Student Visa for Switzerland – Process, Documents, Costs

Student Visa for Switzerland

Depending on the nationality of the international students, they are required to apply for a student visa for Switzerland.

Many international students who want to pursue higher education overseas prefer studying in Switzerland. This is especially true given that Switzerland not only offers top-notch education but also scores highly on measures of student comfort, satisfaction, and general happiness.

In this blog, we have covered all the details about the details for student visas for Switzerland including the process, duration and so much more. 

Key Takeaways:

  • There are two intakes in Switzerland every year. One happens during fall and the other during spring.
  • There are two types of student visas for Switzerland which are C-type visa and D-type visa.
  • Documents submitted by the applicants should include application forms in German, French, Italian, or Spanish.
  • The application process of student visa for Switzerland is quite simple and includes very few steps.
  • The Switzerland student visa is valid for about a year after which students will have to apply for an extension.
  • International students can work for fifteen hours a week in a part-time job on a student visa in Switzerland.

Intakes in Switzerland:

Switzerland has 2 study intakes which are spring and fall. International students can choose between either intake depending on the university and program.

IntakesStudy ProgramAdmission deadlines
FallUndergraduate and PostgraduateJuly
SpringUndergraduate and PostgraduateApril

Switzerland study intakes for graduate and master’s degree courses are as follows. 

Higher Study OptionsDurationIntake MonthsDeadline to Apply
Bachelors3 – 4 YearsMultiple intakes throughout the year except Mar, June, and Dec6-8 months before the intake month
Masters (MS/MBA)1-2 YearsMultiple intakes throughout the year except Mar, June, and Dec6-8 months before the intake month

Types of students for Switzerland:

Student visa for Switzerland depends on the country of origin of the prospective students. The two types of study visa for Switzerland are:

1. C-type visa:

a temporary visa allows students to visit Switzerland for a certain amount of time. It can be applied to three-month (90-day) summer schools, seminars, or language programs.

2. D-type visa:

A permanent visa for individuals intending to work or study in Switzerland. A Schengen visa is issued to foreign students for one year, with the option of renewal.

Why should you apply for a Student Visa in Switzerland?

Many of Switzerland’s universities are among the best. It is among the top options available to students from abroad. International students studying in Swiss universities have numerous career and residency options. 

In Switzerland, there are numerous private and state-funded universities. International students can afford the cost of the course.

In Switzerland, students have two options for their education: vocational training or one of the many universities. In addition to various technical institutions offering practical training and awarding certificates and diplomas, universities also offer courses ranging from general education to applied sciences.

Switzerland features both private universities and institutions supported by the state. Both provide a selection of courses.

The application process for Student visa for Italy and Switzerland is extremely similar. This is because they are both located in Europe. 

What are the documents required for a student visa in Switzerland?

A Swiss student visa application requires you to fulfill specific requirements and provide the necessary paperwork. You must give each needed document in its original language and three translated versions into one of Switzerland’s official languages in this case, French, Italian, German, or Romansh.

The documents required for a Switzerland student visa are:

  • Completed and signed application forms in either German, French, Italian, English or Spanish.
  • A valid passport with at least 2 empty pages. The passport should be valid for at least three months after planning a leave from Switzerland.
  • Four passport-size photos were shot recently along with biometrics.
  • Proof of paid visa application fee.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds. This could include copies of bank statements or letters from the bank. 
  • Confirmation that the course fee for the first year has been paid.
  • Certificate of acceptance from the applied university.
  • A detailed study plan.
  • Copies of previous educational certificates and diplomas
  • Letter of motivation in one of the Swiss official languages.

What is the application for a Student visa for Switzerland?

You should submit an application for a student visa to Switzerland at the Swiss embassy in your nation. 

The application process for a student visa to Switzerland is very much the same as the application process for any other type of visa to Switzerland.

The following is the application process for a student visa to Switzerland:

  • Schedule a meeting at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your nation.
  • Download the application, complete it, and sign it. In certain instances, the application forms are available at the Swiss representative where the application is made.
  • Present the paperwork in person at the Swiss consulate or embassy.
  • Get the required Swiss student visa.
  • The Swiss delegation in your nation will forward your application for a student visa to the appropriate cantonal migration office in Switzerland after you have submitted it. The Swiss Consulate General will issue you a visa once the cantonal immigration authority has approved your application.

What should you do after you receive a Student Visa for Switzerland?

You can then enter Switzerland if you are granted a Swiss student visa.

You must register your arrival at the local resident’s registration office within 14 days of arriving in Switzerland, and you must attend the cantonal migration office where you plan to live to acquire your residence permit. The same holds true for citizens of nations excluded from the need for a long-stay Swiss visa.

You will require a B permit to reside in Switzerland as a student. You may not receive your B permit for up to eight weeks. You won’t be allowed to leave the country during that time, but you will get an attestation that permits you to open a Swiss bank account.

After you obtain it, your B permit will be a biometric card.

What is the duration of a Switzerland student visa?

A student visa to Switzerland, or more precisely the B permit which allows you to remain and pursue your studies, is initially only valid for a year. You can, however, prolong it if your studies take longer than that. 

If you would like to extend your Swiss student visa, you must present updated documentation of your income and financial status.

Furthermore, upon graduation, you are eligible to apply for a residency visa, which enables you to hunt for a long-term position in Switzerland. The six-month validity of this permit cannot be extended.

Applying for a six-month work permit can be done at the cantonal migration office in your community. You must offer evidence that you:

  • Have completed your course.
  • can sustain yourself financially while visiting.
  • Obtain a place to reside.

Can students work with a Switzerland student visa?

As a student, you are only permitted to work fifteen hours a week in part-time employment. It is possible to work full-time over the holidays. But you can’t begin working until after you’ve been in Switzerland for six months, and your employer needs to get a work visa for you.

For the six months following your graduation, when you are searching for a full-time, permanent job, the same work regulations are applicable.

Top courses in Switzerland for international students:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Hotel and hospitality management
  • Business management
  • Sustainability management
  • International law
  • Quantitative and systems biology
  • Banking and Finance
  • Applied mathematics
  • Interdisciplinary sciences
  • Social media marketing

What is the cost of studying in Switzerland?

The price of attending a university or course in Switzerland varies. When compared to private institutions, the tuition at public universities is more reasonable. 

Tuition and living costs are included in the cost of education. The cost of living might vary from 2000 to 5000 CHF, based on the type of housing, medical care, and other amenities you utilize.

Degree TypeAverage Tuition Fee per Semester
Bachelors700-6,500 CHF
Masters700-6,000 CHF

What is the processing time for a Student visa in Switzerland?

Student visas for Switzerland are usually issued within 1 to 4 months for most nationalities. If all the paperwork is in order, getting the visa doesn’t take long. To obtain the visa on schedule, make sure all the paperwork is exact.

What to do if your Switzerland visa is rejected?

If your incomplete application resulted in the rejection of your Swiss student visa, your best option is to reapply, making sure to include all the necessary information this time. 

Since there are no refunds for visa application payments, make sure you have included all necessary information before submitting it.

Within 30 days of learning the result, you have the option to file an appeal if your visa is denied but you disagree with the ruling. You have to respond in writing, providing evidence to support your claim that your visa shouldn’t have been denied.

Scholarships in Switzerland for international students:

Name of ScholarshipAmount (Per Year)
ETH Zurich Excellence Master’s ScholarshipsUp to 12,000 CHF
University of Lausanne Master’s Grants for Foreign StudentsUp to 19,200 CHF
Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship for International StudentsUp to 10,332 CHF
EPFL Excellence Fellowships for Master’s StudentsUp to 16,000 CHF
Graduate Institute Geneva ScholarshipsUp to 20,000 CHF
European Mobility for Higher Education: Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) / ERASMUSUp to 5,280 CHF
Franklin Honors Program AwardCHF 2,863 to CHF 9,545
The Ambassador Wilfried Geens United World Colleges (UWC) AwardUp to 2,862 CHF
Excellence Scholarships of the University of St. GallenUp to 18,756
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign StudentsUp to 111,000 CHF
Excellence FellowshipsUp to 10,000 CHF
Clarendon Fund Scholarships at the University of Oxford£17,668
University of Geneva Excellence Masters FellowshipsCHF 10,000- CHF 15,000

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much bank balance is required for a Switzerland student visa?

You must fulfill the financial conditions for a Switzerland student visa to be granted one. Before your training starts, you must have enough money in your personal bank account CHF 21,000 or USD 21,460.

2. How much does a Switzerland study visa cost?

The cost of a D study visa to Switzerland is CHF 88. Students must pay an additional fee if they require an expedited visa or one that is needed outside of business hours. Up to 50 euros more may be charged as a premium than the going rate.

3. Can I get a PR in Switzerland after studying?

You can apply for permanent residency in Switzerland after five years of continuous residence, as long as you have the necessary documentation. The following supporting documentation may be required for independent contractors, job seekers, employees, students, and retirees: The document proving one’s entry into the country.

4. Is IELTS mandatory for Switzerland?

The IELTS test is not required by most universities, thus taking it is optional. Thus, without taking the IELTS, an international student can study in Switzerland.


Switzerland is a part of the Schengen area, and to enter the country, one must get a Schengen visa if they are citizens of a non-EU or EFTS country. Internal border controls have been abolished in the European nations that make up the Schengen area. 

People are able to go about the region freely as a result. Switzerland, although not a member of the EU, also has border-centric immigration laws that foreign nationals must abide by.

The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) Switzerland requests that overseas applicants for study visas to Switzerland meet specific conditions. These are a few of the documents that can be used to validate a student’s identity and intent to study in Switzerland. 

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