Switzerland study visa

If you wish to study in Switzerland, the country has a combination of state-funded institutes and private universities. Both offer a range of courses. You should apply for a Switzerland student visa if you wish to study here.

If you choose to study a short course or a language program, you will need a short-term visa (up to 90 days, Schengen visa). A short-term visa application can be submitted online.

If you choose to study full-time, a long-term visa (over 90 days, National visa) is required. A long-term visa application must be submitted in person at a Swiss embassy or consulate in your country.

The residency permit is valid for one year or for the duration of your studies. You can renew your permit until you complete your studies.

Eligibility requirements for Switzerland student visa
  • For a bachelor’s level course, a Swiss maturity certificate or a university qualifying secondary education certificate if you are applying from outside. This must be recognized by the university you are applying for
  • For master’s program a bachelor’s degree is required
  • Proficiency in the language of instruction which is usually English
  • Some universities may ask for a TOEFL certificate


Documents required for Switzerland study visa
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of having the required financial resources to cover your living expenses during your course of study
  • Health insurance policy that also covers accidents
  • Study plan which describes the general purpose of your studies
  • Certificate of acceptance from the educational institution in Switzerland
  • Details of tuition fee payments or any scholarships
  • Confirmation that you will leave Switzerland once you finish your studies
Language requirements

For a Swiss visa, there are no clear language requirements. On the other hand, when applying to universities, you will be required to have proof of language proficiency.

The following are the most popular English language exams approved by Swiss universities:

IELTS Academic


PTE Academic

Working while studying

You can work on a student visa during your studies. During the semester, international students can work part-time for up to 15 hours a week, and during the holidays, they can work full-time. However, they can only start working six months after they begin their studies. A work permit must be applied for by the recruiting company/employer.

How do I apply for a Swiss long-term visa?

If you need a long-term visa, make an appointment with the Swiss embassy or consulate nearest you as soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the Swiss university. Make a visa interview appointment as early as six months before you intend to study in Switzerland, but no less than ten weeks before your departure.

What is the processing time for Switzerland study visa for more than 90 days’ stay?
The processing time is within 15 weeks in most cases.

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