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Old 27.11.2010, 13:53
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TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

Hello,

I came across your forum when searching the internet for information on transit without visa (TWOV) for Switzerland and am hoping someone reading this may have more of a clue than me!

The deal is: Im British and my husband is Egyptian and we live in Egypt. Next week we go on holiday to Morocco, the flights we booked are Sharm el Sheikh to Geneva and then the next morning Geneva to Marrakesh. Both flights are with easyjet. We have had big problems with getting my husbands transit visa as we live 900km from the Swiss Embassy, the first trip we made we were too early (more than three months) and the second (Embassy was closed for extended period over Eid) too late. We cannot get a transit visa for him in time so we are going to have to change our travel plans at great cost and hassle and we are traveling with our daughter who is a baby.

I was just about to book new flights via the UK as he has a long term visitors visa (5 years) for the UK. But then suddenly thought surely if my husband does not leave the airport and pass through immigration maybe he can sit the night out and my daughter and i can go to the hotel then at least we can fly together and it will save us a vast amount of money.

So just before i book all new flights does anyone have any experience of TWOV in Switzerland? The Swiss embassy in Cairo are shut today so i cannot call them until the morning, to be honest they were not at all helpful and asked my husband to leave when he asked to speak to someone more official so I am not holding out much hope of help from them. But does anyone know if anything such as TWOV exists in Switzerland or whether i should just give up with flying via Switzerland?!

Many thanks for any advice
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Old 27.11.2010, 15:27
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

Sophie, i would say change your flights via the UK it's less hassles,
I'm originally Egyptian and i know how Swiss Embassy are in Cairo, so damn bureaucratic, there is even more flights going out of gatewick anyway.

I never heard about TWOV in Switzerland, but i guess if there is, it would be only for long flights which have now other routes, ie. going to Oz or India via UK

P.S: How is Dahab nowadays, been like 6 years since i last been there, old Sharmer i am
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Old 27.11.2010, 15:36
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

Movwitch - Thank you thats all I needed, just confirmation i have not missed anything screamingly obvious! I will change the flights to save the holiday, these things happen. I have to say though the Swiss Embassy is one of the worst we have dealt with, I made an appointment and visited first as i was in Cairo on business and as Dahab is a long way away these trips are valuable(!) and I can honestly say the way i was treated was terrible. I then return home swapped places with my husband to look after our daughter and he went back. I have been with my husband many years and we have done many visas but this is one of the first times we have been made to feel so unwelcome, I was spoken to by a Swiss official as if i was dirt and that the questions i was asking were stupid.
Any visits to Switzerland will have to wait until we are permanent UK residents and this is no longer and issue. Thanks again.
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Old 27.11.2010, 15:46
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

I totally understand the point about the Swiss embassy in Cairo, they did actually refuse my visa 6 years ago (based on an approved invitation by authorities in Bern and my wife who is Swiss, she was even with me) and then again, they refuse to even speak to me when i lost my permit in cairo in 2006, i had to wait for 2 months to get back to my wife and kid......bloody arrogant guys there.
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Old 27.11.2010, 17:48
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

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Movwitch - Thank you thats all I needed, just confirmation i have not missed anything screamingly obvious! I will change the flights to save the holiday, these things happen. I have to say though the Swiss Embassy is one of the worst we have dealt with, I made an appointment and visited first as i was in Cairo on business and as Dahab is a long way away these trips are valuable(!) and I can honestly say the way i was treated was terrible. I then return home swapped places with my husband to look after our daughter and he went back. I have been with my husband many years and we have done many visas but this is one of the first times we have been made to feel so unwelcome, I was spoken to by a Swiss official as if i was dirt and that the questions i was asking were stupid.
Any visits to Switzerland will have to wait until we are permanent UK residents and this is no longer and issue. Thanks again.

Salut Sophie
You no not all Swiss are like that.

After a long search I think I have found what you were looking for http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/dam/...immungen-e.pdf
Don't get afraid of the link name, every thing should be in English.
I hope it helps.
From what I have read, the problem could be that you cannot check your luggage in through to your destination.
The luggage pickup in Geneva is outside the transit area.
If Easyjet can send your luggage through, without that you must check it in again in Geneva? Then it should be no problem.
Lots of luck.
Salut Zämma
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Old 27.11.2010, 18:08
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

