the national holidays in Switzerland as they may affect the processing time. It is recommended to submit applications at least four weeks prior to departure.

Sufficient Funds

Schengen visa applicants must be able to provide proof of funds to cover their stay.

Extension of stay

Schengen visa holders with a visa valid for less than 90 days can only extend their visas in exceptional circumstances, such as force majeure or for humanitarian reasons.

Entry with pets

When bringing a pet from another EU country, the animal must have a microchip or tattoo, an EU pet passport and a valid rabies vaccination certificate (the vaccination must have taken place at least 21 days prior to travel). Animals from outside the EU must also have an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit microchip. Depending on whether your pet is from a high-rabies country or a rabies-controlled country, your pet either has to be vaccinated first or microchipped first. For pets from high-rabies countries, a rabies titer test also has to be administered 30 days after the vaccination. A veterinary certificate issued by an authorised veterinarian is also required when entering Switzerland with a pet from outside of the EU.

Please check with the consulate directly for the appropriate procedures.


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.

Embassies and tourist offices

Embassy of Switzerland in the USA


Telephone: (202) 745 7900.
Website: http://www.eda.admin.ch/washington
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.
Website: http://www.eda.admin.ch/london
Address: , 16-18 Montagu Place, London, W1H 2BQ,
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0900-1200.

British Embassy in Switzerland


Telephone: (31) 359 7700
Website: http://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-berne
Address: , Thunstrasse 50, Berne, 3005,
Opening times:

Mon-Fri: 0900-1230 and 1330-1630; 0900-1200 (consular).

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