Immigration Regulations For Swiss People Visiting The USA


Immigration Regulations For Swiss People Visiting USA

All travellers planning on visiting the USA, whether for work or leisure, are required to obtain a visa or ESTA as part of the visa waiver program. This is the same for Swiss citizens, so it is worth checking your circumstances so that you can prepare your visa or ESTA prior to travel. Please read on to find out more about immigration regulations for Swiss people visiting the USA to ensure you have done everything you need to receive entry into the United States.

Do Swiss People Need A Visa To Visit The USA?

If you are a Swiss citizen, assuming you meet all other criteria, you are able to obtain an ESTA rather than a full visa for your trip to the United States. An ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization which means that there is an authorisation attached to your passport to allow you to enter the country. ESTAs are currently available to citizens from 38 countries, including Switzerland.

If you are travelling to the United States for a reason other than business or leisure, such as to work or study, then you will need to obtain a different type of visa.

You will need to check your eligibility for an ESTA or other visa using the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

To obtain an ESTA, you will need to:

  • Be a citizen or eligible national of one of the 38 Visa Waiver Program Countries
  • Not be in possession of any other type of visa for travel to the USA
  • Be in possession of a biometric passport (e-chip) (as of April 1, 2016)
  • Be planning to travel to the United States for 90 days or less
  • Be travelling to the United States for business or leisure

How Do I Obtain An ESTA For Travel To The USA As A Swiss Citizen?

The whole process for applying for an ESTA as a Swiss citizen can be done online. You will need to apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure to the U.S., and once you receive your ESTA, it will be valid for a period of up to two years (unless it becomes invalid for any reason or your passport expires before then).

Is There Anything Else I Need To Do Before Traveling To The USA?

It is vital that you complete your API (Advanced Passenger Information) at least 48 hours before your departure to the USA. All airlines are required to pass on the API details to US authorities the day before departure, so you risk being denied entry to the country or even onto the plane if you have not completed this.

Other options for entry into the United States as a Swiss traveller include:

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