Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland

Important information

Applicants residing in Vietnam applying for any visa to Switzerland (incl. Schengen visa) proceed through Switzerland’s External Service Provider VFS Global.

VFS Global is providing visa information and appointments for Switzerland in Vietnam and can be reached online.

Applicants who do not wish to proceed through VFS Global can contact the Visa Service by email and request a personal appointment  at the Consulate General of Switzerland in Ho Chi Minh City. Please note that the number of available appointments at the Consulate General is limited. In general, an appointment can be made in a shorter timeframe by VFS Global.

It is highly recommended to apply for a visa as early as possible (up to three months before the planned travel date). The Consulate General doesn’t give any information regarding the current processing status of any short term visa applications.

Please note that an issued visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. At  border check-points or during other controls within the Schengen area you might have to present the visa and provide additional documentation, as for example information regarding sufficient financial means to cover the stay, the compulsory medical travel insurance and the return flight ticket. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the Schengen visa.

Various regulations apply for entering Switzerland. A basic distinction is made between citizens of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and those of other countries. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is the responsible authority in Switzerland.


Since Switzerland’s adherence to the Schengen and Dublin agreements came into force (12 December 2008), Swiss representations abroad are able to issue certain categories of visa, depending on the length of stay and purpose of the journey in Switzerland. Please select one of the following options.

Schengen visa for a stay of up to 90 days

For persons wishing to enter Switzerland for a short stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period: for example, in a context of tourism, a visit to relatives or friends, short-term language studies, participating in a conference or in sporting/cultural events, etc.

National visa for a stay of more than 90 days

For persons wishing to enter Switzerland for a stay of more than 90 days within a 180-day period. It is subject to the authorisation of the cantonal migration authority competent for the intended place of residence. For example: long-term student, family reunification, marriage in Switzerland, etc.

Airport transit visa

For citizens of certain countries who need a transit visa even if they are staying in the international transit area of the airport and do not enter the Schengen territory.

Labour / Work permits

Admission of foreign workers to an employer in Switzerland is subject to the authorisation of the competent cantonal authority. The entry visa is granted only when the requested authorisations have been delivered.