The short stay visas are as follows:
A: airport transit visa
C: short stay visa (maximum of three months during a period of six months)
that may be issued for single or multiple entry.
The time needed for a visa request to be processed may vary from case to case. It is therefore strongly recommended to take the necessary steps well in advance (but at the earliest three months before the departure date) so that the visa can be issued in the time required.
Interns, consultants, experts, etc., who have a contract with an organisation with which Switzerland has concluded a headquarters agreement or who are mandated by a government to carry out duties within a diplomatic or consular representation for a period of less than three months, will also receive a short stay visa valid for the entire Schengen area.
When exceptional or urgent circumstances make it necessary, particularly in connection with Switzerland’s international obligations or if Switzerland has issued an official invitation, the representation may, by way of exception, issue visas of limited territorial validity (LTV) in accordance with the Schengen Acquis. These visas only permit the holder to enter, and stay, in Switzerland. They do not permit the holder to visit another state in the Schengen area (in the case of Geneva, for example, the neighbouring country of France). Furthermore, the holder of an LTV visa must enter and depart via Switzerland, without passing through another member state of the Schengen area.
Documents to be presented
The presentation of complete dossiers facilitates the rapid treatment of the visa application. It is recommended that you contact the relevant representation about the documents that you need to provide.
Holders of diplomatic, service or special passports on official missions or taking part in an international conference, and delegates mandated by a government (regardless of the type of passport) taking part in an international conference must present at least the following documents:
- A travel document, the validity of which exceeds that of the stay, including the period necessary for the return journey;
- a visa application form, together with two photos;
- supporting documents concerning the purpose of the journey: an initialled memo together with a mandate to perform the mission, an invitation to the conference, confirmation of registration for a training course, a detailed letter of invitation, etc.
- any other document that the representation considers necessary.
Switzerland has taken the necessary measures so that the issuance of visas to participate in international conferences and meetings held by organisations with which a headquarters agreement has been concluded, or to participate in meetings relating to good offices, can be carried out in favourable conditions. However, it is expected that diplomatic and consular organisations and representations in Switzerland and their authorities (MFA) in the sending States will cooperate so that the measures necessary for the issuance of visas can be carried out, taking into account the period of time necessary for the administrative processing of applications. Applications not submitted sufficiently ahead of time can result in significant difficulties, including logistical problems. For further information concerning the amount of time required for the issuance of a visa, it is recommended to contact the Swiss representation responsible for issuing the visa. The issuance of visas at the border will continue to be a measure that is applied very restrictively.
Holders of diplomatic, service or special passports wishing to visit Switzerland for medical reasons have to submit confirmation of admission to a hospital or of a visit to a doctor, in addition to the usual documents.
For further information on the documents required for private visits, the holders of diplomatic, service or special passports are advised to contact the representation responsible.
Persons invited by the holder of a legitimation card of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs are exempted from the requirement to provide a declaration of payment of medical and other related expenses approved by the municipal authorities of the place of residence. Instead, the applicant is required to present:
- a letter of invitation stating that the person issuing the invitation will pay the costs of the stay and the return of the applicant
- copy of both sides of the legitimation card of the person issuing the invitation
- confirmation by the employer of the person issuing the invitation confirming that he or she is still in employment.