Learn More: Schengen Visa
The Schengen visa is a short stay visa required for nationalities who are not eligible for visa-free travel in the 26 member countries of the Schengen area. Holders of the Schengen visa are allowed to travel throughout the Schengen zone for up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
WHO CAN ENTER SWITZERLAND WITH THE SCHENGEN VISA
If your nationality is not eligible for visa-free travel to the Schengen zone, you will need a Schengen visa to visit the countries in this area. Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa in order to transit through the international transit areas of airports of the Schengen States. See the FAQs below for full details.
OBTAIN THE SWITZERLAND SCHENGEN VISA
To get your Schengen visa, you’ll need to fill out our online application and provide supporting documents including proof of travel medical insurance, proof of accommodation, proof of financial means of support during your stay, and a color passport-quality photo. In some cases you may need to supply fingerprints.
DISPLAY YOUR SCHENGEN VISA
Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your Schengen visa sticker by mail. The sticker should be affixed to your passport. You will need to display it to authorities before boarding and on arrival. Keep in mind that a Schengen visa does not guarantee entry, as it’s ultimately up to the authorities to determine whether you may enter the country.
Required Documents to Apply
Switzerland is a small country in Central Europe known for its loose banking regulations, great utility knives and watches, and magnificent mountains: the Swiss Alps in the south, and the Jura Mountains are in the northwest. The Swiss pride themselves on their country being internationally recognized as a premier destination for skiing and mountaineering.
While there are plenty of other attractions in Switzerland, we recommend going trekking on the Alpina Green Trail. In seven days, you'll climb the exhausting 144 km uphill to witness some breathtaking views of the Alps. Plus, on your way, you can stop one of their countless luxury resorts, enjoy haute cuisine, and relax at a spa. Best of all, it can be surprisingly inexpensive to visit for Western travelers.
Bear in mind that you may need a visa.
Since Switzerland is a Schengen Area member, you may require a Schengen visa. That is not applicable in two particular cases. In the first case, you do not need a visa if you travel from another EU state or an EEA (European Economic Area) country. EU/EEA citizens have the right to free movement within the Union. A visa-exemption is also granted to people who travel from the countries that are in the visa waiver program (Annex II). However, this category of travelers can stay within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days.
To find out in which category you fit, you can take a look at the visa policy of the Schengen Area. However, we recommend you use our Visa Checker Tool. Click the box in the top right corner of this page, select your nationality from the drag-down menu, and choose Switzerland as your destination. In seconds, you'll know your nation's visa status Moreover, if you do require a visa, you will be given a list of the nearest embassies where you can apply in-person. You cannot obtain a Schengen visa online, which is why iVisa does not process these applications. Even so, we would still like to help. Our free, 24/7 support service is at your disposal should you have questions about the visa application process.
If you discover that you'll need a Schengen visa, you need to decide the embassy to visit in-person because you don't necessarily need to visit a Swiss embassy. It depends on your travel itinerary. The rules about this are quite strict: If you want to travel to Switzerland only, then, of course, you must get your visa from the Swiss embassy. However, if you have multiple planned destinations in the Schengen Area, you must apply for your visa at the embassy of the country which is your primary (longest stay) or first destination.
Although we cannot currently assist you with the Schengen visa application process itself, we hope that the above information helps point you in the right direction.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Switzerland is more than cuckoo clocks and chocolate. This country is the land of beautiful Alps, four languages that are most often spoken, and amazing urban culture. Its incredible landscapes attract any traveler’s curiosity, and it invites you to grab your hiking boots and let your adventurous spirit appear.
You can easily enjoy snowboarding in places like Graubünden, Bernese Oberland, and Central Switzerland. When the summertime arrives and the pastures turn green, you can also try hiking and biking on mountain roads, leading you down to lost valleys and beautiful lake shores. Not to mention that you can also enjoy amazing views from hot-air balloons or parachutes, you can even afloat a white-water raft if you have the funds! Switzerland is one of the best destinations to try once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Similar to other European countries, Switzerland is also part of the Schengen agreement, which is why you’ll have no issues going from this country to another one that also participates in the agreement (for example: France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands!). However, to ensure you have a pleasant tour, you must check if you need an ETIAS, a paper visa or a Switzerland Schengen Visa.
