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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Liechtenstein

Switzerland and Liechtenstein - Consular Information Sheet
September 14, 1999

COUNTRY DESCRIPTIONS: Switzerland is a highly developed democracy. Liechtenstein is a democratically run constitutional monarchy.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required for travel to both Switzerland and Liechtenstein. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays of up to 90 days in either country. For more information on entry requirements for both countries, travelers may contact the Embassy of Switzerland at 2900 Cathedral Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 745-7900, or the nearest Swiss Consulate General in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco. Additional information for both countries is available at http://www.swissemb.org.

DUAL NATIONALITY: U.S. citizens who are also considered to have Swiss citizenship may be subject to compulsory military service and other requirements while in Switzerland. Those who might be affected should inquire at a Swiss Embassy or Consulate regarding their status. In some instances, dual nationality may hamper U.S. Government efforts to provide protection abroad.

CRIME INFORMATION: Switzerland has a low rate of violent crime. However, pickpocketing and purse snatching do occur, especially during peak tourist periods (such as summer and Christmas) and when major conferences, shows, or exhibits are scheduled in major cities. Most crime is restricted to specific localities in major cities that are avoided by the prudent traveler and residents, such as areas frequented by drug dealers and users, the vicinity of train and bus stations, airports, and some public parks. Liechtenstein has a low crime rate.

Travelers may wish to exercise caution on trains, especially on overnight trains to neighboring countries. Even locked sleeping compartments can be entered by thieves, who steal from passengers while they sleep.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.


MEDICAL FACILITIES: Good medical care is widely available. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including provision for medical evacuation, has proven to be useful. Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for the disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Switzerland and Liechtenstein is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of public transportation: Excellent
Urban road conditions/maintenance: Excellent
Rural road conditions/maintenance: Excellent
Availability of roadside assistance: Good

Although many roads are mountainous and winding, road safety standards are high. In some mountain areas, vehicle snow chains are required in winter. Road travel can be more dangerous during summer, winter holidays, and Whitsunday weekend (late spring) because of increased traffic. All forms of public transportation in Switzerland and Liechtenstein are generally excellent.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Switzerland’s civil aviation authority as category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Switzerland’s air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Switzerland’s customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporair/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information call 212-354-4480, send an e-mail to atacarnet@uscib.org, or visit http://www.uscib.org for details.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Sometimes these laws can differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to individuals under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on the international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or tel. (202) 736-7000.


U.S. citizens may register and obtain updated information on travel and security within Switzerland at the locations below:

The U.S. Embassy in Bern is located at Jubilaeumstrasse 93, telephone (41)(31) 357-7011.

The 24 hours hour emergency telephone number is (41)(31) 357-7218. The U.S. Embassy web site at http://www.us-embassy.ch answers many questions of interest to Americans visiting and residing in Switzerland.

The U.S. Consular Agency in Zurich is located at the American Center of Zurich, Dufourstrasse 101, telephone (41)(1) 422-2566.

The U.S. Consular Agency in Geneva is located at the American Center of Geneva, World Trade Center IBC-Building, Geneva Airport, Route de Pre-bois 29, telephone (41)(22) 798-1605 or 798-1615.

U.S. Consular Agencies offer limited consular services to U.S. citizens.

There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Liechtenstein. For assistance and information on travel and security in Liechtenstein, U.S. citizens may contact or register at the U.S. Embassy in Bern.

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