How to Enter Switzerland

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

Switzerland extends visa-free entry to U.S. citizens staying in Switzerland for up to 90 days (consecutive or combined, within a six-month period) for tourist or business purposes. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. Switzerland is a party to the Schengen Agreement, which allows for free travel within a multi-country zone of Europe. Switzerland does not have a bilateral agreement with the United States which would allow a U.S. citizen to stay longer than 90 days within the Schengen area in any 180 day period. Thus, when you travel to Switzerland, you should make sure that you have not yet exhausted the 90 days within a 180 day period of legal stay in the Schengen area since your first entry into the Schengen area, regardless of any bilateral agreement. This applies also to Schengen departures via Swiss airports. If you exceed the 90 day stay, you risk being fined or even banned from entering the Schengen area again for some time.

We advise you to obtain more information online at the Embassy of Switzerland or in person at 2900Cathedral Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 745-7900, or a Swiss Consulate General in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco prior to your travel if you plan to exceed the 90-day limit within 180 days in the Schengen area.

Special Travel Circumstances in Switzerland

If you are going to participate in mountain activities (summer and winter) we strongly urge you to buy mountain search and rescue insurance. Costs of search and rescue operations are your or your family’s responsibility. Search and rescue insurance is available inexpensively in Switzerland and you may purchase it at many Swiss post offices. You can get more information from the Swiss National Tourist Office, at most tourist information offices or with the Swiss Air Rescue Organization. Such insurance has proved useful; an uninsured rescue can easily cost $25,000. Switzerland’s customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information call (212) 354-4480.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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