Visas

Persons subject to visa requirements

For a short term stay (up to 90 days) and a long term stay (longer than 90 days) in Switzerland:

  • Lebanese and Syrian citizens (and also holders of a residency card in the United States of America, Canada, Great Britain, or Ireland) need a visa for a short or long term stay in Switzerland.
  • Citizens other than Lebanese or Syrian must check supplement 1, List 1 on the website of the FOM (Federal Office for Migration) in order to check whether they satisfy the visa requirements. 
    Link guidelines visa
  • Holders of a UN “laissez-passer” do not require a visa for a short term stay.
    But for a long term stay, please check supplement 1, List 1, on the website of the FOM (Federal Office for Migration), in order to know the requirements according to the applicant’s nationality. 
    Link guidelines visa
  • Holders of a residency permit in a Schengen State (please check number 2.3 in supplement 1, List 2) are not subject to the visa requirements if they are planning a short term stay. For a long term stay, please check supplement 1, list 1, on the website of the FOM (Federal Office for Migration) site, according to the applicant’s nationality. 
    Link guidelines visa

For transit through a Swiss airport:

  • Persons who will be in transit at a Swiss airport must check number 2.1 in supplement 1, List 2 on the website of the FOM to know whether they satisfy the visa requirements.

Requirements to apply for a visa

Visa information

Citizens from Lebanon and Syria are required to apply for a visa to enter Switzerland. TLScontact has been appointed by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beirut to give information, manage the appointments and receive the submission files.

Visa applicants have to submit the documentation in person.

However, if your finger scans were collected within the last 59 months, then you won’t have to give new fingerprints for your visas application(s) and personal appearance is not necessary. However you have to provide copy of your visa sticker issued after 11.10.2011. If you are not sure or do not remember whether your fingerprints have been captured for a Schengen visa within the last 59 months, you have to appear in person.
You will still have to appear in person to give your fingerprints in case the previously collected fingerprints prove to be of insufficient quality.
Personal appearance and fingerprint scan is not necessary for children under the age of 12.
The Swiss representation still reserves the right to ask the applicant to appear for a personnel interview during the processing of his application.

If you intend to travel to a Schengen State, you may only apply at the Swiss Embassy, trough TLScontact, if Switzerland is the main destination of your trip (longest stay). If this is not the case, your application must be deposited at the Embassy of the Schengen State of the main destination.

Time factor
Visa applications may be deposited as early as 90 days, but no later than 15 days before travel date.

Appointments
Visa applications may only be deposited upon previous appointment. You will generally have to wait 2 weeks for the appointment, but this waiting time can be longer during peak seasons due to a high demand (before summer vacation and Christmas holidays).

To get your appointment

You can get information or book an appointment directly through the website of TLScontact or by phone at +961 1 669 888.

Important note: once having an appointment, be sure to bring all required documents along with your appointment. Missing documents can lead to refusal of the visa.  Once the visa application is deposited, no missing documents can be added on a later basis. The paid fees will not be refunded.

Visa application form    
Whatever the purpose of the visa request, the visa application forms must be completed in French, German, Italian, or English for each applicant. In the following information sheets (separate attachment, bottom of the page) you will find all the visa requirements which you have to submit according to your travel:

  • tourism
  • business
  • visit of family and/or friends

For a visa for medical treatment a written confirmation from the hospital/doctor in charge in Switzerland must be attached to your file.

For other visas such as residence, marriage, reuniting of family members etc. – please contact this Embassy directly.

If you intend to study in Switzerland you will find the needed requirements in the information sheet:

  • admission of students (separate attachment)

If you do not have your permanent residence in Lebanon or Syria, the Swiss Embassy in Beirut is not competent to issue a visa. Exceptions can only be granted upon reasonable explanation why the visa was not applied for at the Swiss representation which is competent for your domicile.  

For any other foreigners than citizens from Lebanon and Syria living in Lebanon or Syria: If you want to find out if you need a visa to travel to Switzerland please consult the following link of the Federal Office for Migration:

 Annex 1, List 1: ID and visa provisions according to nationality

Fees (visa):

  • Free of charge up to 5 years old
  • € 35 from 6 to 11 years old
  • € 60 from 12 years old.

These fees have to be paid in LBP and cash only. Credit cards are not accepted. Please bring exact amounts.

Warning before departure

A visa does not automatically grant the right of direct entrance or transit in the Schengen area. Upon your arrival in Switzerland, authorities at the border may ask you to provide various proofs concerning the purpose and the duration of your stay, as well as of your means of subsistence and your travel insurance.

If the entrance or transit conditions are not satisfied, or if you are not able to present the required supporting documents, your entrance or transit may be refused, even if you have a valid visa.

The Swiss authorities reserve the right to cancel or shorten the duration of a visa given, without prior notice and at any time.

Last modified on the 14.10.2014
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs