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

, 03/11/2017

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.

Background

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.