Guide to applying for a student visa


Step 1: Decide on the duration of your stay

The first step for a Malaysian student to apply for a Swiss visa would be to decide on the duration of your stay in Switzerland. There are two types of visa:

  1. C Visa – is a short-time visa that allows its keeper to reside in Switzerland for a short period of time. This visa is perfect for summer schools, seminars, and language schools that last up to three months.1
  2. D Visa – is a long-time visa for people looking to study, work, or reside in Switzerland. International students are granted a Schengen visa for a period of one year with the possibility of extension.1

Most Malaysian students would apply for the D Visa for a typical undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree, unless you are going for a short course or quick student exchange.

Step 2: Submit your visa application

  1. According to Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) website, nationals of Malaysia and residents in Malaysia must apply for a Schengen visa at the Regional Consular Center in Bangkok and must follow the same procedure as applicants resident in Thailand.You need to prove that you have adequate financial resources to cover the cost of living in Switzerland so as to ensure that you will not become dependent on welfare benefits, and that you have a health insurance policy that also includes accident coverage.2According to the official Swiss Authorities Online website, students must also submit the following documents with their visa application:
    • Personal study plan with information about the purpose of studies,
    • Confirmation of enrolment with a recognised educational institution,
    • Personal curriculum vitae,
    • Confirmation that they will leave Switzerland at the end of their education and training.

    You may submit your visa application by following the steps on the FDFA website. As a general rule, a decision is taken by the Consulate within 15 days. This period may, in individual cases, be extended.3

Step 3: Apply for residence permit in Switzerland

Once you have received your student visa, you will need to apply for a residence permit when you arrive in Switzerland. The cantons are responsible for issuing permits. In most cases, your education institution can assist with the residence permit application.

If you need guidance in your visa application process, contact a MABECS Global education advisor today. Our services are free of charge.

The information provided above is accurate at the time of writing and is subject to changes by the Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

This page was last updated in December 2020.

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