Student work in Switzerland
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To obtain your residence permit, you need to prove – first to the Embassy and then to the Aliens Police – that you have the financial means to support yourself during your studies in Switzerland (a bank statement or similar authenticated document will do). The idea is that you cannot finance your studies solely through supplementary work in Switzerland. That is right, this disposition aims to limit the number of requests – certain people having taken advantage of the student status to circumvent contingents of foreign workers admitted into Switzerland. Education must be the main reason for your stay.

However, once you’ve proven you have the financial resources necessary to study in Switzerland, you can work alongside your studies. In fact, the student residence permit allows for profit-earning activity, as long your university provides a statement confirming that your employment will not prolong the length of your studies. 

In actual practice, many students – Swiss and foreign alike – work alongside their studies to earn pocket money and gain professional experience. For foreign students, the number of weekly work hours is limited to 15, but this is fairly flexible depending on the canton (in Geneva, for example, you can work up to 30 hours per week). Nevertheless, most people will advise you not to take on extra work, since the university workload is already quite heavy, depending on the faculty. But if you feel sure of yourself, if you’re a fast learner and are physically and mentally fit, why not give it a try?

It is easier to find employment in the large urban centers like Geneva and Zurich. Each university has a job placement office that provides information on student employment. Wages vary between SFR 20 and SFR 35 according to the job and your skills. 

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