Do I need a visa to spend a summer in Switzerland?
Whether you are visiting Switzerland for vacation, to work, study, or even for permanent residence, you will require a Swiss visa. In this article, we shall discuss the Swiss visa requirements for visitors coming into Switzerland from various countries across the world.
General Documents Required for a Swiss Schengen Visa Application
First, let’s find out what the Schengen zone is. The Schengen zone is the area where 26 European countries terminated their internal borders to allow people to move freely in correspondence with prevailing rules for battling crime and regulating external borders by enhancing police cooperation and the judicial system.
Schengen zone covers a big percentage of the EU countries apart from Ireland, the UK and the rest of the countries that will soon be part of Bulgaris, Romanis, Cyprus, and Croatia. Other countries that are not EU members are included in the Schengen zone such as; Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Lichtenstein.
To apply for the Schengen Visa, you’ll need:
- Download the application form and fill it well, with sincerity, and completely. You don’t however, need to download it as you can fill it electronically and eventually download the hardcopy.
- Two recently taken photos showing the entire face and captured on a light background
- Your passport complete with visas from your previous travels. The passport should at least have two blank pages.
- Travel medical insurance confirmation of at least 30,000 € coverage within the entire Schengen zone
- A return ticket reservation copy
- A cover letter indicating your reasons for visiting the country and the itinerary
- Proof of accommodation for the entire duration in Switzerland
- Proof of civil status
- Flight itinerary reservation complete with flight numbers and dates showing entry and exit from the country
- Proof of enough financial means for the entire duration you will be in the country.
How to Apply for a Switzerland Visa in the US
United States citizens who possess the blue tourist passport can travel to Switzerland for a limited stay of up to 90 days, and within a period of 180 days without requiring a Schengen visa. While citizens from the US don’t need a Switzerland visa before traveling, they will still require various essential documents with them to be granted entrance to Switzerland.
Visa Application Documents Required for Underage Children
If your child is applying for a Switzerland visa, they will need to present a travel authorization signed by both parents and their original birth certificate. In cases where one parent is not situated in the US, their signed consent should be submitted at the Swiss consulate or embassy of their country of residence.
Applying for a Switzerland Visa in the UK
Since Switzerland lies in the Schengen zone, any UK citizen who has a BOTC or a full Uk passport, BPP, BS, or BOC passport can travel visa-free to Switzerland. Still, many non-European Union nationals residing in the United Kingdom need to obtain a Schengen visa to facilitate their travel to Switzerland.
Visa Application Requirements for Children Below 18 Years
If your child is below the age of 18, they should be accompanied by an adult guardian or their parents at the Switzerland Embassy visa application center in London. Further, minors who are given a Switzerland visa cannot travel to the country alone and should be accompanied by an adult for the entire duration of their stay.
Required Visa Application Documents for Underage Children
Underage children will need to prove their parent’s regular income. They can do so by presenting a business license, bank statement, or a work contract complete with detailed monthly income. A notarized travel authorization from their parents whether they reside in the UK or not is also a must have document.
Applying for Switzerland Visa in India
Indian Citizens who are interested in visiting Switzerland for tourism reasons need to apply for a tourist visa. A comprehensive list of the requirements is available online. Students should present their school identification documents to make a visa application.
Children who are traveling alone should present a signed letter of consent from their legal guardian or both parents. The letter should be certified by the public notary. Children below the age of 6 years do not pay visa fees. When done right, your tourist visa should be approved within approximately 15 days. The time required for getting approval for the tourist visa to Switzerland generally takes about 15 working days.
Switzerland visa from the UAE
If you are applying for a Schengen Visa from the UAE, you need to place your application at the correct place. First, you should understand the specific country which should issue you the visa especially if you plan to explore more than one Schengen state. You’ll also need to know the specific body in that country (in this case Switzerland) which processes visa applications.
After that, you will need to book an appointment at the visa center or embassy and attend the visa interview and remember to carry all the required documents. The embassy will then process your visa which shall be taken through European Union systems such as Schengen Information System and Visa Information System. The processing will take approximately 15 days after which you shall receive a response.
Switzerland Visa in Brazil
If you are planning to visit Switzerland from Brazil for a more than 90 day period, you will need a Schengen visa. However, if you are planning a short stay, you may be exempted from obtaining a Schengen visa. Children aged 15 years are exempted from having passports if they are traveling with their guardians or parents, if their names are captured in their parent’s or guardian’s passport, and if they share the same nationality with their guardians or parents.
Fun and Exciting Activities that Your Children will Love in Switzerland
Switzerland is a beautiful country and your children will enjoy being there. There are numerous fun and exciting activities for your children to engage in such as camping and cultural excursions. Here, your children will have lots to see and learn even as they interact with children from various parts of the world. Here are other things your children will enjoy doing while in Switzerland.
1. Theme Trails
Theme trails are an interesting method of encouraging your children to hike. There are numerous theme trails in Switzerland which will keep your children marveling at the interesting part rather than the fatigue that comes with hiking. The Toggen Tone Trail, for instance, is unique and features more than 20 collective musical instruments spread along the trail. Your children will be excited to keep walking in a bid to see the next fun instrument and get an opportunity to play with them. There are various picnic areas, playgrounds, and restaurants along the way to keep your children occupied and beat potential monotony.
Such trails will keep your children yearning for the next summer holiday. The Muggestutz Dwarf Adventure Trail, Berner Oberland, is a must visit trail for your children while in Switzerland. It features play stations that are similar to the Muggestutz storybook, which discusses magical dwarfs that are said to dwell in the region.
There are breathtaking swings that mimic an eagle’s flight, a ladder that leads up to a hidden treasure inside a nest, a maze, little dwarf houses, and a pine cone drying station. Inside the dwarf, houses are set tables and drying laundry. Your children will have a memorable moment along this trail.
2. Summer Camps
Summer camps provide your children with an opportunity to gather together, have fun, and learn new tricks. Switzerland is an ideal place where your children can have the time of their lives. Apart from having fun, they will also improve their language. Many camps will teach English even though the dominant languages in Switzerland are French and German.
Your children will also have the opportunity to visit some of the most prestigious institutions in the globe. This is because many of them are situated in breathtaking areas with equally amazing panorama. Your children will be surrounded by scenic mountains and beautiful lakes and will have sufficient time to engage in various outdoor activities with minimal struggle. While in camp, your kids could attend various excursions such as a visit to the Cailler Nestle factory where they will learn how chocolates and cheese are made.
They will be happy to have a taste of freshly made sumptuous products. If your children love adventure, then Switzerland is guaranteed to give them a lifetime experience. They will get a chance to marvel at the dark gorges, mighty mountains, charming lakes, mystical moors, and flowing waterfalls. They will also discover the flora, pure nature, and fauna. After their trip, your kids will come home re-energized.
Letting your children go on vacation on their own can be a daunting task and many parents will not agree to the idea. However, allowing them to go for a summer holiday in Switzerland will be a life-changing experience for them. Not only will they learn new things, but they will also make new friends, relax, become more confident, unplug from technology, and enhance their social skills.