Information for people travelling to Switzerland within the “International Geneva” context

issuing of visas, entry, exit and travel within the Schengen area

The aim of this fact sheet is to outline the conditions for issuing visas to persons invited in a multilateral context (International Geneva) by institutional beneficiaries in Switzerland including holders of legitimation cards issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). It also provides details about entry, exit and travel within the Schengen area. Those concerned are mainly: 

-        Individuals invited to meetings hosted by international organisations having concluded a headquarters agreement with Switzerland;

-        Individuals employed by said organisations or other institutional beneficiaries who are eligible for a legitimation card issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA);

-        Staff members and official visitors of diplomatic and permanent missions in Switzerland;

-        Individuals officially invited to events when Switzerland plays its role as provider of “good offices”, those on official professional visits, etc.

Visa applications for any of the aforementioned individuals fall respectively within the responsibilities of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organisations in Geneva (the Swiss Mission).

However, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and the Swiss embassies/consulates abroad are responsible for processing visa applications for the following individuals:

-        Invitees of holders of a legitimation card issued by the FDFA (see 4 below)

-        Representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) (see 5 below).

For more detailed information on visa regulations, please consult the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) website or the Swiss Embassy/Consulate responsible for the applicant’s place of residence.