Switzerland is a Schengen state in Europe, along with 25 other countries. These countries are all part of the European Union.  They have abolished passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders after joining this group. A holder of a Schengen visa, granted by any of the Schengen Area member countries, is eligible for free movement within the entire Schengen Zone, within the validity and period limitations of the Switzerland visa. There are different restrictions that apply to the particular visa issued by the embassy of Switzerland, in accordance to the nature of travelling and length of stay in the country. Both Travel Switzerland Visa as well as Business Switzerland Visa comes under the Schengen short stay visa which allows visitors to stay for a maximum period of 90 days.

A travel Switzerland visa is granted to people who wish to enter the Switzerland for tourism, travel and leisure purposes only. Switzerland allows visitors to stay in the country for a predetermined amount of time. These visas do not permit the holder to work or engage in any business activities in the host country. Thus, in case you are travelling for tourism purposes, you must use the Switzerland visa application for travel, which is valid for travel period of less than 90 days.

A business Switzerland visa allows the bearer to enter the Switzerland and engage in business activities without joining that country’s labour force, temporarily or permanently. Typically, the visitors must show that they are not receiving any income from the country. Business Switzerland visa applications will be issued for business purpose only, for a period less than 90 days. If the applicant intends to participate in gainful professional activities, even if the work is not financially rewarded, they will have to apply for a work permit to Switzerland.

What is the Cost of a Visa to Switzerland?

The cost for a Short Stay Schengen Switzerland Visa for travel and business purposes is:

  • For children below 6 years of age- No Charge
  • For children between the ages of 6 and 12 years- INR 2700
  • For regular applicants- INR 4500
  • For spouse or children of a European Union National – No Charge

Applicants shall be charged a service charge of INR 1425 that must be paid at the Visa Application Centre.  An optional courier facility is available at INR 450/- per application or passport by the VAC centre. All the above prices are inclusive of Goods & Service Tax –SGST @9% and CGST@9%.

There are convenience fees of INR 150 payable for provision of multiple mode of payment such as credit card, debit card etc.

The current exchange rate dictates the Switzerland Visa fee in Indian Rupees and it is subject to change without notice, as per fluctuations in economy. All visa fees are non-refundable, regardless of whether the Switzerland Visa is granted or not.

 

 

What are the documents required to visit Switzerland?

The following documents are required irrespective of which Switzerland Visa type you are applying for.

  1. Travel document– The applicant’s passport must be valid for a minimum three months after the intended departure from Switzerland. It must contain at least two blank pages and must have been issued within the last 10 years. The passport should not have any observation regarding the front data page.
  2. Application form– The applicant must submit a fully completed Switzerland visa application form. Applicants must note that any incomplete information or false statement in the Switzerland visa application could result in delay in processing or rejection of the application. This Switzerland visa application form can be downloaded in English and it has to be filled out in the English language only.
  3. Photograph– Applicants require one recent original passport-size colour photograph with a white background. The photograph should not be more than six months old.
  4. Covering letter– The applicant must submit a covering letter to the centre, with details such as the applicant introducing himself/herself, explaining the purpose of visit, duration & itinerary of the visit in brief.
  5. Travel Medical Insurance– You must have valid medical insurance during your stay in Switzerland. This must cover all possible expenses for health reasons, death, indispensable medical treatment or acute hospitalisation during your stay, which may cause you to return to India. The minimum policy coverage should be 30,000 Euro and this insurance policy must cover all Schengen countries. The insurance policy must be valid for the entire duration of the applicant’s intended stay in Switzerland. The applicant may shorten the validity of the Switzerland Visa if their insurance policy does not cover the entire duration of the stay in Switzerland.
  6. Proof of Means of Transport – Applicants need their flight reservation of return or round ticket. Proof of flight reservation between the different countries, train itinerary or car rental receipt is required, if the applicant wishes to travel to multiple Schengen States. Applicants may note that the tickets do not have to be paid for; only the booking receipt needs to be submitted as proof.
  7. Proof of Lodging – The applicant’s hotel reservations, receipt of renting a holiday home or campus residence reservation are required as proof. Proof of sponsorship and private accommodation from the host is required, if the applicant intends to stay with a family member or a friend in Switzerland. If applicant wishes to travel to several Schengen States, proof of lodging in each of them is required.
  8. Proof of Financial means– The applicant must also have 100 CHF per day of their stay in Switzerland. The applicant’s original bank statement showing their transactions in the last three months, duly stamped and signed by the bank authority, or Indian income tax return statement acknowledging returns for the last two assessment years are required for the Switzerland visa application form. The bank account should be in the name of the applicant or the sponsor of the trip. In case of the applicant is sponsored, the bank statement should be accompanied by a signed sponsorship letter and a signed copy of the sponsor’s passport.

