Visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports of the Republic of Kazakhstan when travelling to Switzerland

As of January 17, 2015 holders of a valid diplomatic passport of the Republic of Kazakhstan are exempt from the visa obligation when entering, leaving, transiting through or staying in Switzerland:

  • for a period not exceeding 90 days within a period of 180 days since the first day of arrival in Switzerland or in another Schengen State before entering Switzerland. (However, this exemption is not valid for taking up a remunerated, non-official employment in which case an entry visa is needed.)

For questions concerning this visa exemption, please contact the Embassy of Switzerland in Astana.  

Starting from  November 14th, 2013, all diplomatic representations of the Schengen member states in Kazakhstan have to capture the biometric data (fingerscans and facial image) of persons applying for a Schengen visa. The data will be kept in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 5 years. For further information: leaflet-vis

If your fingerprints have not been collected yet, personal appearance when applying for a Schengen visa is mandatory. If your finger scans were collected within the last 59 months and a visa with the mention "VIS" has been granted, then you won’t have to give new fingerprints for your next visa application(s) and personal appearance is not necessary. Please provide copy of your visa sticker issued after  November 13th, 2013 with the “VIS” mention. 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 still reserves the right to ask the applicant to appear for a personal interview after checking his application.

Visa Outsourcing

Change of outsourcing partner
In 2017, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA published a worldwide tendering procedure because the current contracts with its outsourcing partners will expire in mid-July 2018. The evaluation of the bids received has resulted in a change of outsourcing partners for some Swiss representations as from mid-July.

As from July 23.2018, the Embassy of Switzerland in Astana will work with the company VFS Global Kazakhstan LTD (VFS). VFS is a long-standing and trusted partner of the FDFA and enjoys its full confidence. Visa acceptance centre will continue to operate in Astana. Further information and addresses of visa acceptance centres will be uploaded to this site as soon as possible. Until further notice you may contact the following phone number for appointments which you plan after July 20th, 2018:

VFS Global
Monday to Friday, 08.30am till 17.00pm
for groups:  +7 717 2727288
for individuals: +7 717 2727963

This representation together with the companies TLScontact and VFS Global will make every effort to ensure the smooth implementation of the changes.


Appointments for submitting any kind of visa application must be booked ahead with the external service provider VFS Global via

the website: VFS Global Astana or the call center of VFS Global:

Monday to Friday, 08.30am till 17.00pm
for groups:  +7 717 2727288
for individuals: +7 717 2727963

The call center operators will answer calls about your visa application process in English or Russian, on the following topics:

  • Location of VFS Global Visa Application Center
  • Check or change appointment time
  • Make appointments for groups of 5 or more people
  • Verification of passport status
  • Information about different types of short-stay visas.
  • Eligibility of applicant
  • Information about visa fees

A visa application can only be submitted to VFS Global in Astana on the previously agreed day and time at the following address: 

Switzerland Visa Application Centre
Office 111, 11th floor
Building 6/1, Business Center KASKAD
Kabanbay-batyr ave.
Astana 01000 

Visa applicants not wishing to use the visa service of VFS Global may continue to submit their visa application forms directly to the Embassy of Switzerland in Astana. However, appointments for the Embassy also must be booked in advance via VFS Global. Due to limited resources at the visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland, the processing time can be considerably longer than for applications submitted directly to VFS Global. If no appointment was made in advance, the Embassy of Switzerland will not  accept to receive a visa application form.

Especially during the visa high season (April to October), it is strongly recommended to book well ahead an appointment for the submission of a visa application as waiting times could be long.
Personal appearance at VFS Global (or at the Embassy) is required with few exceptions (e.g. children younger than 12 years) in order to have personal biometric data seized (10-digit fingers’ scan and a digital photograph). The biometrical data will be stored in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 5 years.

If digital fingerprints were previously collected and the Schengen visa was issued bearing the mention "VIS", then, in general, no new fingerprints are needed when applying for a new Schengen visa within the next 5 years.However, should the previously collected fingerprints proof to be of insufficient quality, the visa applicant upon information of VFS Global must have taken the digital fingerprints again.

Furthermore, if digital fingerprints were previously collected but no Schengen visa was granted, then new digital fingerprints are needed. Biometric data are not required from children below the age of 12 years.

The earliest date for submitting a visa application is 3 months before the start of the trip. A short-stay visa (also called uniform visa / visa C / Schengen visa) is for a period not exceeding 90 days over any 180-days’ period in the Schengen territory.

The visa application form is free of charge. It is available either at VFS Global or the Embassy of Switzerland or can be downloaded (see link on the right-hand side of this page) and printed out. The requirements for each visa category are listed in the information sheets below.

Requests for appointments on ground of urgency (i.e. illness, death in the family, etc.) are to be submitted by email directly to the Embassy of Switzerland in Astana
The cause of the emergency must be clearly stated and a valid phone number added.

Applicants living in the South Region of Kazakhstan

Applicants living in the South Region of Kazakhstan

As of 1st January 2019, all visa applications (short stay Visa C or long stay Visa D) for customers who live in the Southern part of Kazakhstan, namely in: Almaty Oblast, Zhambyl Oblast, South Kazakhstan Oblast and Kyzyl-Orda Oblast and wish to travel to Switzerland and/or The Principality of Liechtenstein will be processed by the Embassy of Switzerland in Astana.

They may submit their applications to the outsourcing partner “VFS Global” in Almaty, where a separate Swiss counter will be opened.

The Consulate general of France in Almaty doesn't deal anymore with applications for short-stay visas (also called uniform visa / visa C / Schengen visa) of travelers to Switzerland and/or The Principality of Liechtenstein.

Applicants living in the Northern, Eastern, Western and Central Regions of Kazakhstan

The Embassy of Switzerland in Astana is the competent authority to issue short-stay visas (also called uniform visa / visa C / Schengen visa) and national long-stay visas (also called visa D) to travelers to Switzerland and/or The Principality of Liechtenstein who live in the Northern, Eastern, Western and Central Regions of Kazakhstan, namely in Astana, Akmola Oblast, Karaganda Oblast, East Kazakhstan Oblast, Pavlodar Oblast, North Kazakhstan Oblast, Kostanay Oblast, Aktobe Oblast, West-Kazakhstan Oblast, Atyrau Oblast, Mangystau Oblast.

Short-stay visas (type C) are processed at VFS Global (see above) and national visa (type D) at the Embassy of Switzerland. An appointment is required for any visa. All appointments must be requested at VFS Global in Astana. 

Important information

The visa application must be completed in English, French, German or Italian and signed. An incomplete or unreadable application is not accepted. Supporting documents must also be either in English or in one of the official Swiss languages (German, French or Italian).

The passport must not be older than 10 years and valid for at least 3 months after leaving the Schengen area. It also must contain at least 2 empty pages.

An appointment is required in order to submit a visa file: VFS Global

Each application is examined separately. There is no guarantee that a visa will be granted. The Embassy is not responsible for any costs when a visa is not granted.

Please note that premium services  in no way guarantee the right to obtain a visa nor do they give right to a faster processing of your file by the Embassy of Switzerland. No refund of of the optional fees will be done in case of withdrawal of the application or refusal of the visa.

For children below the age of 18 years, the application form must be signed by both parents and with a copy of the parents’ passports attached. If only one parent has custody, the relevant evidence must be added to the file. If a minor child travels alone or with only one parent, a photocopy of a notarized travel authorization of the other parent must be added to the file.

A non-Kazakh or non-Tajik citizen living in Kazakhstan or Tajikistan who needs a Schengen visa to travel to Switzerland, The Principality of Liechtenstein must submit a valid Kazakh or Tajik residence permit along with the application form.

A trip to the Schengen area should be planned well in advance in order to obtain a visa in time for the requested travel date.

After the visa application form has been accepted, the visa decision process for a short-stay visa usually takes 7-10 working days. However, according to the current Schengen Codex, a time of up to 15 days can be expected.

Examination of a long-stay visa application to Switzerland or The Principality of Liechtenstein (FL) usually takes 8-10 weeks. The decision will be taken by the competent cantonal Immigration Office in Switzerland (the Canton of St-Gallen is also competent for FL).

If the financial means of the applicant are considered to be insufficient, a declaration of sponsorship (“fianncial guarantee”) (Déclaration de garantie / Verpflichtungserklärung / Dichiarazione di garanzia) is required before a decision will be made. Such a procedure usually takes between 2-3 weeks.

A citizen whose visa application must be sent to the Schengen consultation is required to wait at least 10 working days before a decision can be made. The column to the right lists which nationals are subject to the Schengen consultation.

If not in possession of the adequate working visa or working permit, employment in Switzerland, The Principality of Liechtenstein is strictly prohibited.

Visa fee

In general, a visa fee is charged for each submitted visa application:

  • KZT 25'800 for Adults and children older than 12 years:
  • KZT 15'000 for Children from 6 to under 12 years:
  • KZT 15'000 for citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia

Additional charges may apply for phone calls and postage to Switzerland.

The visa is free of charge for:

  • Children under 6 years;
  • Holders of diplomatic and service passports;
  • Family members of a Swiss or of a EU/EEA citizen as follows:
    • his/her spouse and their children under 21 year old or dependent*
    • his/her ascendant and those of the spouse if dependent*

*A dependent is a person receiving regular and important financial support from the inviting person. Prove over 6 months has to be submitted. 

In the case a visa can be issued free of charge, the service fee of VFS Global still must be paid. You do have the right to ask for a consular appointment at the Embassy of Switzerland in Astana where no extra service fee is applicable.

The visa fee is not refunded if the visa is denied. 
The exchange rate is checked regularly and adjusted.

Travel medical insurance

In order to travel to the Schengen area** travel medical insurance must be purchased. The policy must state that it covers the following:

  • the entire territory of the Schengen States even if only one country will be visited;
  • the entire period of the applicant's intended stay in the Schengen area;
  • medical and evacuation costs up to a minimum of EUR 30’000.

Only in the case of a multiple entry visa, the “Schengen” travel insurance must cover at least the first intended stay. In such a case, the applicant is requested to sign the relevant field in the application form confirming that an adequate travel insurance is also available for trips in the future.

The requirement of travel medical insurance is waived for:

  • visa applicants when the inviting person(s) can prove that the necessary travel insurance has been bought for them;
  • family members of Swiss and EU citizens (spouse and children under 21 years old);
  • applicants who apply for a national long-stay visa (90 days or more); 
  • holders of diplomatic passports on an official or on a private trip;
  • holders of service passports on an official trip.

**Schengen Member States (Schengen Area) are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The Principality of Liechtenstein.

Requested documents for the visa application

On this page, the applicant can find the most common types of visas. Note that there are different documents for a short stay Schengen visa (visa C) or the Swiss national visa (visa D).

Short-stay visa (visa C / Schengen visa)

It allows the holder to circulate in the entire territory of the Schengen Member States for maximum the amount of days indicated on the visa sticker (1 to 90 days) within the period of the visa validity (not exceeding 90 days in any six-month period).

National long-stay visa/ visa D

Visa D allows the holder to stay in Switzerland and/or in The Principality of Liechtenstein for a period longer than 90 days. It is issued for taking up work, study or family reunion. Furthermore, it allows the holder to circulate in the entire territory of the Schengen Member States.

Where to apply?

When traveling to more than one Schengen country, a visa applicant must apply for a Schengen visa in the embassy of the country where he/she will be spending the most time during the validity of the visa. In other words: If applying for a visa at the Embassy of Switzerland, then the main destination must be Switzerland, The Principality of Liechtenstein or France.

In order to properly fill in the application form, the following questions need to be answered beforehand:

  • travel reason?
  • travel period?
  • date leaving the Schengen area?* 
  • Are there sufficient financial means to cover the entire journey?

It depends on your travel purpose, which documents are requested. Please refer to the leaflets below and follow the indications on it. The more thorough the application is, the easier the visa process will be.

Please note that the visa staff reserves the right to ask an applicant for additional information, document(s) and/or for personal appearance regardless whether the applicant has already traveled to Switzerland and/or The Principality of Liechtenstein and/or to France.