Citizens of EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) member states do not require a visa to enter Switzerland.
If you come from another country, whether or not you need a visa depends on your nationality. The website of the State Secretariat for Migration provides you with an overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality.
Switzerland belongs to the Schengen Area*. If you have a visa issued by a Schengen member state, you generally do not require an additional tourist visa to enter Switzerland or any other Schengen country. Your stay must not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period.
If you have one of the following Swiss residence permits, you do not require a visa to enter Switzerland or another Schengen country for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies regardless of your nationality:
B permit (residence permit)
C permit (settlement permit)
L permit (short-term residence permit)
Ci permit (resident permit with gainful employment)
Legitimation card issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
*The 27 Schengen member states are:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Complete a form
There two types of visa application form.
Schengen visa for up to 90 days (Type C): This type of visa is for a stay of up to 90 days, for example for tourist purposes, to study or to participate in a cultural or sporting event. It is valid for travel throughout the Schengen Area.
If you wish to work in Switzerland, you must additionally apply for a work permit.
Long-stay visa for more than 90 days (Type D): If you wish to stay for longer than 90 days, you must apply for a Type D visa.
Submitting a visa application
You must submit a visa application to a Swiss consulate or embassy, preferably at least two months but no longer than six months before you travel.
In certain cases, you can submit your application via the online visa system.
To travel abroad from Switzerland, you must submit your visa application to the consulate or embassy of the appropriate country in Switzerland.
Depending on your country of origin, the Swiss consulate or embassy where you submit your visa application may request additional documents, even if you are only applying for a tourist visa. The documents may include:
Letter of invitation: The letter must be in German, French or Italian and confirm that your Swiss host (private individual or company) is expecting you. It must contain information on the length of and reason for your stay, your personal data (first name(s), surname, date of birth, nationality) and the personal data of your host. The letter must be dated and signed by your host. Further information on the letter of invitation is available in the SEM factsheet.
Declaration of sponsorship: If the Swiss consulate or embassy doubts you have sufficient financial means for your stay in Switzerland, you may have to submit a declaration of sponsorship before you are granted a visa. In this declaration, your host must confirm that they will pay for uncovered costs up to a maximum of CHF 30,000. Your host must sign the declaration and deposit it with the communal authority of his or her place of residence or with the cantonal migration authority. Further information on the declaration of sponsorship is available on the SEM website.
Travel health insurance
For a short-term visa (maximum of 90 days) you must prove that you have travel health insurance that covers costs of up to EUR 30,000. The insurance policy must be with an insurance company that is recognised by the consulate or embassy processing your visa application
A visa for an adult costs EUR 80.
A visa for a child (6 to 12 years) costs EUR 40.
Visas for children under 6 are free of charge.
In certain cases, the cost of a visa may be lowered or lifted completely. The cost of a long-stay visa for more than 90 days (Type D) may be increased by 50%.
If you lose your travel document, you must report the loss immediately to the nearest police station (web page in German, French and Italian) where you are staying. You can speed up the procedure by providing a copy of your travel document.
A leaflet describes what to do if you lose your travel document in Switzerland and how to replace your visa.
State Secretariat for Migration SEM:
Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality.
Information on tourist visas: Foreign representations in Switzerland.
Tourist visa for Switzerland: List of Swiss representations abroad (in French and German)
State Secretariat for Migration: Frequently asked questions about entering Switzerland