The non-EU citizens only require a passport to travel through European countries at the moment. However, by the end of 2022, all travelers will need an ETIAS visa exemption to travel to Switzerland and move within the Schengen zone.
The ETIAS is a visa-waiver program aimed at improving relations between the countries of the Schengen area. The program will focus on record-keeping and screening of non-EU visitors to Switzerland. The ETIAS visa waiver information for Switzerland also applies to all the EU countries within the Schengen zone.
ABOUT THE COUNTRY: SWITZERLAND
Switzerland lies in the middle of the alps, in Central Europe, surrounded by glassy lakes, small villages, and glacier-carved mountains. About 60 percent of Switzerlands area are mountainous regions. Due to the difficult living conditions, most of the population lives in the northern part of Switzerland called the Swiss Plateau. Most of the Swiss live in cities, and towns, for a better standard of living.
Switzerland adjoins its border with four countries, Liechtensteinand Austria on the east side, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Germany to the north.
Switzerland is a relatively small European country, and only 30 percent of Swiss land is habitable. The Swiss account for a meager 8.1 million people. However, the residents rank in the world-leading populations. They have the second-highest nominal GDP per capita at 84000 dollars.
The administrative capital of Switzerland is Bern, while Zurich is the largest city. Lausanne serves as its judicial center. Geneva and Zurich are popular among tourists and classify as top cities in international rankings. The Swiss franc is the official currency of the country.
The Swiss Alp has four national languages; German, French, Romansh, and Italian. People also speak English. Although, more than 80 percent of the population speaks German or French. Romansh is a local dialect in the southeastern canton of Graubünden. Only 1 percent of Swiss people speak the Romansh language. However, it is also a national language.
Switzerland takes pride in its diversity with French culture in the east, German in the north, Italian in the south, and isolated Romansh in the Graubünden canton.
Switzerland has a stable economy. It is home to numerous international organizations such as the red cross, the world trade organization and WHO, FIFA, and many others.
SWITZERLAND AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: IS SWITZERLAND A MEMBER?
Switzerland is not part of the European Union. However, it connects to the EU through a series of bilateral treaties by adopting its law provisions to avail single market participation without becoming a union member.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT SWITZERLAND.
Zurich is the largest city and renowned as the global banking and finance headquarters. It is a picturesque town with a pre-medieval history split by the Limmat River. It is the Swiss hub inhabiting 1.3 million citizens within the canton. About 30 percent of the citizens are foreign nationals. Switzerland ranks second in the global longest life expectancy, while Japan is top of the list.
Travelers fond of sweets and chocolates will love Switzerland for its unique variety of chocolate. The country produces around 180,000 tons of chocolate per annum. Out of which about 61 percent is exported, and the rest for sale in the country. Swiss chocolate originated in 1857. Since then, the people of Switzerland take pride in taking the legacy forward.
In 2020, the Neutral alpine country sat atop the list of ‘the best countryrankings, the fourth time in a row as thesecond-best worldwide higher education system. The Swiss quality of life ranksseventh best.
WHY VISIT SWITZERLAND: THINGS TO SEE
Switzerland is world-known for its beauty and heavenly scenery. The country generates about 50 billion euros from its tourism sector, with around 60 to 80 million visitors annually. The country boasts 10,000 ski installations and the ski resorts around 700.
The Swiss alps has four seasons per year, mainly Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, with the weather varying by altitude and region.
Summer is the best time to visit the country for hiking and exploring the mountain ranges. However, winter sports-loving tourists should plan their stay around the time of January to mid-march. The summers are usually pleasant and perfect for sightseeing in Lake Maggiore, Geneva, and Lugano. Also, activities like paragliding, cable cars, and cogwheel trains are accessible during summers. The high peaks in Graubünden is a must-visit.
During winters, days are short and cold, with chances of snow from higher and lower valleys. It is the best time for ski resorts and cozy city trips.
DO I NEED TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR SWITZERLAND?
Yes, medical insurance is mandatory for travelers who need a Schengen visa to enter Switzerland as part of the visa application process.Travelers with an EHIC can avail of discounts for medical insurance.
ETIAS VISA REQUIREMENTS OF MEDICAL INSURANCE
The visitors coming from non-Schengen counties should apply for ETIAS beforehand. Although travel insurance is not needed, ETIAS recommends it for all foreign visitors.
SCHENGEN VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDICAL INSURANCE
People coming to the country on a Schengen visa are applicable for guest medical insurance. The insurance plan secures them from accidental and treatment costs while in Switzerland and Schengen zones. However, people coming from non-Schengen zones need medical insurance. The insurance must cover the following;
- 30,000-euro minimum insurance
- Validity lasting till the end of your Switzerland trip
- Must be valid for all Schengen areas.
