ETIAS FOR SWITZERLAND
EUROPEAN TRAVEL AUTHORISATION FOR SWITZERLAND
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Citizens of qualified non-EU countries will soon be required to get an ETIAS visa waiver before visiting Switzerland. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System will be live in November 2023 and will be a requirement for visa-free travel.
By pre-authorizing third-country nationals, ETIAS will make Switzerland and the rest of the Schengen Area even safer for tourists. Tourists will be able to tour the land with greater confidence than ever before.
SWITZERLAND BASIC INFORMATION
Switzerland is a landlocked country in central Europe. Switzerland is geographically separated between the Alps and borders five other ETIAS countries:
- Italy to the south
- Germany to the north
- Austria and Liechtenstein to the east
- France to the west
The Swiss Alps control the majority of the topography, while the plateau is home to the majority of the eight million inhabitants. Geneva and Zurich are the two most populous and economically significant cities in Switzerland.
Switzerland has a relatively mild climate with distinct seasons. Winters in Bern are cold and snowy, with temperatures dropping below freezing. In the summer, the highest temperature is roughly 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
Capital city: Bern
Official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh
Currency: Swiss Franc
Population: 8.7 million
SWITERLAND AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, it maintains close political and economic ties with the union. Switzerland has accepted various components of EU legislation through a series of bilateral agreements in order to acquire access to the Union’s single market.
Over 100 bilateral agreements exist in all, covering topics such as free movement of persons and Schengen membership.
Switzerland has no border checks with neighbouring countries because it is a member of the Schengen Area. Foreigners from outside the travel zone will be able to get an ETIAS visa waiver in November 2023, allowing them to cross the external border without a visa. ETIAS will be mandated.
TRAVELLING TO SWITZERLAND
Every year, over 10 million tourists visit Switzerland, drawn by its breathtaking natural landscapes and variety of outdoor activities such as skiing and climbing.
Switzerland is a popular business location since it is home to major banks and the EMEA headquarters of hundreds of worldwide corporations.
Switzerland is a safe tourism destination. Switzerland placed second in the world on the Global Finance Safety Index in 2019 due to its low risk of natural catastrophe, crime, terrorism, and conflict. Switzerland will benefit from increased security with the implementation of ETIAS.
Another factor contributing to Switzerland’s appeal is its central location in Europe. Switzerland is easily included on a trip of Europe due to its close proximity to other countries such as Germany and France.
The good news for travelers is that the same ETIAS visa waiver is available across the Schengen area. ETIAS will also be required to travel Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania, all of which are in the process of entering the Schengen Area.
When crossing the external border, the permission is validated, and travelers can then travel between European nations with the same authorization.
MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR SWITZERLAND
Individuals possessing a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can receive discounted medical care in Switzerland. Travelers from within and outside of Europe should expect to pay in full if they require medical treatment in Switzerland.
HEALTH INSURANCE FOR ETIAS SWITZERLAND
Passport holders from qualifying non-EU countries must register for ETIAS online before visiting Switzerland.
Foreign nationals are not required to get medical insurance in Switzerland. Travel insurance is advised for all international travellers, even though it is not required by ETIAS.
MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR SCHENGEN VISA FOR SWITZERLAND
Visitors who do not qualify for an ETIAS visa waiver must get a Schengen visa before visiting Switzerland. Additional supporting papers, such as proof of travel insurance, are required with the visa application.
The medical insurance coverage must be valid across the Schengen Area and cover at least €30,000.
GOING THROUGH SWISS BORDER CONTROL
Switzerland and the other Schengen Area nations have no border crossings. Passport holders from other Schengen member countries should take their identification with them while travelling within the border-free zone.
ARRIVING FROM VISA-EXEMPT COUNTRIES
Because of Europe’s visa liberalisation policy, nationals of various non-EU countries can now enter Switzerland and remain for up to three months with only a passport.
Individuals from visa-exempt nations will also require a visa waiver once ETIAS is accessible. The authorization is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and validated upon crossing an external Schengen border to enter Switzerland.
TRAVELLERS WHO REQUIRE A VISA
Visitors from non-visa-exempt nations must have a passport valid for a least 3 months from the date of departure from the Schengen Area plus:
- A valid Schengen visa
- Evidence of sufficient funds to cover the trip
- Return or onward flight ticket
There are also some questions relating to the purpose and length of stay in Switzerland. In all cases, border officials have the final say on whether an individual may cross the border.
ARRIVING IN SWITZERLAND BY PLANE, CAR, AND TRAIN
Zurich Airport (IATA: ZRH, ICAO: LSZH) is Switzerland’s busiest international airport, serving about 30 million people each year.
A major number of foreign visitors fly into Zurich, which is only 6 miles (10 kilometres) from the city centre and well served by rail, bus, tram, and road networks.
Geneva and Basel both have significant international airports.
TRAVELLING TO SWITZERLAND BY CAR
Tourists who are visiting various European countries in one trip may benefit from the flexibility of renting a car in Switzerland. Motorists will not be checked when they enter the border, but foreigners must have their travel documentation on them at all times.
INTERNATIONAL TRAINS TO SWITZERLAND
Trains connect Switzerland to neighbouring ETIAS nations, providing a quick and pleasant means to travel around Europe. The following are popular international Swiss train routes:
- Zurich to Hamburg (Germany): 8 hours
- Zurich to Vienna (Austria) 8 hours
- Zurich/Basel/Geneva to Paris (France): 3- 4 hours
- Zurich/Basel/Geneva to Milan (Italy): 3- 4 hours
Longer train routes are often overnight services, and reservations are frequently necessary.
VISITING SWITZERLAND: TOURIST INFORMATION
Switzerland is a famous tourist destination due to its beautiful environment and unique culture. Skiing and hiking in the Swiss Alps are two of the country’s most popular sports. St. Moritz, Zermatt, and Verbier are among Switzerland’s top ski destinations.
Aside from winter sports, Switzerland has a plethora of outdoor activities that may be enjoyed all year. White-water rafting, parachuting, hot-air ballooning, and climbing are just a few of the activities available in Switzerland.
Swiss towns and cities are a reflection of the country’s unique culture. The capital, Bern, is recognised for its mediaeval old town and world-class modern art scene, whilst Zurich, the biggest city, is known for its stylish clubs and nightlife.
Basel, another Swiss city worth seeing, is known for its distinctive Germanic architecture. Tourists flock to Geneva as well.
Traditional marketplaces, seasonal events, fairs and cuisine, and picturesque timber chalets distinguish smaller towns and villages. The agricultural calendar is the foundation of tradition, and each season has its own particular flavor.
EUROPE’S VISA WAIVER FOR SWITZERLAND
Eligible third-country nationals planning to visit Switzerland beginning in November 2023 should verify they fulfil all ETIAS criteria.
The ETIAS application procedure is entirely online and may be performed from home at any time of day or night. Travelers are asked for basic personal and passport information, as well as answers to safety and security concerns.
The ETIAS visa waiver costs are paid using a debit or credit card to complete the request. At this stage, the submitted information is automatically cross-checked against a number of worldwide security databases.
Once accepted, the authorization is instantly connected to the applicant’s biometric passport. The permit is good for three years, or until the passport expires, and may be used for repeated 90-day journeys to Europe.