Switzerland Visa and Passport Requirements
|Passport required||Return ticket required||Visa Required|
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 three months validity after the day you plan to leave, along with a return ticket and sufficient funds for the length of stay.
Beware that EU members such as Bulgaria, 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.
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 or 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.
EU nationals: You do not 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: 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 Swiss embassy, high commission or consulate 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, Marshal 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 and Venezuela.
• Hong Kong and Macao: holders of SAR passports do not need a visa.
• Taiwan: holders of passports issued by Taiwan which include an identity card number do not need a visa.
• Serbia: holders of biometric passports do not need a visa, excluding holders of passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate.
• Nationals from micro-states within an EU country (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City) also do not need a visa.
For nationals from countries not listed here, please contact the nearest embassy to check the visa requirements for Switzerland.
For more information about Schengen visas, follow the link to the article A guide to Schengen visas.
ETIAS travel authorisation: From 2024 (possibly not before 2025), all visitors who currently do not need a visa to visit 30 European countries will need to apply for an 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.
Up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
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.
Contact the embassy, high commission or consulate.
Switzerland is a Schengen country, so the Schengen visa scheme applies.
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.
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.
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.
This page reflects our understanding of current rules for the most common types of travel to the said country. However, please note that each authority sets and forces entry rules, hence we strongly recommend that you verify critical information with the relevant embassy before travel.
Embassies and tourist offices
Embassy of Switzerland in the USA
Telephone: (202) 745 7900.
Address: NW, 2900 Cathedral Avenue N.W., Washington, 20008-3499,
Embassy of Switzerland in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7616 6000.
Address: , 16-18 Montagu Place, London, W1H 2BQ,
British Embassy in Switzerland
Telephone: (31) 359 7700
Address: , Thunstrasse 50, Berne, 3005,
Mon-Fri: 0900-1230 and 1330-1630; 0900-1200 (consular).