Will I need an ETIAS to visit Switzerland?
Switzerland is a member of the E.U. and also of the Schengen Area.
Owing to a rise in terrorist activity in Europe, security measures have had to be increased. The new ETIAS (E.U. Travel Information Authorization System) is being introduced as part of the process of bringing greater security to Europe. If at the moment, you do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Europe, and you are not an E.U. or Schengen country citizen, the ETIAS will affect you.
There are at present 62 countries (this figure may change), whose nationals will need to fill in an online form once the system goes live before they can travel to Europe.
The online form will ask for personal details before the ETIAS will be issued. These details will cover basic personal information, and also details of travel to war-torn countries, exposure to certain medical conditions and any previous criminal activity. Once the form is filled in, there will be a seven euro fee for all over 18’s to pay, and then the automated system will authorize or decline the ETIAS.
The majority of travelers will receive their ETIAS, electronically attached to their passport, within minutes. The ETIAS will be valid for three years from the date of issue, or until the date of passport expiry, whichever comes first.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state in Europe. It is a landlocked country that is bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein, with an area of 41,285 sq. km and a population of 8.3 million people.
The capital city is Bern, and the largest city is Zürich. Spoken languages are German, French, Italian, and Rumantsch. The major religion is Christianity, and the official currency is the Swiss franc (CHF).
Switzerland sits between the Swiss plateau, with its undulating hills, plains and lakes, the mountainous area of Jura and the Alpine region of the Swiss Alps.
Switzerland is a popular visitor destination, with famous ski resorts and hiking trails. Swiss watches, knives, and banking are world renowned, and the banking and finance industries are segment leaders.
Bern, the ancient capital city, has seemingly endless tourist attractions, including traditional folk music and dancing, shopping and sightseeing.
Geneva is the most cosmopolitan of Switzerland’s cities, home to numerous international organizations and therefore thriving pockets of expat communities.
Zurich is the destination of choice for nightlife, art, and design. There is world class theater, opera, modern nightclubs and bars for every taste.
Switzerland at a glance
Timezone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
Languages: German 64.9%, French 22.6%, Italian 8.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Albanian 2.6%, Portuguese 3.4%, Spanish 2.2%, English 4.6%, Romansch 0.5%, Other 5.1%
Area: 41,290 KM2
Currency: Franc (CHF)
Calling Code: +41
Travel in Switzerland
Switzerland is a stylish vacation spot. There are numerous attractions for travels wishing to have a cultural journey on a contemporary city break and countless outdoor adventures to be had with Alpine village escapes.
Climb the Matterhorn, or perhaps you’d rather take the trip of a lifetime in Europe’s highest aerial cable car at Zermatt. After enjoying the sights, you simply ski down to the car-free village, on one of Europe’s longest ski runs.
The world’s first revolving cable car ascends Mount Titlis, in the small town of Engelberg. Visitors enjoy the highest vantage point in central Switzerland. In Switzerland, there are lots of marked trails to explore, over 65,000 kilometers of them. They are color coded according to difficulty with hiking times marked on signposts, so there will be a walk for everyone in your party.
For the sports enthusiast, the mountains offer a wonderful opportunity to try ice-climbing, glacier walking, heli-skiing, deep snow skiing, ski touring, and snowboarding. The top resorts include Saas-Fee, Zermatt, Portes du Soleil, and Klosters. St. Moritz also offers the Olympic Bobrun, the Cresta run, and even snow polo.
For a more sedate activity, take a drive through rustic Appenzell. This is the most traditional area, set in picture postcard landscapes with ornately painted houses.
At the peak, Säntis, enjoy views over six nations, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.
The US and Switzerland
The U.S. and Switzerland have a long history of cooperation with each other.
The U.S. is one of the top destinations for Swiss investment and in return is one of the largest foreign investors in Switzerland. Switzerland is one of the countries that has the highest number of visitors to the United States every year.
The U.S. and Switzerland are both members of the following organizations:
- The United Nations
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- International Monetary Fund
- World Bank
- World Trade Organization
Switzerland is an observer to the Organization of American States.
Non-stop flights from New York to Zurich is just under 8 hours. There are numerous direct and connecting flights to Switzerland from the U.S. Business is conducted slightly differently than visitors from the U.S.may expect. Punctuality is important, tardiness is seen as a lack of respect.
During business meetings, humor might not cross-cultural and language barriers easily and is considered inappropriate. Business relationships develop over time, as do negotiations.
English is widely spoken in the business community, but an attempt at the local language is always appreciated.
List of US diplomatic offices in Switzerland
The Embassy of USA in Bern, Switzerland
Address: Sulgeneckstrasse 19 CH-3007 Bern, Switzerland
Phone: 031 357 70 11
Fax: 031 357 73 20
Facts: Edward T. McMullen, Jr – Ambassador
Consulate of USA in Zurich, Switzerland
Address: Dufourstrasse 101 8008, Zürich Switzerland
Consulate of USA in Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Rue François-Versonnex 7, 1207 Genève Switzerland
The Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, USA
Address: 2900 Cathedral Avenue N.W. Washington, DC 20008-3499 United States of America
Phone: +1 202 745 7900
Fax: +1 202 387 2564
Email: [email protected]
Facts: Martin Dahinden – Ambassador