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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES / SWITZERLAND – Short-Stay Visa Waiver Agreement Signed

On 31 October 2017, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement (a “Memorandum of Understanding”) on the short-stay visa waiver for holders of ordinary passports.

As nationals of each country could already travel visa-free to the other, there are likely to be few if any noticeable changes as a result of the agreement.


As we reported at the time, since 6 May 2015, an Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the UAE on the short-stay visa waiver has been in force.

Since then, UAE nationals have been allowed to stay in the Schengen Area, including Switzerland, without a visa, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. At the same time, this Agreement also regulates the visa-free entry of EU citizens into the UAE.

However, as Switzerland is not a member of the EU, Swiss citizens could not use this Agreement when traveling to the UAE. However, the UAE has, on a ‘’unilateral’’ basis, for several years, allowed Swiss nationals to travel to the UAE without a visa for up to 90 days in a six-month period.

The two governments have now concluded a bilateral agreement in line with the EU/UAE agreement.

Action Items

  • Swiss nationals planning to travel to the UAE should check the latest entry requirements with an immigration specialist.

This alert was prepared using information provided by Sgier und Partner and Sesam Business Consultants.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.