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  #41  
Old 09.10.2012, 02:39
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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There is free movement for EU citizens... not necessarily EU residents. Flights into Switzerland from the UK and Ireland come in on one side and flights within Schengen are on another side, and there are always passport checks for those coming into the Schengen area (whether your final destination is Switzerland or another country within Schengen). As a holder of an Irish resident permit (I'm assuming), you would need a Schengen visa to travel within the Schengen area on your own, but it seems like you would not need it when traveling with your EU partner within EU countries (e.g, to Greece, through Germany). However, because you came into a non-EU country that was part of Schengen, you apparently needed a visa, because your permit is not on Annex 22.

I know, it's so fun, right?
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Old 09.10.2012, 02:48
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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Oh, and the 90 franks fee was for the issuing of a Schengen visa on arrival. The 650franks fine was for overstaying the visa.

The advice to fly over Germany in my opinion is totally valid. Then you don't need a visa, and are not limited on how long your holiday is as you are wholly within the EU, where you have free travel rights.

The rules are clear (although complicated) and whilst you may have been met with confusion, did you clearly present your photo ID that showed your residency for Ireland ? I suspect the confusion was the biggest stress... the authorities are required to issue a visa on arrival, with minimal fuss, but as they can only issue up to 30 days, they needed to inform you that you would be technically overstaying based on the travel itinerary that you presented.

Did you enquire to the swiss consulate general in Ireland ? They are the relevant authority for the visa problem, and they could have issued you a Shengen visa with minimal fuss. They would also probably have issued a longer visa up-front to match your travel plans.
Thank you Swisspea, but I only need a visa for exactly 16 days and I did present my ID, my partner's passport ( he was with me), My residence / EUFAm Card, and a copy of the link I posted :
http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/dam/...immungen-e.pdf
And yes, I inquired from the Swiss Embassy in London, as well as the Austrian Embassy, who handles Visa matters for Swiss in Ireland, prior to leaving, as there currently is not a Swiss Embassy here in Dublin.
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  #43  
Old 09.10.2012, 02:55
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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From what I am understanding, you came in from Ireland, which is outside the Shengen agreement area. You then wanted to go to Greece, which is inside the Schengen agreement, and when you transited in Switzerland, it was the first entry point to the Schengen area, and you were subject to passport controls at that point. Unfortunately, Switzerland has harsher rules than other countries when it comes to EU nationals, because Switzerland is not in the EU.

As the problem arose in Switzerland, your best source of information regarding the regulations and where you went wrong (or not) would be either the Swiss consulate general in Ireland, or the Irish embassy in Switzerland.

As a South African national, you definitely need a visa to enter Switzerland under normal tourist conditions.

Irish citizens don't need a visa to enter Switzerland.

Irish residents (spouse, family) need a Shengen visa to be able to enter Switzerland.

The full information is here:
http://www.ejpd.admin.ch/content/ejp...21.html#a_0021

Under section 2:

"I have a residence permit for GB/ Ireland/ USA/ Canada – do I require a visa for Switzerland/Schengen?

Since the Schengen Agreement came into force on 12 December 2008, persons holding a residence permit from Great Britain, Ireland, Canada or a Green Card from the USA require a visa to enter Switzerland / Schengen area. Applications for a Schengen visa can now also be submitted to a Swiss Embassy.
For details, contact the Swiss Embassy responsible for the area in which you live:
Swiss representations"



Now you have a second problem....overstaying your Schengen visa... you did this knowingly, and against the advice of the issuing officer. Now it's likely you have a record, and may be blocked from entering the Schengen area again. This is a bigger problem. It might have been possible to get your visa extended by the swiss consulate general in Greece, at the time, if you had asked. You might also have been able to get a visa for transit purposes, from the swiss consulate general in Greece, if you had explained your situation.

Oh but I went to the Greece Immigration Police straight away. They advised me that since I dont need a visa to enter Greece, there is nothing they could do + the officers definitely made a mistake when he indicated on the visa endorsed in my passport that I had only to stay 5 days in Schengen, whereas, I showed him all my flight tickets - I showed him that my return date was exactly 16 days after the 19th of September. He said that he would give me a 15 day visa, but instead, mistakenly typed '5 days' into the duration field. I contacted the Swiss Embassy in Athens, who on the other hand told me that I did not need a visa to transit through Zurich en route Athens. And I was told the same by the Swiss and Austrian Embassies before I left Ireland. ( Austrian Embassy handling Visa queries and applications on behalf of Swiss in Ireland.)
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  #44  
Old 09.10.2012, 02:57
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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Oh but I went to the Greece Immigration Police straight away. They advised me that since I dont need a visa to enter Greece, there is nothing they could do + the officers definitely made a mistake when he indicated on the visa endorsed in my passport that I had only to stay 5 days in Schengen, whereas, I showed him all my flight tickets - I showed him that my return date was exactly 16 days after the 19th of September. He said that he would give me a 15 day visa, but instead, mistakenly typed '5 days' into the duration field. I contacted the Swiss Embassy in Athens, who on the other hand told me that I did not need a visa to transit through Zurich en route Athens. And I was told the same by the Swiss and Austrian Embassies before I left Ireland. ( Austrian Embassy handling Visa queries and applications on behalf of Swiss in Ireland.)
Also, note, that the Greek Immigration Police could not extend a Visa that they could not endorse into my passport, as I do not need a visa for Greece, due to the EUFAm card.
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  #45  
Old 09.10.2012, 13:09
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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Oh but I went to the Greece Immigration Police straight away. They advised me that since I dont need a visa to enter Greece, there is nothing they could do + the officers definitely made a mistake when he indicated on the visa endorsed in my passport that I had only to stay 5 days in Schengen, whereas, I showed him all my flight tickets - I showed him that my return date was exactly 16 days after the 19th of September. He said that he would give me a 15 day visa, but instead, mistakenly typed '5 days' into the duration field. I contacted the Swiss Embassy in Athens, who on the other hand told me that I did not need a visa to transit through Zurich en route Athens. And I was told the same by the Swiss and Austrian Embassies before I left Ireland. ( Austrian Embassy handling Visa queries and applications on behalf of Swiss in Ireland.)
Right, but you need a visa to enter Switzerland and your flight left out of the Swiss sector of the airport. You need to call the embassy back and tell them that part of the story and see what they say.

The Greeks can't do anything about immigration decisions to Switzerland. So of course they are not going to say anything.
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  #46  
Old 09.10.2012, 13:40
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

Just a question just around the topic. If my wife has a tourist visa and if she applies for Dependendent visa, does the tourish visa get void?

Or else is it possible to travel to Swiss through tourist visa during the processing perio of dependent visa?
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  #47  
Old 09.10.2012, 13:52
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

I think I would be writing a complaint to the swiss embassy/consulate general in Ireland or the UK, as they are the ones who should be 'clear' about their own protocols.

It's important, however, to point out that the problem arises not because of your "Irish" status, but your 'South African' status - and if you didn't tell the consulate staff that you are travelling on a South African passport with an Irish residency permit, then they might not give you the right answer.

I wonder if Zurich airport is the only place where this problem could arise, and possibly because of the new renovations which clearly separate the 'International' and the 'Schengen' areas of the airport, but a traveller may not realise they are going to cross this 'magic' border, which doesn't exist anywhere else...except maybe Geneva ?
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  #48  
Old 09.10.2012, 14:09
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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I have spoken to a lady at the Swiss Embassy this morning, who advised me that I do not need a transit Visa for Switzerland. I also spoke to a lady in the Swiss visa section who was very rude and told me to contact border control, where I spoke to Miljanovic, who told me that its best if I fly over Germany, where I wont have problems, its best not to transit over Zurich Switzerland.
Mmm so you were told not to... and did it anyway, had trouble and now aren't happy.... or did I miss something.
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  #49  
Old 09.10.2012, 14:14
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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I think I would be writing a complaint to the swiss embassy/consulate general in Ireland or the UK, as they are the ones who should be 'clear' about their own protocols.

It's important, however, to point out that the problem arises not because of your "Irish" status, but your 'South African' status - and if you didn't tell the consulate staff that you are travelling on a South African passport with an Irish residency permit, then they might not give you the right answer.

I wonder if Zurich airport is the only place where this problem could arise, and possibly because of the new renovations which clearly separate the 'International' and the 'Schengen' areas of the airport, but a traveller may not realise they are going to cross this 'magic' border, which doesn't exist anywhere else...except maybe Geneva ?
I don't know if this magic border exists inside the Geneva airport had the OP flown in from non-Schengan then out to Schengan.

I do know that sometimes you can fly from "Geneva" but actually be in France. The French and the Swiss parts are separated. You have to go in through a different part of the airport as they are not connected. I think though this is only to flights from "Geneva" to France. So you'd go through the French border in Geneva instead of at your destination.

I do wonder if this clear separation in Zurich is new or if they changed the configuration and the authorities don't realize the way it's set up now could cause such a problem.

