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SWITZERLAND Visa Application


Before leaving for Switzerland, you must complete certain important formalities which you should begin as soon as you receive confirmation that you have been accepted by a Swiss university.

To do this, apply to the nearest diplomatic representative of Switzerland with your valid passport, your confirmation of acceptance, and all documents needed to demonstrate that you have financial means for studying in Switzerland.


On the questionnaire, describe your general program of studies and the length of time you expect to study in Switzerland. All subsequent changes to this program must be reported without delay to the appropriate authorities.

You must wait till you receive the student permit B visa.
Attention: Do not begin your studies with a tourist visa or you will encounter serious difficulties for the remainder of your stay.
Formalities to complete in Switzerland for all International students:
You must present yourself within ten days of arrival to the appropriate authorities in the town where you will be living.
After matriculating in the university, you must pay fees for the first semester. You will not be definitively registered until you have done this and received the receipt by post. With this receipt, you must visit the town authorities a second time to prove that you are officially registered in the university.


Residence permits are awarded to students who wish to study in Switzerland under the following conditions:

  • the applicant is coming to Switzerland alone;
  • the applicant wants to attend a university or some other institution of higher learning;
  • the program of studies is fixed;
  • the institution attests in writing that the applicant has been accepted for studies;
  • the applicant proves necessary financial means;
  • the applicant guarantees departure from Switzerland at the end of studies.
  • Upon arrival in Switzerland, you must present yourself to the authorities controlling foreigners in your place of residence with the following documents:
  • passport (with student visa, if required)
  • statement of arrival provided by the bureau of foreigners
  • student questionnaire provided by the bureau of foreigners
  • proof of acceptance from the school
  • 1 recent passport-style photo
  • proof of financial means for the duration of studies, or
  • proof of Swiss or foreign financial aid, with the amount indicated, or
  • guarantee from parents (form available from the bureau of foreigners). This must be completed by the father or mother, certified by local authorities, and accompanied by a permanent wire transfer order, or
  • guarantee from a third party (form available from the bureau of foreigners). The guarantor must live in Switzerland and prove sufficient financial means for the student’s upkeep. The guarantor’s signature must be notarized by the local authorities.

The request for a residence permit will not be processed until all documents are submitted. Cost of residence permit: for 1 semester $15-$22; for 2 semesters $18-$25


You are required to participate in a Swiss health insurance plan in order to study in Switzerland. However, for students participating in an exchange program like Erasmus or a bilateral agreement for a period not exceeding 12 months, it is possible to maintain health insurance from the place of origin, if it guarantees the same coverage. To benefit from this exception, you must contact the socio cultural affairs office of the university and submit an attestation of foreign insurance.

For all other cases, your university can provide advice on reliable insurance companies. This will cost around 200-300 CHF ($116-$174) monthly.
Note that students coming from countries where health risks exist may be asked to have a medical exam at the university infirmary.
When covered by Swiss health insurance, all medical costs are reimbursed (not including dental).