Applying for a Switzerland Visa in the UK

Applying for a Switzerland Visa in the UK

Switzerland Schengen Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines for UK Residents

Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union it is a full member of the Schengen area. Therefore, any UK citizen who holds either a full UK passport or a BOTC, BOC, BPP or BS passport can travel to Switzerland visa-free. However, many non-EU nationals who reside in the UK are still required to get a Schengen visa to travel to Switzerland.


In recent years, following visa liberalization policies for non-EU countries, the number of countries whose nationals require visas to travel to Europe has slightly dropped. Here is the list of nationalities that are still required to get a Schengen Visa to visit Switzerland and other Schengen states.

Stat: As per 2016, Switzerland has issued a total of 404,376 uniform Schengen visas from 460,653 applications received.

Below you can find more information on applying for a Switzerland visa from the UK.

Who can apply for a Switzerland Visa from within the UK?

Citizens of these countries who have been residing in the UK for at least three months and plan on visiting Switzerland are required to get a Switzerland visa in order to be able to enter Switzerland.

You should apply for a visa via the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK if:

  • Switzerland is the only Schengen country you plan on visiting
  • Switzerland is your main destination (the country you will be staying the longest in)
  • Switzerland is the first Schengen country you are visiting

In case you plan on staying in Switzerland for more than 90 days you must apply for a residency permit, not a Switzerland Schengen visa.

Please, note that if you are not a resident in the United Kingdom you should apply at the Swiss Embassy in your country of residence.


Switzerland Visa application documents and requirements for UK residents

  • A valid passport or Travel document. Please make sure that:
    • Your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
    • Your passport has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
    • Your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
  • A valid UK residence permit or other form of Identity Card. The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
  • One application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant (please read the explanations carefully). You can also apply via 3rd party websites like this one here. You have to pay an extra fee for their services, but they will also help you with Appointment booking, Documents checking, Visa application as well as with Visa and Passport collection. For more information, please click here!
  • One passport format photo that has a light background, is rightly coloured, and shows full face features. The photo must be less than three months old and be attached with a paper-clip on the application form.
  • Biometric data (Applies only if you haven’t provided biometric data within the last 59 months):
    • Fingerprints
    • A copy of the passport bio page where the photo is included.

Note: Children under the age of 12 are exempted from providing fingerprints.

  • A cover letter that explains the purpose of the visit to Switzerland
  • Proof of travel arrangements: Round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport and complete itinerary of your visit to Switzerland (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries).
  • Travel Insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation not just in Switzerland but in the whole Schengen zone (minimum coverage of € 30.000).
  • Proof of accommodation in Switzerland:
    • Evidence of a hotel booking or rental agreement, or
    • Invitation from your Swiss host (family member, friend) with a copy of their passport (Proof of sponsorship)
  • Proof of financial subsistence:
    • A recent statement of UK bank account for the last three months that shows funds of at least 95€ per person per day spent in Switzerland or
    • 3 most recent payslips, or
    • Online statements with the applicant’s name

Note: Photocopies of the original documents should also be submitted and documents should not be more than one month old.

The documents listed above are documents required in all cases, regardless of the purpose of your visit in Switzerland. Depending on your employment status, here is a list of additional documents that are required for your visa application:

For employees:

  • Employment contract
  • Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Leave permission from the employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary

For the self-employed:

  • A copy of your business license
  • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

For foreign students:

  • Proof of enrolment
  • No-objection certificate from school or university

For retirees:

  • Pension statement of the latest 6 months

If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:

  • A recent (less than 3 months old) Confirmation of Employment letter from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date,
  • Spouse’s valid passport
  • An officially translated marriage certificate. The translation must be in English, German, French or Italian and must be certified as a true copy by the Embassy of the country where the marriage took place or by the Legalization Bureau of the Foreign Office in UK

Requirements for children under the age of 18

Parents or a an adult guardian are required to accompany their under-age children at the application center at the Switzerland Embassy in London. Also, minors who are granted a Switzerland visa are not allowed to travel to Switzerland by themselves. They should be accompanied by an adult during their stay in Switzerland.

Required documents for visa application for underage children

  • Proof of parent’s regular income (work contract with specified monthly income or a bank statement or business license)
  • Notarized travel permission from parent (parental travel consent)
  • If one parent lives in another country – their notarized parental travel consent

To find more about the documentation needed for applying for a visa to Switzerland click here: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/switzerland-visa/

How to apply for a Switzerland Visa from the UK?

