Information for people travelling to Switzerland within the “International Geneva” context


The aim of this fact sheet is to set out the conditions for issuing visas to persons invited to Switzerland in a multilateral context (International Geneva) by institutional beneficiaries, including holders of legitimation cards issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). It also provides details about entry, exit and travel within the Schengen area. 

In this context, the entities hereunder are responsible for processing visa applications of following individuals:

  • The FDFA, respectively the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva (hereafter, the Swiss Mission) are mainly responsible for:

  •  Individuals invited to meetings hosted by international organisations     having concluded a headquarters agreement (PDF, 13 Pages, 469.9 kB, English) with Switzerland;
  •  Individuals employed by these organisations or by other institutional beneficiaries whose stay is legalised by a FDFA legitimation card;
  • Staff members and official guests of diplomatic missions and permanent missions in Switzerland;
  • Official guests in the context of good offices, official working visits, etc.
  • The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), respectively the Swiss Embassies/Consulates abroad are responsible for applications subject to ordinary law:
  •  Invitees of holders of a FDFA legitimation card (see point 1.b below);
  •  Representatives and guests of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) (see pt. 1 c) below).