International Students – Entry and Residence

Information regarding entry into Switzerland and residence in the Canton of Zurich for students without Swiss nationality or a residence permit in Switzerland, who wish to study for a Bachelor’s, Master’s or doctoral degree.

Students who are coming to UZH on an exchange program are asked to contact the International Relations Office.

Do I Need a Visa?

1. EU / EFTA

Students who are citizens of an EU or EFTA country do not require a visa to enter Switzerland. A passport or identity card (ID) is sufficient.

2. Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore

Students who are citizens of Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand or Singapore do not require a visa to enter Switzerland. However, they are required to apply for a document that assures them of a residence permit (“Zusicherung zur Aufenthaltsbewilligung”). The documents to be submitted are the same as those required for a visa (see Guidelines for Students with Visa Requirements). All documents should be sent directly to the migrations office: Migration Office, Berninastrasse 45, POB, 8090 Zurich.

3. Non-EU/EFTA Countries

Students from a non EU/EFTA country must have a national “D” visa to enter Switzerland, which can be applied for at the relevant Swiss embassy or consulate general.
Please submit your visa application with all necessary documents at least three months before you plan to enter Switzerland.
Please Note: If you are a citizen of a non-EU/EFTA country, you still need a visa – even if you lived in a EU/EFTA country before starting your studies at UZH. A residence permit from a EU/EFTA country does not entitle you to a residence permit in Switzerland.
Further information and a list of the documents to be submitted can be found in our Guidelines for Students with Visa Requirements.

4. Information for Doctoral Candidates who are Citizens of a Non-EU/EFTA Country

Doctoral candidates who are employed at UZH usually do not have to submit their visa application themselves. Their institute/department at UZH will file for both the visa and the work permit. Please ask your institute at UZH regarding the corresponding procedure.
Doctoral candidates not employed at UZH must apply for a visa themselves.
Please note that you will have to submit the same documents as students in Master’s or Bachelor’s degree programs (see Guidelines for Students with Visa Requirements).

Further information and advice for doctoral candidates can be found on the website of the International Scholars Center (see Preparing Your Entrance Documents).

After entering Switzerland, all students must register at their place of residence within 14 days. Further information can be found under After Entering Switzerland.

§ Please note: The information given on this website is for information purposes only and holds no guarantee for complete accuracy. The regulations on which this information is based may have changed since these guidelines were last reviewed. For legally binding information, please consult the website of the Federal Office for Migration or contact the Swiss embassy in your country of origin.