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Entry & Exit Formalities

Formalities are minimal when arriving in Switzerland by air, rail or road thanks to the Schengen Agreement, which allows passengers coming from the EU to enter without showing a passport. When arriving from a non-EU country, you'll need your passport or EU identity card – and visa if required – to clear customs.

Customs Regulations

  • Visitors may import 250 cigarettes or cigars, or 250g of pipe tobacco.
  • The allowance for alcoholic beverages is 1L for beverages containing more than 18% alcohol by volume, and 5L for beverages containing up to 18%.
  • Alcohol and tobacco may only be brought in by people aged 17 or over.
  • Gifts up to the value of Sfr300 may also be imported, as well as food provisions for one day.

Passports

All non-EU travellers must carry a passport valid for at least three months beyond the planned departure date from Switzerland.

Switzerland has no explicit entry restrictions based on nationality or previous passport stamps, but citizens of some countries may require a visa.

Visas

Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days. Some non-European citizens require a Schengen Visa.

Further Information

For up-to-date details on visa requirements, go to the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (www.sem.admin.ch).

Visas are not required if you hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, whether visiting as a tourist or on business. Citizens of the EU, Norwegians and Icelanders may also enter Switzerland without a visa. A maximum 90-day stay in a 180-day period applies, but passports are rarely stamped.

Other non-European citizens wishing to come to Switzerland have to apply for a Schengen Visa, named after the agreement that has abolished passport controls between 26 European countries. It allows unlimited travel throughout the entire Schengen zone for a 90-day period. Apply to the consulate of the country you are entering first, or your main destination.

In Switzerland, carry your passport at all times. Swiss citizens are required to always carry ID, so you will also need to be able to identify yourself at any time.