 

In addition if the applicant is employed:

  • Current employment contract
  • Copy of current bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • No-objection certificate from current employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary from the applicant

If the applicant is a company owner or self-employed:

  • A copy of their business license
  • Copy of the company bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) of the company

If the applicant is retired:

  • Pension statement for the previous 6 months
  • Proof of regular income received from property or rent for the last 6 months (if any)
  1. Minor Applicant
  • If the minor is travelling with only one parent, except in cases of the parent having sole custody or guardianship of the minor, written consent certified by a public notary of the other parent or guardian is required.
  • If the minor is travelling alone, without a legal guardian, written consent certified by a public notary from either the parents or guardians having custody of the minor is required. Additionally, copies of the passport of the parents are required. If not applicable, birth certificate of the applicant and copies of Identity proof of the parents must be submitted.
  • All minors must be accompanied by both parents or legal guardians to the Visa Office, to sign the application form in front of a VFS officer. In cases where the child is traveling with one parent to visit the other parent who is residing in Switzerland, this clause is dropped.
  1. Passport Copy– All Switzerland visa applications must enclose a full colour photocopy of the valid passport of the applicant. All the pages of the passport are required to be photocopied and attached. If the applicant any valid visas for Schengen States, USA, UK, Canada or Australia that was issued in last three years in an old or cancelled passport, then a colour photocopy of the visa pages and passport data pages are required.

If applying for a Tourist Schengen Short Stay Switzerland Visa:

  1. If the applicant is being sponsored, an invitation letter with the address and phone number from the family or company that is sponsoring is required.
  2. Bank statement of the last 6 months
  3. Passport copies of the applicant
  4. A certificate from the travel agency confirming the booking of an organised trip of the applicant (if any)
  5. Any other appropriate document indicating the travel plans of the applicant, including period and reason of visit.

 

 

If applying for a Switzerland Visa for Business Purposes:

  1. Invitation letter from the company in Switzerland applicant will be visiting and their complete address along with the dates of the visit
  2. A certificate from your employer allowing the business travel and stating the details about the trip.
  3. Both invitation letter as well as letter from employer must confirm the following details:
  • The applicant’s identity;
  • The purpose of the visit, such as meetings, conferences, training or business related events.
  • The period and place of intended stay of the applicant, while in Switzerland.

 

  1. Proof of previous trade relations between the two companies, if such events have occurred.
  2. Bank statement of the last 6 months of the company
  3. The coverage of applicant’s expenses during their stay in Switzerland must be proved by either the employer or the host company who is hosting the applicant, on the letter or invitation.

Note:

  • The applicant must ensure always to have a valid Schengen travel insurance during their stay in Switzerland. The border authorities may ask to see proof of a valid insurance when you enter the Schengen Area or Switzerland.
  • All documents should be provided in A4 size of paper.
  • If the documents not originally in English, they must be accompanied by valid English translations.
  • Although the Embassy reserves the right to request the original of any document provided at any point during Switzerland visa processing, please submit only photocopies of all documents. Do keep in mind to carry original documents at the time of submission at the Visa Centre.
  • It must be noted that the Switzerland Embassy has the right to ask for additional documents or personal appearance of the applicant for an interview in special cases.
  • The application may be rejected if the applicant submits incomplete documentation or refuses to appear for a special Switzerland visa interview.

