Swiss Consulate Chicago – 4 Easy Steps to Apply for Switzerland Schengen Visa
Switzerland is home to 7 wonders of the world – including the Lavaux vineyards on Lake Geneva. It also has 7 natural wonders of the world including the Aletsch Glacier and the Matterhorn. To sum up, it’s a beautiful country in the European Union! There is plenty to do in cities like Zurich and Bern where you can party the night away or stroll through the center enjoying lunch and coffee in one of the many cafes. If you love hiking, Switzerland has around 60,000 km of marked trails with lots of charming villages along the way! In this article learn more about how to apply for Switzerland visa at the Swiss consulate in Chicago, Illinois, Switzerland visa appointment booking, Processing time at the Switzerland visa application center, flight itinerary for Switzerland visa, hotel bookings for Switzerland visa, Schengen travel insurance for Switzerland visa application, and Switzerland Visa Application Process at the Chicago Consulate.
Switzerland Schengen Visa
In 2017, there were a total of 517,010 Schengen visa applications received. 37,464 (7.25%) were rejected. The Swiss consulate in Chicago does not deal with visa applications, but the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington DC received 1,050 applications and rejected 27 of them.
Applying for Swiss Schengen Visa from the United States
If you are a US citizen, you do NOT need to apply for a Schengen visa if you are going to Switzerland for a maximum of 90 days. If you are a non-US citizen you DO need to apply for a visa for Switzerland. However, you must be living in the US on a permanent basis and be able to prove your legal right to stay in the country.
You have to make sure you apply at the right Swiss embassy and consulate. The Swiss consulate in Chicago is an honorary representation and has no consular authority which means it does not deal with visa applications. If you wish to apply for a Switzerland visa, you must apply through the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington. You can do this as long as you live within the embassy’s jurisdiction:
- District of Columbia (DC), Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington DC
There are 3 types of visa offered at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington and the one you need to apply for will depend on the duration of your trip and your reason for traveling to Switzerland.
- Schengen visa – this visa is for the purposes of tourism, business, visiting family or friends, short-term language studies, attending a conference or event etc., for a maximum of 90 days. These visas are issued as single, double, or multiple entry
- National visa – this visa is for the purposes of long-term studies, family reunification, marriage, employment etc.. for stays exceeding 90 days. These visas can be for single or multiple entry
- Airport Transit visa – this visa is for citizens of some countries who are transiting through the international zone of a Swiss airport en-route to a different country
Schengen Visa Application Process at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington DC
Turnaround times are different depending on which type of visa you are applying for:
- Schengen visas including Airport Transit visas – 10-15 days
- National visas – 8-10 weeks
These timescales are not guaranteed because each case is dealt with on an individual basis and could take longer to process. You can apply up to 90 days ahead, so you need to apply well in advance of your departure date to allow enough time for your application to be processed.
To help you apply for your Switzerland visa, here are a few steps to follow:
Step 1: Complete your application and make an appointment online
The first step is to complete your application and make an appointment online. This part of the procedure relates to Schengen visas only (Up to 90 days). Go to the embassy’s website and click on: “Visa and entry to Switzerland”:
On the next page, click on: “Schengen visa for a stay up to 90 days”:
Next, click on: “Which documents should I submit with a Schengen visa application”:
Then, click on: “Visa application form” and click on www.swiss-visa.ch
You will be directed to the embassy’s online application and booking system. At the bottom, select the country where you have legal residence:
Next, scroll down and choose the correct Swiss representation. In this case, Washington:
On the next page, read the instructions before hitting: “Online application”:
Then, you’ll be able to complete your application and make an appointment:
If you are applying for a National visa, you cannot use the online system for completing your application form. You can download it from the Embassy’s website.
Please note, if you are applying for a National (type D) visa OR have had a Schengen visa issued after May 15 2014, you are permitted to mail or drop off your application. In this case, you’ll need to include a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope with tracking number and a drop off form.
If you are dropping off your application, you do not need an appointment. The Embassy is open for submission of documents from Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 12.00 pm.
Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!
