Switzerland is a prime destination in Europe for studies, quality of life and entertainment. The bilingual country is located in the centre of Europe; it is characterized by urban cities, snowy mountains, lakes, beautiful landscapes, and a major financial hub for after-school opportunities. The most popular locations for international students include Zürich, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, and Bern.
Swiss universities offer a very high standard of education and comparatively low tuition fees in bachelor, master, and doctoral degree levels respectively.
For a detailed article on some of the best schools and application processes in Switzerland, click here.
As a Nigerian international student looking to study in Switzerland, you’ll need to apply for a student visa from the Swiss embassy before traveling to Switzerland at least. The Swiss student visa is issued to visa applicants who intend to undertake studies, language courses or vocational training from an accredited university or institute in Switzerland. For short courses of less than 90 days, you’ll need a short-term Schengen C visa, while for courses of more than 90 days, a national D visa and a residence permit will be required for travel. Residence permits are issued by the Cantonal Migration Offices. A distinction is made between short-term residence permits (less than one year), annual residence permits (limited) and permanent residence permits (unlimited).
Here’s how to process your student visa application for Switzerland from Nigeria
Swiss visa application for a long-term D visa, documents will include:
- Three Visa Type D application form, duly completed and signed. Click here for English/German and here for English/French
- Four identical passport photographs in dimensions of 35 – 40 mm, in colour, full face capture, white background, no wigs, glasses, etc
- An international passport with 12 months validity and two blank leaflets at the back. You can process your international passport at your nearest immigration office. Click here for our article on how to process your international passport
- Two copies of passport pages listing past travel history i.e. valid visas to Schengen, UK and US, or any visa refusal letter
- Two copies of international passport bio data pages
- Original and two copies of proof of adequate financial resources to cover your costs while you’re in Switzerland, whether yourself, parents or a sponsor, such as copies of bank statements (6 months duration) or a letter from the bank.
- Proof of healthcare insurance which includes cover medical costs of up to €30,000. Click here for our article on where to get your travel insurance
- Original and two copies of birth certificate
- Original confirmation of enrollment at a recognized Swiss educational institution, inclusive of two copies
- Original confirmation of course tuition fees paid, inclusive of two copies
- Original certificate of English language proficiency test and two copies, i.e. IELTS, TOEFL
- Two copies of Curriculum Vitae
- Motivation letter outlining why you want to come to Switzerland to study and how this will be beneficial to your career
- Original and two copies of previous educational certificates and diplomas
- A signed statement letter confirming that you will leave Switzerland at the end of the course
- Receipt of visa application fee of N22, 200, this is paid at the teller counter of the embassy, application processing fees may be charged. Note that this fee is non-refundable
- Biometric data such as fingerprints scan and facial image will be taken at the Switzerland embassy, this will be stored in the Visa Information System for five years
Visa Application Processing
Visa applicants to Switzerland need an appointment at least one week ahead in order to submit their visa application. Appointments should be booked immediately after receiving your conditional offer of admission into a Swiss university. Applications should be submitted as early as 10 weeks – 6 months before travel date. You can get an appointment from the embassy by sending an e-mail to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the embassy from Mondays to Thursdays between 14:00PM and 15:00PM, at the phone number +234 810 071 8141. While setting up the appointment, you must provide following information:
- Nature of travel i.e. studies
- Your complete name
- Telephone number
- Passport number
- E-Mail address
- Planned arrival date and travel itinerary in Switzerland.
Your appointment will be fixed with the embassy from Monday to Thursday between 09:00AM and 11:00AM. On your appointment day you will be required to arrive at least 10 minutes in advance, show your passport to the doorman in for him to verify your name is on the list.
Endeavor to have your form ready, fully completed and duly signed, with all the necessary documents, photocopies and photos, in accordance with the Switzerland visa rules. An incomplete application usually requires a new appointment. The visa procedure takes 8 – 12 weeks from the date of your application acceptance to process; a receipt ticket will be given to you which will be required for passport collection.
Switzerland Passport collection
The collection of passports is possible Monday to Thursday between 14:00PM/14:30PM and on Friday between 10:30AM/11:00AM, no appointment needed.
You must register your arrival and arrange to get your residence permit from the cantonal migration offices 14 days after your arrival in Switzerland. While you are waiting for your B permit (which may take some weeks), you’ll be given attestation that will allow you to open a bank account but won’t allow you to leave the country. You’ll be issued with a permit B in the form of a biometric card. It’s valid for a year and renewable.
Note: If you will like to read various posts on top schools, visas and immigration like this, especially on Traveling to foreign countries such as Tourism, Education, Visiting and Permanent Visa and Immigration to USA, UK, Australia, Europe including France, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, please subscribe to our newsletter below. We will send you updates any time there’s a new post. We promise it is 100% spam free!