In order to be able to live and study in Switzerland, students from countries subject to visa requirements must apply for a so-called National D Visa (for longer-term stays in Switzerland, i.e. in excess of 90 days) at the Embassy or Consulate of Switzerland in their country of residence at least three months before entering Switzerland.
In either case, all documents listed in our checklist must be enclosed with your application. It is in compliance with the requirements of the migration office of the Canton of Lucerne. Please note that failing to enclose a single document from this list may lead to weeks of delay. Should the Swiss representation in your country of residence require documents in addition to those on the list, we ask you to enclose these as well.
Your application for a student visa will be forwarded by the Swiss Embassy or Consulate General in your country of residence to the cantonal migration office in charge of the decision. The migration office reserves the right to request additional documents and information. Please note that the decision of the migration office is made independently of your admission to the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts has no authority to influence the decision relating to your visa. Without a National D Visa, you will not be able to enrol at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Students must remain in their country of residence until a visa decision has been made – specifically, they must not enter Switzerland on a tourist visa. Once in Switzerland, it will be impossible for them to have a tourist visa transformed into a student visa or to exchange one for the other.
The visa application fee is determined by the Swiss Embassy in your country of residence; it is generally around CHF 50 to 100 and due upon submission of the visa application. Please note that this fee is non-refundable even if your visa is refused. If the visa application is approved, the migration office of the Canton of Lucerne charges a fee of approximately CHF 100 for the authorisation of the Embassy/Consulate General to issue visas. An additional fee of approximately CHF 300 applies once you apply for your residence permit upon entry.
- Visa application form, duly completed, to be submitted with the nearest Swiss Embassy or Consulate General in your country of residence
- A confirmation or matriculation letter from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts containing the exact name of the chosen degree programme and its expected duration (expressed in semesters)
- CV in tabular form
- Language certificate
- Copies of prior education certificates (including certified translations into German)
- Motivation letter detailing post-graduation plans
- Written pledge to leave Switzerland upon graduation
- Evidence of sufficient financial means (required minimum balance: CHF 21,000)
Application for Residence Permit
Once the visa application has been submitted, the same documents (plus the copy of the visa application) must be sent to the International Office or the secretariat of the school where you will be studying. They will apply for your residence permit. Therefore, if possible, send the documents before July 1 (for start in the fall semester) or December 1 (for start in the spring semester).
The information on this page is for information purposes only and supplied without liability. The underlying regulations may have changed since the last this information has been last updated. For legally binding information, please consult the website of the State Secretariat for Migration or contact the Embassy of Switzerland in your country of residence.