Swiss visa desk in San Francisco

Schengen visa application for stays up to 90 days 

Attention: Before applying for a Schengen visa:
- If you need an appointment at the counter: be aware that the waiting time to get an appoinment may be up to several weeks or months during high seasons. 
- Read about the current travel information and restrictions published on our homepage.

Only duly completed applications are accepted. Incomplete applications (items not presented/missing photocopies) will be returned to the applicant without being processed. The requirements to enter the Schengen Area vary depending on the reason of your travel. Please check the leaflet related to your travel reason: Schengen visa requirements.

Online visa application form

All applicants for a Schengen visa (type C, stays up to 90 days) should complete the visa application form online. Please go to www.swiss-visa.ch. At the end of the process you have to print the application and click send to transmit the date online to the Consulate.

Sign the printed PDF form and submit it to the Consulate  with all the required documents. Make sure you have the complete file with all the required documents or we may reject your application. Schengen visa requirements.

Personal Appearance

If your fingerprints have NOT been collected within the last 59 months by a Schengen visa section, your personal appearance is mandatory (no exceptions). You will need to schedule an appointment through: www.swiss-visa.ch.

If your fingerprints WERE collected within the last 59 months for a Schengen visa, you won’t have to give new fingerprints for your next visa application and your personal appearance is not necessary.  This means that you can mail your visa application file. Please provide a photocopy of all Schengen visas issued within the last 59 months, in addition to all other required documents: Schengen visa requirements.  In case the previously collected fingerprints prove to be of insufficient quality, you will still have to appear in person to give your fingerprints. 

Personal appearance and fingerprints are not necessary for children under the age of 12.

The Consulate  reserves the right to ask the applicant to appear for a personal interview after checking the application.

Appointment system

Residents living within our consular district that are applying for their first Schengen visa or have not received a Schengen visa within the last 59 months need to apply in person with an appointment. If you qualify for mailing your visa application (see personal appearance) but you prefer to file in person, you need to schedule an appointment. 

Appointments must be booked through www.swiss-visa.ch after submitting the online application (see online visa application form).

Drop-offs of visa applications files and walk-ins are not accepted. Each individual applicant requires an appointment. This also applies to each member of a group application.  Do not schedule several appointments for the same person. No appointments can be scheduled by e-mail , at the counter or by phone. If you wish or need to cancel an appointment, please kindly send us an email to sanfrancisco.visa@eda.admin.ch so that we can offer the freed slot to another visa applicant. This helps reducing the waiting time for all.

The waiting time for an appointment may be up to several weeks or even months, especially during high season. We recommend you apply as soon as possible, ideally a few months prior to the date of your planned departure (you may take an appointment as early as 6 months prior to the date of your departure flight).

Only duly completed applications are accepted. Incomplete applications (items not presented/missing photocopies) will be returned to the applicant without being processed. The requirements to enter the Schengen Area vary depending on the reason of your travel. Please check the leaflet related to your travel reason: Schengen visa requirements.

Requirements

Please check the leaflet related to your travel reason for the requested documents. If necessary, you may be requested to bring/send additional documents.
Schengen visa requirements

Travel and Health Insurance

A valid travel insurance for the entire Schengen territory is required. A letter from your insurance company mentioning the coverage of at least $ 40,000 or Euro 30,000 for any medical, evacuation and repatriation expenses during your whole stay has to be presented. A photocopy of your insurance card will not suffice. The insurance coverage letter is compulsory. If your insurance company does not provide such a letter or such coverage, please purchase an international insurance. Seven Corners, Axa assistance, MEDEX, IMG, among others meet the Schengen requirements. Applicants missing this document will systematically have their visa denied.

Passport

Your valid passport must have been issued within the last ten years, have at least two empty pages and be valid for at least three months after the intended date of departure from the Schengen Area.

Questions

General visa questions are not answered. Only if you have a specific question that is not answered on our website, may your write an email to sanfrancisco.visa@eda.admin.ch indicating your first names, names, date of birth, nationality and visa application online ID.

Long stay visas (stays more than 90 days, Type D visa application)

Only duly completed applications are accepted. Incomplete applications (items not presented/mising photocopies) will be returned to the applicant without being processed. The requirements to obtain a long term visa vary, depending on the reason of your travel. Please check the leaflet related to your reason of stay.
National visa requirements.

There are different types of long stay visas, e.g. family reunion, student, work, international organizations, general residence. Some long stay visas are preapproved by the Swiss authorities and can be collected using a simple process at our Consulate. Other long stay visa appliations will need to be initiated at the Swiss Consulate in San Francisco. For more information, please see here: visa information: National visa for a stay of more than 90 days.

Please mail in your complete long stay visa application to our Consulate. The Swiss representation still reserves the right to ask the applicant to appear for a personal interview after checking the application. 

Your valid passport must have been issued within the last ten years, have at least two empty pages and be valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure to Switzerland. 

General visa questions are not answered. Only if you have a specific question that is not answered on our website, may your write an email to sanfrancisco.visa@eda.admin.ch indicating your first names, names, date of birth, and nationality.

International Organizations (UN, WHO, IMO, CERN etc.) 

Any internship or employment (less than 90 days as well as more than 90 days) at an international organization in Geneva requires a visa. Please contact us via email for more detailed information on how to obtain the visa  (sanfrancisco.visa@eda.admin.ch).

Mailing

Passports with issued visas will be mailed back (no pick-up possible).  Please provide a prepaid,  self-addressed return envelope at the time of your application. Please use a secure carrier (Fedex preferred, UPS and USPS ok) with a tracking number. Applicants must indicate their name and address both as sender and recipient.

Important: The Swiss representation does not assume any liability for the loss of documents submitted or returned by mail.

Payment options

Exact cash and all major credit cards (except American Express)  are accepted for persons who appear in person. If you apply by mail, fees have to be paid by money order or cashier's check issued to "Consulate General of Switzerland". No personal checks are accepted. Look up the current Schengen visa fee or National visa fee. As of March 26, 2018, you have the alternative option to pay by credit card already when completing your online Schengen visa application through www.swiss-visa.ch.