I have a Schengen visa issued from a Swiss Embassy. Can I use it to enter France as my first entry to the Schengen area?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you can enter France from Switzerland with a Schengen visa. You will have to go through the border crossing process, as you are entering l’espace Schengen. It doesn’t matter from where you come from, as long as everything is in order for entering. Of course, if you arrive from a dangerous country, then the controls will be more strict.

Source : Contrôle à l’arrivée en France (Espace Schengen), and I am French.

Edit: OK, let’s clarify. Switzerland is part of l’espace Schengen, so its visa is indeed valid for all the countries of l’espace Schengen. But this is not a waiver for the other aspects of border crossing. For example, between France and Switzerland you have a strict control of goods, because Switzerland is not a member of the European Union; therefore import/export taxes on goods are in force : VAT on new products, limit on cash, etc.

The same reasoning is valid for entering the European Union from any country; the Schengen Visa is only one aspect of the process for entering the European Union. Some countries can have ban on specific individuals, immigration restrictions (even for tourists), etc. This is specially true in Eastern Europe.

So you have to take into account the whole situation: what is your nationality, from where you come from, via which country you want to enter l’espace Schengen, what is your legal status, etc.

So a Schengen visa can be OK, but you can still be refused entry into a country because of some other aspects related to your nationality. But once your are in, you are in… except if some national justice decides to expel you.

If you want a precise answer, you must ask a more precise question.

  • -1 I am sorry but this answer seems misleading and misinformed. The question is not about entering France from Switzerland and in fact, coming from Switzerland, you would not cross an external border and enter the Schengen area as Switzerland is also part of it. The webpage you mentioned does not really address the question either.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 0:57
  • The question is clear enough, you just misunderstood it and you're now trying to hide that with a lot of irrelevant commentary. Immigration restrictions and bans are handled at the Schengen level, that's the whole point of the thing, and Switzerland like any other Schengen country is supposed to perform a SIS look-up for any non-EU citizen entering from a non-Schengen country. The fact that the country is not part of the EU or the customs union does not change that in any way. Incidentally, l'espace Schengen is called the Schengen area in English, no need to be cute about it.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 22:36

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