Application for Schengen visa and procedure
Please do not send any documents regarding visa applications to the Embassy or a Consulate General. Documents by fax, email or post will automatically be deleted or destroyed. All visa applications need to be submitted through VFS Global (exemptions: Diplomatic-, Service- and Public Affairs Passport holders, family members of Swiss or EU/EAA citizens – please refer to the rubric “General Information” below).
Applicants may still submit the visa applications at the visa section of the Swiss representation in person. However, the Embassy or a Consulate General allows only for a very limited number of individual applicants per day to deposit their visa applications directly at the visa section. In order to schedule an appointment to submit your visa application at the Embassy or a Consulate General, you must contact VFS Global. Please note that walk-in deposits are not accepted. Furthermore, please note that the processing time may be longer when submitting the visa application at the Embassy or a Consulate General.
As a general rule, a decision is taken by the Consulate within 15 days. This period may, in individual cases, be extended.
Some Schengen States require that they be consulted on visa applications submitted to other Schengen States by citizens of certain countries. The consultation process may take up to seven calendar days. Such consultation is currently required for nationals of the countries listed here:
It is therefore recommended to submit the visa application early, at the earliest 6 months before the planned journey.
The reasons for refusal are notified to the applicant using a standard form.
You have the right to appeal within 30 days of receipt of the refusal. For information on appeal procedures, please refer to the webpage of the State Secretariat for Migration.
Biometric data (fingerprints) are generally collected every 59 months from the age of 12 years from the first recording.
If you are a family member of a Swiss, European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) citizen, you are entitled to submit your application directly at the responsible Embassy or Consulate of Switzerland. An appointment is mandatory and must be booked in advance.
See "1.5 What requirements must family members of EU or EFTA citizens meet in order to enter Switzerland" in the SEM's FAQ - Entry.
If you wish to complain about the behavior of the consular staff and, if applicable, about the external service provider or about the process, please contact the competent representation in writing.
Kindly note that the application has to be submitted at the Schengen representation of the country of your main destination. Tourists who spend equal time in several Schengen states are required to apply for the visa at the representation of the country where they enter the Schengen area.
Since 12.10.2015 all diplomatic representations of the Schengen member states in Hong Kong have to capture the biometric data (finger scans and facial image) of persons applying for a Schengen visa. The data will be kept in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 5 years.
If no scan of your fingerprints has been captured yet, personal appearance when applying for a Schengen visa is mandatory.
You will still have to appear in person to give your fingerprints in case the previously collected fingerprints prove to be of insufficient quality.
Personal appearance and fingerprint scan is not necessary for children under the age of 12.
The Swiss representation reserves the right to ask the applicant to appear in person if a personal interview is required.
Kindly bring all required documents along with you (for information please refer to the different leaflets on this page). Incomplete applications cannot be accepted.
Please be advised that supporting documents from Mainland China (e.g. bank statements, proof of employment, travel insurances or itineraries) will not be accepted and that applicants with such documents will have to be referred to a Swiss representation in Mainland China even if the applicant holds a valid residence permit or visa for Hong Kong or Macau.
In order to schedule an appointment to submit your visa application at the Consulate General, you must contact VFS Global.