Schengen, Dublin and Switzerland FAQ

January 6, 2009

• Are Swiss visas issued before the 12.12.2008 still valid?
Yes, they are valid. However, Swiss visas issued before the 12.12.2008 are only valid for Switzerland. If the person wishes to travel to another Schengen State, he has to apply for a Schengen visa in the corresponding country.

• May I as a third-country national requiring a visa with an annual or permanent residence permit (Permit B or C) travel without a visa throughout the Schengen area after the entry into force…
In principle, yes. But I take my passport with me. For questions regarding the requirements governing entry to other countries, I contact the competent authorities of the country concerned.

• Does a Romanian or Bulgarian passport entitle the holder to enter Switzerland without a visa?
Under prevailing law, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals require a passport for entry to Switzerland without a visa.

• I am an Indian national and the holder of an American Green Card. Do I require a visa for entry to Switzerland after the entry into force of the SAA?
Yes. The same also applies for third-country nationals living in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

• Under what conditions is a passport recognised?
A passport is recognised if it indicates the identity of the holder as well as the fact that he/she is a national of the issuing country, the fact that it has been issued by a country recognised by Switzerland and that this country guarantees the return of its nationals at all times. The FOM may authorise exceptions from the passport requirement.

Please find the above frequently asked questions and their answers among others at the homepage of the Federal Office for Migration.


Switzerland welcomed as 25th Schengen country

November 27, 2008

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.

1. August-Feuerwerk – Happy Birthday Switzerland 2008

August 2, 2008