FAQS

Before contacting us, try to find the answers to your questions below. 

 

 

General rules

 

Non-European students are not allowed to work during the first six months of their stay in Switzerland.
European students can start working immediately upon their arrival in Switzerland.

Work activity during your studies:

Students can work up to 15 hours per week (37.5%) during the course period and 40 hours (100%) during the official academic holidays. See the academic calendar to know the dates of each period.

PhD students can work 20 hours per week if the work is directly related to the thesis. The position must also be in the Institute (teaching assistants and research assistants). If these conditions are not met, students are only allowed to work up to 15 hours per week.
For more information about teaching and research assistants, please visit the Assistant Association (ADA).

Work authorisation

A work authorisation is mandatory to start an activity, whether paid or not. Once you have found an employer, you must gather and complete the following documents:

  • E form

    • Select Activité accessoire / Ancillary activity

    • Ask your employer to sign the form

  • Copy of your passport

  • Copy of your current B permit

  • An attestation from the Career Services confirming the internship/employment is compatible with your studies

  • Proof of payment of fee* (CHF 65 for European citizens and  CHF 95 for non-European citizens)

Send your request no later than one month before the start of the activity via email at emploi.ocpm@etat.ge.ch.

Please note "Actitivé accessoire - IHEID" in the email's subject line.

You can also send or drop your work authorisation application at:
Office cantonal de la population et des migrations (OCPM)
Service des étrangers
Route de Chancy 88
Case postale 2652
1211 Genève 2

*Some employers do support students with the fee payment related to the work authorisation. Make sure you clarify this with your employer. OCPM banking details are available at the bottom of the E form.

Information on Visa and residence permit

 

Residence permit extension
 

After graduation, you can extend your student residence permit for a period of six months with the Neirynck law to find a job in line with your degree. This period is not renewable and the work permit thereafter cannot be guaranteed.

During this period of six months, you cannot work more than 15 hours a week, however these six months should help you find a job in line with your degree.


The Neirynck law does not exempt your potential employer from applying for a permit. This request may be refused by the Swiss authorities.

To extend your student residence permit, you must provide the following documents before the expiration of your student residence permit:

  • Copy of your diploma or transcript of your grades
  • E form
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your housing contract or any other  document proving your residency in Switzerland
  • Proof that you have the financial means to live in Switzerland (eg. a copy of your bank account)
  • Proof of payment of fee*
  • CHF 65 for European citizens/CHF 102 for non-European citizens

Send or drop your request to:
Office cantonal de la population et des migrations (OCPM)
Service des étrangers
Route de Chancy 88
Case postale 2652
1211 Genève 2

*OCPM banking details are available at the bottom of the E form. You can make your payment via ebanking or by payment slip. Please indicate your name, first name, date of birth and the reason for your request.

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