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Indian student blog The fine art of applying for a Swiss student visa

(Keystone/anthony Anex)

Arasan managed to pull off a balancing act between showing enthusiasm for studying in Switzerland while expressing complete disinterest in what the country can offer him.

Any visa application involves a bunch of documents and Switzerland is no exception. After filling in the student visa application form you’ll need to prepare a cover letter. This involves stating your motivation to study in Switzerland. This is indeed a silly question and doesn’t have any precise answer. You can write anything as lame as “I love cheese” to being inspired by Einstein’s choice of a Swiss university

For more blog posts and information on studying in Switzerland visit our dedicated page Education Swiss Madeexternal link.

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Next, you write a few lines on how a Swiss university degree would turn your life around. However, this bit should also convince the visa officer that your future is outside the Switzerland and never in your wildest dreams will you ever think of staying on in Switzerland post studies. Practical points could be strong family ties, lots of assets in your home country awaiting your inevitable presence to manage them, your hatred towards snow, etc. The two objectives of the letter are self-contradicting. At first, you tell them “Why Switzerland” and then “No Switzerland”. And at last, you make a self-declaration that under all circumstances you will exit Switzerland no matter what. This cover letter can be printed on ordinary paper and signed by the applicant. It needs no special legal stamp paper or notarisation.

You will be required to take the original academic transcripts to the embassy. However, they are just for the embassy officials to verify and are not kept. Never hand over your original transcripts to the embassy.

bank details
(Arasan MJ)

The preparation of financial documents is the most painstaking process. The million-dollar question would be “How much money is good enough for a visa?”. The basic idea is to show funds for CHF25,000 (varies from canton to canton). There is no clarity on how the funds must be shown. For instance, in the UK you deposit a certain sum of money for a specific number of days. Switzerland just states that you have to show solvency of the said amount. There are a lot of fancy ideas for this. You can open an fixed deposit account for the said amount in a bank and attach a receipt of it. You could also deposit the amount straight away into your account and simply attach a balance certificate. An unanswered question is which bank should the funds be deposited in? Well, every canton takes their own stand. Canton Zurich canton asks the funds to be deposited in a Swiss bank account.

In addition to all this paperwork, you can show your family’s financial status by including a chartered accountant statement with all relevant annexures. A chartered accountant can do this for a fee (around INR10,000 in India). The sponsor letter from parents or any other sponsor should state the source of funds and the relationship with the applicant. It should also mention their willingness to cover all the costs of the applicant until he or she finishes studies in Switzerland. All the original documents along with two sets of copies have to be submitted to the Swiss embassy.

The best thing about the Swiss embassy is that the student visa is issued free of cost. It shows the Swiss spirit of accessible education. It is also commendable that Switzerland shows no distinction in fees for foreign students, Swiss citizens and citizens of European Union countries.

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