Embassy of Switzerland
16-18 Montagu Place
Telephone: 020 7616 6000
Fax: 020 7724 7001
Online: Embassy website
Do I need a visa to visit Switzerland?
Some countries have special relationships with other countries which enables their residents to travel freely between the two without a visa. Check if you definitely need a visa to travel by checking the website.
How can I apply?
Fortunately, you are able to make a Schengen visa application to Switzerland by appointment in Cardiff as well as London through VFS Global. Instructions on how to go about this are outlined below and you should be prepared to pay an administrative fee to VFS.
How do I book an appointment?
To book an appointment, you will need to phone up or email to arrange a time to visit the Embassy. To arrange an appointment online, you will need to visit the VFS website.
The telephone number that you need to ring for an appointment is 0871 3762101 (8:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) when calling you must have the following information available in order to book your appointment.
- Your name
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- Your passport number
Normally you will be offered the first date available and will have the option to select this one or chose a different date. As some embassies only offer morning appointments, if you are applying in London, you should be prepared to stay overnight order to reach the Embassy in time.
Please note: It may take you several weeks to get an appointment at an Embassy, especially before the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Therefore, you should be making your application at least 8-12 weeks before you intend to travel.
What documents do I need?
For a full list of general documentation required, you should check the Swiss Embassy website as requirements may change:
As a guideline you should expect to provide:
- Completed application form x 1. You will be able to download and complete the application form online when booking your appointment. It is also available here to download.
- Your passport or travel document which must be valid and in date. This must contain your student visa (which must be valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the Schengen visa applied for). Your passport must have a blank page to affix the Schengen visa sticker.
- 2 x passport photos. Check the embassy website for photo requirements.
- Schengen letter available from your faculty.
- Health insurance to cover the duration of the visit. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online. The insurance company will provide you with a letter of certificate to include with your application.
- Proof of travel plans: this will be the flight / ferry / train booking for your trip. This country insists that you must pre-book your travel before application.
- Proof of accommodation: this will be the booking for the hotel or other accommodation you will be staying at. It is easy to find hotels that make bookings either with a small deposit or no fee at all, so book with one of these. See our tips in our travel pages.
- Letter of invitation. If you are visiting friends or family, they will need to write you a letter inviting you to come and visit. This should either be in English or in the language of the country you are visiting. If they are providing you with food and / or accommodation, the letter should state this as well.
- Proof of financial means. You should have approx. £40 per day available to you for the duration of your visit. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months or travellers cheques for the relevant amount to prove this.
- Schengen visa fee. This varies from country to country so check the website for charges and method of payment. It is usually around €60 (£50).
- Self addressed special delivery envelope. This is required so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all post offices.
- Copies of all documents provided. Generally, you will be expected to take both originals and copies of all your documents to your appointment with you.
How do I get to the Embassy?
For information about how to get to the VFS Centre, take a look at their Contact page.
The application centre is situated in Cathedral Rd, around a 15 minute walk from Cardiff Central train station.
Swiss Visa Application Centre
13a Cathedral Road
Cardiff CF11 9HA
Here is the information on how to get to the Swiss Embassy and a map .
A map of the London Underground is available.
The nearest underground stations are Baker Street, Edgware Road, Marylebone or Marble Arch.
If you have a morning appointment, you will probably have to book overnight accommodation in London to ensure that you arrive in time. Make sure you plan your route across London on a map before you go. If your appointment is early in the morning, try and have a practice walk of the route the day before your appointment. You will not be seen or offered a later appointment if you miss your slot.
See www.megabus.com for cheap bus travel between Cardiff and London, www.nationalexpress.com/coach/index.cfm for National Express coaches to all destinations and www.thetrainline.com for trains between all stations.
See www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-hotels or www.hostelworld.com for cheap hotels and hostels. In London, you may also be able stay at The International Students House www.ish.org.uk/accommodation/. Contact them direct for details.
How long will it take?
When your documents and received by the Embassy or are checked at your appointment, the Embassy official will retain your passport (and the copies of your documents) for a decision to be made. Your passport will then be posted back to you.
You can check the prospective time that you will have to wait Most embassies aim to return your passport within a few days.
How can the Immigration & International Student Advice team help me with my Schengen visa?
The IISA does not offer a service whereby they make your Schengen visa application or appointment for you. This is because generally travelling outside of the UK during your studies is for your personal pleasure. They can however check through your documents before sending/your appointment.
If you would like an adviser to check your documents for you, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org stating which country you are applying to and the date of your appointment. Please note that this service is not guaranteed and is subject to staff availability and IISA commitments.
You should start making your Schengen visa application at least 8-12 weeks before your proposed travel date.