Traveler help

Requirements and documents to travel to Switzerland: is a visa needed?

If you plan to go to Switzerland, you should keep in mind that the procedures and legal requirements vary depending on your nationality, the reason for the trip and the duration of the trip. Therefore, we inform you of the necessary documentation to enter this country, as well as the existing visa types.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Required Documentation

Citizens of European countries that are part of the Schengen area can travel to Switzerland with their ID (National identity document). This agreement allows free movement through the territories of the adhering States. Also, foreigners residing in one of these countries can go to Switzerland with their NIE or residence card.

One of these territories is Spain. If you want to know what the rest are, we recommend you read the following article: The Schengen area and the Member States of the European Union.

On the other hand, apart from the Schengen treaty states, there is a list of countries that do not need a visa to go to Switzerland. They are only required one passport issued in the last 10 years and with a minimum validity of three months at the end of the trip.

However, this advantage only applies when traveling as a tourist for a maximum of 90 days. Countries with this advantage are the following:

  • TO: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia
  • B: Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei
  • C: Canada, Chile, Vatican City, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia
  • D: Dominica
  • AND: El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, United States
  • G: Granada, Guatemala
  • H: Honduras, Hong Kong
  • I: Northern Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Israel
  • J: Japan
  • K: Kiribati
  • M: Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro
  • N: New Zealand, Nicaragua
  • P: Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru
  • S: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore
  • T: Taiwan, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu
  • OR: Uruguay
  • V: Vanuatu, Venezuela


There are some cases in which a visa must be requested, such as to go to work from a country that does not belong to the Schengen area. Next, we explain the different types of visa.

Schengen Visa

The rest of the territories that we have not named before need a visa to enter Switzerland. Among them are Ecuador and Bolivia. If the stay is going to be up to 90 days and for tourism, the Schengen or type C visa must be requested. This permit has a price of € 60 for adults, € 35 for children between 6 and 12 years and free for children under 6 years.

Although it has to be formalized in an embassy, ​​you must first make an appointment through the Swiss visa online portal. You can access it by clicking in this link.

On the day of the appointment, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Visa application completed and signed.
  • Two updated passport-sized photos.
  • Passport with a minimum validity of six months after leaving Schengen territory.
  • Copy of the first and second page of the passport and visas from other countries.
  • Previous original passports.
  • Round trip flight booking.
  • International medical insurance policy, which has travel insurance equivalent to € 30,000 and coverage for all countries in the Schengen area.
  • Original work certificate. If you are a senior student, a University certificate, pension payment, tuition for the following semester and financial status of the parents. Retirees must present the retirement card and the last three proofs of the pension payment.
  • Documentation that reports on the financial situation and status of bank accounts.
  • Hotel reservation already confirmed and paid. If you are traveling with a scheduled tour, letter from the travel agency with the itinerary details and proof of payment.

The minors They must appear at the Embassy with one of their parents. In addition, both parents must sign the visa application. Apart from the cited documents, a copy of the official authorization, another one of the birth certificate or identity document must be taken and the parents' financial situation must be shown.

If you go to visit family or friends, they can send a Letter of Invitation to stay at your home, so you would not need to book a hotel. It must be written by the closest relative. If you don't have it, it can be signed by a friend.

This letter should include the details and address of the host, the reason and duration of the trip and guarantee that the visitor will leave Switzerland once the visit is over.

The Schengen visa also contemplates the option of traveling for business. In this case, the head of the Swiss company must send an invitation letter with the following points:

  • Reason and duration of the trip
  • Coverage of all visit expenses, if applicable
  • Company guarantee that the visitor will leave Switzerland once the business visit is over

The Schengen visa granting process can be expedited if the trip is made for a reason humanitarian, such as urgent medical treatment or a serious accident.

National visa

If you want to stay in Switzerland for more than 90 days or live in this country, you must apply for a national or type D visa. The only exceptions are citizens of Schengen treaty countries and other territories such as Andorra, with which there is an agreement .

To request a permit from student, you need a certificate of admission from the University or Higher School in which you are going to study.

If your purpose is to go to to work, you should know that Swiss citizens and other Schengen countries have preference over those that are not.

In the event that a Swiss company offers you a job, it must send a request to the cantonal migration and labor market authorities. If accepted, it must be reviewed by the State Secretariat of Migration (SEM). However, a residence permit must also be requested.

Other requirements

Travel to Switzerland to formalize a marriage It involves a long and complex process, as indicated in the country's embassy. On the other hand, if you live there and are a foreign resident, the necessary documents are as follows:

  • Birth certificate in which the name of the parents appears
  • Passport or proof of nationality
  • Marital Status Card

It is possible to enter this territory with pet. In the case of dogs and cats, they must meet the following conditions:

  • Vaccination card that reports that the animal is vaccinated against rabies. If you come from a low-risk country (European Union, Norway or Iceland) you will have been vaccinated at least 21 days before and it cannot be less than 15 weeks. For the rest of the countries, a blood sample must be analyzed 30 days after the rabies vaccination and a minimum of three months must pass after this analysis. Animals under seven months cannot enter.
  • Microchip in which the identity of the dog or cat is registered.
  • Health certificate that shows that the pet is in good condition to enter the country.

On the other hand, Switzerland is a neighbor of Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Liechtenstein. There is no restriction to cross the border by car. However, if you are going to use the country's highways, you must pay a permit or vinyette of 40 Swiss francs, equivalent to about € 37.

As for the vaccines, there is no obligation to visit this State. Travelers coming from territories threatened by yellow fever may be required to receive a vaccination certificate. Anyone, traveling or not, is recommended to have these vaccines:

  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough
  • Viral triple (Measles, Rubella and Mumps)

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