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Visas for persons living in Canada
New travel document requirements to enter the Schengen Area
Citizens of third states who enter the territory of the Schengen states will have to be in possession of a travel document which is valid for a further three months after their departure date from Schengen state and must have been issued within the past ten years.
New rule on calculation of the duration of stay within the Schengen Area
In accordance with current Schengen rules, citizens of non-Schengen countries, regardless of their visa obligation status, may enter and remain within the Schengen Area without a residence permit for up to "90 days per 180-day period starting from the date of first entry." Starting on 18 October 2013, these rules will be changed so that stays within the Schengen Area without a residence permit will be possible for up to "90 days over any 180-day period."
This change means that the 180-day period (i.e. reference period) will no longer correspond to 180 days following the date of first entry, but rather to the 180 days prior to the control date (border control upon entry into or departure from the Schengen Area, or police check within the Schengen Area). In other words, the duration of stay must not exceed at any time 90 days per 180-day period.
These new rules will not affect most travellers. However, they could have an impact in some situations (e.g. frequent stays in the Schengen Area). Stays that are permitted under the current rules may no longer be possible under the new rules.
Please also check the following website of the Federal Office for Migration for further information: www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/en/home/themen/einreise.html
As a citizen of Canada, you may visit Switzerland, or any other country of the Schengen area, without requiring a visa for a maximum of 90 days per 180-days period.
Canada may have concluded a bilateral agreement with one or more Schengen countries, allowing you to stay longer than 90 days per 180-days period in those countries only. However, Switzerland has not concluded such an agreement with Canada. For information on which Schengen States have these exceptional bilateral agreements, travelers must contact each individual country themselves. Any such agreement is of a strictly bilateral character, and does not alter the 90-days-within-180-days rule for the other Schengen countries, including Switzerland.
Thus, if you have stayed more that 90 days in the Schengen area due to benefiting from such an agreement, you could be
charged of overstay if you enter Switzerland, and risk to be fined or even banned from entering the whole Schengen area for some time. Swiss or European citizens, travelling on a NON European passport, who wish to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days must be able to prove their citizenship with a valid Swiss or European Union identity document.
Switzerland is part of the Schengen agreement since December 12, 2008. Schengen member states are : Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Switzerland has joined the Schengen visa scheme on December 12, 2008. Therefore all foreign nationals residing in Canada who require a Schengen visa will from that date onwards also require a Schengen visa to enter Switzerland. The Swiss visa desks can only accept applications from persons whose main destination is Switzerland.
Only persons who have a legal residence status in Canada can apply for a visa at Swiss representations in Canada. Holders of a Canadian residence permit are no longer exempt from the visa obligation for short stays in Switzerland. Persons not residing in Canada must apply in their country of residence.
In order to apply for a visa, your passport must have been issued within the last ten years and must have two empty pages. A passport older than ten years that has been extended for a period exceeding ten years from the time of issuance cannot be accepted. The validty of the passport or Blue Travel Document must exceed 3 months after the expiry date of the visa.
Nationals who do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen States (e.g. Canadians, Americans) and wish to travel to Switzerland as a tourist or visitor can stay in in all Schengen areas, included Switzerland, for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-days period with no visa. The passport must be valid on leaving the Schengen area. In order to avoid paying an overstay fine when leaving Europe, e.g. Swiss-Canadian dual citizens who intend to spend more than 90 days in the Schengen zone are strongly advised to present their Swiss passport at the border when entering and leaving the Schengen area. In any case, dual citizens who enter the Schengen zone to take up employment in Switzerland, even for less than 90 days, are required to identify themselves with their Swiss passport as with another passport they are not allowed to work in Switzerland without a proper working visa.
As a general rule, the applicant must appear in person to submit a visa request. Please consult the information below to find out which visa desk is responsible for your place of residence and whether you may apply by mail.
Applications have to be submitted to the Swiss representation competent for your state of residence. Please consult the links below for specific information regarding the application process.
- Ottawa , Email: email@example.com
only for diplomatic visas
- Montreal, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward
Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Territory of Nunavut as well as the Bahamas
- VISA call schedule: 514-932-9757
Monday,Wednesday,Thursday from 2 pm - 3pm
- Opening hours to the public for VISAS:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10 am - 1 pm
Friday: 10 am - Noon
- Vancouver, Email: email@example.com
Provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon and Northwest Territories
- Toronto, the Visa Section is permanently closed.
