Monday, June 27, 2022

Visa & Passport Requirements for Switzerland

EuropeSwitzerlandVisa & Passport Requirements for Switzerland

Read next

Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

  • There are normally no border controls between the countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. This includes most countries of the European Union and a few other countries.
  • Before boarding an international flight or ship, there is usually an identity check. Sometimes there are temporary checks at land borders.
  • Similarly, a visa issued for a member of the Schengen area is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty.

However, Switzerland is not a member of the EU. Therefore, travellers entering Switzerland are subject to customs controls even without entry controls, and people travelling to other countries in the Schengen area must also pass through customs.

As a tourist: Remember that personal effects with a total value of more than CHF 5,000 and cash and all cash equivalents with a value of more than CHF 10,000 must be declared. Certain quantities of alcoholic beverages, foodstuffs and tobacco products are also subject to customs duty. Note: The import of animal products from countries other than EU member states and Norway is prohibited. When entering Switzerland, personal belongings, travel provisions and fuel in the tank of your vehicle are exempt from taxes and customs duties. Other transported goods are subject to VAT and customs duties according to their total value (more than CHF 300) and quantity. Please also be careful if you wish to travel with your pets. And generally observe the prohibitions, restrictions and permits relating to animals and plants, species, money, securities, weapons, pyrotechnic articles (fireworks), narcotics and medicines, the transfer of cultural goods, product piracy, counterfeiting, medicines (medical devices) and doping, radar detectors and public band radio (CB radio).

Unaccompanied minors (travellers under the age of 18) are strongly advised to carry a declaration of consent from their parents/guardians as well as a copy of the parents’ or guardian’s valid passport or identity card. Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Migration in the FAQ section (under “Travel and border crossing documents”).

Minimum validity of travel documents

  • EU and EEA citizens as well as visa-free third-country nationals (e.g. New Zealanders and Australians) only need to present a passport valid for the entire stay in Switzerland.
  • However, other nationals requiring a visa (e.g. South Africans) must present a passport whose validity exceeds the duration of stay in Switzerland by at least three months.
  • However, EU and EEA citizens can still enter Switzerland without a valid travel document if their nationality has been established. The burden of proof lies with the person concerned. Proof of citizenship may be provided by any appropriate means (e.g. an expired passport, an official document proving the identity and/or citizenship of the holder).
  • Further information on the minimum validity of travel documents and on the entry of EU and EEA citizens without valid travel documents can be found in the FAQ section on the website of the Federal Office for Migration (under “Grenzübertritt/Reiseokumente”).

How To Travel To Switzerland

By plane The main international airports are in Zurich IATA: ZRH, Geneva IATA: GVA and Basel (for the Swiss part: IATA: BSL), with smaller airports in LuganoIATA: LUG and Bern IATA: BRN. Some airlines fly to Friedrichshafen, which is on the other side of Lake Constance at Romanshorn, not far...

How To Travel Around Switzerland

By plane As Switzerland probably has the best developed public transport system in the world and the country's airports are not that far apart, domestic air traffic is very limited. Routes offered by Swiss International Airlines and Etihad Regional include Zurich-Geneva, Zurich-Lugano and Geneva-Lugano. In most cases, the train, sometimes...

Destinations in Switzerland

Regions in Switzerland Politically, Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons, but the following regions will be more useful for the traveller: Western SwitzerlandFrom the north shore of Lake Geneva and the Alps to the Jura.Bern RegionThe central region of traditional Bernese influenceBernese OberlandThe majestic Bernese AlpsCentral SwitzerlandThe birthplace of the Swiss...

Weather & Climate in Switzerland

The climate is temperate, but varies considerably with altitude (on average around 6.5°C every 1000m). There are four clearly defined seasons, which bring changes in both temperature and precipitation. Switzerland experiences cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and moderate to hot summers, with weather that can change very quickly; especially on...

Accommodation & Hotels in Switzerland

Most accommodation in Switzerland can now be found and booked through the main internet booking portals, even hotels and accommodation in remote areas. Nevertheless, most tourist regions in Switzerland have a tourist office where you can call to book a hotel for a small fee. Each city usually has...

Things To See in Switzerland

Chillon Castle: Castle near MontreuxThe Lavaux vineyards: on the shores of Lake GenevaThe castles of Bellinzona: in the south of the canton of TicinoSt. Gall AbbeyThe summit of Europe and the Sphinx Observatory: a "village" with a post office on the Jungfraujoch, 3,500 metres above WengenGrande Dixence: a 285-metre-high...

Things To Do in Switzerland

Switzerland is world famous for skiing, but the country is also suitable for many other outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. Mountaineering, from easy to very difficult, is also practised in Switzerland, and there is hardly a place with a longer tradition of it. Some routes, such...

Food & Drinks in Switzerland

Food in Switzerland Although Switzerland has a long tradition of culinary exchange with its neighbours' cuisine, it has a number of emblematic dishes of its own. Switzerland is famous for many types of cheese such as Gruyère, Emmentaler (simply called "Swiss cheese" in the USA) and Appenzeller, to name just a...

Money & Shopping in Switzerland

Currency Switzerland is not part of the eurozone and the currency is the Swiss franc (or franc, or franco, depending on which language zone you are in), divided into 100 centimes, centimes or centesimi. However, some places - such as supermarkets, restaurants, tourist attraction counters, hotels and railways, or ATMs...

Festivals & Holidays in Switzerland

Holidays Public holidays are regulated at cantonal level (except 1 August) and can vary greatly. However, they are those that are observed (almost) everywhere: New Year's Day: 1 January (one of the three public holidays legally recognised by each canton). St. Berchtold: 2 January (in many cantons and municipalities it is a...

Traditions & Customs in Switzerland

English is widely spoken in Switzerland, but any attempt to speak the local language is always appreciated, even if you are answered in English. It is always polite to ask if you speak English before starting a conversation. Make an effort to learn at least the words "hello", "goodbye", "please"...

Internet & Communications in Switzerland

Many of the internet cafés that popped up in the 1990s have now closed, probably because Switzerland has one of the highest rates of high-speed internet connections in the world in households, but there may be a few internet terminals in some major train stations. The tourist office should...

Language & Phrasebook in Switzerland

Switzerland has four official languages at federal level, namely German, French, Italian and Romansh, and the main language spoken depends on which part of the country you are in. The cantons are free to choose which official language they want to adopt, and some cities such as Biel and...

Culture Of Switzerland

Three of the most important European languages are official languages in Switzerland. Swiss culture is characterised by its diversity, which is reflected in a variety of traditional customs. A region may in some ways be strongly culturally linked to the neighbouring country that shares its language, since the country...

History Of Switzerland

Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The forerunners of Switzerland concluded a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century (1291) and formed a loose confederation of states that lasted for centuries. Ancient history The oldest...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Switzerland

Stay safe in Switzerland Switzerland is unsurprisingly one of the safest countries in Europe, but any place that attracts Rolex-wearing bankers and throngs of distracted tourists is bound to produce a few pickpockets too. Clearly, you need to keep an eye on your business, especially amid the summer crowds. In...

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Most Popular