PASSING THE SWISS BORDERS CHECKPOINTS
There are zero controls and checks between the Swiss border and other Schengen countries. Visitors need to carry a government-issued ID card at all times during the visit. In case destination countries not providing ID cards, foreign visitors should have an original or a photocopy of their passport.
Drivers may need to buy an AutoRoute sticker if they do not have one already on the car windscreen. This motorway toll cost 40CHF and has to be paid in Euro or Swiss Franc either by cash or credit card.
At the Swiss airports, only the passengers arriving from non-Schengen countries will have their passports checked. The airports are now split into extra-Schengen and Schengen zones to allow passengers from a Schengen country to walk directly to baggage collection.
Passengers at Swiss railway stations do not need to have their passports checked, as all neighboring countries are part of the Schengen area.
EXPLORING THE SWISS ALPS THROUGH VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORT
Transportation in Switzerland is well-developed and is considered one of the most high-class transport systems in the world. Tourists also love traveling by simple conveyance as the transport system follows precise coordination and order. Due to mountainous areas and steep serpentines, people commonly prefer public transport.
The railway system in Switzerland is the best in Europe. The trains follow strict time schedules, having a half-hour gap between each transfer. All the Swiss cities are interconnected. Therefore, travelers find trains a convenient transport.
Switzerland has the largest airport in Zurich. It yearly serves 25 million passengers and caters to interregional flights. The international flights operate through Bern international airport.
WHAT TO DO DURING YOUR SWITZERLAND TRIP?
Because the country lies between the high Alps, Switzerland is full of world-famous ski resorts and hiking trails. There are innumerable activities in the country. Tourists can canoe on one of the many lakes, skiing high mountain peaks, canoeing on the glassy lakes, or getting lost in nature options are almost endless.
The Swiss cantons are home to a myriad of cultural festivals and traditions. Travelers can join marching drummers and pipers at the Basler Fasnacht, witness the Witches Downhill Race or participate in some Swiss wrestling. There are enough options for tourists to explore the eccentric Swiss culture.
WHAT IS THE VISA APPLICATION PROCESS OF SWITZERLAND?
Travelers can apply for a Swiss visa through the ETIAS online application. It is a time-saving and cost-effective platform. While registering, travelers need to enter their bio-data and pay dues of the waiver at the end of the process.
OTHER DOCUMENTS FOR SWITZERLAND TRAVEL
- A three-month valid passport
- Valid debit/credit card for payment of ETIAS fee
- Valid email Id for receiving status updates of visa waiver
- A copy of passport and ETIAS visa waiver
The visitors should travel throughout the Schengen carrying only one passport, as the approved ETIAS link with the same one used for the ETIAS form application.
ETIAS for Switzerland: FAQ
WHAT IS AN ETIAS VISA FOR SWITZERLAND?
The Swiss ETIAS visa waiver will launch by the end of 2022. The goal of this program is to pre-screen visitors. It will increase border security and strengthen ties between the EU countries. The ETIAS waiver will be valid for 3-years, during which individuals can stay in the country for 90 days within a span of 180-days.
WHICH COUNTRIES CAN YOU VISIT THROUGH SWISS-BORDERS?
Traveling to Swiss neighboring countries is straightforward, thanks to its efficient transport system. Tourists can take multiple tours to the following countries.
Germany has many tourist attractions. One of them is the Dachshund Museum, which is one-of-its-kind, solely dedicated to pint-sized canines. The Dachshund dog breed being the theme of the museum. Tourists can find Dachshund themed toys, photos, accessories, and a lot more for dog lovers to explore. The spooky Frankenstein castle is also built-in Germany. The secluded location makes it one of the scariest places in the country.
One of the best cities in Austria is the city of Vienna. It is famous for its grand palaces, museums, and its medieval culture. The Beethoven and opera and the royal imperial palace will enchant every visitor.
France is another most visited country through Switzerland. Being renowned for the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the capital has grand architectural masterpieces to explore.
Rome is the largest city in Italy. Being famous for the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, the city is a tourist magnet. Other attractions include the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish steps.
The Treasure Chamber of Principality focuses on the rich history of Liechtenstein. The place includes personal artwork and treasure collection of the 400-year old Princely Family. Moreover, a free-visit to the majestic Gutenberg-Castle is one of the popular things to do in Liechtenstein.
WHAT ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR VISITING SWITZERLAND?
Travelers need a Schengen Visa for coming to the country for less than a 90-day trip. It will be valid for no more than three months, during which the visa-holder can travel anywhere in the Schengen zone.