Resident permit

How to obtain the resident permit for foreigners

Rules applicable to obtain the resident permit

No studies in Switzerland can begin without a resident permit. You will need :

  • short-term residence permit (L) for the duration of your studies, if they last less than one year
  • resident permit (B), valid for one year, if your studies will last more than one year.


UE/AELE Nationals

UE/AELE students must register with the Neuchâtel local authority of population control within 14 days after their arrival in Switzerland to obtain their resident permit. They must also certify that they have taken out a health insurance and that they have the capability to financially support themselves. They must prove that they are enrolled in a university or a recognized graduate school. The resident permit will be valid for one year and extended every year until the end of the studies.

Students are allowed to work but no more than 15 hours per week. For additional working hours, they will be considered taxable and they will have to obtain a specific resident permit corresponding to their new status. Student’s spouses and dependent children are authorized to stay in Switzerland but are not allowed to work. The official website Portail Suisse provides all the addresses of cantonal authorities and local authorities.

Third-country nationals

Non UE/AELE students must include a study plan laying down their objectives and type of studies (Maturité, Bachelor, Master…). They must also provide a written confirmation from the school as evidence that they are authorized to attend school and that they possess the required language skills. Students from other countries requiring a visa must apply for a resident permit with the embassy of their country of origin in Switzerland or the consular representatives of their country. This resident permit application requires the school admission confirmation, evidence that the student can pay for his school fees and support his own financial needs, a written undertaking that he will return to his country of origin after his studies, and a curriculum vitae. The Swiss representation of the corresponding country will determine whether the applicant is proficient in the language required for his studies. The cantons are responsible for issuing residence permits. They will therefore provide detailed information regarding such procedures (where to submit the application? Which forms to fill out ? How long does it take ?...) See the list published by Federal Office of Migration.

Conditions to obtain the resident permit

You will go in person to the Neuchâtel local authority of population control and submit your resident permit application, complete with the address of La Résidence-Neuchâtel: Rue des Usines 37 – 2003 Neuchâtel. Neuchâtel local authority of population control will forward your request to the migration services.

For formalities, you must provide the documents listed in the following links:

  • documents to provide to obtain the student resident permit (L) (outside Europe) :
  • documents to provide to obtain the student resident permit (L) (EU) :

Neuchâtel local authority of population control
Tél: +41 32 / 717 72 20 

Population control
Hôtel-de-Ville 1 
2001 Neuchâtel

Monday : 08h30 to 12h00 / 13h30 to 17h00
Tuesday : 07h30 to 12h00 / PM closed
Wednesday : 08h30 to 12h00 / 13h30 to 17h00
Thursday : 08h30 to 12h00 / 13h30 to 18h00
Friday : 08h30 to 15h00 non stop

Migration Service
Tél: +41 032 / 889 63 10

Rue de Tivoli 28
Case postale 1
2002 Neuchâtel