Switzerland is not out of bounds for Indian passport holders living in the UAE either, official have confirmed. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Contrary to recent reports, Switzerland remains accessible to Indian travellers as the missions in the UAE and India are actively processing group and individual visas. However, as per recent updates, there is an extension in wait times for tourist visas until the end of October.

The Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has dismissed several recent media reports that said the Swiss mission in New Delhi has ordered a stop on Schengen visas for Indian passport holders. FDFA clarified that the Swiss mission in India was processing visa applications for individual and group travel daily.

In a statement to Gulf News, a spokesperson for the FDFA said: “The Swiss Embassy in India did not issue any ‘notification’ to travel operators stating, ‘no more applications could be accepted for group by company employees until and including September’.”


In fact, the mission in India has not just matched but has outdone the number of visas it processed during the pre-pandemic times, explained the spokesperson. “The Embassy is processing visa applications for individual and group travel daily,” they added.

On the other hand, the appointments for submitting applications for ‘incentive groups’ are fully booked up to and including September. “The Embassy has almost 800 daily appointments through the end of September, which include groups,” the spokesperson explained.

Switzerland is not out of bounds for Indian passport holders living in the UAE either, confirmed officials. Livio Goetz, Director GCC for Switzerland Tourism, said, “Given the very strong demand for visas, as far as we know, travel dates may be postponed in individual cases.” Goetz said, “In our experience, groups in the UAE have a rather privileged access to Visa (via VFS), and no group was ever denied.”

Wait times extended even in the UAE

Wait times for visa appointments, however, are another story. Appointment slots for new Schengen visas from Dubai’s VFS, the official partner of the Embassy in Switzerland, are fully booked until the end of October. The earliest available appointment for visa application is now on October 30.

Summertime tourist demand from the UAE to Switzerland has been lukewarm, owing to the heatwaves Europe has been experiencing this past month. Ahmed M Soliman, CEO of TCA Group of Companies, said, “Switzerland is a top-rated and consistent destination in demand across this region. The country saw robust demand from UAE and GCC travellers in June. However, demand slumped in July on account of the heat waves.”

However, travel agents are confident demand should pick up in August. “UAE residents are still holidaying, and we predict demand to Switzerland should pick up again in August when the heatwaves in Europe subside,” he added.

Switzerland enjoys solid connectivity with the UAE and the rest of the GCC through multiple daily flights operated by Swiss Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways.