Swiss visa desk in San Francisco

Schengen visa application for stays up to 90 days  

  • Personal Appearance

Since May 15, 2014 all diplomatic representations of the Schengen member states in the US have to capture the biometric data (finger scans and facial image) of persons applying for a Schengen visa. The data will be kept in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 5 years. For further information, see here.

If your finger scans have not yet been collected, personal appearance when applying for a Schengen visa is mandatory (absolutely no exceptions). You will need to schedule an appointment.

If your finger scans were collected within the last 59 months, you won't have to give new fingerprints for your next visa application(s) and personal appearance is not necessary. You may mail in your complete Schengen visa application to our consulate. Only duly completed applications can be accepted. Incomplete applications will be returned to sender. Please provide a copy of your visa sticker issued after May 15, 2014 in addition to all other required documents, see here.

In case the previously collected fingerprints prove to be of insufficient quality, you will still have to appear in person to give your fingerprints.

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 personal interview after checking the application. 

  • Appointment system

Residents living within our consular district that are applying for their first Schengen visa or have not received a Schengen visa in the US since May 15, 2014 will need to apply in person with an appointment. If you qualify for mailing your visa application but your prefer to file in person, you will need to schedule an appointment also. 

Appointments must be booked through They can only be booked after submitting the online application.

The visa desk does not allow walk-ins. Each individual applicant requires an appointment. This also applies to each member of a group application. Groups please choose the option to schedule an electronic appointment after filing the online visa application.

We kindly ask you to schedule only one appointment per person. Please do not schedule several appointments for yourself. This leads to long waiting times for all visa applicants. Only in emergency situations will we be able to reschedule an existing appointment. If you need to cancel an appointment please write an email to

Should you need further assistance with your visa application please email us at

General visa questions are not answered over the phone. Only if you have a specific question that is not answered on our website you may call the visa desk Monday through Friday between 1pm and 2pm only at 415-788-2272.  

  • Online visa application form

All applicants for a Schengen visa (type C, stays up to 90 days) should submit an online visa application form. Please go to to submit your application. At the end of the process you have to submit and print the application.

Should you be unable to complete the online visa application you can also fill out the following application form

Please note that you will be required to bring your complete application form with supporting documents to the visa desk at the time of your appointment. 

Long stay visas (stays more than 90 days, Type D visa application)

There are different types of long stay visas, e.g. family reunion, student, work, international organizations, general residence. Some long stay visas are preapproved by the Swiss authorities and can be collected using a simple process at our consulate. Other long stay visa applications will need to be initiated at the Swiss Consulate in San Francisco. For more information, please see here: visa information

Type D visas can be submitted via mail. Personal appearance can be requested throughout the visa process.

Feel free to contact us via email at with questions in regards to long stay visas. 

International Organizations (UN, WHO, IMO, CERN etc.) 

Any internship or employment (less than 90 days as well as more than 90 days) at an international organization in Geneva requires a visa. Please contact us via email for more detailed information on how to obtain the visa  (


Passports with issued visas can be mailed back upon request. At the time of your application please provide a prepaid, self-addressed return envelope. Please use a secure carrier (Fedex preferred, UPS and USPS ok) with a tracking number. Applicants must indicate their name and address both as sender and recipient.

Important: The Swiss representation does not assume any liability for the loss of documents submitted or returned by mail.

Payment options

Exact cash and all major credit cards (except American Express) accepted for persons who appear in person. If you apply by mail, fees have to be paid by money order or cashier's check issued to "Consulate General of Switzerland". No personal checks accepted.