Although Switzerland has visa-free programs for many visitors, however a Switzerland Visa for green card holders is a necessity. Having a US green card doesn’t grant you the same benefit as a US passport holder who is a citizen. While US citizens enjoy visa-free access to Switzerland, green card holders will still need to apply for a visa unless they come from visa-free countries. Schengen visas are available to visitors who may wish to visit Switzerland directly from the US. This article will explain what a Schengen visa is all about and how to get one.
Switzerland Schengen Visa
Switzerland is a Western European country not part of the European Union because of its neutral status but is part of the Schengen zone. Its Schengen membership ensures that it allows Schengen visa holders into its borders and issues this visa. A Schengen visa allows the holder to stay in Switzerland for up to 90 days per visit and is valid for 180 days. This visa is mainly issued as a short-stay multiple entry visa to travelers coming as tourists, for business meetings, and to visit family and friends. It is largely a leisure visa.
To apply for this visa, you must submit the following documents to the Swiss embassy or any of its consulates in the US or you’re your country of origin.
Valid Passport: You must submit your passport information and a copy of the bio-data page, including the first and second pages of the passport. Only passports with a minimum of three months validity from the departure date will be accepted.
Form: A completed Switzerland Schengen visa application form. All sections must be completed, and the form should be signed and dated.
Proof of Purpose: The embassy will want to know hey you want to visit Switzerland, so they will ask for documents to prove your purpose, like Show tickets, an invitation letter from a friend or family, booked tours, etc.
Proof Of Financial Means: A bank statement for the last three months showing proof of financial means to cover your expenses, such as travel and living costs. The daily minimum amount is €92 multiplied by the number of days you plan to stay.
Green Card: The embassy will most likely demand to see your US green card to prove that you are truly a permanent resident of the United States.
Photo: A passport-sized photograph that meets Schengen visa requirements.
Visa Fee: A visa fee receipt to prove that you have paid the fee.
Travel Insurance: Traveling to any Schengen country in Europe requires travel medical insurance. The smallest coverage must be at least €30,000 to cover treatment of illness or injury during your visit.
Apart from these documents, additional documents may be demanded by the embassy to process your application. Only valid documents will be accepted, so cross-check yours before submitting.
Visa Fee Cost
The cost of application is the same for all Schengen countries. For 12 years and above, the fee is €80, while 6-11-year-olds must pay €40. The application is free for children under 6 years and older people above 80. How this fee is paid will be at the discretion of the Swiss embassy, but you must attach the receipt of payment to your application.
Are There Travel Restrictions?
Visitors coming to Switzerland should expect no travel restrictions because the Swiss government has dropped Quarantine and Covid 19 mandates as the threat of the virus has receded. However, any visitor that has not been vaccinated with a certificate to show for it must provide a negative PCR test to show they are not infected.
Apart from Covid mandates, there are no vaccination restrictions for visitors.
What To Expect When You Arrive in Switzerland?
Once you arrive in Switzerland, the immigration officers on duty will ask you questions about why you’ve come to the country and what your plans are. They will also check your passport and other documents to verify your answer during questioning. Note that the officers are empowered by law to deny you entry into the country if your story doesn’t add up or you are found to have obtained the visa under false pretext.
A visa does not guarantee that you will be allowed into the country, so ensure that you only answer honestly.
Can I Work As A Green Card Visitor?
Visitors can only work with Schengen visas or any other visas if they have work visas. Schengen visas are for leisure, while work visas are the only legal documents that allow foreigners to work in Switzerland. If you have plans to work or have secured employment in a company, endeavor to get a work visa from the embassy instead, not a Switzerland Visa for green card holders.