Information about COVID-19 and Travel to the United States

*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older, including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions. Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis in extraordinary circumstances.

Switzerland and Liechtenstein have many COVID-19 testing locations. Find your canton and testing locations here: https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/testen.html#197439718.

International travelers are required to adhere to CDC quarantine recommendations. Information on quarantine recommendations can be found here.

For information on travel restrictions, refer to the four categories of travelers below.

Last Updated: 07 May, 2021

For testing and quarantine requirements prior to travel, go to the top of the page.

U.S. citizens may return to the United States from Switzerland or Liechtenstein at any time. Full details on quarantine requirements and other measures to take after arrival in the United States can be found on the Centers for Disease Control site Returning from International Travel. For information on the pandemic situation in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Routine services for U.S. citizens are available.  Visit our website to apply for a U.S. passport or U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad as well as Notarial Services.  Appointments are available at the U.S. Embassy in Bern and the consular agencies in Geneva and Zurich.

We recommend all U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Switzerland or Liechtenstein enroll in step.state.gov to receive alerts & ensure you can be located in an emergency.



For testing and quarantine requirements prior to travel, go to the top of the page.

LPRs are not subject to any Presidential Proclamations restricting travel and may return to the United States from Switzerland or Liechtenstein at any time, provided you have not abandoned your permanent resident status. Please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services page International Travel as a Permanent Resident for further information on that topic.

We are processing lost/stolen green card requests as proof of LPR status will be required for boarding an aircraft to the United States.



For testing and quarantine requirements prior to travel, go to the top of the page.

Presidential Proclamation 10143, related to reducing the spread of COVID-19, suspends the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. There are a number of exceptions to this proclamation, including the possibility of being granted a National Interest Exception.

Find your Visa Class:

OFFICIAL (A, G, NATO)

    • These visa categories are excepted from PP 10143. You may travel to the United States with a valid visa for an official purpose. The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements.

CREW (C1/D)

    • This category is excepted from PP 10143. You may travel to the United States with a valid visa for a crew member purpose. The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements.

STUDENT (F, M)

    • Students and their dependents traveling from the Schengen Area with valid F or M visas and a valid I-20 do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements.

EXCHANGE VISITOR (J)

    • Exemptions to PP 10143 are available based on your relationship to a U.S. citizen or LPR. If you have a US citizen or LPR spouse or child under age 21 then you will need to bring that proof with you to the airport when you travel. (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the person who qualifies you for an exception). The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements. For a full list of exemptions, refer to PP 10143.
    • Exchange visitors may qualify for a national interest exception. Email BernNIV@state.gov no more than 30 days prior to your expected travel date to request a NIE. For information on qualifying for a NIE, look here and here.

INVESTOR/TREATY TRADER (E)

    • Exemptions to PP 10143 are available based on your relationship to a U.S. citizen or LPR. If you have a US citizen or LPR spouse or have a child who is under age 21 then you will need to bring that proof with you to the airport when you travel. (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the person who qualifies you for an exception). The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements. For a full list of exemptions, refer to PP 10143.
    • E visa holders may qualify for a national interest exception (NIE).  Email BernNIV@state.gov no more than 30 days prior to your expected travel date to request a NIE. For information on qualifying for a NIE, look here.
  • TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT (H, I, L, O, P)
    • Exemptions to PP 10143 are available based on your relationship to a U.S. citizen or LPR. If you have a US citizen or LPR spouse or child under age 21 then you will need to bring that proof with you to the airport when you travel. (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the person who qualifies you for an exception). The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements. For a full list of exemptions, refer to PP 10143.
    • Many purposes of travel under these visa categories may qualify for a national interest exception. Email BernNIV@state.gov no more than 30 days prior to your expected travel date to request a NIE. For information on qualifying for a NIE, look here.
  • PERSONAL OR BUSINESS TRAVEL (B, ESTA)
    • Exemptions to PP 10143 are available based on your relationship to a U.S. citizen or LPR. If you have a US citizen or LPR spouse or child under age 21 then you will need to bring that proof with you to the airport when you travel. (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the person who qualifies you for an exception). The embassy will not provide any travel letter, the airlines are familiar with the requirements. For a full list of exemptions, refer to PP 10143.
    • Certain travelers seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure may qualify for a national interest exception (NIE). Travel related to humanitarian need, public health response, and national security may also qualify for a NIE.  For information on qualifying for a NIE, look here. Email BernNIV@state.gov no more than 30 days prior to your expected travel date to request a NIE.
    • For ESTA related questions, please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s FAQ, specifically their Schengen Travel Proclamation section: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/faq.


