Useful information – residence permit

Residence permit type

There is no need to precise the type of permit needed, it will be given according to your situation. For information, as a student, you can receive:

  • Student permit: Permis B
  • Student permit for short term (6 months): Permis L

Residence permit attestation

  • The Residents’ registration office will provide you with an attestation (while awaiting the official residence permit) which will allow you to open a bank account.
  • However without a residence permit, you will not be able to leave the country temporarily (for holidays, a seminar, etc.).

Going out of Switzerland before receiving your residence permit – Warning!

If you have to go out of Switzerland and have not received your residence permit yet, please check your visa: if it is a “multi entry visa” and if you are in the deadlines, then you can go abroad and come back into Switzerland without any problems. If your visa is not a “multi entry visa”, you will need to ask for a new visa (return visa) to the population office (Division étrangers). This visa will be given to you directly at the desk on the same day.

Extension of the residence permit

  • The permit is generally issued from October to October
  • After one year, in August, a letter is sent by the authorities in order to explain how to proceed to get the extension if needed.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means is required for the extension of your residence permit.

Going out of Switzerland : temporarily or definitively

Temporarily for holidays, internship, project obraod

If you inform the Residents’ registration office about your departure without giving another home address in Switzerland, you will need, at your way back, to apply for a new residence permit and a new visa if needed.

If you have to apply for a new visa (normal procedure) since your application has already been treated for your first request, the process will be shortened.

How to proceed?

1. Wherever you are, apply for a visa in the nearest Swiss embassy. 2. Inform the embassy that you already had a visa and would like to go to Switzerland again. 3. Inform us about the situation. EPFL will notify the Population office which will treat your request more rapidely.

In any case, please contact the population office in order to know if you can leave the country.


During the last month of your stay in Switzerland, your are requested to inform the Residents’ registration office about your close departure.

Change of canton in case of internship

If your stay in another Canton is provisory, the Population office advise to keep the principal address in canton de Vaud and to take a temporary address in the other Canton. It is very long and complicated to change of Canton if it is for a short term.

To keep your principal address if you do not live in Canton de Vaud:

  • Ask in your commune of residence if you can have an administrative address. Not all communes do accept it but it worth it to ask.
  • Ask a friend if you can register with him/her in his/her house. In this situation you will have to register at the Residents’ registration office of the commune of your friend.

It is important to inform your first commune of residence that you have a temporary address in another canton.

All occupancy taxes and insurances will be linked to you principal address.

In the Canton where you are doing your internship you will have to:

  • inform the Residents’ registration office about your temporary address
  • be sure that the company where you are doing your internship declares you at the working department.