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The preferential regime applies to all foreign nationals from an EU or EFTA member country (see list below) wishing to come to Switzerland.

Even in cases where a student is not themself a national of an EU member state, they can, under certain conditions, enjoy free movement if a member of their family is an EU member state national.

See the section on Europeans and others

List of AFMP member states

EU member states (since 31 December 2020):

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia*, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden.

*Croatie : Croatian nationals have enjoyed the benefits of the AFMP since 1 January 2017. However, a transitional regime applies which restricts access to the labour market. Cette restriction ne concerne cependant pas le droit l’octroi de l’autorisation de séjour pour études, mais restreint les possibilités de travailler plus de 15 heures par semaine durant la formation.

EFTA: Norway, Iceland, Principality of Liechtenstein.

Brexit : The UK officially left the European Union on 31 December 2020.

A distinction must be made depending on the date of immigration.

  • If a British person immigrated before 31 December 2020, they maintain those rights which are referred to as “acquired”, in other words, the privileged regime of the AFMP (
  • If a person immigrates after 31 December 2020, they are considered “non-European”.

The critical date is that of the start of the education or training (SEM Circular of 14.12.2020).

Terms: “European student”
Reminder: this guide refers to “European students”. This should be understood as individuals who have the right to the Free Movement of Persons within the scope defined in this section.