Switzerland Tourist Visa
How to get a Switzerland Schengen Visa during COVID-19. Find appointments, cost, travel insurance and requirements. Learn more about photo sizes, processing times and tracking your Switzerland visa application.
Switzerland - the land of Heidi, majestic mountains, nifty little pocket knives, and, maybe above all else, efficiency. In Switzerland, things run like clockwork, much like the clocks that Switzerland is famous for.
It’s no surprise then that the Swiss Schengen Online Visa Application is one of the best ways of obtaining entry into the Schengen Zone. This is mainly because all residents of the US, regardless of their nationality, will be able to apply for a Schengen Visa on the Swiss Online visa platform.
In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly how to apply for your Schengen Visa to Switzerland on the Online Swiss Visa system.
An online Swiss Schengen Visa is exactly the same travel document as a normal Schengen visa, apart from the fact that Switzerland allows applicants from some countries to apply for their Schengen Visa directly online, through their visa portal, instead of applying through an agency or brick and mortar consulate or embassy. In all other respects, an online Swiss Schengen visa is identical to a normal Schengen Visa.
A Schengen Visa is a travel document that allows you to travel through the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area (also sometimes called the Schengen Zone) consists of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and border control at their borders. This means that a holder of a Schengen Visa to Switzerland will be able to move from Switzerland to France, Italy, Austria, and Germany without having to present their passport or Schengen Visa. This travel will be allowed for as long as the Schengen visa is valid, and the traveler is still within the 90/180-day rule. You can read more on the Schengen 90/180 rule here.
While all Schengen Area countries are part of the European Union, not all countries that form part of the European Union are part of the Schengen Area. For instance, Croatia - a country that became part of the EU in 2013 - is not part of the Schengen Area.
The list of nationalities that requires a Schengen Visa to a country like Switzerland is extensive. However, nationals who are passport holders in the UK or US will not need a Schengen Visa.
If you are a resident of the US or UK (on a Green Card, for example) you will still require a Schengen Visa if your nationality (the country of your passport) requires a Schengen Visa.
In a moment, we’ll walk you through the entire Schengen Visa Application process on the Swiss online visa platform. But before we get to that, you might want to get all of the following required documents sorted to ensure you’re not caught out during the application. Nothing worse than getting to step 7 and realizing you need an ancient love letter from a childhood fling or some such… Anyway, back to the task at hand - to complete your Swiss Schengen Visa Application you’ll need the following:
A Valid Passport In this case, a passport will be considered valid if it has three blank pages, is not torn or damaged, not older than 10 years, and is still valid for 3 months after your departure out of the Schengen area.
A Valid Green Card or residence permit This is only applicable for travelers who are traveling from a country where they are residents, but not citizens.
The Schengen Visa Fee Fees for Schengen Visas depend on the nationality of the applicant. Applicants from India, Pakistan, & China will need to pay EU 80.00, while applicants from South Africa or Namibia will only need to pay EU 60.00.
A Completed Swiss Schengen Visa Application Either a completed form or an application on the Swiss Online visa application portal The information you provide on these applications should always be true and correct. Make sure to double-check your information before submitting it.
Two Passport Photos Ensure that your passport Photos meet these requirements
-Copies of your previous Schengen Visas Make copies of all the Schengen Visas you have previously received. This might speed up your application, and you may be eligible for a multiple entry visa if a steady travel pattern to the Schengen area can be proved.
-Proof Of Accommodation You must prove where you'll be staying during your trip. Proof of accommodation can include hotel reservations, Airbnb bookings, or a rental agreement. If you're planning to visit a family member or a friend who resides in Austria, you must present an invitational letter from them.
-Proof of Financial Means To prove that you’ll be financially self-sufficient during your trip to Switzerland you can provide bank statements, cash, or even payslips. A minimum amount of €45 per day for the duration of your stay in the Schengen zone will be required. This means if you plan on staying 11 days, you’ll need €495 to prove that you’ll be financially self-sufficient.
Proof of your Civil Status When applying for your Schengen Visa, you must prove your civil status. To do this, you can either present a birth certificate or a marriage license.
A Travel Itinerary Authorities will want to know the purpose of your trip to Switzerland and the rest of the Schengen Zone. Therefore, you must present a complete travel itinerary. Your itinerary must include all your intended travel dates, what you plan to do, and where you plan to go.
A Criminal Background check. You must prove to authorities that you won't be a threat to Switzerland. You can provide a clean criminal record that proves you're not involved in any illegal activities.
Once you have all of these documents, you can proceed to your online application for your Swiss Schengen Visa.
To start your Swiss Schengen visa application you should either navigate to the Swiss Visa Application platform, or download the Swiss Schengen Visa application form here.. This article will still show you how to complete the application form as the only difference is that the one application is physical, while the other one is digital.
Once on the portal, at the bottom left of the page, you may enter the nationality where you have legal residence. In other words, if you are staying in the US on a residence permit or Green Card you should enter “United States” and click next.
On the next page, the portal shall inform you whether or not you’re able to submit your application online, depending on the country of your residence, or if you should submit your application in person at the embassy or consulate.
