I'm travelling to Switzerland and France on a tourist (Schengen-C visa). The visa was issued by Switzerland (for 15 days), but my return flight is from Paris.

In the hypothetical case that I'm positive for Covid (or have another medical emergency) and its inevitable I have to overstay my visa whom should I contact for a visa extension or any other indemnifying document. Should it be Swiss authorities or the French authorities and which department?

  • 1
    Are you vaccinated? If the answer is yes, you won't need to get tested to go back to India and thus wouldn't be at risk of getting stuck in Europe.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 0:56
  • @JonathanReez I was vaccinated in a country that doesn't have a reciprocity agreement with India. So my vaccination certificates won't be allowed and I'd need a negative PCR test
    – Prada
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 1:02
  • 2
    If you have fever, you won't be even allowed on airport. Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 1:24
  • 15
    @JonathanReez There is still risk of getting stuck in Europe if you are sick with COVID and contagious (such as if you test positive on an antigen test), as health regulations in most countries and basic consideration for others will mean that you shouldn't travel on a plane while actively contagious with an infectious disease. Of course, the answer to this question is likely the same if you come down with the flu or fracture your spine or any other medical condition that makes it temporarily impossible to leave before your visa expires. Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 1:34
  • 1
    @DanubianSailor There is a lot of distance from "not being well enough to travel" and "not being well enough to make a phone call" (or to ask hospital staff to do it for you). Specially when considering an infectious disease, which means that you may feel well enough to travel but still being unable to do so because of laws/care for the others. Not to mention that, even if the OP is totally incapacitated, he might be travelling with some other people that could take care of that (or the OP could take care of that for them).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 9:11

1 Answer 1


Should it be Swiss authorities or the French authorities?

Article 33 of the Visa Code provides that

  1. The authority competent to extend the visa shall be that of the Member State on whose territory the third-country national is present at the moment of applying for an extension.

So it is likely where you encounter the medical emergency (or other major reasons preventing you from leaving the Schengen Area).

and which department?

In Switzerland, it would be the migration office of the canton where you stay.

In France, the competent authority is the prefecture where you stay.

A list of competent authorities for each state can be found in Annex 27 of the Visa Code Handbook (link courtesy of the Danish Immigration Service, unfortunately I could not find a working link anymore from the EU site).

  • I had a look at that document out of curiosity, and it seems that while for France all the prefectures are just grouped in one point, for Poland they listed all the voivodes (or rather their offices) separately. And they did list all sixteen, so it's not like some were skipped.
    – jaskij
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 16:36
  • @jaskij For Switzerland apparently the cantons of Schwytz and Grisons are skipped for some reason. But the federal government publishes a list of migration authorities on its website: sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/kontakt/kantonale_behoerden/….
    – xngtng
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 16:59
  • Wow, this PDF has 2022 May in the footer but it's hopelessly outdated for Hungary. Whom do I contact to fix it? The phone number was never +36-30-463-9100, that's a mobile phone, wtf, it was +36-1-463-9100 but now bmbah.hu/… it's +36-1-463-9292.
    – user4188
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 8:53
  • @chx I assume they rely on the transmission of data from national authorities, so probably the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign affairs or equivalent for EU relations.
    – xngtng
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 9:18

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