Can I Enter Switzerland with German Schengen Visa?
So you have German Schengen Visa and want to visit Switzerland. Can you?
Did you know that Switzerland earned a whopping CHF 46.7 billion from tourism in 2017 alone? This is what a report on Swiss Tourism in Figures by the Fédération of Suisse du Tourisme revealed. This should come as no surprise, given that just the name of this nation brings to mind the magnificent Alps, world famous chocolates and the cuckoo clock! Its stable political system, tax rates, public health and strong education system make it one of the best countries on the global map.
What is the Schengen Area?
This is the world’s largest zone, comprising 26 European member countries, who have removed restrictions on movement across their internal borders. With the Schengen agreement, people can move freely between the member states, without needing a separate visa for each country. Common rules and regulations apply for keeping a check on the external borders and criminal activities.
What is a German Schengen Visa?
The German Schengen Visa is a visitor visa issued to anyone who wishes to enter Germany for the purposes of tourism. With this visa, you can also visit all other countries within the Schengen zone, including Switzerland. There are no inter-border restrictions, neither do you have to go through any formalities for border control.
The Schengen visa allows its holder to stay in any Schengen country for up to 90 days at a stretch within a period of six months. Also, in case you have a multiple entry visa, you can enter and exit the countries as many times as you want to within the specified period. However, in all cases, the total stretch of stay cannot exceed 90 days.
Who Needs a Schengen Visa?
Research shows that 14.2 million travelers used their Schengen visa to travel to and within Europe in 2018. However, if your purpose of travel is work, study or to live in any Schengen country, including Switzerland, for more than 90 days, you will be required to apply for a national visa of that particular country. You will need to visit the embassy or consulate of the nation you wish to visit. For Switzerland, you need to apply for the D type visa, which is mainly issued along with work visas.
In 2008, Switzerland actively became a part of Schengen community. Therefore, any tourist with a Schengen visa can cross the Swiss border. However, this visa does not permit the holder to work in the country.
All citizens of countries that do not have a visa liberalization agreement with the member states of Schengen area will be required to obtain a visa before travelling to Europe. If you are a non-European national, the following documents need to be provided at the port of entry:
- Valid Passport: This should have been issued within the last 10 years and must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your date of return.
- Schengen Visa: If you do not belong to a country that is part of the Schengen zone.
Along with these, the officials at the border might also ask for financial and address proofs, purpose of entry, travel insurance, flight itinerary and so on. After this, you can enter any Schengen country with a German visa, worry-free!