All persons, including Canadian citizens who intend to stay in Switzerland for more than three consecutive months, will need authorization from the cantonal authorities and a visa from the responsible Swiss visa desk. The same rule applies for all persons who intend to engage in gainful activity in Switzerland. Special regulations apply for the citizens of EU/EFTA member countries.
The time needed for a visa request to be processed may vary from case to case. It is therefore strongly recommended to take the necessary steps well in advance, so that the visa can be issued in the time required.
Short stay visas (tourists, visitors, business)
Complete applications are in general processed within 15 days.
Long stay visas (work, study, residence) initiated at the visa desk abroad
Up to 4 months.
Visa for persons who have already received an authorization from a Swiss cantonal authority (initiated by the employer in Switzerland)
Up to 15 days.
Adults and children over 12 years: CAD 81.00
Children 6 to 12 years: CAD 48.00
The following are exempt from the visa fee: Children under six years of age (when application is filed), spouses and children of Swiss and EU/EFTA nationals, CERN and students who study in Switzerland for only up to 90 days.
There is a reduced fee for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Russia and Moldavia: CAD 48.00
An additional postage fee of CAD 6.00 is required for a long stay visa application (work, study, residence) to cover the shipment of the application to the competent authority in Switzerland for approval.
The fee must be paid either in cash, by certified cheque (made out to the competent Swiss Consulate General or Embassy) or money order when submitting the application. If the application is made by mail, a bank draft or money order is required. The fee will not be refunded if the visa is denied or the application withdrawn.
Please note that the list above is not exhaustive, so if you are unsure as to whether you have to submit payment, contact the Swiss representation competent for your place of residence by email.
Please click on the information sheet on the right to obtain the photo requirements.
Please click on the information sheet on the right to obtain the requirements for a tourist visa.
If you are staying with a friend or family member, please refer to the requirements for a visitor visa.
Please click on the information sheet on the right to obtain the requirements for an airport transit visa.
Please click on the information sheet on the right to obtain the requirements for a business visa.
Please click on the information sheet on the right to obtain the requirements for a visitor visa.
The very restrictive immigration policy of the Swiss Government has made it rather difficult to obtain residence permits for employment. As a rule, only individuals who have been offered jobs which cannot be filled by Swiss nationals have a chance of obtaining residence permits. Inevitably, these vacancies are usually only in an occupation of a highly specialized nature.
The Swiss Embassy or the Consulates General are unable to assist anyone in finding employment in Switzerland. No lists of Swiss or foreign companies, agencies or organizations are available. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, but a bilateral Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) has been signed and entered into force on June 1, 2002. The provisions of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons only apply to nationals of the member states of the EU. The new EU member countries do not yet benefit from the free movement of persons with Switzerland.
Please click on the information sheet on the right to obtain the requirements for a work visa.
Nationals who require a visa to work in Switzerland (most non-Europeans, including Canadian citizens) must file a personal application at the responsible Swiss visa desk at the same time as the employer applies for the work permit in Switzerland. An authorization to issue the visa is sent to the responsible Swiss visa desk after the work permit has been authorized and the appropriate visa has to be issued in your passport prior to your departure.
After arrival in Switzerland, every person must register with the relevant cantonal immigration authority within 14 days and, in all cases, before starting work.
If your employer has applied for your visa in Switzerland and it has been granted, you still must contact the competent Swiss representation abroad to have your visa affixed to your passport.
You must submit the following documents to the competent Swiss representation:
- One national (type D) visa application form, fully completed and signed by the applicant. For stays up to 3 months or authorisations for a 120 day visa, the regular Schengen visa application form should be used. Applications which are not duly completed, dated and signed will not be accepted. Please also indicate your e-mail address and a contact phone number in case additional information is required.
- Two passport photos per applicant (very strict requirements, please consult the details on the webpage
- Applicant’s valid original passport, plus a copy
- Visa fee (only money order or cash)
- If applying by mail: please include a self-addressed Xpresspost envelope for the safe return of your passports
Please click on the information on the right side of this page in order to obtain the relevant information including how do apply for a work permit and visa under the YMP.
Please click on the information sheet on the right side of this page in order to obtain the requirements.
Please click on the information sheet on the right side of this page in order to obtain the requirements.
After arriving in Switzerland, all members of the family must register with the relevant cantonal immigration authority within 8 days.
Generally speaking, Liechtenstein's policy on admission of foreign residents is as restrictive as that of Switzerland. To find out the requirements and procedure, applicants with close ties should contact the authorities of Liechtenstein:
Ausländer und Passamt
Tel.: +423 236 61 41