Which documents should I submit with a Schengen visa application?
Participation in scientific activities: see Business Visa
Participation in scientific activities and/or research at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva: see Official Visit Visa
Participation in artistic events: see Cultural Visa (only for artists, not spectators at these events).
For people travelling with the purpose of tourism, staying at a hotel or in a rented flat. Also for owners of real estate in Switzerland
For people who wish to visit relatives or friends, staying in their homes
For people invited for business reasons by a company based in Switzerland
For artists and other people who are participating actively in cultural events in Switzerland (not for spectators at cultural events!)
For people (athletes, coaches, trainers, support staff, etc.) participating actively in sport events or trainings in Switzerland (not for spectators at such events or tourists on a skiing holiday!)
Official visit visa
For people who are invited to congresses, seminars, workshops and meetings organized by an International Organization (like UNO and their sub-organizations)
Medical treatment visa
For people undergoing medical treatment or getting medical advice
Student visa (up to 90 days)
For people who intend to study in Switzerland
Transit visa (type C)
For people transiting through Switzerland/the Schengen zone or having an flight within the Schengen zone on their way to a final destination outside the Schengen area (e.g. Moscow - Zurich - Madrid - Rio de Janeiro)
Other travel purposes (without proper visa category):
As a general rule, a decision is taken by the Consulate within 15 days. This period may, in individual cases, be extended.
Some Schengen States require that they be consulted on visa applications submitted to other Schengen States by citizens of certain countries. The consultation process may take up to seven calendar days. Such consultation is currently required for nationals of the countries listed here:
It is therefore recommended to submit the visa application early, at the earliest 6 months before the planned journey.
The decision to refuse a Schengen visa and the reasons for the refusal are notified to the applicant using a standard form. You have the right to appeal within 30 days of receipt of the refusal. For information on appeal procedures, please refer to the webpage of the State Secretariat for Migration.
Biometric data (fingerprints and digital photo) are generally collected every 59 months from the age of 12 years from the first photograph.
- Be very careful when receiving claims for money from people you've met on the internet, who intend to apply for a visa and ask for you financial support in this regard. Don't send or transfer money!
- The consular fee for the consideration of a visa application of a Russian citizens amounts to EUR 35.00 (per person; since the entry into force of the visa facilitation agreement on 01 February 2011). The consular fee for non-Russian applicants amounts to EUR 80.00. This fee is charged only once.
- When applying through our outsourcing-partner TLScontact an additional service fee of max. EUR 23.00 amounts.
- The visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland never requires applicants and/or hosts to pay or leave deposits of any kind.
- The visa requirement of the visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland includes only air ticket reservations. It is strongly recommended not to buy any air tickets without having a valid visa issued in the passport.
- Detailed information in regards to the visa process and the required documents can be found on this website
- For additional information please send us an email.
Nowadays getting acquainted often happens on specialized websites on the internet.
Please use extreme caution when inviting an internet-acquaintance to visit you in Switzerland or if this person intends to travel to Switzerland with a tourist visa and asks you for substantial financial support.
Not all internet-users are honest; some have criminal or dishonest intentions. The anonymity of the internet makes delusion and deception fairly easy. Cases of fraud are happening regularly and are organized in a professional way. Much time and effort are invested to make the fraud claims for money more credible.
Fake invoices or emails from virtual travel agencies and/or their websites, forged letters and documents from Swiss or Russian authorities, falsified or forged copies of passports, copies of allegedly already issued Schengen visa are produced with the sole purpose of malpractice. Sometimes it is claimed that fines or taxes need to be settled before departure and it is often also alleged that the deposit of a larger sum is required or the "vacation money" is checked at the airport.
The following facts and advice should always be remembered in the connection with new acquaintances:
Fraud and attempts to defraud are criminal offences and can be notified to the police in Switzerland (Article 146, the Swiss Criminal Code). For more information on the subject see the website of the Cybercrime Coordination Unit Switzerland (CYCO).
- Third country nationals:
All non-Russian citizens living in Russia have to be legal residents of the Russian Federation and need to present the relevant documents (residence permit, long-term visa or FMS registration: original and copy). These documents need to be valid for at least 3 months beyond the planned return from the Schengen area or a document is to be submitted that the holder has applied for the renewal of proof of legal residence.
Holders of a residence permit of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements.
- Working without the relevant work permit is strictly prohibited while visiting Switzerland.
- Applications can be deposited earliest 3 months prior to the planned travel date, but should not be submitted later than 15 days before the date of departure.
- Urgent visa treatments will only be granted in cases with high Swiss interests (political or for life threatening medical interventions). Requests for urgent visa applications need to be addressed in written form to email@example.com.
- Each application is checked individually and no guarantee can be given that a visa will be issued. The Embassy cannot be held responsible for costs involved with a refused visa. Please note that in certain cases the application has to be submitted to the authorities in Switzerland. In such cases it may take up to 12 weeks until a decision is made.
- A stamp affixed to a travel documents regarding the admissibility of an application has no legal effect.
- A negative decision of an application (refusal of visa) is communicated to the applicant with an official form. As written and explained in the official form the applicant has the right to appeal against this decision within 30 days of notification of the refusal. An appeal letter in German, French or Italian - or with a translation into one of these languages - has to be submitted and an advance payment of CHF 200 (equivalent in RUB) is required. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) issues then a contestable decision.
- In case of a negative decision the visa fee will not be refunded and the submitted documents will remain at the visa section.
- Vaccination: No vaccination certificates are required
- Holders of Russian diplomatic passports are entitled to visa-free travel.
- The visa fee amounts to EUR 35.00 (only applicable to citizens of countries Switzerland concluded a respective agreement: Russian Federation, Moldova, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as Georgia).
- Visas are issued free of charge to certain categories of applicants.
- Certain categories of applicants are entitled of multy entry visas with a validity of up to 5 years.
- Certain categories of applicants are entitled of multy entry visas with a validity between 2 and 5 years, provided certain criteria are met.
- In case of loss or theft of a travel document with a visa while in Switzerland, a valid identity document or other authorization issued by the Embassy or a Consulate of the Russian Federation in Switzerland entitles to depart without the need of a (new) visa. Condition: the new document must entitle the holder to cross the borders
The visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow is responsible for the treatment of visa applications from people living permanently in the Russian Federation (Crimea excluded), in the Republic of Belarus and Uzbekistan. Switzerland has a mutual visa representation agreement with the Hungarian Embassy in Minsk and the Consular section of the Embassy of Latvia in Kaliningrad and Tashkent who can issue certain visas for people travelling to Switzerland. The common Schengen rules of the visa issuing state shall prevail. Please be aware that only requests with Switzerland or Liechtenstein as main travel target will be accepted.
Schengen application rules:
General information about entering Switzerland and the general section of VBC instructions (Visa and Border control) can be found at the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
On our website www.eda.admin.ch/moscow you will find information on how to obtain a visa at the Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow for people living in the Russian Federation, in the Republic of Belarus and Uzbekistan.
Applications for Schengen visa (categories A & C) need to be submitted at the counters of an external service provider which will then forward the visa documents for further processing to the Embassy in Moscow. Passports with visa are to be collected at the same office where the documents were submitted earlier. The external service provider is called TLScontact. This service costs around EUR 23.00 per person - in addition to the visa fee that might be due (equivalent payable in RUB).
TLScontact Visa Application Centers (VAC) for Switzerland are at your disposal in the following cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, and Novosibirsk. Submission of application with prior registration through the TLScontact-website and appointment is possible from Monday to Friday (except holidays), from 09:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m., collection of passports from 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
In twelve other locations: Samara, Kazan, Nizhniy Novgorod, Krasnoyarsk, UFA, Vladivostok, Omsk, Perm, Irkutsk, Murmansk, Surgut and Yakutsk other solutions are available as a drop-box and a courier-solution in cooperation with a local courier company. Courier fees (from the location to Moscow and back to the location) are to be paid by the applicants who choose this solution.
To get an appointment at the TLScontact VAC or for more detailed information please call:
Telephone: +7 495 9958512
Available Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 17:00
The services of the Call Center are available from Monday to Friday from 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. (Moscow time). For appointment requests a prior registration on the website of TLScontact is necessary. Calls only cost the normal phone charges.
The visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland recommends using the highly professional service of our Outsourcing-Partner TLScontact where clients can submit visa requests in a rapid application process and a customer friendly environment.
A limited number of direct "appointment slots" are available at the visa section. Direct appointments can be booked only through the Call Center of TLScontact with prior registration on their site. Such appointments are subject of availability and a longer waiting period may result.
Processing of Schengen visa applications (types A & C) at the Embassy will take a minimum of three working days in-house. In addition, the time for transport from the Visa Application Centers to the Embassy and back to the centers, as well for direct appointments the submission day and the day of passport return needs to be taken into account.
Missing documents, the need for a personal interview or internal consultations delay the visa process. Applications should therefore be submitted early enough (maximal three month prior the entry date to Switzerland, but at least 2 weeks prior to departure date).
Relevant information for all visa types
The Embassies and Consulates of the Schengen Member States in the Russian Federation have adjusted and harmonized their lists of requested documents. Starting 2013, basically the same documents are to be submitted with the application for Schengen visa - depending on the purpose of travel - at all Schengen Embassies and Consulates. Small differences may still occur.
On February 01, 2011, the Visa Facilitation Agreement between Switzerland and the Russian Federation entered into force. It only concerns Schengen Visa and brings several changes (enumeration not conclusive):
For the full agreement-text see the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
The border authorities are obliged to examine whether the conditions for the traveller's entry still apply. If the prerequisites for entry no longer apply or if you are unable to provide the relevant evidence, you may be refused entry although you are in possession of a valid visa.
It is therefore strongly recommended that you carry copies of the documents (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations) which you supplied with your visa application.
Please make sure before applying for an appointment or submitting the application that your file contains all the necessary documents. Applications with missing documents may not be accepted at the counter and you lose valuable time.
- Avoid contact with people who offer “services” outside the premises of the visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland or outside the application center of TLScontact.
- Reject any offers for services.
- Prepare your visa application according to the information on the website of the visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland before you visit the application center of TLScontact or the Visa section.
- Refuse to pay any money to someone offering to help you access the counters of the visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland or of the application center of TLScontact. (Appointment bookings are free of charge).
Visa applicants may be addressed in the surrounding areas of the visa application center of TLScontact or the visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland by questionable individuals (often young men between 25 and 40) who offer various "services" for excessive fees such as sale of travel medical insurances, translations, money exchange, organization of taxis or accommodations. Some of these individuals won’t hesitate to pretend to be employees of the Embassy.
Beware: These individuals are in no way working for the Embassy or TLScontact. They do not act on behalf of or in accordance with the Embassy or TLScontact. The visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland advises to the visitors the following:
People invited to visit Switzerland for official purposes (Requests for family visit or tourist will not be accepted!) from one of the international organizations (International organizations in Switzerland) may submit their documents without appointment any working day directly at the visa section of the Embassy in Moscow (Monday - Friday, from 09:00 to 11:45 a.m.).
Travel agencies accredited with the Swiss Embassy in Moscow may be commissioned with the deposit of visa applications. Please note that the applicants are fully responsible for the submission of genuine documents and visa applications which need to be signed in person! Any Travel agency has special rights or possibilities to guarantee visas to applicants as the decision is to be taken by the visa section only! The agencies charge an additional fee for their services.
On prior fixed appointments applications for work, residence and study visas (duration of more than 90 days only) as well for family reunion visas have to be submitted in person by the applicant directly at the visa section of the Swiss Embassy in Moscow.
The Embassy reserves the right to request the personal presence of the applicant in all other visa categories too, should it be deemed necessary.
The visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland provides a list of accredited travel insurances that fulfill the minimum requirements travelers’ mandatory need for trips to the Schengen space.
Please be aware that the visa section refuses any responsibility in case of problems or difficulties with accredited insurance companies! The contract with an insurance company is a personal issue and need to be proved carefully by the applicants! Nevertheless for visa requests the visa section only accepts polices from accredited insurance companies in the list below:
It is strongly recommended to buy insurances only in official offices of accredited insurance companies.