Switzerland has moved into line with European Union changes to Schengen visa applications that will raise the costs for adults and children aged between six and 12.
Although Switzerland is not a member state of the EU it is part of the Schengen zone, forcing it to adopt the new procedures, which are aimed at making other countries repatriate failed asylum seekers.
From February 2, 2020, the cost of obtaining a visa for the Schengen zone to visit Switzerland will rise from €60 to €80 (CHF65 to CHF92) for adults. The fee for minors aged between six and 12 will rise even more sharply: from €5 to €40.
But the changes also promise to make it more efficient and faster to obtain a visa. It will be possible to submit applications six months before taking a trip instead of the current three months. There will also be an option to fill in applications electronically.
Multiple-entry visas with a longer validity period will be issued for a period of up to five years rather than the current one-year limitation. This will ease the administrative burden for regular travellers, the Swiss government statedexternal link.
Countries outside the Schengen zone will be monitored by the European Commission on how readily they accept the readmission of their citizens who have been rejected as asylum seekers. Those countries that fail to meet expectation could face higher fees and longer waits for Schengen visas in future.