Immigration with a visa

Main content

Please submit your visa application in person at the Swiss diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate general) at your place of residence at least three months before you plan to enter Switzerland.

The application must be supported by all of the documents listed in our “Guidelines for entering Switzerland for foreign students” (download: see box right). These guidelines have been prepared by ETH in cooperation with the Migration Office of the Canton of Zurich and satisfy the official requirements. Please note that should any one of the documents mentioned on this list be missing from your application, this can lead to delays of several weeks.

Should the Swiss representation at your place of residence request further documents, please enclose these as well. Some embassies require evidence of paid tuition fees. If this is the case, please hand in our letter regarding the payment of tuition fees at ETH Zurich (PDF, 374 KB). If you are a Master student, please also include with your application the separate cover sheet (PDF, 47 KB), which must be completed in full and signed, so as to prevent delays in processing.

Important information for entrance exam candidates requiring a visa:

Entrance exam candidates (Bachelor) requiring a visa should consult the special information sheet (PDF, 9 KB). Please note that it is usually not possible to start your studies in the year of the entrance exam!


A decision on your application for a student visa is taken once the application has been forwarded by the embassy or the consulate general to the relevant cantonal Migration Office in Switzerland. The Migration Office reserves the right to request additional documents and information. Please note that the decision taken by the Migration Office is irrespective of your admission to ETH Zurich. ETH Zurich is unable to influence this decision in any way.


The fee for a visa, valid for entry into Switzerland within three months of the issue date, is defined by the embassy in charge and has to be paid when you apply for the visa. Please note that this fee will not be refunded, even if your application for a visa is rejected for any reason.

The Migration Office of the Canton of Zurich will charge CHF 95 for accrediting the visa. Another fee of CHF 162 is due when you apply for your residence permit after immigration.


Please do not enter Switzerland under any circumstances on a tourist visa! A tourist visa may NOT be converted into a residence permit once you have entered Switzerland!

Please note: The information on this page is meant for information purposes only. No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. The rules and regulations may have changed in the meantime. For legally binding information please contact the website of the Swiss Federal Office for Migration or ask at the Swiss diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate general) at your place of residence.

Page URL:
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich