Depending on your country of origin, you may need to apply for a visa to study in Switzerland. Check the visa requirements for your country on this page: Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality.

If you need a visa

  1. The visa (visa D for a long stay visa – more than 3 months) must be requested from the Swiss representation (embassy or consulate) closest to your home abroad. The visa application must be submitted at least 3 months prior to the start of your planned studies using the form available on your country on the previous link.
  2. A tourist visa is only valid for 3 months and cannot be converted into a student permit after your arrival in Switzerland.
  3. The visa allows you to enter into Switzerland, this is why it has a limited period. The residence permit, which you will have to ask for at your arrival in Switzerland will allow you to stay in Switzerland.
  4. Request a multiple entry visa to avoid having to repeat the procedure if you have to leave the country for any reason during its validity, i.e. during around 3 months (conference abroad, urgent trip to go home etc…). the residence permit you will receive after your arrival, will allow you to go back home and to travel in the schengen area without asking a new visa.
  5. To ensure that the process is carried out as efficiently and rapidly as possible, you are requested to submit with the visa application the form: Application for a Temporary Residence Permit for Study Purposes in the Canton of Vaud (pdf form). If you do not give this document at that moment, it will be requested on a later stage and it will therefore make the process longer. Please read this document carefully and enclose all the requested documents so that your application can be dealt with as quickly as possible.
  6. Be aware that the Service de la Population may release a visa at earliest for the Saturday preceding the Welcome day. Do not ask for an entry before this date as you will not get it and book your tickets accordingly.

Fulfilling all the conditions does not necessarily mean that a visa will automatically be issued. In any case, the criteria of the competent Federal and Cantonal authorities must be adhered to.