The European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS, as it is better known, is an electronic system initiated toward the end of 2022 and designed to facilitate safer and simpler travel across the Schengen Zone.
As Switzerland is a Schengen country, many travelers will need to acquire an ETIAS visa waiver before they can travel to Switzerland.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Switzerland
To apply for an ETIAS for Switzerland, you need to have a valid passport that has three or more months of validity remaining. You will also need an email address and a credit card or debit card to pay the €7 fee.
That’s it! You can complete the ETIAS application online and once you have been granted your ETIAS for Switzerland, you can use it to visit all other countries within the Schengen Area, including France, Germany, and Austria.
The ETIAS application should take fewer than 10 minutes to complete and once travel authorization has been granted, it remains valid for 3 years or until your passport expires. You can use the ETIAS to travel to Switzerland for up to 90 days at a time within a 180 day period.
Do I Need an ETIAS Visa Waiver to Visit Switzerland?
If you’re looking to travel to Switzerland from the end of 2022 onward, you may need to apply for an ETIAS. This Schengen visa waiver will give you access to all countries within the Schengen Zone, which operates without internal borders.
If you are an EU citizen, you shouldn’t need to apply for an ETIAS to travel to Switzerland.
If you are not in the EU and you don’t fall within the scope of the ETIAS, you may need to apply for a Schengen Visa before you can visit Switzerland and other countries in the Schengen Zone.
What Does ETIAS Stand for?
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is a visa waiver which means it allows visa-exempt access to countries within the Schengen Area.
Visiting Switzerland with an ETIAS Visa Waiver
Switzerland is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer tourists. You can explore some breathtaking natural beauty while enjoying great food, culture, and history. But as an ETIAS visitor, you can also benefit from Switzerland’s close proximity to many other Schengen countries.
Once you have finished exploring all that Switzerland has to offer, you can head to Italy, Germany, Austria, and France—all just a short train ride away and all within the Schengen Area.
Once you have the freedom to explore Schengen countries, you can use Switzerland as a base and step foot in several other countries, as well.
Although, when you’re in a country that boasts some of the highest mountains in the Alps, medieval old towns, gorgeous lakes, jaw-droppingly beautiful castles and churches, and stunning natural beauty, why would you leave?
Is Switzerland a Safe Country?
Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world. In fact, a lot of other countries could learn from the Swiss approach to life and law.
For instance, unlike many other European nations, it is possible to acquire a license for handguns and automatic weapons in Switzerland and you can also get a license to carry these weapons, much like you can in the United States. Despite this fact, mass shootings are incredibly rare, as are gun homicides in general.
And it’s not because the Swiss don’t like guns, as they most certainly do. In fact, in a country of 8.5 million, there are over 2 million firearms. Most children are taught how to use these weapons carefully and Switzerland also has mandatory military service.
In other words, it’s rare for a random, untrained, and irresponsible citizen to get hold of a weapon and most people who own them know how to use them safely and carefully.
From a tourist’s point of view, you will need to keep an eye out for pickpockets, as is the case with all countries, but theft and crime are very low.