Switzerland and Liechtenstein - Consular Information Sheet
September 14, 1999
COUNTRY DESCRIPTIONS: Switzerland is a highly developed
democracy. Liechtenstein is a democratically run constitutional
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
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 email@example.com,
or visit http://www.uscib.org
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
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.
REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS:
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
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
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.
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.