Booking a visa appointment using our services is pretty simple! All you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the link to schedule the visa appointment
- Submit the appointment details, visa you are applying for, consulate you need the appointment for, the country you need the appointment IN and make the payment
- Receive appointment confirmation in email
Step 2: Prepare your documents
You must prepare all the necessary documents before your appointment. Incomplete applications will not be processed and you’ll have to make a new appointment. It’s a good idea to take a look at the Embassy’s website before you start this step.
You must also provide original documents and photocopies of everything, so don’t forget to do this.
- Completed and signed Schengen or National visa application form
- Two passport-sized photos – issued within the last 6 months
- Passport with at least 3 months remaining after your trip, issued within last 10 years and must have 2 blank pages
- US residence card or valid visa
- Previous Schengen visas issued within the last 5 years (if applicable)
- Proof of return flight
- Evidence of accommodation
- Last 3 bank statements or other proof of sufficient funds
- Employment letter – confirming job role and salary and confirmation of approval to leave OR business license and last tax return
- Enrollment letter and/or sponsorship letter from an educational facility
- Schengen Travel insurance – minimum €30,000 for emergency medical expenses, hospital treatment, and repatriation
- Pre-paid, self-addressed envelope with tracking number
- Letter of invitation from host/company/family etc.
- Evidence of fees paid and/or proof of financial support
- Diplomas/school certificates
- Notarized marriage/birth certificate
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 3: Attend your appointment
On the day of your appointment, here are a few tips for a successful outcome:
- Arrive early – if you are late for your appointment, the embassy may require you to reschedule
- Take all the required documents – if you submit an incomplete application, the embassy will not accept it
- Dress smartly – do not turn up in t-shirt and shorts. Your aim should be to make a good impression
The visa staff will review your application and supporting documents and if they need any further information, they may ask you additional questions. If they do this, simply answer truthfully and with confidence.
- Are you married? If so, what does your spouse do?
- Do you know anyone in the Schengen area?
- Are you planning on meeting anyone in Switzerland?
- What is your salary?
- What will you do when you return to the US?
Don’t jeopardize your Schengen visa interview at the last minute. Use this comprehensive and thorough visa interview guide to crack the visa interview!
You will also pay the relevant fee for your visa. If you have registered online you would have already paid the fee by credit card. If you are mailing your application, you can pay by money order payable to the Embassy of Switzerland or, in person, by Visa, MasterCard, cash or money order.
Adults (over 12 years old )
|Children (6-11 years old)|
|Children (younger than 6)||Free|
|Spouses and children of Swiss and EU/EFTA nationals; CERN and UN personnel (official trips only); students who study in Switzerland for only up to 90 days|
|Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Moldova, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia||$40|
If this is your first time applying for a Schengen visa, you need to provide a scan of your fingerprints. However, if you have had a previous Schengen visa and you provided biometrics within the last 5 years, the Embassy can re-use your data.
Step 4: Receive your visa
When a decision has been reached, you can collect your passport from the embassy or have it mailed back to your home address.
There are 2 outcomes:
- Approved – you will find your visa attached to one of the pages inside your passport
- Rejected – your visa has been rejected for a reason
Common rejection reasons include:
- No proof of hotel booking – you must provide evidence of accommodation for your entire trip
- There are doubts as to your reason for traveling to Switzerland – you must have genuine reasons for wanting to travel to Switzerland and your documents must prove this. If the embassy has doubts about this or anything else you have stated in your application, they will reject your application
- No bank statements – you must provide bank statements for the last 3 months, so the embassy can confirm whether you are able to afford your trip
- Invalid passport – if your passport does not have 3 months remaining after your trip, has not been issued within the last 10 years, and does not have 2 blank pages, it is not valid and you must obtain a new one before applying for your visa
Contact details for the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington DC
Address: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008-3499
Phone: 202 745 7900
Fax: 202 387 2564
Telephone hours: Monday to Thursday, 8.00 am to 5.00 pm; Fridays, 8.00 am to 4.00 pm
Please note, no information regarding visas will be given over the phone. You must request this via email only
Appointment Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 12.00 pm
In summary, all you need to do to apply for your visa for Switzerland is:
- Fill out your application and book your appointment (No appointment required for certain applications – see above)
- Prepare your documents
- Attend your interview
- Receive your visa
When you get your visa, you’re almost ready to depart for your wonderful trip to Switzerland!
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.
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