Visas for Studying in Switzerland
The Swiss government requires all students who are not EU citizens to obtain a student visa before arriving in Geneva. The Office for International Study (OIS) will facilitate a group visa application process for students studying on the Geneva program.
Students must submit a copy of their passport valid six months beyond the end of their studies in Geneva with their Smith program application. Proof of application for a passport or proof of passport renewal such as a receipt will be accepted.
Students (U.S. citizens, permanent residents and international students with valid U.S. visas) will submit all the required visa application materials to the OIS by the stated deadlines. The OIS will in turn submit the visa application materials to the Swiss Consulate in New York approximately 14 weeks in advance of the program start date. Processing may take up to eight weeks. Students will be notified by OIS when their visa applications have been approved. Students will then send their passports to the New York Consulate for visa issuance.
Things to Consider
Because students must send their passports to the New York Consulate for about a week in late July or early August, international travel during this time is strongly discouraged. Students who arrive in Switzerland without student visas will have to return to the U.S. to obtain the student visa.
Please note that students who stay in Switzerland during the summer are responsible for all living expenses, visa requirements, medical insurance, etc.