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Immigration Update

Changes to Visa Requirements for Switzerland
MVA Immigration Team
January 15, 2009

Switzerland has recently become part of the Schengen visa scheme and therefore the requirements for U.S. permanent residents (aka "green card holders") and non-immigrant visa holders living in the U.S. traveling to Switzerland has changed. 

The Schengen visa is applicable for visitors traveling primarily to certain European countries as a tourist or business visitor.  The countries included are:  Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and now Switzerland. With a Schengen visa, the traveler may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen countries.    U.S. citizens carrying U.S. passports may travel to these countries without applying for a Schengen visa.  However U.S. permanent residents and individuals living in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas such as H-1B and L-1 may require a Schengen visa for travel to these countries, depending upon their nationality and the type of passport they hold.      

MVA advises U.S. permanent residents and non-immigrant visa holders who are traveling to Switzerland, or any of the Schengen visa states to contact their MVA Immigration Team Contact to discuss whether they are required to obtain a Schengen visa.   Schengen visas can take several weeks to be issued, and often require a personal appearance for the visa to be issued.  Therefore MVA recommends contacting our office well in advance of travel so that we may assist you with this process.