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UMD: A Globally Connected University

Visa Guidelines - Switzerland

The guidelines below apply to students studying in Switzerland for a period of a semester up to one academic year. Contact your Education Abroad Regional Advisor if you have any questions.

Is a Visa Required for US Citizens?
  • Yes! US Passport Holders are required to apply for a long-term D visa in order to enter Switzerland 
  • If you are not a US passport holder, you can click here to see if you need a visa to enter Switzerland based on your nationality
  • Total approximate cost: $196 + an additional $163 for your on-site residence permit. 

Part I

Schedule an appointment at the Swiss visa desk at the Swiss Embassy, and come prepared with the following documents: 
  • Cover sheet for visa application
  • National (type D) visa application
  • Valid passport
  • Three recent photos for passport use 
  • Confirmation of admission to a Swiss university
  • Resume
  • Proof of high school diploma
  • A personal statement declaring a) why you want to study in Switzerland and b)your future plans after completing your studies
  • A written pledge to exit Switzerland at the conclusion of your studies
  • Proof of sufficient financial means
    • The Migration Office of the Canton of Zurich requires a confirmation from a Swiss-domiciled bank (foreign bank with a branch in Switzerland OR a Swiss bank with a branch in your home country) stating that you have access to the equivalent of CHF 21,000.- at the beginning of your studies. The account must be held in your own name and the currency must be Swiss francs, euros, or US dollars.
    • A list of all approved banks in Switzerland has been published by Finma: FINMA List of Authorised Banks and Securities Dealers
    • PLEASE NOTE: Even major international banks are not accepted if they do not have a branch in Switzerland.
    • Letters of support or bank statements from parents or relatives will not be accepted.


After entering Switzerland, students must register at the local Registration Office (Kreisburo) in their place of residence within 14 days, and apply for a residence permit. Bring the following documents: 
  1. Valid passport with visa
  2. Proof of matriculation
  3. (you will receive this confirmation from the Admissions Office after you matriculate)
  4. Rental agreement
  5. 40 Swiss francs- (registration fee)
  6. 142 Swiss francs- (fee for identification card)