For testing and quarantine requirements prior to travel, go to the top of the page.

A limited number of routine visa appointments are available and we are able to interview visa applicants with emergency travel reasons. After reading the information related to your visa category below, should you feel your travel need is urgent, please follow the instructions to request an expedited visa appointment.

Notice to Visa Applicants who do not reside in Switzerland or Liechtenstein: The governments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein are restricting all non-essential travel to and from Switzerland and Liechtenstein. U.S. Embassy Bern does not consider travel to Switzerland or Liechtenstein for the purpose of a visa appointment as essential and we may not permit such applicants to enter the embassy. If you do not live in Switzerland or Liechtenstein and you have an urgent need for a visa appointment, you must request an expedited appointment with a U.S. embassy or consulate in the country in which you reside.

Current Travel Restrictions

Presidential Proclamation 10143, related to reducing the spread of COVID-19, suspends the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. There are a number of exceptions to this proclamation, including the possibility of being granted a National Interest Exception (NIE). For more information about qualifying for a NIE, look here and here.

Find your Visa Class below: 

  • OFFICIAL (A, G, NATO)

 

  • CREW (C1/D)
    • This category is excepted from PP 10143. Note: Some air or sea crew-related activities may qualify for B visas instead of C1/D.
    • Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request. If you are requesting an expedited appointment and you are not a Swiss citizen or citizen of Liechtenstein, please say whether or not you are a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

 

  • STUDENT  (F, M)

 

    • Students found qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be approved for a national interest exception to travel. For information on National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for students, look here.
    • Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request. If you are requesting an expedited appointment and you are not a Swiss citizen or citizen of Liechtenstein, please say whether or not you are a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

 

  • EXCHANGE VISITOR (J)

 

    • This category is subject to PP 10143. Many purposes of travel for this visa class may qualify for a National Interest Exception (NIE).
    • Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request. If you are requesting an expedited appointment and you are not a Swiss citizen or citizen of Liechtenstein, please say whether or not you are a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

 

  • INVESTOR/TREATY TRADER (E)

 

 

  • TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT (H, I, L, O, P)

 

    • This category is subject to PP 10143. Many purposes of travel under these visa categories may qualify for a National Interest Exception.
    • Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request. If you are requesting an expedited appointment and you are not a Swiss citizen or citizen of Liechtenstein, please say whether or not you are a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
  • PERSONAL OR BUSINESS TRAVEL (Visa Waiver or B)

 

    • This category is subject to PP 10143, whether traveling via ESTA or with a visa, unless you meet an exception to the Proclamation. These exceptions are clearly listed on the White House’s website and include immediate family members of U.S. citizens and LPRs. If you meet a family member exception and you do not have a valid visa, you may either:

 

      • 1) Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request. If you are requesting an expedited appointment and you are not a Swiss citizen or citizen of Liechtenstein, please say whether or not you are a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
      • 2) Travel on an approved ESTA. The embassy will not provide any travel letter – you will need to bring proof of the family member exception with you to the airport when you travel (i.e. marriage certificate or birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the person you are claiming an exception from).
    • Certain business travelers, such as technical experts and senior-level managers; and qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security can be granted National Interest Exceptions. If you are requesting a National Interest Exception and you do not have a valid visa, you may either:
      • 1) Follow the instructions to apply for a visa and select an available appointment. If you have imminent travel, request an expedited visa appointment and be specific about your purpose of travel in the expedite request. If you are requesting an expedited appointment and you are not a Swiss citizen or citizen of Liechtenstein, please say whether or not you are a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
      • 2) Request a National Interest Exception to travel on an approved ESTA. Email BernNIV@state.gov no more than 30 days prior to your expected travel date to request a NIE.
      • Most ESTA questions are covered on U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s FAQ site under the dropdown Schengen Travel Proclamation.