Please note: The Swiss Consulate in Chicago will no longer be available for representation. Residents from Illinois will fall under the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC.
Once you’ve selected your representation in accordance with the state you reside in, you can click on next.
On this page, you have the option of either making an appointment and submitting your application in person, or you may continue with your application and return to make an appointment to submit your application if that’s needed. We suggest you choose “Online Application” as it will enable you to complete your entire application before making an appointment.
On the next page, supply more personal details, including your nationality (the country your passport is from). If you have any other nationalities, enter them into the form. If you have a national identity number fill that in, else just leave it blank.
On the next page, you’ll need to complete all of your passport information, as well as your home address. At the bottom left part of the page, you’ll see a segment titled “Residence Regulations Of The Applicant.” If you are a legal resident of a country besides your country of nationality, select “Yes”. Fill in your residence permit number and the date until it is valid and proceed by selecting next.
In the next part, you’ll need to provide information on your employment. Under “Occupation” if you can’t find your occupation, simply select “Others” and provide more details under Further Information. Next, you’ll need to provide all of the information on your employer, from their address to their telephone numbers and email addresses. Click next to continue.
On the next page, you’ll need to supply information about your planned trip to Switzerland. Supply the reason for the trip, the Main Member country (The country in the Schengen Zone in which you’ll spend the most days), and your first port of entry. Next, indicate your date of arrival and departure.
In the next segment select yes if you received a Schengen Visa in the last 59 months. By selecting “yes”, and supplying the details of this Schengen Visa. This can significantly speed up your application and it could also mean that you won’t need to submit biometric data like your photo or fingerprints - as all of this will still be stored in a central database. Yay Technology!
The final segment asks you to report any entry permit issued by a country outside of the Schengen Zone, which you’ll visit during your trip. For instance, if you plan on leaving Switzerland and flying to Turkey (Not Schengen Zone) before returning to Greece (Schengen Zone), you’ll need to report that entry permit here. THIS DOES NOT REFER TO YOUR RESIDENCE PERMIT.
On the next page, you’ll have the opportunity of supplying information about your accommodation. If you are staying at a hotel, supply their details. If you are staying at an Airbnb, supply the contact details, as well as your host's name and surname.
In the next segment, tick all of the boxes that you will use to prove that you can afford to travel to Switzerland. Once you are satisfied that you’ve selected all of the means, click finish.
Finally, before completing your submission, you’ll have the chance to review all of the information that you have supplied. We suggest you take this opportunity to ensure that everything is correct. If you want to add another application, click on “Enter Another Application.” When you are happy that this is the case, click on “Complete Registration.”
On the next page, confirm that you are happy with all of the information that you supplied and continue. On the next page, save your application, and click “next.” You will not be able to select next until you’ve downloaded your application.
In the final part of your application, you’ll need to pay for your Swiss Schengen Visa. The visa fee varies from country to country, for instance, Indian nationals need to pay 80 Euros, while other countries like South Africa and Mexico will need to pay 60 or 44 Euros respectively.
You’ll be able to make payment with either a Visa or a Mastercard. If you do not want to pay for your visa online, simply select “no-online” payment and continue.
Next, you’ll receive an email that will allow you to schedule an appointment for your Swiss Schengen Visa application.
In some cases, a physical appointment for your Online Swiss Schengen Visa application will not be necessary. This would be the case when you have traveled to the Schengen area in the last 5 years, AND if you were able to pay your visa fee online.
If this wasn’t the case, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to have your biometric data collected and to pay for your application.
After you’ve completed your online Swiss Schengen visa application, print out your PDF application and sign it. This signed copy must be submitted along with all the other required documents mentioned earlier. This must be done within 180 days from the date that you completed your application.
Follow the link to book your appointment. This will take you to a booking platform that looks like this:
And just like that, you’ll have a complete Online Swiss Schengen Visa application and an appointment at your selected Swiss embassy or consulate. Make sure you take all of the required documents, and your printed and signed PDF to your appointment.
There are a whole host of motivations (reasons) on which you may be able to obtain a Schengen Visa - ranging from Cultural exchange visas to Study Visas. For a complete list of these reasons, check out this post. However, the most popular reasons to travel to the Schengen area are Tourism or Business.
Apart from the reason for your Schengen Visa, you may also choose between a single-entry Schengen visa or a multiple entry Schengen visa. On a single-entry Schengen visa you may only enter the Schengen zone once during the validity of the visa.
So if, for instance, you travel from Switzerland to France, Spain, and then on to Morocco, you’ll not be able to re-enter the Schengen Area on the same visa, as the visa only permitted a single entry.
A multiple entry Schengen visa, on the other hand, will allow you to enter the Schengen zone, exit it, and enter it once again. It is worth noting, however, that a Multiple-entry Schengen visa is notoriously difficult to obtain and unless you are a frequent traveler to the Schengen area, we’ll advise you to apply for a single entry Schengen Visa.
Currently, only short-stay visas (90 days or less) are available on the Swiss Online platform. Any other visa application should be submitted in person at your nearest Swiss Embassy or Swiss Consulate.