To apply for a Switzerland visa from the UK you can do either of the following:

  • Apply directly at the Swiss Regional Consular Centre London. This can be done without a scheduled appointment Monday to Friday from 10:00AM to 11:30AM except on public holidays:
    • 2 January
    • Good Friday
    • Easter Monday
    • 1 May
    • 25 May
    • 29 May
    • Whit Monday
    • 1 August
    • 28 August
    • 25 December
    • 26 December
  • Through VFS Centres
  • Through the IAM website by filling an online form

Reasons why you should apply for a Switerland visa through the IAM website

  • IAM’s visa advisors will contact you as soon as possible to confirm the suitable date and time for you to attend the visa processing center in the UK.
  • They will fill in an Application Form for Switzerland Schengen visas online to secure your appointment and send it to you together with a complete list of requested documents and the confirmation of your appointment.
  • The IAM’s team will assist you in collecting the required documents and checking your prepared application to make sure your application has the highest possible prospect of success.
  • If you cannot collect your passport yourself, IAM’s representatives can arrange for collection. Alternatively, you may choose to have your application sent back by registered mail when you make your visa application.

For more information, please click here or start the visa application by filling the form online here!

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Switzerland Visa application and processing time

You can apply for a Switzerland Schengen visa 3 months before your planned trip. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, the processing time may take between 4 and 15 days since the day of your application. However you are advised to apply about 3 to 4 weeks before your planned trip.

For the following persons the processing time takes up to 14 working days (Source: vfsglobal):

  • Nationals of the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus (applies only to holders of diplomatic and service passports), D.R. Congo, Egypt (does not apply to holders of diplomatic and service passports), Iran, Iraq, Jordan, North Korea, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation (applies only to holders of service passports), Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Uzbekistan (does not apply to holders of diplomatic passports or soldiers and police officers who travel for the purpose of exercising their duty), Vietnam, Yemen
  • Palestinians
  • Refugees
  • Stateless Persons

Switzerland Visa fees for UK residents

Since Switzerland is a Schengen state, visa fees are the same as any other Schengen visa. These are the costs of a Switzerland Schengen Visa from UK:

Schengen Visa Category (by age) Fee in UK Pound Fee in Euro
Adult 51 £ 60 €
Child between 6-12 years of age 31 £ 36.66 €
Child younger than 6 years of age Free Free

Keep in mind that these fees may change depending on currency fluctuations and can only be paid in UK Pounds and payments can be made in cash or through Credit/debit cards. Also, visa application fee is not refundable and does not guarantee that you will be granted a visa.

Visa fee exemptions

The following persons are exempted from visa fee:

  • Children younger than 6 years of age
  • Spouse/family member of an EU/EEA national
    • Documents required for exemption:
      • Original Marriage Certificate, or
      • Original Birth Certificate
      • Civil Partnership Certificate
      • EU/EAA national’s passport.

Switzerland Visa fee discounts

Besides children of ages between 6 and 12 these are the countries whose nationals receive  receive visa fee discounts (31.00 £):

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Serbia

Frequently Asked Questions about Switzerland Visas

Can I work in Switzerland if I have a UK residence permit?

No, having a UK residence permit (and a UK work permit) does not guarantee you a right to work in Switzerland. For this you must obtain a Swiss work permit.

Can I get my visa on the same day I apply?

Only in cases of extreme medical emergency or family loss you are able to obtain a Switzerland visa on the same day you apply. You can send an email to rcclondonvisa@eda.admin.ch or by phone to inform the Swiss visa centre of your situation. You will be informed as soon as possible about the outcome.  (Source: eda.admin.ch)

Can someone else apply for a Switzerland visa on my behalf?

All applicants, including children are required to be present during the scheduled time of the appointment.

Does a non-EU spouse of a UK national need a visa to Switzerland?

Yes, the non-EU spouse requires a visa to travel to Switzerland

What can I do if my Schengen visa application is refused?

If your visa has been refused you can appeal against this decision within 30 days since the refusal You should send a letter to the Swiss Embassy or Consulate to justify your grounds of appeal. The letter has to be in one of the official languages of Switzerland: German, Italian or French.

You are able to re-apply at any time. However, you should pay attention to the reasons mentioned in the refusal letter in order to make amends where needed.

Keep in mind that all fees are non-refundable and do not serve as a guarantee of your application’s success. If you re-apply for a visa you are required to make the same payments all over again.

Tips:

Embassy & Consulates of Switzerland in the United Kingdom

Related visa information for the UK Residents: