Entry (student visa)

Doing an exchange proramme or regular studies abroad brings many advantages. Not least of all, it makes you more attractive on the job market. However, it also requires thorough preparation. Start planning well in advance.


Before you can start your studies in Switzerland, you have to make various arrangements with regard to accommodation, entry and residence. The conditions depend on our country of origin/nationality. Get information on the entry formalities in due time and make the necessary arrangements.


To enter Switzerland, foreign citizens need a valid travel document, officially recognised by Switzerland. In some cases, a visa is also required. In addition to this, exchange students need to apply for a residence permit and get health insurance before they begin their studies.


Entry requirements 

Contact the nearest Swiss embassy or consulate for specific information. You can find general information on the website of the Bundesamt für Migration (Federal Office for Migration):


Swiss embassies and consulates

An overview of the passport and visa regulations according to nationality

Federal Office for Migration (general information)

Federal Office for Migration - FAQ


Student visas

Students from a EU or EFTA member country do not need a visa to enter Switzerland. 

Citizens of most other countries need to apply for a visa for entry and residence in Switzerland, regardless of how long their stay will be. Apply for your visa at least four months before the start of your studies at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country.


IMPORTANT: A tourist visa DOES NOT allow you to pursue studies in Switzerland. 


Citizens of a country who do not require a visa for Switzerland (such as Bulgaria and Rumania) are strongly advised to apply for an assurance of a residence permit before entering Switzerland. Apply for this assurance at least three months before the start of your studies at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country.