From the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge to the lights on Time Square, the United States of America is ideal for those seeking a unique and fun traveling experience. Spread over a massive area, the country offers an endless amount of amusement with its modern culture, serene natural beauty, and glimmering cities.
However, the real question is, how can Switzerland citizens visit the USA? Fortunately, Swiss citizens no longer require a visa to enter the country. However, they still need travel authorization to visit the US. In this article, you'll find out all about visiting the USA with a Switzerland passport.
So, without further ado, let's get into it!
Do Swiss Citizens Need a US Visa?
Before you pack your bag and travel to a foreign country, you need to know all about visiting that certain country. A visa is the most important thing foreign citizens require to visit a country. So, it's completely reasonable to ask, do Swiss citizens require a visa to enter the US?
Recently, the US government has started the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), enabling different nationality holders to enter the country even without a visa. Fortunately, Switzerland is one of those countries. Switzerland nationals don't need a visa, but they still require a travel document.
Here are some popular travel documents that Swiss citizens can obtain to enter the USA:
In 2009, the US launched the ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program. ESTA is an electronic system for travel authorization that contains data about a certain traveler. Swiss passport holders can have the ESTA to enter the country. This multiple-entry document guarantees visa-free travel and is valid for 2 years.
With an ESTA, nationals of Switzerland can stay in the United States for up to 90 days without a visa. The US issues an ESTA for tourism, business, and medical purposes. The best thing about an ESTA is that it can be obtained online. You don’t need to visit the US embassy or even schedule an interview.
The US offers a lot of visa services for different purposes. If you want to visit the USA for business purposes, you can also apply for a B-1 visa. B-1 visa classification is for those who want to enter the country for just professional or commercial activities, such as:
Meeting the business associates
Signing a contract
Attending business meetings
Enrolling in a short-term training course
For non-commercial purposes, the US offers the B-2 tourist visa. The B-2 visa classification is for those who want to enter the USA for:
Visiting relatives and friends
Both B-1 and B-2 nonimmigrant visas allow visitors to stay in the US for 180 days, and they are valid for 10 years.
How to Apply for an ESTA From Switzerland?
In terms of convenience, getting an ESTA is undoubtedly a better option. You don’t need to visit the US embassy, follow complicated steps, or schedule a visa interview. All you need to do is:
Fill out the ESTA application form
Pay the visa fee
Submit your application
The validity period of an ESTA is 2 years. It allows a traveler to stay in the country for 90 days. This electronic travel authorization can only be used for tourism, business, medical and transit purposes.
You only need a handful of documents to fulfill the visa requirements for an ESTA. These documents include:
A valid passport
An e-mail address
A debit or credit card
To fill out the ESTA application form, you will have to provide personal, contact, and travel details. Also, you have a passport valid for at least 6 months and has at least 2 blank pages - one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page.
Estimated Processing Time
The actual processing time is different for each visa applicant. On average, the Switzerland nationals will get their ESTA within 72 hours.
Getting a Traditional US Visa
If for some reason, you are not eligible for an ESTA, you can apply for a traditional US visa. To apply for a visa, you have to visit the US embassy located in Switzerland.
At the embassy, you'll have to fill out the visa application form and pay the visa processing fee. You might have to schedule an appointment for a visa interview as well.
US Embassy in Switzerland
We always recommend getting an ESTA to visit the United States of America. With this practice, you won't have to waste your precious time visiting the US embassy or scheduling a visa appointment.
For a traditional visa, you must visit the US embassy. You'll have to submit the visa application at the embassy and attend an interview.
The US Embassy Address