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Mmm so you were told not to... and did it anyway, had trouble and now aren't happy.... or did I miss something.
Nice catch!
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  #50  
Old 09.10.2012, 15:41
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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I don't know if this magic border exists inside the Geneva airport had the OP flown in from non-Schengan then out to Schengan.

I do wonder if this clear separation in Zurich is new or if they changed the configuration and the authorities don't realize the way it's set up now could cause such a problem.
The separation Schengen/International is in force since end of March 2009.
You may find the same situation and problems at the Oslo Airport an other Schengen but non-EU airport.

You may find a list of Schengen (white) and International (yellow) destination at the Zurich Airport website. This leaflet also mention "When proceeding from the non-Schengen area into the Schengen area, you will have to go through passport control. You will only be allowed access with valid entry permits."

I do not know how the OP possed the question regarding visa to the embassy, but this example should give you the right answer.

Hi My name is Gingles, I am a South African (important information) national and have a EU Fam visa (exact designation as printed on visa) issued by the Republic of Ireland (very important) valid until some date in the future. I indent to travel with my spouse from Dublin (Flight AL012) to Athens (Flight HA098) with a 8h stop over at Zurich Airport. Questions: a) Will my flight to Athens leave from the international transit or some other area of Zurich airport? b) Will I need a transit or any other visa if the flight leaves from the international area? c) Will I need a transit or any other visa if the flight leaves from any other area of Zurich Airport?

Answer should be:
a) Other area (Schengen area)
b) No.
c) Yes.
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  #51  
Old 09.10.2012, 15:46
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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Right, but you need a visa to enter Switzerland and your flight left out of the Swiss sector of the airport. You need to call the embassy back and tell them that part of the story and see what they say.

The Greeks can't do anything about immigration decisions to Switzerland. So of course they are not going to say anything.

I went to the Greek Immigration Police to ask if they could not extend the visa issued by the Swiss, which, after showing my return tickets and everything, they only gave me 5 days in the Schengen area. Yes, its unfortunate that I've already explained the same story many times to different people in the Embassy. I could not have known beforehand that the flight would leave from the Swiss side of the airport, and not needing a transit visa if I leave the Swiss side of the airport, as outlined in the document i got verified by the Swiss Embassy, makes matters worse. I have a ticket booked since before this fiasco at the border, to pass through the same route to Greece, because the ticket price was right for me. Now, if the Swiss Embassy tells me that i do not need a visa to transit and that they'll not endorse it in my passport, and on the other hand, immigration police waiting for me with a CHF650, then, I guess, I better just do as the man at the immigration office in Swiss advised - waste the ticket and never fly over Swiss again.
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  #52  
Old 09.10.2012, 15:48
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

A transit Visa, in my understanding, is not a visa for people who stay in the transit lounge - it is a visa to ultimately be able to board a connecting flight to somewhere else, and this includes passing through Swiss territory if it may.
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Old 09.10.2012, 16:00
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

Moreover, I had my connecting flights booked prior to arrival at the Swiss border, which is one of the requirements to be able to pass through or transit the Switzerland. And my total time before boarding the connecting flight in or outside of the Swiss border, could not and did not exceed 48 hours, as outlined in the following :

http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/dam/...immungen-e.pdf
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Old 09.10.2012, 16:03
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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I think I would be writing a complaint to the swiss embassy/consulate general in Ireland or the UK, as they are the ones who should be 'clear' about their own protocols.

It's important, however, to point out that the problem arises not because of your "Irish" status, but your 'South African' status - and if you didn't tell the consulate staff that you are travelling on a South African passport with an Irish residency permit, then they might not give you the right answer.

I wonder if Zurich airport is the only place where this problem could arise, and possibly because of the new renovations which clearly separate the 'International' and the 'Schengen' areas of the airport, but a traveller may not realise they are going to cross this 'magic' border, which doesn't exist anywhere else...except maybe Geneva ?

Why do you assume that I did not tell them that I am a South African National? Its a 'magic border' indeed!
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Old 09.10.2012, 16:04
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

The first question they asked me at the Embassy was what Nationality I am and on what passport i'm travelling.
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Old 09.10.2012, 16:08
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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The separation Schengen/International is in force since end of March 2009.
You may find the same situation and problems at the Oslo Airport an other Schengen but non-EU airport.

You may find a list of Schengen (white) and International (yellow) destination at the Zurich Airport website. This leaflet also mention "When proceeding from the non-Schengen area into the Schengen area, you will have to go through passport control. You will only be allowed access with valid entry permits."

I do not know how the OP possed the question regarding visa to the embassy, but this example should give you the right answer.

