Travel preparation

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Entry formalities in Switzerland

The conditions of entry into Switzerland vary according to the reason behind the stay and its duration. Foreign nationals may apply for a visa at the competent Swiss representation f for their country of residence.

The informative note for people travelling to Switzerland within “International Geneva” provides additional information on the issuance of visas and movement within the Schengen area.

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) recommends submitting the application form in good time; the process may take several weeks or even months depending on the season and/or the type of visa requested.

Do you need a visa?

Depending on your nationality, a visa might be required to enter Switzerland:

The NGO or the inviting organisation must vouch for the person it invites to Geneva.
CAGI has no contact with the competent authority and has no way to speed up the visa process.

Documents to provide

Frequently asked questions on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) .

Whether or not they are subject to the visa requirement, any national of a third country (non-EU/EFTA) must, for a stay not exceeding 90 days per period of 180 days (short-term stay), have travel documents meeting the following requirements ( SEM, item 3 ):

  • be valid for at least three months beyond the planned date of exit from the Schengen area,
  • have been issued for less than ten years (the date of issue concerns only entry into the Schengen area).

The inviting organization or the Secretariat of the conference you are attending must provide you with a written invitation containing a certain amount of information (Please refer to the useful documents listed below and the SEM, FAQ – Entry item 4)

Applicants for a short-stay visa must prove that they hold a travel medical insurance which covers up to EUR 30,000 of the medical costs incurred during their stay in the Schengen area (SEM, FAQ – Entry item 4). A certificate must be submitted when applying for a visa.

Check the list of insurance companies established in Switzerland authorized by FINMA.

Some products are prohibited in Switzerland. Please consult the recommendations of the Federal Customs Administration .

The delegate's practical guide

Budget preparation
Partner hotels
Arrival in Geneva
Useful information
Delegates Information Desk

CAGI services
for visiting delegates


Access by public transport (TPG) : Lines 5, 8: Intercontinental stop. Liines 20, 22, F: Appia stop.
Opening hours : Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. by appointment.
La Pastorale:

Founded by the Swiss Confederation and the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the Geneva Welcome Centre is the single entry point for the support and integration of employees of International Geneva and their families, NGOs and visiting delegates.

Visiting delegates

Participating in conferences, meetings or training

The CAGI provides accommodation support and facilitates the stay of delegates during an international conference, meeting or free training in Geneva.

Representatives of civil society from developing countries and governments of least developed countries (LDCs) can benefit from our support during their stay in Geneva.