Applying for a Schengen Visa to Switzerland

Visiting Switzerland on a Schengen Visa

Home to much of the Alps, as well as Lake Geneva and the financial center of Zurich, Switzerland is a hub for both business and tourism - especially for the wealthy - the perfect place to combine business with a little pleasure.

To travel to Switzerland for a short trip lasting fewer than 90 days, you will need a Switzerland Schengen Visa, as it is part of the Schengen Area of European countries that have abolished border controls. A visa for any of the Schengen countries is valid for a stay in all the other Schengen nations during the period for which the document is valid. Over a period of six months, you are not permitted to spend more than a total of three months in the Schengen Area.

Who needs a Schengen Visa to enter Switzerland?

Travelers will need a Schengen Visa if you are a citizen of a non-Schengen country without a visa-free travel agreement with the area, or if you have been refused for visa-free travel. These short-stay visas can be for business or tourism purposes, as well as family and short study visits, or for medical reasons.

Your Schengen Visa application will cost €80 for adults and €40 for minors - although this may be waived in certain special circumstances, such as cultural or charitable trips for young people.

How do I apply for a Schengen Visa to Switzerland?

The next stage of applying for your visa is to book an appointment, and gather your supporting documents - two recently taken passport-style photos, your passport or other travel documents that are no older than 10 years and valid for at least three months after your departure date from the Schengen Area. You will also need travel and medical insurance covering you up to costs of €30,000, a cover letter stating your itinerary and the purpose of your visit, as well as a flight itinerary, proof of accommodation, proof of your civil status, like a marriage certificate, and proof you have means of subsistence during your stay. You need to demonstrate you have at least €92 per day of your trip - reduced to €28 for tourists.

What are the Swiss Visa requirements for a work, business or student visa?

When applying for a work visa to Switzerland, you will need to provide the embassy/consulate with documents that prove you meet Swiss Schengen Visa requirements based on your employment status. If employed, you need an employment contract, a current bank statement, a no objection letter from your employer giving you leave to travel, and an income tax return. Those who are self-employed will need a copy of their business license, company bank statements, and income tax returns. You will also need an invitation letter regardless of whether you are applying for a work visa or for a short-stay Schengen Visa for business.

As a citizen of a non-EU or EFTA country, you are eligible to apply for a Switzerland work visa if you meet the following conditions: You are a skilled and qualified worker (manager, specialist) and you have a university degree, several years of work experience, and specific expertise, you already have a job waiting for you, and/or if there is no EU/EFTA citizen who could take the job instead, as well as the annual quotas for Swiss work visas allowing you to be taken on as an employee.

Student visas

Student visas require proof of enrolment at a Swiss institution, a temporary residency permit, a no objection letter from your place of study in your homeland, and an invitation letter. If you are studying for longer than 90 days, you will also require a student residence permit.

Where do I go to apply for a Swiss Schengen Visa?

You will need to apply to the Swiss embassy or consulate in your country of residence, or a visa application center acting on the nation’s behalf. In many countries - including India - the Swiss embassy has outsourced the initial processing of visas to the firm VFS Global and its application centers. You can apply there and track your application via the company’s website.

Why choose AXA Schengen Insurance?

Individuals traveling to the Schengen Area from outside who require a visa need travel cover. AXA’s Low Cost Travel Insurance costs just €0.99 ($1.11) per day of your trip and will meet your visa requirements, while the AXA Schengen Europe Travel Insurance offers extended coverage up to costs of €100,000.

Those seeking a multiple-entry visa can purchase the Multi Trip insurance from €298 per year, which again covers you for expenses up to €100,000.

Other Schengen countries you might be interested in

Austria visa

Belgium visa

Czech Republic visa

Denmark visa

Estonia visa

Finland visa

France visa

Germany visa

Greece visa

Hungary visa

Iceland visa

Italy Visa

Latvia visa

Liechtenstein visa

Lithuania visa

Luxembourg visa

Malta visa

Netherlands visa

Norway visa

Poland visa

Portugal visa

Slovakia visa

Slovenia visa

Spain Visa

Sweden visa

Switzerland visa

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Frequently asked questions about getting a Swiss Schengen Visa

How long does it take to get a Swiss Schengen Visa?

The processing time for a Swiss Schengen visa may take up to 15 days in a normal situation but could take up to 60 days to be issued in extreme circumstances. You can apply for your visa up to six months before you travel.

I want to travel to Switzerland for business, but also visit for tourist purposes- which visa type should I apply for?

If you are planning to conduct business while in Switzerland you will need to state this as the main reason for your trip - what you do in your downtime is up to you!

Will I have to turn up in person to be interviewed when obtaining my Swiss Schengen Visa?

Yes. You need to attend an interview to submit and check the supporting documents submitted alongside your Schengen Visa application and to provide biometric data - such as fingerprints.