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UZH for International Students and Scholars

Preparing Your Entrance Documents

The procedures regulating your entry into Switzerland differ according to nationality, your enrollment, position or type of employment at UZH, and the duration of your stay. Regardless of the details, you will need a valid passport or travel document that is recognized by the Swiss authorities. Below you will find the most frequent questions surrounding entering Switzerland.

Students who are coming to UZH on an exchange program, as trainees or as invited visiting students, are asked to contact
Global Student Experience.

EU/EFTA Nationals

Students, PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers, academic guests and guest professors of an EU or EFTA country do not require a visa to enter Switzerland and may directly enter with a valid travel document that is recognized by the Swiss authorities.

Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

Citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries require a visa to enter Switzerland. Please note that some non-EU/EFTA nationals do not need a visa if their stay is less than 90 days.

Visa regulations according to country

Important: Do not enter on a tourist visa if you plan on staying in Switzerland for more than 3 months. Tourist visas cannot be extended or renewed, and they cannot be converted into a residence permit.

Bachelor, Master and PhD students (enrolled at UZH, without employment at UZH; non-EU/EFTA)

For detailed information on what you need to take into account before travelling to Switzerland, please refer to the following website:

International Students – Entry and Residence / Do I need a Visa?

Visiting Scholars (non-EU/EFTA)

For visiting scholars (academic guests), the necessary entry and residence documents are either organized by the visiting scholars themselves or by the inviting institutes/clinics. 

If the inviting institute/clinic applies for the visa, the institute/clinic finds further information regarding application process here:
Guidelines for Visiting Scholars (PDF, 126 KB)

If the visiting scholars apply for their visa themselves, they must do so at the Swiss embassy or consulate of their country of residence at least three months before their entry. The current entry regulations are valid and, depending on the Swiss representation in your home country, different documents may be required. Please contact the Swiss representation in your home country or visit the website of the State Secretariat for Migration for more information.

Internationals with employment at UZH (PhDs and Postdocs; non-EU/EFTA)

Internationals employed at UZH usually do not have to apply for a visa on their own. Their institute/department at UZH will file for both the visa and the work permit. Please contact the respective institute at UZH in case of questions.

Please note that even if the institute/department or chair handles your visa application, you still must pick up your visa at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

Additional information for PhD candidates:

In addition, PhD candidates need to apply for admission to doctoral studies at the UZH Admissions Office before starting their employment. This is not the same as their admission to a specific PhD program. The admission process can take up to three months, at the end of which you will receive the decision on admission from the UZH Admissions Office. Please do not travel to Switzerland until you have received this decision on admission. It is a prerequisite for obtaining the residence permit in Switzerland.

Admission to Doctoral Studies at UZH

Professors with employment at UZH

For detailed information on what you need to take into account before travelling to Switzerland, please refer to the following website:

Professorships Department: Entering Switzerland

Weiterführende Informationen

Information re COVID-19

Due to the unpredictable situation entry restrictions may apply and limit traveling to Switzerland. Please use the tool "Travelcheck" by the Federal Office of Public Health for further information.

General Information on Entering Switzerland

The website of the State Secretariat for Migration provides detailed information on entering Switzerland, visa requirements, and residence permits.