Visa formalities

Visa formalities

Non-European students need to apply for a visa at the nearest Swiss Embassy at least three months prior to departure. A so-called "tourist visa" is not sufficient and cannot be changed into a student permit once a student has arrived in Switzerland.

Information for entry in Switzerland


Switzerland is not a member of the European Union. However, entry requirements have been simplified for European students.

Further information: Free Movement of  Persons Switzerland - EU/EFTA

As soon as application procedures at HEIG-VD are completed, the International Office issues a document that allows incoming students to apply for a visa. Plan on two to three months for the visa procedure prior to arrival in Switzerland.

Necessary documents

Any incoming student needs

  • a valid passport or picture ID
  • health insurance: European insurance card; for non-European students, HEIG-VD provides health insurance, financed by the student's grant
  • third-party liability risk insurance: HEIG-VD provides liability-insurance for non-European students, financed by the student's grant
  • proof of sufficient financial resources during his or her stay in Switzerland
  • a document stating that he or she has been accepted as an exchange student at HEIG-VD