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The application for a residence permit or a visa is different for EU/EFTA citizens and for people from other countries.
Students from EU/EFTA countries must register with the Residents' Registration Office of the local authorities of their municipality of residence within 14 days and apply for a residence permit. The following documents are required:
Students from non-EU/EFTA countries must contact the Swiss Embassy or the Swiss consulate in their native country and apply for a visa. Students are responsible for gathering the information and the documents required for the visa issuing process. Among other things, they must submit proof of registration at a university. Students must be aware of the fact that, as a rule, an application for a visa takes several months to process.
In Switzerland, health insurance is mandatory for all residents. Students from foreign countries must purchase their own health insurance policy if they intend to live in Switzerland for more than three months. This does not apply to students from countries which provide international coverage or offer equivalent insurance protection.
Switzerland admits employed foreign citizens on the basis of a dual system. People from EU/EFTA countries profit from the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (there are transitional differences for Bulgaria and Rumania till 2016). People from all other countries are subject to different directives.
Citizens from non-EU/EFTA countries are subject to certain restrictions in their access to the Swiss labor market. Only a limited number of highly qualified professionals are admitted and issued a work permit.
Part-time employment for students:
Short- and long-term employment: