The ETIAS Switzerland visa for U.S. citizens
From 2023, U.S. citizens will have to present an approved ETIAS visa before entering Switzerland. It will be possible to apply for and obtain the ETIAS permit online, by filling out the ETIAS application form online and receiving your permit via e-mail once the application is approved. This ETIAS visa will allow U.S. citizens to enter Switzerland for tourism, work, transit, or medical purposes, provided that the duration of the trip is under 90 days, and it will be valid for multiple entries made via air, sea, or land. Besides, minors and people over 70 years of age will be able to apply for this visa free of charge.
What is ETIAS Switzerland for Americans?
The ETIAS visa will come into force in 2023, as part of a program of the European Commission aimed at strengthening European borders and keeping a digital track on all people entering Schengen Area. This program was already approved in 2016, after the terrorist attacks that affected some European countries.
How does ETIAS Switzerland work for Americans
Starting from November 2023 U.S. citizens must present an ETIAS visa before travelling to Switzerland. If the trip has a duration longer than 90 days or has other reasons than those required for ETIAS permit, they will require a full visitor Schengen visa at the embassy or consulate of Switzerland, respecting the requirements and timing for the visa they are applying for. Once issued, ETIAS visa will be valid for 3 years, and it will allow to travel multiple times in Switzerland and other countries of the Schengen Area, as long as each trip is shorter than 90 days. In order to get your approved ETIAS permit in time for the trip, it is recommended to apply for the permit at least 4 days before the departure. If ETIAS is denied, you can still apply for a Schengen visa at the embassy or consulate of Switzerland or present an appeal to the country that denied ETIAS.
ETIAS destinations for U.S. citizens
From 2023 ETIAS visa will come into force for American citizens in order to travel to the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
At the time being, U.S. citizens will not have to obtain ETIAS visa to travel to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania, since these countries are not Schengen Area members yet. However, this may change in the future, so please keep updated with the permit requirements.
ETIAS requirements for Americans and how to apply
In order to apply for ETIAS, you have to be a U.S. citizen and hold a valid electronic passport issued by the United States of America. If you are not entitled to an American passport, you will require a full visitor Schengen permit.
The ETIAS permit application can be completed online, entering all the necessary information by following the required steps, and making sure all the data is entered correctly. Once the application form is completed, all citizens aged between 18 and 70 years will also have to pay a fee of 7 euros, using a credit or debit card. Generally, most ETIAS permits are issued within few minutes, or at most in a few hours, and the approved ETIAS will be sent via e-mail as a PDF file. In addition to that, you are not required to print the visa, because all the information will already be in the European Schengen authorities’ databases, and those data will be linked to the passport data provided during the application. However, in order to avoid delays, it is recommended to apply for the ETIAS visa at least 4 days prior to the departure, to make sure that the ETIAS is approved and to have the time to provide any additional documents should they be required. If an ETIAS visa is not approved, you can apply for a full visitor Schengen visa at the embassy or consulate of Switzerland. It is highly recommended to carefully read and check all the ETIAS requirements before applying, to avoid any mistakes in the application procedure that could lead to delays in the ETIAS approval.
How much does the ETIAS Switzerland visa cost for Americans
The ETIAS permit application for Americans has a cost of 7 euros for all citizens with an age between 18 and 70 years, which must be paid after completing the application form using a credit or debit card. Americans under 18 and over 70 years of age are entitled to apply for the ETIAS permit free of charge.
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.
FAQ about ETIAS Switzerland visa
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
Facts: Martin Dahinden – Ambassador
Consulate of Switzerland in New York, USA
Address: 633 Third Avenue, 30th floor New York, NY 10017-6706 United States of America
Phone: +1 212 599 5700
Fax: +1 212 599 4266
Consulate of Switzerland in Los Angeles, USA
Address: Pier 17, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: +1 415 788 22 72
Fax: +1 415 788 14 02
Consulate of Switzerland in Atlanta, USA
Address: 1349 W Peachtree Street NW Suite 1000 Atlanta, GA 30309 United States of America
Phone: +1 404 870 2000
Fax: +1 404 870 2011