Switzerland welcomed as 25th Schengen country

Bruxelles, November 27, 2008 (swissreviews)

December 12, 2008, marks the date in history when Switzerland will join the passport-free zone of the Schengen countries, after interior and justice ministers of the 27 EU member states formally approved the accession of this non-EU country today.

Switzerland will be the 25th member of the Schengen area which counts three other non-EU countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) among its members.

All land border checkpoints are to be closed on that date, while people entering Switzerland by air from another Schengen country will still have their passports checked until March 29, 2009. This is good news not only for tourists who can hence travel freely into Switzerland using their Schengen visa. Non-EU residents of Switzerland will no longer need to apply for a visa to cross the Swiss borders but will be able to travel freely to the neighboring Schengen countries.

The agreement to set up the Schengen zone was signed in Schengen, Luxembouerg in 1985. The EU member states Britain and Ireland have abstained from Schengen membership, which among other things grants access to Interpol, a common police database.


80 Responses to Switzerland welcomed as 25th Schengen country

  1. C89 says:

    Hi, my girlfriend is chinese from Shanghai, now, the question is, she has a B-Permit for staying in switzerland. Can she pass the borders to go to Italy with me at the end of this December 2008? I’ve looked on the internet, but with no results since the forums are more than a year old… Thank you very much if you could answer my question.

  2. solomon innocent says:

    am from african and i want to ask does’t it mean that anyone who has schengen visa from any schengen conutry embassy in african has a right to enter swiss free without any disturb or depost.
    thanks when my question is answer

  3. Jayred says:

    C89, yes, I think your girlfriend can travel to Schengen countries (e.g. Italy) with her B residence permit. No need to apply for a Schengen visa.

  4. Climate Patrol says:

    Solomon Innocent, that’s right. There will be a checkpoint once you enter a Schengen country by air or by crossing a border. However, passports will still be checked if you travel from another Schengen country by air, until March 2009. One word of caution: This does not mean that there will be no more disturbance once you are in Switzerland. There are random checks within Switzerland to see if you are entitled to stay in a Schengen country and for how long. It is just that the crossborder checkpoints are dissolved in December.

  5. Climate Patrol says:

    Jayred, thank you for your comment.

    C89, yes, a valid B residence permit should be carried along with a passport and then should be no problem in case of random checks within Italy.

  6. Jayred says:

    Climate Patrol, thanks for sharing this with us. I linked this post in my blog, by the way. Merci!

  7. M.KAMRAN says:

    sir i am pakistani and i got schengen visa i am going to plain vist schengen country 8 jan 2009 my Q is that am i able to go swizterland even i dont have swizterland visa or i am pakistani also i ask so manay traval agent form pakistan but they say u cant go cause swizterland not come in schengen plzz reply me i am really worried about my traval trip

  8. M.KAMRAN says:

    sir i am pakistani and i got schengen visa i am going to plain vist schengen country 8 jan 2009 my Q is that am i able to go swizterland even i dont have swizterland visa or i am pakistani also i ask so manay traval agent form pakistan but they say u cant go cause swizterland not come in schengen plzz reply me i am really worried about my traval trip

  9. Climate Patrol says:

    Rest assured that with a Schengen visa you will be able to travel to Switzerland freely. If you travel by air from another Schengen country, your valid Schengen visa will be checked at the Swiss airport. If you travel by train or car, there will normally be no border checkpoints. Just make sure you keep your passport (resp. a compy thereof)along with your visa always with you when travelling in order to be prepared for random checking.

  10. ibrahim says:



  11. OLUDARE says:

    I would like to know if i can use my valid old swiss visa issued to me before they join schengen to cross another schengen land borders.

    Thank you.

  12. OLUTUNDE says:



  13. Climate Patrol says:

    @ibrahim and OLUTUNDE

    i just posted an update that will probably answer your questions. Or you can go directly here

  14. Jayred says:

    Thanks for the update on this topic, Climate Patrol! I’ve updated the link on my Freitag blog.

    BTW, I went to Paris last December without applying for a Schengen visa. I just brought along my passport and Swiss residence permit.

  15. perwaiz says:

    sir iam pakistani and i have single entry schengen visa for itlay
    my question is that i travel to swizerland for thios schengen visa pls reply soon thanks

  16. mak azimi says:

    Hey all, I’m mak from Dubai, I’ve got my schengen visa rom the hungarian embassy they say purpose of it: Study
    I’ll be doing 1 month medical school there. But before i go there i want to go to Switzerland to see my friends! is it possible for me to land the first on the 1st day validity in Switzerland (which is different from the country has issued the visa )!!??

