If you are a Nigerian citizen and you are planning to visit Switzerland soon, there are some basic information you must know. This article shall prepare you for what to expect and steps to take when applying for a Swiss visa.
Switzerland, which is officially known as the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked mountainous country located strategically at the confluence of Western, Central and Southern Europe. It is a land of cascading green hills and icy clear skies. The country’s landscape is also a sight to behold. No doubt Switzerland is a top destination for tourists. There are a good number of attractive spots that tourists can visit such as ski resorts, hiking trails and the famous Lucerne; a quintessential Swiss town flanked by majestic mountains and old city walls.
An average of 2.2 million tourists visits the country to appreciate its beautiful landscape. Banking and Finance are major industries in Switzerland, making the country the highest nominal wealth per adult in the world. It is also viable for business people alike.
There are four main languages spoken in Switzerland: French, German, Italian and Romansh. The best time to travel to Switzerland is from the months of October to March. It is important to note that in places like the city of Ticino, which is the Italian-speaking section of Switzerland, it is a crime to veil one’s face. If caught, you will be charged a fine ranging from CHF100 to CHF10,000.
FAQS on how to apply for a Switzerland tourist, Visit or Business Visa
- Do Nigerians Need a Swiss Visa?
Nigeria is a West African country and not a member of the Schengen Union. Therefore, any Nigerian who is interested in visiting Switzerland must obtain a visa in other to gain entry into the country.
- How do I book for a Switzerland visa appointment?
To book a Switzerland visa appointment, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the embassy between 2pm and 3pm from Monday to Thursday. When you call to book your appointment, the embassy will ask you questions about your intended visit to their country. You will then be given a date for your appointment, usually from 9am to 12pm from Monday to Thursday.
- Am I eligible to apply for a Switzerland tourist, visit or business visa?
If you have fulfilled all the necessary requirements, any Nigerian who has a genuine purpose in Switzerland can apply for any of these visa categories from Nigeria.
- How much is Switzerland visa fee?
The visa fee is non-refundable. If your visa application is rejected, you will not get this money back. Contact their embassy to confirm the amount to be paid. The visa fee costs about N38, 000. Children aged from 6-12 are charged a visa fee of N19,000. However, visa application fee is processed free of charge for children under the age of 6.
- What is the processing time for a Swiss visa?
Whatever category of visa you are applying for, it could take up to two weeks for your visa to be processed. If your application requires a further check, it could take up to two months before your application is processed. However, if you need to obtain the visa urgently, you should specify this in your application before you pay the visa application fee.
Types of Visa to Switzerland from Nigeria
Airport Transit Visa: If you plan to travel to another country but need to take a connecting flight to Switzerland to get there, you can apply for a transit visa. The Swiss transit visa is valid for 72 hours and allows you to stay in the country for 24 hours to take a rest before embarking on your next trip. You can obtain this transit visa online.
Tourist Visa: A Swiss tourist visa is only valid for 180 days. It allows Nigerians who are visiting the country for sightseeing to stay for 90 days. It affords you the opportunity to visit historic landmarks and amazing tourist sites in the country. Tourists visas can also be used to visit family and friends or for short business trips.
Study Visa: If you have been offered admission into a university in Switzerland, you will need to apply for a study visa. This type of visa is valid for a year or more. That depends on the duration of your university program. In any case, a Nigerian student will need to provide an admission letter from the university in Switzerland to become eligible to apply for a study visa.
Work Visa: This visa category is for those Nigerians who have gained employment into a Swiss company. They will have to provide their letter of employment to become eligible to apply for a work visa.
Schengen Visa: Nigerian tourists who intend to visit two or more Schengen countries in Europe can apply for this visa. The Schengen visa enables a Nigerian to visit Switzerland and also to use the same visa to enter any other Schengen country of their choice. However, if it was the embassy of Switzerland that issued the Schengen visa, they must have to visit Switzerland first before proceeding to visit the other countries.
Long Term Visa: This visa category is for Nigerians who intend to remain in Switzerland for a long-term study, marriage to a Swiss national or for a family reunion. The processing time for a long-term visa depends on the validity of your claims stated in your application.
Things you need know/obtain before applying for a Switzerland tourist, visit or business visa in Nigeria
- A valid international passport with at least two blank pages for your visa to be issued. Your passport validity should also exceed the duration of your Schengen short stay visa by 6 months.
- A visa application form which must be filled with honest information otherwise, your visa application could be denied.
- Receipt of payment of the visa application fee.
- Two recently taken passport-sized photographs with a white background. The photos should follow the specifications for a Swiss visa application.
- Your travel itinerary or proof of flight reservation.
- An evidence of your hotel reservation for the period that you will be staying in Switzerland.
- Proof of Schengen Travel Health insurance coverage of up to 30,000 Euros. The insurance policy should outlast the period of your stay in Switzerland.
- A letter of invitation. This requirement is compulsory for tourist, visitation or business visas. This letter should state your purpose in Switzerland, the duration of your stay and any other relevant information should be included as well.
- You are expected to provide a valid and recently acquired bank statement from your bank. It should show that you have enough money available in your account to cover the expenses for the period of your stay in Switzerland. You are also expected to provide salary slips to show that you have a consistent source of income.
- If your purpose is to visit family or friends in Switzerland, you will need to obtain an invitation letter from your host. This letter should include their contact information as well.
- If your purpose of visit is for tourism, you should obtain a letter from the tourism agency or tour organizers to prove that you have honest intentions for visiting the country.
- If the purpose of your visit is work-related or for business, you must provide an invitation letter from the company you will be having dealings with over in Switzerland. If you are attending a conference, the conference organizers will need to provide the invitation letter. Your hosts should state in the letter if they will cover the cost of your stay in Switzerland including your accommodation expenses.
- A letter from your current place of employment stating that you have been granted leave from work for a short period. This letter will be proof that you will return to Nigeria after you are done with your visit to Switzerland.
- If your trip to Switzerland is being sponsored by someone else, your sponsor will need to submit their valid bank statements, salary slips and a copy of their passport to the embassy. Your sponsor will also write a signed letter stating why they are sponsoring you for the trip.
- If you have been denied visas to countries like the United Kingdom, United States or Canada prior to applying for a Swiss visa, then you should also include the refusal letter in your application.
Also Read: How to Write an Invitation Letter for Schengen Visa
Step by step process on how to apply for Switzerland tourist, visit or business visa in Nigeria
- Fill the visa application form online and pay the appropriate visa application fee.
- Book an appointment to submit your documents in person.
- Compile the necessary documents and submit them at the embassy.
- Your biometric data will be collected after you have submitted your documents. This includes your fingerprints and a documentation of your facial features.
- Your visa application will then be processed after which you shall return to retrieve your documents and passport when they are ready. If you paid for courier service, your documents will be delivered to the address you stated.
Switzerland Embassy Address in Nigeria
After compiling all your Switzerland visa application documents and making sure that they are in order, you will need to submit the documents at the Embassy of Switzerland in Abuja. If all goes well, you will be given an appointment to present yourself for an in-person interview which will be conducted at the embassy. If you are resident outside Abuja, you may need to take a trip to Abuja latest a day before your slated interview appointment. Endeavour to be present and right on time for this interview as there is a time schedule for your personal interview, biometric fingerprints, etc. For further details, find their contact details below.
Ewitzerland Embassy in Abuja
Address: 157, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja 900288, Nigeria
Phone: +41 58 4 64 18 61/62
Switzerland Embassy in Lagos
There is a Swiss consulate in Lagos but it does not handle visa applications and submissions. The Lagos consulate address is:
Consulate of Switzerland
15, Onisiwo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos