A beautiful Central European country, Switzerland has been a hub of tourism for several years. Home to tranquil lakes, pretty villages, and the mighty peaks of the Alps, this mountainous country offers some of the most breathtaking views. Also famed for its ski resorts, hiking trails, Swiss watches, and delectable chocolates, Switzerland is absolutely magnetic with its aura. To witness this spectacle of a place, a very crucial requirement is the Switzerland visa. It is mandatory to have Switzerland visa for Indians. As one of the 26 European countries that form the Schengen Area, a Switzerland Schengen visa is required to visit Switzerland.
A guide to obtaining a Switzerland visa for Indians, with a key focus on the Switzerland tourist visa.
VFS Global is a very important Switzerland Visa Application Centre. It provides all the details necessary for the procedure of application for all Switzerland visas, including the Switzerland tourist visa. For all those who wish to travel to Switzerland with a smooth visa application process, VFS Global is your go-to place. Once your application is submitted at the Switzerland Visa Application Centre, VFS, it will be assessed by the Swiss Embassy, India located in New Delhi. The applications for Switzerland Schengen visa submitted at any of the VFS Global centres except New Delhi and Mumbai will be delivered to the Swiss Embassy, India only on the third working day for processing.
The Schengen visa can be used according to the number of entries as indicated on the visa sticker: “1”, “2”, or “MULT”. The holder of “MULT” which is a multiple entry visa can enter the Schengen area an unlimited number of times during the period of visa validity and with respect to the rules of the stay duration.
Types of Visas Available
The two main types of visas available are –
- Short stay visa
- Long stay visa
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Short stay visas entitle Indian citizens to stay in Switzerland for an uninterrupted period or a total of successive stay periods that do not exceed 90 days in every six months since the date of your first entry into the country. For transit visas, the duration is established according to the stay period necessary for the transit. After the scrutinization of your visa application by the Embassy, the application will be responded to with any of the following responses –
- Granting of the applied visa
- Request for further documentation
- Request to appear for a personal interview
- Rejection of the visa application
In New Delhi, the short-stay visas are processed at the following address –
Schengen JVAC, Shivaji Stadium Metro Station, Mezzanine Level
Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi- 110001
- Contact – +91 22 61766900
- Timings – Between 9.00-16.30 hours,
- Days available – Monday-Friday (Except Holidays)
Applications for short stay Switzerland visa for Indians cannot be submitted more than 90 days in advance before the decided date of travel. However, it is important to note that they must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the date of travel. VFS Global is responsible for the reception and release of passports for short stay visas applications in India.
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Applicants can also directly apply at the Swiss Embassy, India for short stay visas only with a prior appointment. To obtain an appointment, you must write an email directly to the Embassy in New Delhi. Telephone requests for appointments are not entertained. Requests via email must be sent at least one month prior to the date of travel.
Also, first-time travellers to Schengen countries need to present themselves at the Swiss Embassy, India for an interview, without any exception, according to the allotted date and time provided by VFS Global. Once the interview is given at the Embassy, you will need to wait a minimum of 5 days for further processing of your application and conveyance of the final decision.
Categories of short-stay visas
- Business visa – Applicable if you are travelling to Switzerland for business purposes
- Visitor visa – Applicable if you are travelling to Switzerland to visit family or friends
- Student visa – Applicable for studying purposes
- Tourist visa – Applicable for tourism purposes
The Switzerland tourist visa for Indian citizens is the most commonly used Switzerland visa for tourism activities for less than 90 days.
Long stay visas are given for a stay duration of more than 90 days.
Categories of long-stay visas –
- Family reunification visa – Applicable if you wish to stay with family members for more than 90 days
- Student visa – Applicable if you plan on studying in Switzerland for longer than 90 days
- Work visa – Applicable for work purposes if your stay duration is longer than 90 days
Here is the step-by-step application procedure to apply for a Switzerland visa for Indians –
Step 1 – Before filling out the applications and attaching the required documents, some information needs to be noted. The applications will be assessed by the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi only. Note that the applications sent via courier/post cannot be received and processed by the Switzerland Visa Application Centre in New Delhi. The applications and the required documents must be submitted in person or through an authorized representative or a travel agent.
Step 2 – Schedule an appointment at the Switzerland Visa Application Centre to submit the applications for a short stay, business, or family visits.
