I got a Schengen visa from the French Embassy, and I'm traveling to Annecy (France) for training. Is it possible to land 1st in Geneva (the nearest international airport) and then take a cab to enter France? My training venue is nearest to Geneva. I am from non-EU countries.


As other explained, with a regular Schengen visa, you can enter the Schengen area in Geneva (or anywhere else in Switzerland and any other Schengen country). You don't need to go to France first. In fact, thousands of people land in Geneva each year to catch a shuttle to the many French ski resorts so it's an extremely common occurrence there.

Additionally, Geneva airport has a small “French sector” that can sometimes be used to enter and exit the airport without going through the Swiss border check. But even if your flight allows it and you see a “Secteur France” sign, don't go there unless you really need to, it's not practical at all to go to Annecy (if you look at a map you will see that Geneva is surrounded by French territory on three sides but the French exit of the airport is in the “pays de Gex”, on the “wrong” side of Geneva if you want to go to Annecy). It's also extremely small, I am not even sure if you can count on a cab being available there all the time.


This should be okay. It says:

The Contracting Party responsible for issuing such a visa shall in principle be that of the main destination. If this cannot be determined, the visa shall in principle be issued by the diplomatic or consular post of the Contracting Party of first entry.

As your main destination is Annecy in France, you have the right visa and can go through Switzerland with your Schengen visa.


The Q&A here is helpful: https://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-193/

If you arrive into Geneva airport from outside France you cannot enter France directly; you must exit into Switzerland.

However, the Q&A states clearly:

Can I leave on the Swiss side with a Schengen visa issued by France? Yes, a passenger may exit on the Swiss/international side with a Schengen visa issued by France.

  • Since the OP is headed for Annecy he/she needs to exit using the Swiss exit anyway, because that is where the bus stop is for the bus to Annecy... – Krist van Besien Apr 8 '14 at 12:35

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