Switzerland Study Visa: Documents Required & Process

study visa for switzerland

Switzerland has a large number of international students who come for advanced degrees. It is also famous for excellent research opportunities and its PhD courses. ETH Zurich, EPFL, University of Zurich, and the University of Geneva are some of the famous universities in Switzerland. 

International students will require a Switzerland study visa to study in these universities. A study visa also enables international students to take up part-time job opportunities.  

Switzerland is part of the Schengen area. A Schengen visa will give you the right to enter the country. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) looks at Switzerland’s visa and immigration procedures. 

Important Resources 

Why Do Student Visas Get Rejected | How to Check Visa Status

Types of Study Visa for Switzerland

There are two student visas for EU/EFTA and non-EU/EFTA students.

EU/EFTA is for European students, while non-EU/EFTA is for non-European students. European residents won’t require a visa. However, they need to register with their local authorities in the town. The registration should be within 14 days of arriving in Switzerland.

Study visa for Switzerland from India

If you want a study visa for Switzerland from India, you will have to follow procedures as a non-EU/EFTA student.

Type of study visas for Switzerland for Indian students

There are two types of study visas which Indian students get for studying in Switzerland. The duration of the studies determines the type of visa. The following are the types of visas offered: 

1. C Visa is a short-stay visa: 

It will allow its recipient to reside in Switzerland for a short study period. The C visa is for students who want to study for up to three months. Students who wish to go to summer schools, language schools, and seminars can apply for a C visa.

2. D Visa is a long-stay visa:

The type of visa is for students looking to study, work, or reside in Switzerland. The authorities grant a visa called ‘Schengen visa’ to international students. It is for one year with the possibility of extension.

How to Apply for a Study Visa for Switzerland from India

Non-EU/EFTA students should apply for a visa at the Swiss embassy or consulate in their home country, i.e., India. You should make an appointment with the embassy or consulate. The authorities recommend taking this appointment six months before starting your study program as the procedure takes time.

The processing time for the visas are as follows:

1. Short-stay visas- 10 to 15 days

2. Long-stay visas- 8 to 10 weeks

Along with this, they may need to pass a language test. Swiss authorities organize this test to ensure students can follow lessons at Swiss universities. The test can be oral, written, or in the form of an interview.

Swiss universities accept the following English language tests:

1. TOEFL iBT

2. IELTS Academic

3. PTE Academic

After passing the test, the student needs to apply for a saying permit. The Swiss representative office will send the application and the documents and proof of language skills to the Migration Office of the Canton of Zürich. 

Documents and Switzerland Study Visa Requirements

While applying for a visa at the Swiss embassy or consulate in India, the process requires you to submit the following documents: 

1. A certificate from the university, organization, or institution you will attend.

2. Proof of payment. The document will include institution fees and support or subsidies during studies.

3. A written commitment document is required stating that the student will leave Switzerland after completing the program.

4. These documents have to be in the English, German, or French language.

You can get certified translation of documents if they are in any other language.

1. Completed and signed application forms in either English, German, French, Italian, or Spanish. There are three forms to be filled out and signed.

2. Four passport-size photographs and biometrics.

3. A valid passport with two or more empty pages. The passport must be valid at least three months after you plan to leave Switzerland.

4. The letter of acceptance from a Swiss institution.

5. Payment proof of the visa application fee.

6. Proof of scholarship or loan. Letter from the institution stating the same.

7. Copies of previous educational certificates.

8. CV/Resume.

9. Letter of motivation.

If you are younger than 18 years, there are additional Switzerland study visa requirements for Indian students. They are as follows:

1. Birth certificate

2. Application form signed by parents

3. Passport copies or certified identity of both parents

If someone other than the parents is accompanying, a notarized parental authorization is required. The document has to be signed by both parents.

If one parent has full custody, you’ll have to submit a family court order.

Cost of Switzerland Study Visa

The visa cost varies according to the country of the student. Switzerland’s study visa fee for a D visa is CHF 88 (INR 7,000 approx). If students need a visa outside of working hours or an expedited visa, they must pay a surcharge. The surcharge can be up to 50 euros (INR 4,200) higher than the standard price.

If you have applied for a D visa, you will require a residence permit at the cantonal migration office. You should take this permit within 90 days of your stay in Switzerland. If a student wants to stay beyond 90 days, the cost is approximately CHF 160 (INR 12,800).

After applying, you will get a B residence permit valid for one year. However, you can renew it multiple times. Also, you can extend your residence permit for up to six months after you complete your studies. The permission will allow you to look for a full-time job. During this period, you can work for 15 hours/week. However, you will have to submit the following documents to the Cantonal migration office:

1. Proof or a certificate that you have completed your studies.

2. Proof to show you can support yourself financially.

3. Proof that you can live in a suitable place.

A student can also apply for an extension of their residence permit if they wish to continue studying in Switzerland. But, this requires you to have an official offer from the institution. However, in this case, the extension period is two years.

Points to Note

1. If the authorities refuse your visa, you have the right to appeal where you applied.

2. You will face a fine or deportation and a ban on entering the Schengen Area if you overstay your visa. The ban will be for a specific period.

3. Schengen Area consists of 25 countries, and a Schengen visa will allow you to visit these countries.

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