Switzerland with a total land area of 41,285 Km2 and located in western central Europe is a federal republic with three main governing bodies. Geographically it is divided into the Alps, Swiss plateau and the Jura. The Swiss plateau possesses two of the largest global and economic centres which are Zürich and Geneva. Switzerland has a very active presence in peace building and foreign policy, it plays host to the United Nations, the birthplace of the Red Cross, and the founding member of the European Free Trade Association. It is one of the most developed countries in the world with a GDP 2016 estimate of $651.770 billion according to Wikipedia. Its currency is the Swiss franc (CHF) which is quite stable and its economy also boasts of relatively low taxes.
Bilateral trade agreements and economic exchanges between Nigeria and Switzerland have been favorable and on the increase in recent years with more Swiss companies setting up industries in various sectors, Ecommerce businesses, trade imports in pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery, watches and crude oil export purchases. In 2014, the volume of trade between Nigeria and Switzerland was at about $1 billion but it took a declining dive in 2015 to about $650 million due to low oil prices (Switzerland and Nigeria).
With the growing positive diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Switzerland, I took the liberty of checking what the necessary visa application requirements for Switzerland where for Nigerians who intend to travel for business, seminars or trade events. The Swiss business visa is issued to applicants who intend to conduct legal business, consult with business affiliates, and attend a professional meeting, conference or event in Switzerland. Here’s how to process your business visa application for Switzerland from Nigeria.
Switzerland Visa and Immigration Requirements
Switzerland is a member of the Schengen states, hence it requires applicants’ biometric data and travel insurance, it also approves biometric visas and online application. All documents have to be presented, both original and photocopies. The visa application must be signed personally by the applicant.
- A fully completed and signed online visa application form, and business travel declaration. Click here or here
- International passport with six months validity, with at least two empty leaflets
- One photocopies of international passport bio data page
- Two passport photograph with dimensions of 35-40mm, no more than six months old, with 70-80% camera face close up and white background
- Current three months bank statement of your personal account and your company, at least 15 days before application
- Receipt of visa application fee of N22, 200, this is paid at the teller counter of the embassy, application processing fees may be charged. Note that this fee is non-refundable
- Business letter of consent from your employer or company, this should be written on a corporate letter head and duly stamped and signed, for private individuals, a Corporate Affairs Commission business registration and tax clearance certificate is accepted. Employment letter, three months pay slips, leave letter, etc
- Invitation letter from the company or institution in Switzerland stating that they accept full immigration responsibility while you are there.
- Proof of ongoing business association
- Photocopy of last Schengen, UK, US or Canadian visa if available
- Photocopy of yellow fever vaccination certificate
- Complete flight and hotel itinerary
- Valid travel insurance cover worth €30,000
- Biometric data such as fingerprints scan and facial image will be taken at the Switzerland embassy, this will be stored in the Visa Information System for five years
Visa Application Processing
Visa applicants to Switzerland need an appointment at least one week ahead in order to submit their visa application. You can get an appointment from the embassy by sending an e-mail to this address: email@example.com or call the embassy from Mondays to Thursdays between 14:00PM and 15:00PM, at the phone number +234 810 071 8141. While setting up the appointment, you must provide following information:
- Nature of travel i.e. business, if you are attending a conference or an international event, you are required to inform the embassy of the type, date and name of the event.
- Your complete name
- Telephone number
- Passport number
- E-Mail address
- Planned arrival date and travel itinerary in Switzerland.
Your appointment will be fixed with the embassy from Monday to Thursday between 09:00AM and 12:00PM. On your appointment day you will be required to arrive at least 10 minutes in advance, show your passport to the doorman in for him to verify your name is on the list.
Endeavour to have your form ready, fully completed and duly signed, with all the necessary documents, photocopies and photos, in accordance with the Switzerland visa rules. An incomplete application usually requires a new appointment. The visa procedure takes 15 days from the date of your application acceptance to process; a receipt ticket will be given to you which will be required for passport collection.
Switzerland Passport collection
The collection of passports is possible Monday to Thursday between 14:00PM/14:30PM and on Friday between 10:30AM/11:00AM, no appointment needed.