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Schengen Visa For Switzerland


News: Schengen Visas required for most non EEA nationals residing in the United Kingdom

Since December 12, 2008 Switzerland has become part of the Schengen Area, a zone covering 3.6 million square kilometres and offering unrestricted travel to 400 million Europeans. There are no more passport checks at country frontiers, but police checks in the Schengen border zones are being stepped up. Goods traffic is however still subject to border searches, as Switzerland is not yet part of the EU customs union.

As a result of Switzerland's accession a large number of third country nationals residing in the UK are now required to obtain a visa to travel to Switzerland from the Swiss Embassy/Consulate in London.

Visiting Switzerland

If you are planning a trip to Switzerland and you are a third country nationals currently residing in the UK you will need to obtain a Swiss schengen Visa before setting up on your journey. Click here for a detailed list of third country nationals. If you do not have the correct visa endorsed in your passport, you will be refused entry into Switzerland and are likely to be sent back to either the UK or your country of origin or normal residence. It is therefore crucial that you plan ahead and make the necessary arrangments to obtain the appropriate visa in a timely manner.

Business Visitors

Business Visitors cannot carry out any activities which would constitute productive work whilst visiting Switzerland. However Nationals of the EU17 and EFTA can take up employment in Switzerland, providing services on self employed basis for up to three months per calendar year without a work permit.

Employees of companies based in one of the EU 17 member states posted in Switzerland to render a service may also work there for up to three months without a work permit regardless of their nationalities. Those wishing to provide services in Switzerland for up to three months either on a self employed or posted worker basis will be subject to an announcement procedure which must take plase at least 8 days before taking up work. Do note that when dealing with posted workers, the 90 days are per company as opposed to per worker. Furthermore third country nationals can only benefit from the announcement procedure if they are directly employed by the sending company and have held a valid EU work permit / authorisation for at least 12 months. Only a company's own employees can be posted, not temporary workers hired from an agency.

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How long does the process take?

Processing time takes approximately up to 7 working days. However you should allow another 2 working days for the return of your documents. Please note that this time frame cannot be guaranteed as the processing time is entirely at the discretion of the Swiss Embassy.

The visa-processing will take up to 14 working days for applicants of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burundi, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Lebanon, Libya ,Mauritania, Nigeria, Korea North, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi-Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Surinam, Syria, Vietnam, Palestine.

We do not accept responsibility for processing delays caused by the Embassy, the VFS, the Royal Mail and/or ECS.

How early can I apply for a visa?

Visa applications can be filed as early as up to 90 days prior to the date of travel. The Swiss Embassy advise that applicants should apply at least 3 weeks prior to their date of travel.

What are the documents required in support of my visa application? It will depend on the category you are applying under. Click on the following links to view the recommended documents for the visa category you have selected:

Visitor/Tourist Visa

Transit Visa

Business Visa

How do I show my relationship with my accompanying spouse/children?

You will need to provide your original marriage certificate and your children long birth certificate (the certificate must show the name of both parents). Documents which are not in English, German, French or Italian will have to be translated by an official translator who will be able to provide you with a certified translation. Photocopies of your spouse's national passport can be accepted as proof of nationality, if applicable.

I have indefinite leave to remain / I am settled in the UK – Do I still require a Visa to travel to Switzerland?

YES you do.

I am married to an EU-EEA –citizen and have a UK EEA resident permit – Do I still require a Visa to travel Switzerland?

YES you do

I am traveling to Spain and Germany as well, can I use my Swiss Schengen visa?

The Embassy of Switzerland issue Schengen visas for Switzerland which give access to Switzerland and all the other Schengen states. However, please note that the Swiss Embassy will only process your application for a Schengen Visa if Switzerland is the country where you will remain the longest. If you intend to remain in other Schengen countries for the same duration of your stay in Switzerland, you will only be able to obtain a Swiss Schengen Visa if you can show that Switzerland will be your first point of entry into the Schengen area.

Do I require a travel-insurance?

Yes you are required to provide proof of health insurance (travel insurance) with a minimum medical coverage GBP 25,000.00 to cover the whole period of the visa. You MUST ensure that the insurance document includes the name of the visa applicant, the duration of the insurance cover and the cover details. A policy number only will not sufficient.

When can I re-apply if my visa application is rejected?

You can re-apply at anytime if your application has been refused. However do note that there is no guarantee that your new application will be approved. The Swiss Embassy strongly recommend that you give a detailed explanation as to why your previous application was refused and ensure that your new application meets all the requirements.