How to apply for a visa to Switzerland?

Step 1: Visit the link  to access the online Switzerland Visa application form.

Step 2: You will be redirected to the PDF file of the application form. Download this form and then take a printout of it.

Step 4: Fill in the application form by stating the following details:

  • Surname at present
  • Surname at birth
  • First Name of the applicant
  • Date of Birth, Place of Birth and Country of Birth of the applicant
  • Current Nationality and nationality at birth
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • In case of Minor applicant: fill in first name, surname, address (if different from main applicant) and nationality of parents or legal guardians
  • Type of Document held by applicant (official Passport, Ordinary Passport, Diplomatic Passport or Service passport)
  • Number on travel document (passport number)
  • Validity of travel document
  • Date of Issue of travel document
  • Name of Issuer of travel document
  • Applicant’s home address, email address and telephone number
  • State whether the applicant is currently residing in another country
  • Current occupation of the applicant and employer’s name, address and telephone number. If the applicant is a student, mention the name and address of educational establishment in this field.
  • Main purpose of the journey (such as tourism, business, visiting friends and family, cultural, sports or other reasons)
  • State of destination which the applicant wishes to visit. If multiple, member state of first entry must be mentioned
  • Number of entries requested (such as single entry, double entry or multiple entry)
  • Duration of intended stay or transit
  • Tick whether the applicant was issued a Schengen visa in the past three years. If yes, state the date of issuance and date of expiry of visa.
  • Tick whether the applicant’s fingerprints have been collected previously for the purpose of obtaining a Schengen Visa.
  • Fill in the name and address of the inviting company/organisation or person, their email ID, telephone number and address, if any.
  • Fill in the how the costs are to be met and by whom in Switzerland.

Step 5: After finishing your application, click on ‘Submit’. The applicant must then take a printout of the filled out application form and go to the Visa Application Centre.  They must choose a centre in their application which is nearest to their residence. Applicants must keep in mind that they must bring the required supporting documents and the Switzerland visa service fees to the centre.

 

Step 6: At the visa application centre, the service centre personnel will take your picture (for all applicants). A biometrical process will then take your fingerprints. All Schengen short stay visa applicants must appear in person at the centre to have their fingerprints recorded and their photograph taken. The Visa Information System (VIS) will then register this information. Although this registration procedure only takes a few minutes, it identifies you with certainty as the only legal holder of the Switzerland visa. Identity theft and fraud are prevented by this method. However, children younger than 12 years of age do not need to get their fingerprints recorded.

 

Step 7: After the staff checks the veracity of Switzerland visa application, they will record your application information in the system. You will have to pay the fees at this point. They will then generate an acknowledgement receipt which you can keep for further reference.

 

Note:

  1. All applications will be assessed by the Embassy of Switzerland at New Delhi only. Please note the applications must be submitted and collected either in person or by an authorized representative only. This is due to the fact that the Switzerland Visa Application Centre in New Delhi is unable to receive and process applications sent by courier or postal services at the current time.
  2. Please Schedule an appointment at the visa application centre to submit your Short Stay Tourists or Business Visa to Switzerland. This is a mandatory step for Indian citizens.

 

After Submission

If you submitted your application using the online submission method, visit the link   to see the status of your Switzerland visa. There you will have to fill in the following details:

  • Reference Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Captcha

Your visa processing status will then be displayed on your screen.

After your Switzerland Visa application is approved, you may collect your passport from the respective VAC office. You must collect your passport yourself. Please ensure you bring the receipt issued to you on the day of your appointment, during collection of passport.

The documents or passport of the applicant will not be handed over to third parties, except if the following people go to collect it:

  • Immediate Family Member such as Parents, Children or Spouse of the applicant
  • A person collecting the passport on behalf of Government officials, if so mentioned on the Government letter head.
  • Red Carpet Representatives of the applicant, if authorized on the Company’s letter head

If any of the above people come to collect the passport, they need to carry any of the following documents:

  • Original Government ID card
  • Original Identity Proof
  • Original authorization letter from applicant