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border control

Entering and leaving Switzerland –border control explained

Find out about entry and departure requirements, as well as automated passport control.

Check the entry requirements

You can enquire about the entry requirements for your destination with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Automated passport control

Entry and departure requirements

Switzerland

The entry requirements for Switzerland vary greatly depending on your country of origin. Detailed information can be obtained from the State Secretariat for Migration SEM.

Other countries

Please find out about the entry requirements from your travel agent or the consulate or embassy at your destination. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA provides contact details for the consulates and embassies of foreign nations in Switzerland.

Minors travelling without parents or with only one parent

At Zurich Airport border control, the protection of minors is a priority. The following recommendations apply for minors who:

  • are travelling without parents,
  • are accompanied by only one parent
  • or are accompanied by persons who are not their parents or who do not have parental responsibility.

The Canton of Zurich police force recommends that minors carry with them on their journey their birth certificate and a declaration of consent signed by the parents or persons with parental responsibility to avoid any possible suspicion of child abduction, for example. There is no set layout for the declaration of consent, but it should contain the following information as a minimum:

  • Name, address and telephone number of the parents or persons who have parental responsibility
  • Date of travel, destination and duration of stay
  • Reason for travel
  • Signature of the parents or persons who have parental responsibilit

Automated passport control

At Zurich Airport, automated passport control helps you get to your gate faster. Simply scan your passport and go through the gate yourself. You may use automated passport control if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • have a biometric passport/e-passport (not an ID card)
  • are a citizen of Switzerland or an EU/EEA country

If these do not apply to you, or if you would prefer to be dealt with by a member of staff, you can still use the staffed counters at passport control.

How it works

  1. Open your biometric passport and place it on the scanner, then enter the gate.
  2. Look straight into the camera. Your facial image is compared with the electronic image in your e-passport, and your passport details are checked.
  3. Once the check has been successfully completed, the exit door opens and you can leave the gate.

If further clarifications are necessary, you will be checked again by a member of staff. After passing through automated passport control, your biometric data are immediately deleted.

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