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Old 14.01.2015, 21:55
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ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

Hello,

I applied for a type D student visa about a month and a bit ago. I put my arrival date as the 27th of January, I am 12 days out from my arrival and have heard no response about my visa. The international relations co-ordinator at the school I am going to (H.E.A.D. Geneva) said she will make a call to expedite the process.

My question is, what do I do if I don't hear back about my type D visa by the time I fly into Geneva? Should I just pay for the 90 day tourist visa until the type D visa clears?

I am sorry i know there are relevant forums but I could not find one with my specific problem

Please let me know
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Old 14.01.2015, 22:02
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

As an American citizen you don't need a visa to be a tourist for 90 days. However - If you've got a visa already in process I'm not sure you'll be allowed to enter as a tourist.

Unfortunately 1 month (including Christmas and New Year holidays) is not very much of a time window to get a visa. It often takes 4-8 weeks during non-holiday time.

Definitely lean on your school for help!
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Old 14.01.2015, 22:04
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

I'm sorry I don't really have any helpful information, but you may want to consider contacting your consular (embassy) office here. I'm from the US and have found that the US consular agency here can be very helpful, even if just via e-mail.

Good luck!
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Old 14.01.2015, 22:11
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

What is the contact e mail you used?

I just emailed sfr.visa@eda.admin.ch and got an auto response e mail saying that general visa questions will not be answered!
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Old 14.01.2015, 22:25
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

If you come without your visa.... You may have to go home to collect it when it's approved!
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Old 14.01.2015, 22:35
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

1 month is nothing, especially not during holiday season. A permit approval process takes at least 8-12 weeks - it may be faster at times, but that's just the odd coincidence.

While you can technically enter the country visa-free (provided obviously your US American), you will very very likely still need your visa documentation once it's approved. You cannot pick that up within Switzerland and will need to leave the country again. All documentation is, by default, issued to the embassy closest to your home address, i.e. somewhere in Cali in your case. Changing the embassy to e.g. somewhere in Europe once the process has been started is difficult and some embassies even flat out refuse to do it at all.

Last but not least, without an approved visa and permit, you can technically not start university. If you enter as a tourist, you can't study (yes it's unlikely anyone will check in the first few weeks - but still). And also, while chances that a student visa is being declined is close to zero, what you did so far is hand in an application - but that alone does not guarantee you a visa and permit.

Solution: stay where you are, change your flight, wait for all documentation to be properly approved and processed, then fly here.
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Old 14.01.2015, 22:39
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

Where are you guys finding this information? is there any .gov site that says this?

I am un-able to change my flight, I start school on the 15th of february, am I able to enter on a 90 day tourist visa? how would my passport show that I am in the application process for a type D visa. what country could I change my shipping address to, to go and get my visa out of the country?
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Old 14.01.2015, 23:08
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

OP I'm sorry you're not getting the answers you want to hear. None of us can tell you with 100% certainty what will happen.

You are coming to Switzerland to study long-term (i.e. longer than 90 days). As such you're not a tourist and you're required to apply for the Type D visa, which you've done. This needs to be stamped in your passport.

Can you enter as a tourist? Sure. As an American you can do this at any time. BUT...

You're not actually a tourist. Don't be surprised if your passport and visa request information is in the computer system when you arrive. What do you plan to say to the passport control officer when he asks the purpose of your visit? If you say vacation, you're lying. If you say school and the visa's not there, then what? Do you at least have some documentation that shows the visa is in process?

If you are allowed in as a tourist, will you still need the Type D visa at some point? Probably, and that means leaving after you've arrived, and going to get it stamped. I don't know that you'll have to go all the way back to the U.S. I have read here on EF that some people have been allowed to go to Paris to get the stamp.

Edit: Link to the Visas page for U.S. Citizens. Note the section on "Who needs a Visa?" https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/u...ency/visa.html

Also FAQs under general information: https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...a%20procedures

Last edited by 3Wishes; 14.01.2015 at 23:18. Reason: proper links
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Old 14.01.2015, 23:47
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I just talked to the swiss consulate of san Francisco, The representative "annika" i think, was very kind.

She told me:

"I am allowed to enter on the 90 day tourist visa and then go to paris once my visa is cleared to receive my visa."

I have to say,

I am very glad to have people who are passionate about answering questions. Especially in such a quick fashion.

but making bold statements like "you will have to go back to California to receive your visa..." Without any documented sources is ignorant and very upsetting.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 15.01.2015 at 13:54. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 15.01.2015, 00:08
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

That's great… I'd ask for the confirmation in writing if I were you though.

There was a case on here not so long ago, unfortunately I can't find the thread anywhere, maybe someone else can (gash it's driving me crazy, if someone else can find it?)… A student came over without the D-visa, started studying, their 3 months ran out, the D-visa still wasn't approved & they had to go back to the States…… so it can go pear shaped!

Edit… I found the thread! Need advice....[permit/visa questions]
*Just so you know, that it just depends on each case. Some people manage to get their D-visa in Europe, some people however have to go back to their home country. Just so you are aware.

Last edited by Island Monkey; 15.01.2015 at 00:42.
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Old 15.01.2015, 08:48
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

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Where are you guys finding this information?
From years and years of professional experience.

The general rules are outlined above. Exceptions may apply, as always. These are not "bold statements" and just because you don't like the answers doesn't mean they're not correct.

If you don't believe it call the embassy rather than asking in a forum. No one here can say with 100000% certainty what would/could happen in your specific case.

And that's nice of Annika to say that. Btw, that is exactly what I said too. Unfortunately, Paris needs to agree to transfer and issue the visa - they might not and are not obliged to. So unless you have all that in writing, I wouldn't count on it.

Last but not least, you can't start school until all this is sorted.
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Old 15.01.2015, 09:00
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

one question to also ask your education institute - will you be able to register on the course without the official paperwork?
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Old 15.01.2015, 09:27
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Re: ARRIVING IN Schengen in 12 DAYS, NO VISA RESPONSE

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one question to also ask your education institute - will you be able to register on the course without the official paperwork?
Nope. The following is from UZH, but it is very very safe to assume that the same applies to all unis:

Students from countries with a visa requirement need to apply for a visa at the Swiss embassy or consulate general of their home country at least three months before entry. Please note that students from the above-mentioned countries can not be matriculated at the University of Zurich without having a valid visa."

http://www.uzh.ch/studies/applicatio.../entry_en.html

So while the authorities might not find out immediately if a tourist is actually studying here, the university will probably not let them. But of course same here, one can always ask, there might be exceptions...
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