Travel Guidance

Switzerland is party to the Schengen Agreement for free movement of persons. Schengen Visa allows the entry to the following Schengen Area Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Liechtenstein.

 Visa to enter Switzerland

Depending on your country of residence, you can submit your visa application directly at a Swiss representation abroad, an external visa service provider, at the representation of another Schengen State or via the online visa application.

  • These possibilities are only valid for short-term visas (up to 90 days) such as tourist, visit or business (Schengen visa).
  • Applications for long-term visas (over 90 days, National Visa) must be filed directly with the responsible Swiss representation abroad.

In addition, certain Swiss representations abroad offer the possibility to make an online appointment for the submission of the visa application.

Please keep in mind that a visa application may be submitted at the earliest three months before your planned trip.

Before you set off for Switzerland

  • Make sure your visa is valid for the entire stay in Switzerland.
  • Be sure your travel documents are valid for at least 3 months beyond your stay.

General information about the entry and visa regulations, in particular the visa requirement, can be found on the following Web site: State Secretariat for Migration - Entry:

The following goods are subject to strict restrictions (Source: Swiss Federal Customs Administration)

  • Cross-border movement of liquid funds

    If you are carrying CHF 10,000 cash or over when entering  or leaving Switzerland, you are asked to declare it to the Swiss authorities and provide explanation on its origins, intended purpose and the beneficial owner. In case there is suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing the funds may be temporarily seized or confiscated. This also applies when entering of leaving the EU, liquid funds equal or exceeding  10000 Euro must be declares to the respective custom authorities.

  • Animals and plants

    It is not allowed to bring into Switzerland products made using protected animals or plants (leather, feathers, trunks).
    Some preparatory work is necessary if you wish to bring your pets abroad from Switzerland, or vice versa. 

  • Food

    Many travelers want to bring food of animal origin (meat, milk and dairy products, cheese, honey, etc.) into Switzerland. However, this is often prohibited or at least restricted in order to prevent the introduction or spread of epidemics. This applies particularly in the case of food from non-EU countries

  • Radar warning devices

    In Switzerland it is prohibited to use devices of this nature as well as to place them on the market. Devices of this nature will be confiscated and will be handed over to the responsible cantonal authorities. As a rule, the device will be destroyed and a fine will be imposed. If the device was not declared or incorrectly declared for customs clearance, this will lead to an additional fine.

  • Medicinal products for personal use

    Travelers are allowed to carry medicinal products containing narcotic or psychotropic substances without an import or export permit, provided that the quantity carried is no greater than that required for 30 days, and in the case of exportation, that the destination country allows this.

    N.B. You may only carry the quantity required for a month if it is for your own personal use and not for someone else.

    You can find further information and advice on certifications on the website of the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, Swissmedic.

  • Transfer of Cultural Property

    Cultural property is tangible evidence of a society's culture and history as well as bearers of its identity; it characterizes a society's self-image and social cohesion. This is why the protection of cultural heritage is currently one of the key duties of a state.

    Travelers who import or export cultural property in tourist traffic must declare it electronically at a customs office that is responsible for merchandise.

    Please note: It is prohibited to import stolen and pillaged cultural property. Consequently, please check carefully when buying such property that this is not the case. Be particularly careful when buying archaeological cultural property: in many states, there is a ban on exporting such items or else authorisation is required.

    Authorisation requirement: Switzerland has entered into a bilateral agreement regarding the special protection of archaeological cultural property with numerous states.

  • Weapons

    Obligation to notify at the border points all weapons, parts of weapons, ammunition and parts of ammunition must be declared to the customs office on importation, exportation and transit.
    Prohibited weapons:

    • Automatic firearms and automatic firearms converted to semiautomatic small arms
    • Daggers and knives with one-hand opening systems
    • Beating weapons, throwing weapons
    • Electric shock devices
    • Silencers and laser and night-vision devices

    A permit is required for Carrying a weapon in public.
    For more detailed information on these restrictions, view this link: