switzerland business visa

Switzerland Business Visa - Definitive Guide

Switzerland is known for its reputation for business opportunities. With several large companies such as Hublot, Swatch, Nestle, Novartis, etc being headquartered in the country, people have been using the Switzerland business visa to enter the country to take part in business-related activities. 

What is Switzerland Business Visa?

More commonly known as the Switzerland Schengen business visa, this category of the Schengen C visa is issued for individuals visiting the country for the purpose of engaging in business in Switzerland. It is issued for a stay duration of up to 90 days in a 180-day period and can be available as a single-entry type, double-entry type, and multiple-entries. Being a Schengen permit, you are allowed to travel through the Schengen area with this permit.

How to Apply for Switzerland Business Visa?

The applications for the Switzerland business visa from India is done through the VACs (Visa Application Center). The application has to be made offline. Before starting the Switzerland business visa application, ensure that you check if you are eligible for the business category. After that, you may proceed with the application as follows - 

  1. Obtain all the documents as per the document checklist for the business permit. 
  2. Visit the website of the VAC, or the Embassy of Switzerland and download the Schengen application form. 
  3. Fill in the application form with all the relevant details and then print it. You must mention the purpose of your visit as ‘business’.
  4. Proceed to book your appointment at the VAC. You can do this by visiting the online portal of the VAC.
  5. Visit the respective VAC with the documents, completed application form, and the visa fees. You will also have to submit your biometrics here. 

Keep in mind that if you have submitted your biometrics for a Schengen visa in the past 5 years, you do not have to submit them again. In that case, you may send your application through a third party, provided that they carry a letter of authorization signed by you. Also, note that you must submit only genuine documents and correct information. Providing fake documents or false information can lead to visa rejection.

Eligibility for Switzerland Business Visa

To be able to apply for the business permit, you must meet the following conditions - 

  • You must be living in a country where you are lodging the application. If you are living on a residence permit in a foreign nation, you may apply it to the corresponding visa authority in that country.
  • You must possess a valid passport as per the regulations.
  • The primary purpose of your visit must be to take part in business-related activities in the Swiss confederation.
  • You must possess sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the entire stay in the country.
  • You must apply for the permit only if -
    1. Switzerland is your only destination, or
    2. Switzerland is one of your multiple Schengen destinations, in which case you will be spending the majority of the time here, or, 
    3. Switzerland must be your port of entry into the Schengen region.

Documents Required for Switzerland Business Visa

  • A valid passport- 
    1. It must have at least 2 blank pages.
    2. Passports older than 10 years are not allowed.
    3. It should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.
    4. Old passports, if any, are to be attached.
  • A covering letter from the sending company - 
    1. This should include the visitor’s basic details and source of funds. 
    2. It should clearly state the purpose and duration of the visit.
    3. It must be on the company letterhead and must contain the seal. 
    4. It should be addressed to the Embassy of Switzerland.
  • Invitation letter from the Swiss organisation/company stating complete details of the visit, or entry tickets to trade fairs, conferences, etc in Switzerland.
  • Registration certificate of the Indian company.
  • Medical travel insurance coverage up to at least 30000 Euros
  • Proof of occupation - 

Proof of occupation such as employment letter, Copy of business license, etc.

  • Financial documents -

Financial documents such as bank statements of the past 3 months, Passbook copy, ITR, etc.

Photo Specification for Switzerland Business Visa

  • Dimensions: 35mm X 45mm
  • Colour: Coloured
  • Head must occupy the central position
  • Must be captured within the last 3 months
  • Background: Solid, plain white or grey
  • 80% face coverage
  • Neutral expression
  • Glasses: Non-thick framed and prescription glasses
  • Headgears - only for religious reasons
  • Facial hair - permitted

Processing Time for Switzerland Business Visa

The processing time for the Swiss business visa is normally around 7-10 working days. However, this may vary depending on several factors such as the number of entries, the validity of the permit, the volume of applications at the embassy, as well as your previous travel history, etc. As a result, it is suggested that you make the application well in advance.

