Switzerland joined the Visa Waiver Program in 1989 and Swiss citizens are able to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) instead of obtaining a US visa. This makes it easier for Swiss citizens travelling to the US for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes.
ESTA Requirements and Important Information
- Use for visits to US for a maximum of 90 days
- Use for visits to US for a maximum of 90 days
- Requires a biometric passport
- Required for travellers either flying or arriving by sea to the US
- Valid for two years, or until passport expires
- For business, tourism, medical or transit purposes
- Children required to have their own ESTA
- Use for multiple visits to the US
Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Swiss Citizens
The ESTA is ideal for Swiss citizens that want to visit the US for a holiday, or who make regular business trips to the US. The ESTA has a simple application process and takes less than 20 minutes to complete and submit the form. All that citizens of Switzerland require is a valid, biometric passport, an email address and a card to make the AMERICA VISA FOR Sweden Citizens payment with.
So, the process is much easier compared to applying for a US visa, which involves filling out a longer form and attending an interview at the US Embassy. It also costs less to apply for an ESTA than for a US visa and the ESTA is valid for two years (or until passport expires). The ESTA holder is able to use that same ESTA for numerous visits to the US without needing to reapply for another ESTA.
Usually, you can apply for an ESTA and get the response within about 24 hours, although it is recommended that Swiss citizens apply for their ESTA at least 72 hours before they plan to travel. This will allow for any delays and system problems that could affect travel plans.
How Swiss Citizens Can Apply for ESTA
Citizens of Switzerland require a valid passport, card to pay the application fee with and a valid email address. They must complete all of the mandatory information required in the ESTA form, including personal information, passport details and security related questions.
Once the form is completed the applicant should carefully check all of the details that they have supplied to ensure they are correct and accurate. Any errors could mean that the application is denied and could disrupt travel plans to the US, as travellers would not be allowed to board the flight without a valid ESTA in place. Once the application has been submitted, the applicant will receive an email to confirm whether. It has been approved or declined.
What to do if ESTA is Declined
If an ESTA application is declined because the applicant made a mistake on the form, they can re-apply, providing the correct details and paying another application fee. If it has been declined for a different reason, the applicant can try applying for a US visa instead. There are many different types of US visa including tourist, working and studying visas which may be relevant for the purpose of the intended trip to the US. To apply for a US visa, complete a DS-160 form and arrange an interview at the US Embassy in Switzerland.
The US Embassy in Switzerland:
U.S. Embassy Bern
CH-3007 Bern, Switzerland
Benefits of ESTA for Swiss citizens:
- Use for multiple visits to US
- Quick to process
- Visit US for tourism, business, medical or transit
- Valid for visits of up to a maximum of 90 days
- Application is quick to complete
- Use mobile or desktop to apply
Swiss citizens can apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa waiver to travel to the United States. The ESTA allows citizens of Switzerland to visit the U.S. for tourism, business, transit, medical and short study purposes without a visa for up to 90 days per visit. Switzerland was added to the Visa Waiver Program in 1989. However, security measures, intended to address terrorism threats, have necessitated the pre-screening of travelers prior their arrival to the United States.
The ESTA was established in 2009 for the purposes of streamlining the processing of visa waiver applicants and to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the capability to pre-screen travelers against numerous no-fly, criminal, and terrorist list databases. Thus, since 2009 Swiss citizens have been required to obtain an approved ESTA application to enter the United States. However, in the instance an Swiss citizen is denied or ineligible for ESTA, or wishes to visit the United States for more than 90 days or for other travel purposes than those allowed under ESTA, then the Swiss passport holder would need to apply for the relevant U.S. visa.
Swiss citizens must apply online for ESTA. An ESTA is required prior to boarding the air or sea vessel to the United States, and should be applied for at least 72 hours before departure. A valid, un-expired electronic passport must be used for the ESTA application. Applicants can review the detailed ESTA requirements as well as visit the ESTA FAQ for more information before starting on their ESTA application.
An approved ESTA application does not provide an AMERICA VISA FOR Swiss Citizens the same level of rights as a U.S. visa holder. A U.S. visa applicant will need to file a more comprehensive application form, called the DS-160 and attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. Furthermore, depending on the type of visa, applicants may need to prepare additional documents to prove the genuineness of their U.S. travel plans and purposes before entering the country.