Let's just say: I am Danish, exercising treaty rights in the UK, where I live with my Russian wife. My wife has a UK Residence Card due to being part of my family. Switzerland require a visa (free and quick but annoying).

Two questions, can we fly to Geneva (will the airline let us board) without a visa (only usual docs)? Do we have to exit via the French part of the airport?

  • Are you asking if you can do this without a visa? Since you mention needing a visa in the previous sentence, and if you have the visa the answer to your question is "well, of course." Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 20:55
  • And, of course, are you doing this before the end of March? Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 21:06
  • Well of course not. :)
    – ostergaard
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 21:06
  • Yes - before Brexit (which will be postponed).
    – ostergaard
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 21:07
  • Switzerland doesn't honor the visa exemption for holders of article 10 cards?
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 4:26

1 Answer 1


When arriving in Geneva on an international flight, you are not able to exit directly to France, but will have to go through Switzerland. Exiting directly to France without going through Switzerland is only possible if you arrive on a flight from a French airport.

From the airport's web page:

Is it possible to exit directly from the French side when arriving on an international flight without passing through Swiss territory?

No, you must pass through Swiss territory from an international flight.

So if it is right that your wife needs a visa to enter Switzerland, she will not even be allowed to board the plane to Geneva without having one. Depending on what is less inconvenient, you will either have to get her a Swiss visa or fly to a different airport in France.

  • How do they distinguish passengers from French flights from those on non-French flights? Is there a separate terminal?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 21:36
  • @JonathanReez specific gates IIRC.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 22:08
  • @JonathanReez from the Geneva airport website: 'On leaving the plane, follow the "France" signs and collect your baggage from the carousel located on the left on entering the airport. Note that baggage is first delivered on the baggage carousel in the French sector. If it is not collected there, it is automatically routed to the main baggage carousel!'
    – ostergaard
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 22:24
  • 1
    "if it is right that your wife needs a visa to enter Switzerland": as far as I can tell, that isn't in fact correct.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 5:38

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