Switzerland Business Visa Fees

The fees for the Swiss business visa depends on a few parameters such as the embassy’s decision and the currency exchange rates. Apart from the application fee, the total fees include the biometric charges, number of entries, as well as any other service charges. As a result, it is suggested that you check the exact amount before applying. 

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Normal 90 days 3 months 6690.0
Multiple entry Normal 90 days 3 months 6690.0

After Submission

Once you have submitted the application for the business permit, it is then processed at the Embassy of Switzerland. Even though you have submitted it at a VAC, they will then forward it to the embassy in New Delhi. Note that the VAC has no decision making power over the processing. This is solely in the hands of the Embassy. 

Once the visa is approved, you can pick up the passport directly from the VAC, or you can have the VAC deliver it to you for an additional delivery charge.

How to Check Visa Status?

You can check the status of your business permit application by clicking here and entering your reference number and date of birth. You may also check your status by contacting your travel agency and have them track it for you. 

When you have this visa

On successfully obtaining your visa, you must keep in mind the following points to ensure that you have a pleasant stay -

  • Keep note of the expiry date, duration of stay, as well as the number of entries mentioned on the Schengen visa sticker. You must follow these without fail during your visit. 
  • Carry all the travel documents before travelling. If you do not possess them, you will be denied entry into the Swiss confederation. 
  • Ensure that you travel to Switzerland within 6 months of the issue date, or as mentioned. After this date, your permit will become invalid and you will not be able to enter the country. 
  • While you are travelling within the country, carry a copy of your travel documents with you. If you are travelling to other countries within the Schengen, you will have to carry your original travel documents.
  • While you are on a business permit, you cannot work on the payroll of a Swiss organization/company. 
  • You will not be able to extend the business visa under any normal conditions.
  • You can move freely within the Schengen area. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Extend My Switzerland Schengen Business Visa?

As per the regulations, It is not possible to extend the Swiss business permit under normal conditions as it is a Schengen short term category. Although, in certain cases such as a Force Majeure, or other humanitarian reasons, you may be granted an extension. In all other cases, you must not try to extend the visa and must leave the country before expiry. 

How much bank balance is required to get a Switzerland Schengen Business Visa?

As per the regulations, there is no exact amount of funds you must possess in order to get a Swiss business visa. As per the requirements, you must show that you have a steady and stable bank account and that you have enough money to support your stay in Switzerland. Depending on the applied stay duration, you must have enough funds for the entire period. These include expenses such as food, accommodation, travel, etc.

After Expiring My Switzerland Business Visa, How Long Can I Stay?

Once you have expired the business permit, you are not supposed to stay back in the country for any amount of time. As per the laws, you must leave the country before the exact expiry date. Staying back in Switzerland after this period is considered as an offence, and can get you deported, and in some other cases even be banned from entering the Schengen region again.

What is the Medical Test for Switzerland Schengen Business Visa?

Since the Swiss business visa is issued only for a short term stay of fewer than 90 days, there are no mandatory medical test requirements. The long term categories may require medical tests as per the individual type. Either way, it is recommended that you get a health checkup before travelling to a new country. 

Can I convert My Switzerland Schengen Business Visa into a Work permit?

No, it is not possible to convert a Schengen business permit for Switzerland into another type. You are also not allowed to take part in paid work while you are on this permit. You may, however, take part in unpaid voluntary work. If you do require to work, you must apply for a Switzerland work visa once you are back in your home country.  

Can I Travel to other Schengen or European Countries on a Switzerland Business Visa?

Yes, you are allowed to travel to other Schengen countries on this. Being a member of the Schengen, Switzerland participates in a visa-free agreement with other Schengen countries. However, you can travel only to the European countries that are also a part of the Schengen. Apart from these, there are a few non-European countries that allow you to enter them with a Schengen visa. Eg:- Croatia.

How many days before the trip should I apply for a Switzerland Business Visa?

The normal processing time taken by the embassy is around 7-10 working days. This, however, is excluding the transit time for the application to reach the embassy. Applications made at the VAC in New Delhi will be sent to the Embassy the next working day. However, applications to other VACs across the country can take longer to reach the embassy. As a result, you must apply with sufficient time of at least 15 working days in advance. Also, note that you cannot make the application before more than 3 months of the intended travel date.


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