Swiss entrance visa for studies
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.
Ask for an entrance visa 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 in your country to receive the student permit B visa.
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 foreign 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
- 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,
- 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
Cost of residence permit: for 1 semester $15-$22; for 2 semesters $18-$25
All foreign students with B permits must pay a residence tax, without
The lowest tariff possible is approximately $2.50 monthly, for a student
living in the same apartment as the landlord. In student dorms, the tax
would be the same.
All other students must pay around 7% of their monthly rent for residence
tax, which includes a community tax of 6% and a cantonal tax of 1%, approximately.
This applies to students who share an apartment with several others and
to anyone else not living in the same apartment as the landlord.
This amount is sometimes included in the rent.
Special foreign student statute
Confederation scholarships, Conventions of European exchange and mobility/SOCRATES-ERASMUS)
The students mentioned above are exempt from the residence tax upon presentation
of an attestation from the Sociocultural Affairs office.