Switzerland Embassy Post|

(i)             Detail on Swiss visa requirements

Switzerland has been a member of the Schengen Area since 12 December 2008. Applicable to all Schengen member states, the Schengen Association Agreement stipulates that short stays may not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period. This agreement is specifically intended to facilitate the travel of tourists, visitors and business travellers for these brief periods of stay. The agreement also stipulates that all Schengen member states shall apply a common visa policy for short stays.

For the short-term stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period, for nationals of Pakistan a Type C visa is required. Type C visas are valid for the entire Schengen area, which is why they are commonly referred to as Schengen visas. For a stay of more than 90 days, for nationals of Pakistan a Type D visa is required. This is a national visa, issued to people who wish to stay in Switzerland for a longer period. More information on the Type D visa can be found below under (iv).

Third-country nationals (non-EU/EFTA) need to fulfil the following conditions in order to enter Switzerland for a stay of 90 days in any period of 180 days:

  • they must hold a recognized travel document valid for at least three months after the intended date of departure from the Schengen area and issued within the previous ten years (the date of issue concerns only entry into the Schengen area);
  • they must explain the purpose and conditions of their stay in Switzerland and/or in the Schengen state(s) they intend to visit;
  • they must have sufficient financial resources to cover the entire duration of the intended stay as well as the return trip to their country of origin or a transit trip to a third country, or they must be able to obtain the necessary financial resources by some other lawful means;
  • they must not be the subject of an alert issued in the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the purposes of refusing entry;
  • they must not pose a threat to Swiss security, public order, public health or the international relations of any of the Schengen states;
  • they must not be subject to a measure banning them from entry or an order for expulsion from Switzerland.

In order to prove that they fulfil the conditions, we advise them to obtain the following documents:

  • To apply for a visa, the application form should be complete;
  • a return ticket valid within 90 days upon arrival or a ticket for continuing their journey to a country outside the Schengen area valid within 90 days upon arrival together with the visa(s) required to enter the country or the countries of final destination;
  • if they are staying in a private household or with family members, a letter of invitation (no particular form is required, a copy is sufficient);
  • if they are staying in a hotel, a confirmation of the reservation (a copy is sufficient) ;
  • if they are on a business trip, a letter from the company that has invited them, confirming the dates of the stay (a copy is sufficient).
  • Short-term visa applicants must prove that they have medical insurance for the entire length of their stay with a coverage of up to EUR 30,000.

Declaration of sponsorship:

Applicants should submit their visa application to the Swiss embassy or consulate responsible for their place of residence. If, upon examining the application, the embassy or consulate concludes that a declaration of sponsorship is necessary, it gives the applicant the appropriate form to complete. A declaration of sponsorship is an official document proving that third-country nationals have sufficient financial means to stay in Switzerland.

(ii)            Application procedures

In general, visa applications have to be submitted to the Swiss Embassy responsible for the applicant’s place of residence. The application can be submitted up to 6 months before the planned journey. Ideally, the submission should take place at least 2 months before the start of the journey. Once a Swiss representation considers a Schengen visa application to be admissible, the application will be processed and a decision is taken generally within fifteen days. Under certain circumstances, the period for processing an application may be extended up to 30 or 60 days. More information on the application procedures for people living in Pakistan can be found here: Schengen visa for a stay of up to 90 days (admin.ch).


(iii)          Eligibility criteria


Applications are considered to be admissible by the representation, if the deadlines for filling the applications have been met, after receiving the applicant’s passport, photograph and other relevant documents. Furthermore, if required, the applicant must have been fingerprinted and the visa fee must be covered. After that, the individual examination of the application begins.

(iv)          Legal obligations associated with studying or working in Switzerland.


For a stay of more than 90 days a Type D visa (national visa) is required. This type of stay – for work or studies in Switzerland, family reunification or lengthy medical treatment – needs to be authorized by the responsible cantonal immigration authority.

Switzerland has a dual system for the admission of foreign workers. Gainfully employed nationals from EU/EFTA member states benefit from the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. As for third-country nationals (non-EU/EFTA), only a limited number of management level employees, specialists and other qualified employees are admitted. If people are planning to stay in Switzerland for several years, they will also have to fulfil certain other criteria that will facilitate the long-term professional and social integration. The key factors are the professional and social adaptability, language skills and age. The future employer must prove that there is no suitable person to fill the job vacancy from Switzerland or from an EU/EFTA state. Also, the salary, social security contributions and the terms of employment for foreign workers must be in accordance with conditions customary to the region, the profession and the particular sector. For more information on admission requirements you can visit: Working in Switzerland (admin.ch).

Regarding the Visa application for the purpose of study in Switzerland, people living in Pakistan can find more information and the relevant documents on this form: Visa application for the purpose of study in Switzerland.

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