  17. Climate Patrol says:

    @ perwaiz
    Basically, yes you can. As long as you have a flight back home or outside the EU, you cross the Swiss border anytime during the validity of your visa. However, if you got your visa issued by the Italian embassy and should decide to fly directly into Switzerland instead, you better double check with the Swiss immigration authorities here. At any rate, you need to present your passport with visa at the customs of Swiss airports at your arrival.

  18. Joel Lopez says:

    Can someone help me? I am traveling nex week to Spain -one week stay. I got my pass and C permit. Do I need a shengen visum? or not anymore? thx for answering. g.J

  19. agatha lall says:

    i know there is a rule that states that certain nationals can stay in a schengen state for only 3mths within 6mths. my country was on the V1 list which meant that i didn’t need a visa to enter switzerland for short-stay, prior to dec 12. now there’s no longer the V1 list, & my country’s nationals now need a visa for even a short-stay of 3mths. i was in switzerland in mid-nov, & i have until mid-feb to leave. no problem.
    but, i want to visit germany in march for 2mths. can i get the visa to go to germany? or will they tell me i cannot as i have been in a schengen state, & therefore would have to wait in my home country another 3mths before i can enter the schengen area again?
    it may sound stupid, but is switerland now a schengen state? there are websites, but i am reading conflicting things, hence the question.

    thank you for your quick reply,

  20. rossa bella says:

    i live in italy , i have a residence stay permits i want to know if i can work in switzerland since they have joined the schnengen. can someone explain to me better.

  21. Valeriy says:

    Hi there, I’m full time student in London. Do I need a visa to go to Geneva for a weekends?

    Thank you.


  22. Paing says:


    I would like to have some information on visit to schengen countries.

    I am a students who is now studying in Geneva and I receive visa which I considered is schengen because I received during the month of january.
    The thing is that on the visa, I am allow to stay 3 months but the description on Valid for is “swiss” and type of entry “1”.
    I would like to visit for a few days to other schengen countries druing this study periods but I am not sure I will be able to comeback to switzerland after my visit. It will be very helpful as I don’t know what to do and who to ask. so can you please provide me some information regarding this.

    thanks so much

  23. Climate Patrol says:

    Hi everybody

    Yes, Switzerland is now a Schengen country indeed. To get a Swiss residence permit including work permit is a different story. They say it is virtually impossible nowadays for non EU/U.S. residents to acquire a work permit in Switzerland. What is clear is that a Schengen tourist visa can by no means be used as a stepping stone for a work permit. Once you are in Switzerland with a valid Schengen visa applied through a Swiss embassy, you cross borders at your own risk. Should you wish to use a different route, e.g. through Germany, to travel back home to your home country, please check with the authorities of the third country as well.

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  25. durga krishna says:

    dear sir/madam,
    i have a question,i had got schengen visa from french embassy in kathmandu,a nepalese citizen,have planned to meet my relatives in paris,the visa period is for 30 days,during my period can i travel to switzerland as a tourist? i would be very very thankful to he/she if i could get the answer of my question

  26. Aslam says:

    yes krishna you can travel switzerland within ur visa validity. go head and enjoy yourslef.

  27. ifzal says:

    hi i have spanish parmanantcard so i work in swiss

  28. Hassan says:

    this Hassan i just want to knw tht i have pakistani passport and and also living @ pakistani and my uncle have italyian passport he wants to spouncer me but i dnt knw tht schengen visa i will get of not becasue i was apply 2 time for uk but as usally i reject so plz tell me any one that visa is essy to get of not?
    Take u and if u want to email me so this is my eamil Fair_88@hotmail.com

  29. Climate Patrol says:


    Hi. Does your uncle live in the U.K.? = U.K. visa. Does your uncle live in Italy = Schengen visa. You need two visas, one for the U.K. and one for continental Europe. Does this answer your question?

  30. thebiga says:

    Hi Climate Patrol

    Great information here. Thanks. I got my schengen visa issued in October 08 with 1 year validity. Can you please let me know if i can visit switzerland on the same visa?

  31. Climate Patrol says:

    Hi Hassan

    Congratulations to your schengen visa. I know that some websites like http://www.eurovisa.info/ have not yet updated the list of schengen countries. The Swiss immigration authorities here however speak a clear language. If you take a plane, train or car to get to Switzerland coming from another Schengen country, it’s like you are not crossing a border at all. Welcome to Switzerland – as a tourist!

