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The AFMP lays out broad principles. The free movement of those who are studying is derived from Article 6 of the Agreement.

In actual fact, one should look primarily at Annex 1 of the AFMP (available in French, German and Italian) which further develops this right. The provision concerning the free movement of those who are studying is in Art. 24 of the AFMP’s Annex I.

Derogatory right: In its application, the AFMP takes the form of a special preferential regime. However, for those areas about which the AFMP is silent, the FNIA’s general regime applies.

Subsidiary right within the AFMP for students: European students fall into the general category of “persons without gainful employment” within the meaning of Art. 24 of the AFMP’s Annex I, even though they may engage in gainful employment on a supplementary basis. However, they do have a special right under Art. 24 of Annex I, para. 4, which eases their obligations related to proving sufficient financial means.

The right to stay as a European student is a right that is subsidiary to the other rights contained in the AFMP. This means that the provisions discussed in this guide do not apply to students who have the right to reside in Switzerland by virtue, for example, of a work permit or a derived right to family reunification.

If they are primarily engaged in gainful employment and studying is a secondary activity, they will be subject to a different regime which is not covered in this guide. The threshold distinguishing work as a secondary versus main activity is set at 15 working hours per week.