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I totally understand the point about the Swiss embassy in Cairo, they did actually refuse my visa 6 years ago (based on an approved invitation by authorities in Bern and my wife who is Swiss, she was even with me) and then again, they refuse to even speak to me when i lost my permit in cairo in 2006, i had to wait for 2 months to get back to my wife and kid......bloody arrogant guys there.
One should file a complaint to the Dpt. of foreign affairs about the arrogance of swiss embassy in cairo.
By the way, I had to deal with the egyptian embassy in bern for business...one of the worst experience in my life in terms of bureaucracy.
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Old 27.11.2010, 18:10
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

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One should file a complaint to the Dpt. of foreign affairs about the arrogance of swiss embassy in cairo.
By the way, I had to deal with the egyptian embassy in bern for business...one of the worst experience in my life in terms of bureaucracy.
Yeah, it's true about the Egyptian embassy too, i have never been and don't even wanna approach there in the near future unless i'm forced to do it.
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Old 27.11.2010, 19:10
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

Thank you all, I really appreciate you taking the time to post. Mowvich - Sorry, i didn't see the whole of your first post - all is good in Dahab! I have been here ten years so i guess i'm a bit of an old timer too! I still love it but things are changing, we will move back to Europe one day if only for schooling as there are still not many options here. Saying that its still my little piece of paradise at the moment!
MrVertigo - I mean no disrespect to any Swiss individual, I just found the Swiss embassy in Cairo very hard to deal with. You are not wrong about Egyptian embassies too, I don't like them much either - the bureaucracy is a nightmare although the Egyptian embassy in London is quicker at getting paperwork done than the Mogamma in Cairo!
Regards to all.
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Old 27.11.2010, 19:12
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

....and Big Mara, thank you too, It was very nice of you to send a link. Kind regards
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Old 27.11.2010, 21:20
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

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I have to say though the Swiss Embassy is one of the worst we have dealt with, I made an appointment and visited first as i was in Cairo on business and as Dahab is a long way away these trips are valuable(!) and I can honestly say the way i was treated was terrible.
YMMV, I was in Cairo on business years ago when the Sheraton Heliopolis burnt down. I lost my passport and went to the British embassy the next day. As my travellers cheques were also in the room, I had very little cash. The embassy would not give me a passport unless I was able to pay for it. They were also being difficult because my passport had been issued in Geneva and they needed to have it confirmed. They said I should go back at 4pm and maybe they would have an answer. They did not inspire confidence so I went to the Swiss Embassy. What a difference:

Do you have somewhere to sleep?
Did you seen any other Swiss at the hotel who you know were ok?
Can we give you something to eat and drink?
We understand that you entered Egypt with your UK passport, but we can still help you.
No money? No problem. We'll give you a pay in slip.

They gave me a passport and told me to meet their guy at 6pm at the immigration authorities to get the necessary stamps.

I went back the to the British Embassy and, having been loaned some money by a friend they gave me a passport and told me to meet their guy (along with about 10 other people in the same situation) at the immigration authorities at 6pm.

I went to the meeting point and the Swiss Embassy guy was punctual, so I went with him. Having entered on my UK passport he suggested that I get the stamps in my UK passport, not the Swiss one. And yes, of course he would still help me. He must have greased some palms because people who were on breaks suddenly appeared. I was in and out of that place in less than 45 minutes.

Next day flying back to London I was seated next to someone who I recognised from the British Embassy and ask him how things had gone. He said that the guy turned up 1 1/2 hours late and that the Egyptians had been stubborn and that they had been at the authorities until well past midnight.

If I was in a pinch anywhere, I have no doubt that the Swiss Embassy would be my first port of call.
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Old 22.01.2011, 18:23
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Re: TWOV - Transit without visa. Urgent please help.

Hello All,

I want to thank everyone who send me a response to this post and to also give a quick update of what happened in our case. We travelled without visa in December and were greated by authorities at Geneva airport who were helpful and polite. My husband had no problem taking the TWOV option, the authorities allowed him to stay within transit at the airport, It abviously didn't happen that often as they were not very well equiped for it and he was left alone (with the exception of an Indian guy claiming asylum who had been there a couple of weeks) in a large empty part of the airport. He was treated very well and provided with food and drinks from our airline. Our only complaint would be again towards the very unhelpful staff at the Swiss Embassy in Cairo who provided us with no help or advice. On arrival in Geneva the police asked us if we had a copy of our marriage licence, unfortunately we did not have a copy of the UK one, we only had a copy of the Egyptian marriage licence. The police said that had we been able to provide a valid marriage licence they would have been able to release my husband to spend the night in our booked hotel before our onward travel the next morning. Had we have been given this kind of information from the embassy it would have made our travelling much easier and more comfortable, but instead I had to rely on advice from people like yourselves and travelling with a young child this made it unneccesarily stressful!

Many thanks to you all again and kind regards.
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