  32. akeem says:

    i got 6month visa to swizerland,can i used it to move arround all the shengen country withing a month and come back to my country?thanx for getting back to me

    • Climate Patrol says:

      It depends if you have a Schengen visa, that is a visa to Switzerland with the area of validity for “ETATS SCHENGEN”, then yes. However, for visas valid for more than 3 months, a restricted use is often implied for Swiss visas. If the area of validity is for instance marked as “SUISSE”, that means that you may just as well cross the border to another Schengen country by land travel at your own risk (since passports are no more checked at borders within Schengen countries). BUT be aware that random checks may occur any time and anywhere within the SCHENGEN area. Never book a flight from Switzerland to another Schengen country unless you have indeed a visa containing that country or a ETATS SCHENGEN visa! A SWISS visa is not necessarily a SCHENGEN visa!

  33. gilbert says:

    i would like to ask if im going to switzerland to have a short stay in my friend for 1 week,using my schengen visa,is it possible for me to use that visa?im in norway now im staying with my friend here.please tell me if its okay to use my schengen visa to go to switzerland for 1 week.thank you very much.

  34. ebou says:

    am a gambian with sweden resident permit can i work and live in switzerland

  35. ebou says:

    am a gambian with sweden resident permit can i live and work in switzerland

  36. […] According to Swiss Reviews, today (December 12, 2008) marks the day in history when Switzerland joins the passport-free zone […]

  37. bhushan kandhari says:

    sir my q is a have a one year work visa from italy embasy. can i go to swiszerland on that visa. thanks

  38. bhushan kandhari says:

    i have work visa from italy for one year.can i travel to swiszerland on that visa , plz reply

  39. Slate tile says:


    It is very good news for those person who frequently travel worldwide.

  40. puujee says:

    Hi I have one question.i study now in irland and my girl freind study in swiss.if i will visit to my girl friend.Need i visa?

  41. Shah RUkh says:

    Hi…! every one.

    i want to get the shengen visa? how can i get? procedure? requiurment?


  42. T22 says:

    if i have a swiss b permit, can i stay in Italy for more than 3 months? i am indian passport holder.

  43. Phil says:

    I am a citezen of south africa with a south african passport. i need to visit my girlfriend who is also south african but her parents work in switzerland before april. do i need a visa to go there? or will my passport be enough?

  44. Phil says:

    please this is very urgent.

  45. Phil says:

    and if i do need a visa wich will be the quickest and easiest way to get it? i dnt need to stay there lng i just need 10 days.

  46. rohit says:


    i got etats schengen visa bt i got the vis for only 5 days..
    i want to no weather i can stay there aftr 5 days. or weather i can estend da visa for 5 more days..
    and will dey allow me to enter switzeraland before 1 day at the date of expiring

  47. manoharan says:

    i got etats schengen visa duration of days is 5 day.. is that the duration date which i shld reach switzerland. and frm switzerland 5 days.

    its very urgent i hav to start ma journey today mornin. u shld help me..

  48. My name is Jonathan Sunday,Male,Nigerian.I have visited lots of counties in Africa and Europe on buisness visit.

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  49. Nasrulla says:

    Hi, I have Etats Schengen visa from Riyadh and my Q is Iam going to singapore by airways, can i travel with Etats Schengen visa which i have.

  50. hello sir
    i am Ph.D student in Pakistan and my schengen visa from was submitted to swiss embassy three months ago. i am unable to get visa bcoz of schengen alert. this is my first intention to go abroad but i was supposed to visit switzerland earlier which is wrong. now i want to contact schengen authority to prove that i am not that person for which i have been convicted. kibdly tell me how to contact the schengen authority to remove the schengen alert
    with regards

    • Aliyaan says:

      @ Muhammad
      What was your action plan?did you try to contact them,as far as i know you can’t appeal or try to convince them.
      I would suggest you to prepare your documents again,and appear one more time with more confidence.if you dont get visa please dont regret,as they have all the rights.
      Best of Luck

  51. priti says:

    if taiwan passport holder want to apply for tourist visa of Switzerland from India then can he go to Italy on same tourist visa?

    • Aliyaan says:

      @ priti,
      Yes you can but you have to prove that you are holding a valid residency permit to stay in india,and your income to support your stay in Switzerland.

  52. Imran says:

    i have single entry schengen visa for swiss
    my question is that can i travel to Spain (Barcelona) for visit pls reply soon thanks

  53. Imran says:

    i have single entry schengen visa for swiss
    my question is that can i travel to Spain (Barcelona) for visit pls reply ASAP thanks

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  55. sush says:

    Hi…. i am staying in switzerland past 2 months…. i have got a visa which is marked as type D and a residency permit of 6 months…. D thauring the period of my stay in swiss , can i travel to other countries …like germany , italy, france etc….. the above matter posted seems confusing to me now….. what is this crossing the borders at own risk? in which conditions is it risky…. with aspect to visa types… i find very coflicting information on net…….. pls help me out… thanks

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