Swiss visa desk in San Francisco

Important Change:

Online visa application and appointment system

Starting June 10, 2015, all applicants for a Schengen visa (type C, for stays of up to 90 days) can submit an online visa application and book their appointment online with the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco. Please note that you will be required to bring your complete application with the supporting documents to the visa desk for your interview.

To start your online application and to book your appointment, please visit

The visa desk does not allow walk-ins. Each individual applicant requires an appointment. This also applies to general inquiries and pick up of pre-authorized visas. 

Prior to making your appointment, you are strongly advised to read the requirements relating to the visa type you wish to apply for. Please consult the general visa information.

Should you need further assistance with your visa application you can email us at or you may call us Monday through Friday between 1pm and 2pm only at 415-788-2272. 

Visa Process for Long Stay Visas (Type D, stays of longer than 90 days)

Visa applications for stays longer than 90 days (family reunion, student, work, residence permit) do not require fingerprinting and therefore may be submitted by mail. However, if you decide to apply in person you will need to schedule an appointment. The visa requirements can be found on the following link: Work Visa and long stay Visa 

Visa Process for Schengen Visa applications (Type C, stays up to 90 days) 

Effective May 15, 2014, all diplomatic and consular representations of the Schengen member states in the US will issue Schengen visas with biometric data (fingerprinting and facial image). 

Schengen visa applicants within our jurisdiction (California, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) will have to appear in person with an appointment at our office. 

Frequent travelers to the Schengen Area do not have to be fingerprinted every time they apply for a new visa. Once fingerprints are collected, they will be saved and stored for up to 59 months. 

Where and how to apply for a Schengen visa?

The Swiss Visa Desk can only accept applications from persons whose main destination is Switzerland.

Schengen Regulation (Visakodex)

  1. If the travel destination is one Member State, that Member State's consulate must deal with the application.
  2. If the travel destination includes more than one Member State, the application must be dealt with by the consulate of the main destination. The main destination is understood to be the destination where the applicant intends to spend the longest time or where the main purpose of the intended journey is carried out.
  3. If no main destination can be determined, the consulate of the Member whose external border the applicant intends to cross first, must deal with the application (point of first entry).

Visa processing:

Visa applications are usually processed within 5 to 10 business days (no same day processing available)


Passports with issued visas can be mailed back upon request. Please either provide a prepaid, self-addressed return envelope at the time of your application, or include an additional $ 20.00 with your visa fee. The passport will then be returned via Fedex standard overnight shipping.

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.