Third country visitors can travel to Switzerland by land with Schengen visaDecember 13th, 2008 - 9:22 am ICT by IANS
Brussels, Dec 13 (IANS)The European Union Friday welcomed Switzerland to the Schengen area, the zone of open borders.As from Dec 12, land border controls between Switzerland and the 24 European countries currently making up the Schengen area have been lifted. Air border controls are expected to be lifted in March 2009. EUAsia News reported.
Following the enlargement of the Schengen area to include nine new EU members (Estonia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) on Dec 21 last year, Switzerland now is celebrating its accession.
For bona fide travellers, moving between the existing Schengen members and Switzerland will be faster and easier.
Third-country nationals will be able to travel carrying a single Schengen visa and will no longer need separate national visas, said the European Commission in a statement.
“Today marks an important step forward in relations between the EU and Switzerland. I am glad that citizens of the EU and of Switzerland can benefit from the border-free area, which today embraces its 25th member,” commented Jacques Barrot, EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security.