Hi My name is Gingles, I am a South African (important information) national and have a EU Fam visa (exact designation as printed on visa) issued by the Republic of Ireland (very important) valid until some date in the future. I indent to travel with my spouse from Dublin (Flight AL012) to Athens (Flight HA098) with a 8h stop over at Zurich Airport. Questions: a) Will my flight to Athens leave from the international transit or some other area of Zurich airport? b) Will I need a transit or any other visa if the flight leaves from the international area? c) Will I need a transit or any other visa if the flight leaves from any other area of Zurich Airport?

Answer should be:
a) Other area (Schengen area)
b) No.
c) Yes.

This is perfect, thank you. This will ultimately enable me to get some answer in writing. Lets just hope they accept it at the border, because they did not want to accept the printout of the pages of the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft. And they were quick to tell me that the people at the Embassy - 'whoever told you the wrong information' to quote the officer.
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Old 09.10.2012, 16:11
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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Mmm so you were told not to... and did it anyway, had trouble and now aren't happy.... or did I miss something.
Its complicated, I know, but I spoke to this lady on my return from the travels and I also spoke to a lady in the Embassy before my travels, who confirmed the same ie, i do not need a transit Visa, but was forced to pay for one and treated like a person in breach of the law.
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  #58  
Old 09.10.2012, 16:32
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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I went to the Greek Immigration Police to ask if they could not extend the visa issued by the Swiss, which, after showing my return tickets and everything, they only gave me 5 days in the Schengen area. Yes, its unfortunate that I've already explained the same story many times to different people in the Embassy. I could not have known beforehand that the flight would leave from the Swiss side of the airport, and not needing a transit visa if I leave the Swiss side of the airport, as outlined in the document i got verified by the Swiss Embassy, makes matters worse. I have a ticket booked since before this fiasco at the border, to pass through the same route to Greece, because the ticket price was right for me. Now, if the Swiss Embassy tells me that i do not need a visa to transit and that they'll not endorse it in my passport, and on the other hand, immigration police waiting for me with a CHF650, then, I guess, I better just do as the man at the immigration office in Swiss advised - waste the ticket and never fly over Swiss again.
One country can not extend or modify a visa issued by another country.

I don't think you don't need to waste the ticket. I think all you need is to get a Schengan visa.

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Its complicated, I know, but I spoke to this lady on my return from the travels and I also spoke to a lady in the Embassy before my travels, who confirmed the same ie, i do not need a transit Visa, but was forced to pay for one and treated like a person in breach of the law.
The Embassy person told you to talk to the border agent as they have the last word. What did the border agent tell you? If I were you I'd call them again and ask if you got a Schengan visa could you pass through to your flight to Greece.


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Its complicated, I know, but I spoke to this lady on my return from the travels and I also spoke to a lady in the Embassy before my travels, who confirmed the same ie, i do not need a transit Visa, but was forced to pay for one and treated like a person in breach of the law.
We've basically established that you don't need a transit visa to go non-Schengan to non-Schengan. But you do need on to go from non-Schengan to Schengan via Switzerland.
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  #59  
Old 09.10.2012, 16:47
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

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I do not have a mountain of money waiting to be spent on Charter flights.
Hi, usually charter flights are cheaper than Schedule flights, that is why I mentioned them. Also now days there are these extra charges for using airports and including another airport on route would usually incur extra costs. You took a flight with 8 hour stop over in Zurich, that I can only imagine was for the cost facture or you did not know about charter flights.

this link you quoted is in English
http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/dam/...immungen-e.pdf ,

shame you did not also have a print out in German as well, but I have no idea if it would have made a difference.

Slightly off subject here, but transiting in airports can have it complications. Back in Dec 84 or January 85, an Indian passport holder needed to change flights in USA, he was Ships crew. They would not allow him as no US Transit visa and put him on a flight to London, where our Shipping company had an office. Poor man was only wearing summer clothes including shorts. I loaned him a coat & he went to USA Embassy in London to get his visa, that he got, but even they were surprised what happened to him (it was just after the Bhopal disaster).

I am sympathetic to what happened to you, sorry to read it spoilt your holiday to Crete, where hopefully the weather was warmer than Ireland.
I have visited both islands a number of times.

all good wishes
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  #60  
Old 09.10.2012, 16:50
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Re: No-one giving correct information on Visa for EU FAM visa holder

I would have to agree, though I love Switzerland, and my transition here was pretty seamless...Sometimes it seems like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, i've gotten a lot of differentiating info from one official to the next.
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