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Schengen Visa Guide

Switzerland: New Digital Visa Format Coming in February 2024

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Switzerland: New Digital Visa Format Coming in February 2024

Switzerland: New Digital Visa Format Coming in February 2024. By February 1, 2024, short-stay Schengen and national visas (visas with a stay exceeding 90 days) will be digitally formatted, with both a digital barcode and a paper visa sticker being provided to applicants for Schengen visas (type C) as well as national visas (type-D), in contrast to the current sticker provided to applicants. Switzerland has adopted a broader digitalization of the Schengen Area visa application process through this reform.

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Dual Format Integration

Under this groundbreaking initiative, applicants for Schengen visas (type C) and national visas (type D) will now receive a dual-format documentation, consisting of a digital barcode and a traditional paper visa sticker, departing from the conventional practice of providing a paper sticker alone.

Navigating the Schengen Area Digital Landscape

This move is part of Switzerland’s broader commitment to embracing digital advancements within the Schengen Area visa application process, reflecting a global trend in adopting technology to improve efficiency, security, and user experience across administrative procedures.

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Enhanced Security and Efficiency

The incorporation of a digital barcode introduces a technological layer to the visa, potentially streamlining the verification process and bolstering security measures. Simultaneously, the retention of the paper visa sticker ensures a tangible record, striking a balance between the digital and physical aspects of the visa documentation.

Benefits for Applicants and Authorities

This dual-format system is poised to bring benefits to both visa applicants and authorities. For applicants, the digital format promises a simplified application process and a more seamless experience. Authorities, on the other hand, can leverage digitalization to enhance their ability to verify visa authenticity and monitor the movements of visa holders.

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Switzerland Technological Leadership

As Switzerland approaches the February 2024 deadline, this move reinforces the country’s position at the forefront of digital transformation within the Schengen Area. It demonstrates Switzerland’s commitment to staying ahead of technological advancements while ensuring the integrity and reliability of its visa processes.

Conclusion

With the imminent introduction of the dual-format visa system, applicants and stakeholders can look forward to a more streamlined and technologically advanced visa application experience in Switzerland. The February 2024 deadline marks a significant milestone in Switzerland’s journey towards modernizing its visa processing landscape.

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Schengen Visa Guide

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa?

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What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa?

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa? The same visa policy does not apply to every foreigner and every territory of France. Therefore, visa exemptions are heavily influenced by dissimilar factors, primarily the nationality of the foreigner, the territory of France the applicant seeks to visit, the foreigner’s residence status in the Schengen Area or specifically in France, and the purpose of the visit.

France’s territories are divided into three parts, each with its own visa policy:

  • French European Territory
  • French Overseas Départments or Regions (DOM)
  • French Overseas Territories (TOM)

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in European French Territory?

The Schengen Area includes France. As a result, its European territory complements those of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, also members of the Area.

For entry and stay in the European French Territory, you need a French Visa.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions?

For short stays (up to 3 months) to Guadeloupe (and its dependencies: Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy), French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion, the following foreign nationals do not require a French visa:

  • Andorre,
  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Bolivia,
  • Brunei,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Cyprus,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Croatia,
  • El Salvador,
  • Guatemala,
  • Honduras,
  • Hong-Kong (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Ireland,
  • Japan,
  • Macao (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • Monaco,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapour,
  • South Korea,
  • St-Marin,
  • Switzerland,
  • The Holly See,
  • United Kingdom,
  • United States,
  • Uruguay and
  • Venezuela. 

Note: Those from the above countries are allowed to enter and stay in French Overseas Départments and Regions without a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals who MUST have a French Visa:

  • Individuals from the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, or Singapore wishing to work in these countries,

  • Students from the United States, citizens who hold diplomatic, official, or other service passports, and intend to stay in these French territories in a diplomatic or official mission, or journalists who intend to stay in these French territories for journalistic purposes

It is not possible for foreign nationals from the above excluded countries to enter or stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions without obtaining a French Visa through the French Visa Application process.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Territories? 

In French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependencies (Terrires Australes et Antartiques Françaises (TAAF)), Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the following foreign nationals may travel without a French Visa for short stays (up to 3 months):

  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Bolivia,
  • Brasil,
  • Brunei,
  • Croatia,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Costa Rica,
  • El Salvador,
  • Guatemala,
  • Honduras,
  • Hong-Kong * (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Japan,
  • Macao* (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapore,
  • South Corea,
  • United States and
  • Uruguay.

These countries have nationals who can enter the French overseas territories without a French visa, but cannot stay more than three (3) months or ninety (90) days:

  • Andorra,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Cyprus,
  • Ireland,
  • Monaco,
  • Norway,
  • Netherlands,
  • Saint Marin,
  • The Holly See and
  • United Kingdom.

Note: Foreign nationals from the above countries are permitted to enter and stay in the French overseas territories without a French visa, with the exception of the following categories:

  • Brazilians, Canadians, South Koreans, Americans, Japanese, Australians, Malaysians, Mexicans, Singaporeans seeking gainful employment in these areas,

  • Nationals of the United States wishing to get a job there or to enter and stay there for journalistic purposes

  • In order to enter and stay in Overseas French Territory of New Caledonia, Hong Kong and Macao nationals will need a French visa.

Other foreign nationals from the above list cannot enter or stay in the French Overseas Territories without undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.

Conclusion 

French visa policies demands careful consideration of nationality, purpose, and destination. France categorizes its territories—European, Overseas Départments/Regions, and Overseas Territories—each with unique visa regulations. While some nations enjoy visa exemptions, specific categories necessitate visa acquisition for entry and extended stays.

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