European Travel Information and Authorization System

ETIAS Switzerland for UK citizens

Currently, UK citizens travelling to Switzerland only need a valid biometric passport to do so. However, soon this will change, as a new system is coming into force in 2024 that will change the way many people travel to the Schengen zone. The new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS Switzerland) is being introduced as a way to streamline and enhance the security of travel into the European Schengen area.

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STEP 1

Get notified when ETIAS is mandatory

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STEP 2

Start the application with us

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STEP 3

Receive ETIAS confirmation

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STEP 4

Welcome to Europe

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What is ETIAS Switzerland?

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS Switzerland) is a new visa waiver system that will go live in 2024. The concept was brought about by the European Union in 2016 in response to the growing threat of terrorism in Europe. It was becoming increasingly necessary to find a way to make travel into the European Schengen zone as safe as possible for visitorsand residents alike. Not only will ETIAS Visa Switzerland help to protect against security threats, but it will also streamline the travel process,while tacking health-related risks,crime and illegal immigration.
Applications should take no more than a few minutes and will cost a nominal fee. Once the application is submitted, the information will be digitally analysed and cross-checked against various existing databases such an Interpol, Europol, and the Schengen Information System (SIS)to establish the applicant is not a known threat. Usually, an ETIAS application will be approved within a few minutes. Once ETIAS is granted it will be valid for a total of three years,or until the registered passport expires.Within that time, the ETIAS holder may visit the Schengen region an unlimited number of times, providing their stay does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period.

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Required documents for UK citizens travelling to Switzerland

The UK is on the list of countries that have a visa exemption agreement with the EU, meaning no visa is required for their citizens to enter the Schengen region and therefore no trips to consulates and embassies are necessary while planning a trip. Other than the UK, ETIAS Switzerland eligible countries include Canada, Australia, the USA and many others.
Switzerland ETIAS will be a simple process, which will involve answering some basic personal information such as name and date of birth, and background information such as criminal and travel history. The only document required for the ETIAS application is a valid biometric passport. These passports have been standard issue in the UK since 2010, so should not be an issue for most people. In some unusual cases, when the application is not instantly approved, more documentation may be requested. Border officials and transport operators will be required to confirm ETIAS eligible travellers have ETIAS approval before allowing them entry into any destination within the Schengen zone. It also should be noted that even if ETIAS approval can be proven, it does not guarantee a visitor entry into Switzerland if border officials deem the visitor unsuitable for entry for any other reason.

Get Notified When ETIAS Becomes Mandatory! Check the latest news about travel requirements in Europe

How does ETIAS Switzerland Work?

The new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is being introduced as a way to streamline and enhance the security of travel into the European Schengen area. Applying for ETIAS Switzerland will be a quick online process that will take only a few minutes to complete. The maximum amount of time it should take is 20 minutes, at which point the application will time out. A small fee will be charged to applicants, except those under 18 or over 70, who will not be charged.

Most applications will be approved within 24 hours. Any that are not approved may be followed up with a request for more information or an in-person interview. In the event that an ETIAS application is rejected, the applicant may be able to appeal the decision, depending on its reasoning.
If ETIAS approval is granted, it will remain valid for three years or until the registered passport expires or is replaced, which would mean a new application must be submitted. Within the time that the ETIAS Switzerland is valid, the ETIAS holder may enter any destination within the Schengen zone for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.

It is an electronic scheme similar to the United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), that will track visitors entering and leaving the region and ensure they are not a known threat of any kind.

ETIAS will become mandatory for all people who are citizens of ETIAS Authorization Switzerland eligible countries wishing to travel to any destination within the Schengen area. This means that when the system becomes operational in 2024 anyone who is a citizen of an ETIAS eligible country, such as the UK, will be expected to submit an ETIAS application and gain approval before entering Switzerland or any other country within the Schengen region.

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Ensuring European border security with ETIAS Switzerland

The ETIAS system is intended as a way to improve the security of travel into the Schengen zone for both visitors and residents. With an increase in terrorism in recent years, the need for greater border control became a more urgent necessity. The ETIAS Switzerland scheme was devised in 2016 and will come to fruition in 2024, when the system will be implemented.

ETIAS for Switzerland will apply to all non-EU countries that have a visa exemption agreement with the EU. This now also applies to the UK, as it is no longer part of the EU since Brexit (but is visa exempt). When the system becomes operational in 2024, all British nationals wishing to travel to the Schengen region will be required to apply and be approved for ETIAS. Rest assured, all information gathered by ETIAS will be processed and stored according to the strictest protection of personal data.

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Improving traveller experience

The online ETIAS Switzerland application process is intended to be fast and user-friendly. The applicant will be required to submit basic personal information such as name, nationality, address and date of birth. For safety and security purposes, the applicant will also be asked for some other information such as travel, medical and criminal history.

All information that is submitted will be cross-referenced against existing databases such as Europol, Interpol and the Schengen Information System (SIS). If the information is deemed to be sufficient and non-suspicious, the application will quickly be approved. If for any reason the submitted data creates a cause for concern, more additional information or an in-person interview may be requested.

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Fighting terrorism and crime with ETIAS Switzerland

A slew of terrorist attacks on European countries in recent decades has highlighted the need for greater border control in the Schengen region. Switzerland is not immune to the scourge of terrorism and the threat that radicalised people pose to society. ETIAS Switzerland will help to reduce this threat by pre-screening and tracking all visitors to the region. Each application will be thoroughly assessed and cross-checked against various databases to ensure the traveller is not a known security threat.

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Curbing illegal immigration with ETIAS Switzerland

Illegal immigration has been a major issue in the Schengen area in recent years. Overcrowding, income discrepancy, exploitation and organised crime are all linked to illegal immigration. ETIAS Switzerland will make it easier for border officers to identify and track travellers, lowering the number of those who enter the country illegally.

