• zh-hans
  • tr
  • ru
  • fr
  • es
  • en
  • de

Applying for a Switzerland Visa in the United States

Applying for a Switzerland Visa in the United States

Do US citizens need a visa for Switzerland?

Citizens of the United States with a valid U.S. Tourist passport (blue passport) can travel to Switzerland for a short stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period without having to apply or obtain a Schengen visa.


Despite of the fact that US citizens do not need to obtain a Switzerland visa prior to their travel to Switzerland, they still need to have some documents with them in order to be allowed to enter Switzerland. For more information check “What Documents do Americans Need to Enter Switzerland?

Note: (Starting January 1, 2021, US citizens will have to apply for an ETIAS visa prior to their travel towards Switzerland and other Schengen member states, in order to be allowed to enter the territory.)

Stat: As per 2017, Switzerland has issued a total of 451,528 uniform Schengen visas from 517,010 visa applications received at Swiss consulates and embassies around the world. The Visa rejection rate was 7.25%.

In this article you can find information about Switzerland Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines for the US Citizens and US Residents.

Who can apply for a Visa to Switzerland from within the US?

All non US citizens who do need a visa to enter the Schengen Area, who have a legal residence status in the United States (e.g. Green Card holders; F1 (I-20), H1B, G1, J1, etc.). with three (3) months validity after returning from Switzerland. If your US visa has expired, please have it renewed before applying.

You should apply for a visa at the Embassy of Switzerland in the US 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 States you should apply at the Switzerland Embassy in your country of residence.

Switzerland Visa application documents and requirements for US residents

The following list of documents are required in order to obtain a Switzerland visa in the US:

  • A valid passport or Travel document. Please make sure that:
    • Your passport has been issued (not extended) 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.
  • Original of valid US alien registration card (residence permit aka. Green Card) or valid US residence visa (e.g. type A, E, F plus endorsed I-20 by competent authority, G: H; I; J; plus J1 documents, L, O, R) must be presented.
    • The US residence permit or visa should be valid at least three months beyond the intended departure from the territory of the Schengen Member States.
  • One application form (please see below) filled out completely and signed by the applicant (please read the explanations carefully).
  • 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 glued on the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
  • 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 Health Insurance for Switzerland – 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:
  • Proof of financial subsistence:
    • As the European Commission informs, according to the Swiss Aliens Act of 16 December 2005 (RS 142.20), a foreign national who wants to enter and reside in the territory of Switzerland must be able to attest owning at least 100 CHF or 92.34€/day on his disposition during its stay in Switzerland, while, in case the foreigner is a student possessing a valid student ID this amount reduces to 30 CHF or 27.70€/day. A foreigner is obliged to provide such proof of sufficient financial means, the moment applying for a Swiss Visa to the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in the United States.

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 on F1 visas:

  • Valid I-20
  • Reference letter from educational institution (school/college/university)  stating that you are in good standing, your major and the expected date of graduation.

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.

Required documents for visa application for underage children

  • Original birth certificate among others.
  • Signed travel consent from both parents
    • If one parent is not located in the United States they should submit their signed consent to the Swiss Embassy/Consulate of their residing country

Note: All documents must be either in English, German, French or Italian or officially translated by a certified translator.

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

Where and how to apply for a Swiss Visa in the US?

Swiss consular services are available through its Embassy in Washington and Consulates in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco.

All Swiss Missions in the United States, require that you schedule an appointment in order to apply for a visa. Appointments have to be booked via free online appointment system. Except for rare instances, you have to submit your application in person.

Switzerland Visa Appointment Requirements for US Residents

Embassy of Switzerland in Washington

The Swiss Embassy in Washington only accepts visa applications from residents of District of Columbia (DC), Delaware (DE), Kentucky (KY), Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA), West Virginia (WV), Northern Mariana Islands (MP), Guam (GU)

All applications must be submitted in person, by appointment only. Please click on this link to obtain an appointment through the online appointment system.

Consulate General of Switzerland in Atlanta

The Swiss Consulate in Atlanta only accepts visa applications from residents of Alabama (AL), Arkansas (AR), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA), Mississippi (MS), North Carolina (NC), Oklahoma (OK), South Carolina (SC), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Cayman Islands.

All applications must be submitted in person, by appointment only. Please click on this link to obtain an appointment through the online appointment system.

The waiting time for an appointment may be up to 5 weeks, especially during the high season in summer or during the holiday season. Applicants are therefore advised to book their appointments as early as possible.

Consulate General of Switzerland in New York

The Swiss Consulate in New York accepts visa applications from residents of the states of New York (NY), Connecticut (CT), Maine (ME), Massachusetts (MA), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), Vermont (VT), Bermuda, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

All applications must be submitted in person, by appointment only. Please click on this link to obtain an appointment through the online appointment system.

The waiting time for an appointment may be up to 5 weeks, especially during the high season in summer or during the holiday season. Applicants are therefore advised to book their appointments as early as possible.

Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco

The Swiss Consulate General in San Francisco accepts visa applications from residents of Alaska (AK), Arizona (AZ), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Montana (MT), Nevada (NV), New Mexico (NM), Oregon (OR), Utah (UT), Washington (WA), Wyoming (WY)

All applications must be submitted in person, by appointment only. Please click on this link to obtain an appointment through the online appointment system.

Representation agreement

If a State does not have its proper visa section in a country or region, the delivery of a Schengen visa can be delegated to another Schengen State member with an agreement between both countries concerned. The agreement allows the appointed representation to represent and handle Schengen visa applications within its own competence without consulting the other represented State.

For more information, please click here.

Application procedure for urgent medical purposes (fast-track)

The appointment schedule and the checking process can be expedited for applications for entry into Switzerland for humanitarian or medical reasons (urgent medical treatment, serious accident, loss in the family, etc.). To enable the Swiss representation to evaluate the situation, submit the online form for urgent appointment. The representation will inform you as soon as possible about the procedures to follow for the visa application.

Last Updated on