All applicants must book an appointment online in order to submit their visa applications at the Joint Schengen Visa Application Centre. When you reach the Centre on the appointment date, you must take a print out of your visa application and the required documents. Ensure that you arrive at the Centre 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time. If you arrive earlier, you will not be allowed to enter the Centre. If you arrive later than your scheduled appointment time, you will have to re-book a future appointment date and time, or you also have the option of availing the walk-in service that will cost you an additional amount of INR 2600.
Note: If you do not complete your appointment process within 5 working days of your registration with the Centre, your record will be automatically deleted by their system.
If you are travelling as a family or a group of friends, ensure that you book individual appointments for all members, including minors.
You can book for an appointment with VFS here
Your appointment needs to be scheduled with the following details –
- Passport Number
- Contact number
Rescheduling appointments – You will be permitted to reschedule your appointment twice and up to 2 working days before the scheduled date. Any further changes in dates will be viewed as a fresh appointment and a new service charge will have to be paid.
Cancelling appointments – In situations of appointment cancellation, the service charges will not be refunded. Cancellation can be done only 2 working days before the scheduled date.
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Step 3 – Choose the visa type and category according to your travel requirement. Check the corresponding visa application form.
Step 4 – When you arrive at the Switzerland Visa Application Centre on the appointed date, you will have to take a token at the entrance. Then, you will have to be seated in the waiting area. Next, you will be called to the submission counter where your application and the attached documents will be scrutinized. Your photographs and Indian passport will be checked for validity. Lastly, as an acknowledgement, you will then be given a receipt for the fees and service charge paid.
Note: Carry the originals and photocopies of all the required documents.
The approximate time needed for the Swiss Embassy to process the application is between 7 to 10 working days. However, according to the Schengen codex, the processing time can take up to 15 working days.
If a representative or travel agent will be collecting your passport and documents, ensure that he or she carries an original ICR, a photo ID of himself/herself, your passport’s photocopy, the documents required, and an authority letter from you.
Switzerland Visa Cost for Tourists
The Switzerland visa cost is reasonable at the following rates –
- Adults – EUR 60; INR 4500
- Children (6 – 12 years of age) – EUR 35; INR 2700
VFS Global Service Charges – INR 1380, inclusive of taxes + INR 150 for convenience fees in the provision of multiple payment modes
- Children below the age of 6 years are exempted from the Switzerland visa cost
- Children above the age of 12 as considered as adults
- Visa fee and service charges are to be paid via cash, card (Visa, Master Card, Rupay, Amex), or online payment modes.
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Here is the document checklist to apply for the Switzerland tourist visa for Indian citizens –
- Valid national passport
- 2 passport size pictures not older than 6 months, with a white background
- Completed visa application form (https://www.sem.admin.ch/content/dam/data/sem/einreise/visumantragsformulare/visumantrag-schen-en-de.pdf)
- Previous passports, if any
- Personal covering letter with travel plan
- Introduction letter
- Travel insurance
- Flight reservation
- Proof of accommodation in Switzerland
- Proof of financial status
The above-mentioned documents must be submitted with the completed visa application form. The Swiss Embassy has the right to ask for additional documents and/or a personal interview.
- Applications need to be submitted three months before the date of departure
- Since May 1st, 2020, only the passports issued within the previous ten years will be accepted for visa applications
- At least two blank pages must be present in your passport for visa application
- Your passport needs to be valid for at least three months longer than your intended stay duration in Switzerland
- Handwritten or non-machine readable Indian passports issues later than May 1st, 2010 will not be accepted
- Any manual entries made in the Indian passports after April 1st, 2010 to the biographical data of the passport holder will not be accepted
- For those applicants that have a specific handwritten entry – “previously known as”, one of the following documents need to be provided –
- Original previous passport with the old name
- A copy of the previous passport containing the old name
- A copy of the name change advertisement in the local daily newspaper
Also read: How to get your Schengen visa from India?
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I get a Switzerland visa from India?
A: To obtain a Switzerland visa from India, visit the official website of the Switzerland Visa Application Centre and follow the instructions for the application process- https://www.vfsglobal.ch/switzerland/india/index.html
2. How much is Switzerland visa fee?
A: The Switzerland visa fee is 60 euros (INR 4500) for adults and 35 euros (INR 2700) for children between the ages of 6 and 12.
3. How long does it take to get Switzerland visa from India?
A: The processing time is about 2 weeks for a short stay visa. However, any delays in the processing of visa applications cannot be questioned.