Keep in mind that the Switzerland Schengen Visa works for the other countries in the Schengen Area, meaning that once you have it, you can use it for longer tours. You should also remember that the Switzerland Schengen Visa is available at the Swiss embassy or consulate because it is a paper visa, not an electronic one.
Most countries only need their passports to visit Switzerland, but better verify this information by using our visa checker on the upper area of this page.
One interesting aspect about Switzerland is the number of UNESCO World Heritage places it has. All of these places tell the story of the country’s formation and they form part of the Swiss identity. They stand for their quality, diversity, and authenticity throughout the years.
One example of that is the work made by Swiss architect Le Corbusier. UNESCO includes some of these creations in seven countries on the list. In Switzerland, you can visit the Villa "Le Lac” Le Corbusier and the Corseaux L'Immeuble Clarté in Geneva. Additionally to these two buildings in Switzerland, the other selected creations are located in Argentina, Belgium, Germany, France, India, and Japan. They are evidence of Le Corbusier‘s incredible creativity and versatility in many contexts.
Hiking in the Swiss National Park is almost obligatory, especially because it was recognized as a UNESCO biosphere reserve as far back as 1979. Plus, it is the only National Park in Switzerland (the country has recently announced that they intend to create more). This 172-sq km area is full of peaks, glaciers, woodlands, pastures, waterfalls, high moors, and lakes. It is located in the Rhaetian Alps, the westernmost area of Switzerland, recognizable not only for its Alps but also its small towns and the isolated but quiet feeling there. Together with the Val Müstair Biosphere and part of the Scuol commune, the Swiss National Park constitutes a natural area of national importance. This area is Switzerland's first UNESCO alpine biosphere reserve, so you mustn’t forget to explore it while staying in this wonderful country.
Speaking about natural wonders in Switzerland, you cannot forget to explore Matterhorn, the most famous mountain in the Alps, for its spectacular pyramid shape. Its summit, at 4,478 meters, makes it the fifth highest peak in the Alps. Matterhorn is located in Zermatt, one of the most popular resorts in the country. Aside from Matterhorn, there are other glaciers that are worth a visit in Switzerland, like Aletsch Glacier. This one is the longest glacier in the European Alps and it is a Unesco World Heritage site. While most travelers view the glacier from its peak at Jungfraujoch in the Bernese Oberland, the best views are from Eggishorn, Bettmerhorn, and Moosfluh in Valais.
Another place that you cannot forget to visit is Lake Geneva and Vaud, Western Europe’s largest lake. This place is known by the Francophones who inhabit its shores as Lac Léman but the rest of the world call it ‘Lake Geneva’. Half the lake belongs to France and most of its eastern shoreline, but the rest of it is the pride of the Vaudoise in Switzerland.
If you want to explore a picture-postcard place, then you cannot forget the Old City of Bern. Thanks to its well-preserved medieval center, Bern is now part of UNESCO’s listing of World Heritage Sites (since 1983). It’s hard to believe it is also the capital city of Switzerland, as most people believe that capital cities are extremely modern and futuristic, but that’s not the case in Switzerland.
Don’t let its antique vibes fool you! Bern also has a modern metropolitan area and many commercial shops but its mixture of medieval buildings makes this city an incredible place to visit.
There are more places you can explore in Switzerland like Lucerne, with its majestic peaks as a picturesque background, or the popular Benedictine Monastery St. Johann (it also belongs on UNESCO’s listing of World Heritage Sites). Switzerland has many places to make you fall in love with, so you better get ready for this adventure, you won’t regret it!
Something that cannot be forgotten is the travel documentation. You might be dreaming about the best places to explore Switzerland, but without valid documentation, that dream might not come true. Remember that you can use our website to verify if you need a Switzerland Schengen Visa or not. In case you need one, we suggest you use our convenient guide which will detail the steps involved in getting one, and help you plan your visit to a Swiss embassy or consulate to continue with the process.
If you don’t need a Switzerland Schengen Visa, then you’re probably ready to enter this magical country only with your passport and a Health Declaration or ETIAS (if required). Regardless of the option, we’ll always let you know about that through our website, so that you can save much time and effort. Plus, we can help you get the electronic travel documents easily, all you have to do is to fill in an online form and attach basic documents like a scanned passport!
We encourage you to prepare your luggage for this trip because Switzerland is unique and you shouldn’t avoid exploring it only because of travel papers. Let us help you with that!
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