STUDENT PERMITS FOR SWITZERLAND
First of all there are Student Permits and Student Visas – both are for stays in Switzerland of over 90 days and only apply to trainees from outside the Schengen Area.
The easiest way to think about it is that a Visa is (generally speaking) needed to enter the country, the Permit is needed to stay once you’ve arrived (so British Trainees need a Permit not a Visa).
This page is mostly about British passport holders staying on an extended course and applying for a Student Permit after Brexit.
If you are not British but you are from outside the EU, then get in touch directly and we can talk to you about a Student Visa.
Following Brexit British passport holders have lost the right to work in Switzerland.
So there is currently no option to get a Work Permit or Work Visa if you are British.
We have thoroughly researched all the options and been in constant conversation with the authorities. But, sadly, it seems there will be no option for British Trainees to work this season.
CHANGES TO THE RULES
If you have read this page before or seen some past blogs, it’s possible you might have seen different advice about permits.
This is due to the information that has been supplied to us by the authorities changing over the last six months.
We were initially told that one set of rules would apply to British trainees, but after weeks of conversations with the authorities, they have arrived at a new set of rules.
We apologise if these constantly moving goalposts are as frustrating for you as they are for us.
But the good news is that we now finally know where we all stand.
If you are on an extended course that is longer than 10 weeks (or longer than 9 weeks in Saas Fee) then you need to apply for a Student Permit.
This will allow you to stay in Switzerland for longer and complete your course.
That’s because you can stay for a maximum of 90 days in the EU and Schengen Area in any 180 day period. But no longer than 90 days.
So if you do a 70 day course, you can normally stay (or travel in Europe) for 20 additional days if you don’t have a permit.
The Student Permit allows you to stay longer in Switzerland whilst stopping the clock on the 90 day rule. So your days on a Student Permit do not count towards the 90 day limit in Schengen.
You will not be able to work on the permit but it does mean you can enjoy a longer winter – or more holidays elsewhere in the EU.
DO YOU NEED ONE?
AND WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
If you are not staying over 90 days you don’t need a permit.
But if you join an extended course you do (staying over 90 days in Switzerland is illegal).
There are extra costs for the permit – you will need to pay for the application (around 140 CHF) and the biometrics (around 20 CHF).
You will also usually need Swiss Health Insurance for the duration of your permit. This extra cost is around 200 CHF per month.
You cannot apply directly – we have to submit your application as we are the education provider.
We ask you to supply all the paperwork to us via email one month before your course starts (everything together to keep things streamlined). That way we can submit everything to the authorities and spot any problems before they become an issue and become a problem for your course.
To see the requirements and the details just click the link below, and if you’re ready you can get started.
If you want to chat just get in touch. You can also find blogs about permits, Brexit and work in the Blogs area. All worth looking through to help explain what has been a complex and constantly changing situation.