before coming to Switzerland

1. Visa


Since no visa is required to enter Switzerland, no administrative steps have to be taken abroad.


A visa is compulsory and must be requested from the Swiss representation (embassy or consulate) closest to your home abroad. You will receive an invitation letter from us, please read it carefully as depending your status, the procedure is different:

1) for interns coming for a few months

Please wait for our info + invitation letter to start the visa request procedure.

2) for future collaborations (Ph.D students / post-doc)

The visa application must be submitted at least 3 months prior to the start of your planned arrival using the Swiss visa application form. You will receive an invitation letter from us to bring to the embassy with your request of visa, or a contract if you come as an employee.

2. Date and time of arrival/departure

If possible please plan to arrive during the week (daytime) as it's much easier to help you find your apartment or room.

Please note that it's also easier to leave your room during the week (7:30 am to 5 pm) to have time to make the check out. For week-end and early morning departures, you might be asked to leave your room one day before your departure.

3. documents to take with you

A few passport photos (useful for the bus pass, for the residence permit, etc.)

If you come MORE THAN 3 MONTHS

for singles:

birth attestation (in english, french, italian or german) or officially translated before coming.

for married persons coming with their spouse and family :

birth certificate for all the persons coming in Switzerland (in english, french, italian or german) or officially translated before coming.

wedding certificate



4. Cost of visa and residence permit

Visa: 95.- Chf


5. Health insurance

you are coming for LESS THAN 3 MONTHS 

You need a valid health insurance FROM YOUR COUNTRY, but you don't need to prove it. Please note that It’s very important to be insured as Health costs are very high in Switzerland.

You are coming for MORE THAN 3 MONTHS

If you have a valid health insurance, you need to prove that you are insured, more info on this link:

(to cut and paste..)

(attestation to print and fill in at the bottom of this link, please take care of this as soon as possible as you need your insurance signature on it). Minimum required coverage : USD 300'000.-.

if you don't have a valid  health insurance in your country, you'll need to subscribe to a swiss one at your arrival  (please note that the swiss health insurances are very expensive, around CHF 300-400/month per person)

info about insurances : please see with ACIDE (but don't take any "complementary" insurances which are not mandatory and make the monthly payments more expensive.


6. Accident insurance

EPFL interns are usually not insured for professional and non-professional accidents happening during their stay at EPFL. You need to make sure that your accident insurance is valid during your stay at EPFL. (or take it with your swiss health insurance, it costs around CHF 30.-/month)