We are an Indian couple and wish to apply for Switzerland visa. I understand that I can apply for a tourist visa after showing my confirmed return tickets and confirmed proof of accommodation in Schengen (e.g. hotel confirmation, bookings of the entire stay, receipt of paid package tour as quoted from the visas requirement site). We know a Swiss national who is our friend and is pressing that we stay with him for our Swiss trip. I wish to know that is it possible to stay with a Swiss friend (of course, he is ready to send the invitation letter) and apply for the tourist visa.

Or will I need to apply for the visitor visa since I wish to stay with my friend in Swiss.

1 Answer 1


Either will work. A Swiss tourist visa is for the following activities:

  • Tourism trip
  • Visits to relatives and/or friends
  • Scientists, professors or researchers attending cultural, technological or scientific conferences, seminars or meetings (services provided must not be paid by organizations/corporations in Switzerland, except reimbursement for expenses or per diem allowances)
  • Unpaid participation in athletic or performing arts events or competitions

But you need to be able to show proper hotel booking/tour details/tour provider details etc.

A visitor visa is when a Swiss resident invites you to stay, and only requires the invitation letter, and their proof of residency (and your travel details, I think)

So I would suggest applying for the visitor visa, just as it may be slightly easier. Both will be valid for 90 days.

  • (+1) Business or medical reasons are also valid purposes. Even working is possible with a Schengen visa (with a separate authorization, though). It helps to realize that it is in fact not a tourist visa at all but simply a short stay visa. Also, I don't think that applying for a visa as a visitor frees you from the health insurance and financial means requirements so you do need to submit documents about that as well.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 30, 2014 at 9:34

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