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Visa liberalisation and harmonisation across Schengen

The ETIAS Switzerland procedure will become a universal standard that will apply to all eligible people visiting Schengen countries, which will in turn streamline the travel experience. It will also be advantageous for border agents because passengers flying to numerous Schengen nations will be pre-screened and cleared before stepping off the plane at their first destination. A tourist who visits Switzerland and then Spain, for example, will have already been screened for entrance into Switzerland using the same application process (and criteria) as a visitor who visits Spain exclusively.

Who will need ETIAS Switzerland?

Travellers from the UK, as well as those from all other visa-exempt nations, will need to apply for an ETIAS visa before visiting a Schengen country. The United States, Australia and Canada are among the nations that will be affected by the shift as they will also be eligible for ETIAS Switzerland. The following is a complete list of the countries whose citizens must submit ETIAS applications in order to travel to Switzerland:

  • etias required country flagAlbania
  • etias required country flagAntigua-et-Barbuda
  • etias required country flagArgentine
  • etias required country flagAustralie
  • etias required country flagBahamas
  • etias required country flagBarbade
  • etias required country flagBosnie-Herzégovine
  • etias required country flagBrésil
  • etias required country flagBrunei
  • etias required country flagCanada
  • etias required country flagChili
  • etias required country flagColombie
  • etias required country flagCosta Rica
  • etias required country flagRépublique dominicaine
  • etias required country flagLe Salvador
  • etias required country flagGéorgie
  • etias required country flagGrenade
  • etias required country flagGuatemala
  • etias required country flagHonduras
  • etias required country flagHong Kong
  • etias required country flagIsraël
  • etias required country flagJapon
  • etias required country flagKiribati
  • etias required country flagMacao
  • etias required country flagMacédoine du Nord
  • etias required country flagMalaisie
  • etias required country flagÎles Marshall
  • etias required country flagÎle Maurice
  • etias required country flagMexique
  • etias required country flagMicronésie
  • etias required country flagMoldavie
  • etias required country flagMonténégro
  • etias required country flagNouvelle-Zélande
  • etias required country flagNicaragua
  • etias required country flagPalaos
  • etias required country flagPanama
  • etias required country flagParaguay
  • etias required country flagPérou
  • etias required country flagSaint Kitts & Nevis
  • etias required country flagSainte-Lucie
  • etias required country flagSaint Vincent
  • etias required country flagSt. Vincent
  • etias required country flagSerbia
  • etias required country flagSeychelles
  • etias required country flagSingapore
  • etias required country flagSolomon Islands
  • etias required country flagSouth Korea
  • etias required country flagTaiwan
  • etias required country flagTimor Leste
  • etias required country flagTonga
  • etias required country flagTrinidad and Tobago
  • etias required country flagTuvalu
  • etias required country flagUruguay
  • etias required country flagUkraine
  • etias required country flagUAE
  • etias required country flagVanuatu
  • etias required country flagVenezuela
  • etias required country flagUnited Kingdom
  • etias required country flagUnited States
Get Notified When ETIAS Becomes Mandatory!

ETIAS Switzerland countries

Travellers from the UK, as well as those from all other visa-exempt nations, will need to apply for an ETIAS visa before visiting a Schengen country. The United States, Australia and Canada are among the nations that will be affected by the shift as they will also be eligible for ETIAS Switzerland. The following is a complete list of the countries whose citizens must submit ETIAS Switzerland application in order to travel to Switzerland:

  • etias country flagAustria
  • etias country flagBelgium
  • etias country flagCzech Republic
  • etias country flagDenmark
  • etias country flagEstonia
  • etias country flagFinland
  • etias country flagFrance
  • etias country flagGermany
  • etias country flagGreece
  • etias country flagHungary
  • etias country flagIceland
  • etias country flagItaly
  • etias country flagLatvia
  • etias country flagLiechtenstein
  • etias country flagLithuania
  • etias country flagLuxembourg
  • etias country flagMalta
  • etias country flagNetherlands
  • etias country flagNorway
  • etias country flagPoland
  • etias country flagPortugal
  • etias country flagSlovakia
  • etias country flagSlovenia
  • etias country flagSweden
  • etias country flagSpain
  • etias country flagSwitzerland

Non-Schengen Countries

  • etias country flagBulgaria
  • etias country flagCroatia
  • etias country flagCyprus
  • etias country flagRomania
  • etias country flagMonaco
  • etias country flagSan Marino
  • etias country flagVatican

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ETIAS Switzerland FAQ

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Yes, when ETIAS becomes mandatory in 2024, British citizens will be required to applyif they plan to travel to Switzerland. From 2025 onwards, the new ETIAS visa waiver will replace the current system for all travel. There will be a six-month (or longer) grace period to allow travellers and border authorities to adjust to the new process, but it’s preferable to fill out the application form ahead of time, even during the grace period. Ideally, travellers should gain ETIAS approval at least 96 hours before departure.

When it comes to travel forms, the ETIAS application is relatively simple. Citizens of the UK will be required to fill out an online application that should take no more than 10–20minutes to complete. Basic personal information and a series of security questions are covered in the application.

In Switzerland, there are no longer any social distancing or mask-wearing restrictions. You do not need to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. Please be aware, however, that at some hospitals and care homes, local rules such as mask wearing and vaccination may apply. You should follow the basic hygiene practises to protect yourself and others, and if you are sick, you are advised to stay home. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should get tested, especially if you considered high risk. The expense of the test will be covered by the Swiss government.

British Embassy Berne is available by phone or email, with access by appointment only. There is also a British Consulate General available in Geneva.