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Travelling abroad

Which documents do I need to travel? Can I enter another country just on my ID card or do I need a valid passport or even a visa?

Swiss citizens

If you hold Swiss nationality you do not need a visa to enter an EU/EFTA country. A valid passport or ID card is enough. You may also be able to travel to an EU/EFTA state even if your passport has expired. To be sure, contact the country’s diplomatic or consular mission.

Non-EU/EFTA countries require you to have a passport or ID card that is valid beyond the date of your return journey (e.g. at least six months beyond the date of return). Sometimes they also require you to have a visa and other travel documents (e.g. medical insurance certificate).

For further information, contact the country’s diplomatic or consular mission in Switzerland. You should give precise details of the type of travel document you have (ID card, provisional passport, normal passport with or without biometrics) and how long it is valid for. Your travel agency may also be able to help you. A driving licence is not a recognised travel document.

Travelling with minors

Sometimes a child travels with a person who is not their legal representative or with a parent who does not bear the same surname. Each country has its own laws on this matter, for example concerning conditions of entry and on staying in the country. The embassy or consulate of the country of destination can provide information on the current regulations and on visas.

Be aware that there may also be rules applying to transit, so you should also contact the transit country as well.

Foreign missions in Switzerland

Foreign nationals living in Switzerland

EU/EFTA citizens

You just need a valid travel document (passport, emergency passport, ID card) to travel to an EU/EFTA state. If you are travelling to a country outside of the EU/EFTA zone, contact the country’s representation in Switzerland for current travel requirements.

Foreign missions in Switzerland

Foreign nationals from non-EU/EFTA states – travelling in the Schengen area

Foreign nationals from non-EU/EFTA states in possession of a valid Swiss foreign national permit B, C, L or Ci do not require a visa to visit a country in the Schengen area (up to 90 days within a 180-day period). However, you must carry a valid Swiss residence permit and valid travel documents (your passport or a Swiss travel document for foreign nationals).

This does not apply to Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, which are not in the Schengen area. You may require a visa to travel to these countries.

You should check with the country’s diplomatic or consular mission in Switzerland to find out which travel documents you require, including passport (which may have to be valid six months beyond the date of travel), visa, medical insurance certificate, etc. Your travel agency may also be able to provide this information.

Please note that holders of a Swiss F-permit or N-permit are not entitled to travel within the Schengen area, even if they have a valid travel document.

 

Foreign missions in Switzerland

Foreign nationals from non-EU/EFTA states – travelling outside the Schengen area

You should check with the country’s diplomatic or consular mission to find out which travel documents you require, including passport (which may have to be valid six months beyond the date of travel), visa, medical insurance certificate, etc. Your travel agency may also be able to provide this information.

Foreign missions in Switzerland