Swiss announces post Schengen Agreement Visa requirements

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Mumbai, Nov 18 (UNI) Anticipating its joining of the Schengen Agreement on December 12, the Switzerland Tourism today announced the list of changes in Visa application forms that will be initiated in January 2009.

The Visa fees will be increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 with new catagories including Transit ''A''/ ''B'' visas, National visa and VFS services, to be initiated from January 17, 2009. Travellers will also need a travel insurance of Euro 30,000.

''The Swiss visa will be issued before full implementation but will only be valid for Switzerland. Indian citizens holding Green cards and Canadian Permanent Resident cards will also need to possess the new Schengen visa,'' Mr Joerg Krebs, Director-India, Russia, GCC, Switzerland Tourism, said.

He said the necessary systematic changes will be implemented in December-January and the Swiss government has plans to open a consel in Bangalore in the second-half of 2009 to cater to the south India market. ''India is one of our priority markets with 40 per cent of travellers using Switzerland as main destination,'' Mr Krebs said.

He said Swiss Air would add flights to the existing 14 daily flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Switzerland. ''We had a challenging and difficult year, but we met our goals. One can expect a slight decrease in travellers next year from FY 08 growth of seven-eight per cent,'' Mr Krebs added.

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