Visas and permits
Students who require a visa for entry to Switzerland must in all cases request the visa from the Swiss embassy in their country of origin, not leaving the country until they have received it. Only when they have received the visa (glued inside their passport) may they attend the Conservatorio in Lugano. It should be noted that obtaining a visa takes around 30–60 days (especially during the summer months), depending on the applicant’s country of origin, and requires advance payment of the university fee.
Foreign students not resident in Switzerland, who intend to stay in Switzerland throughout their course of study, must apply for a Permesso di dimora a Scopo di Studio (Residence Permit for the Purposes of Study) from the Ufficio Regionale degli Stranieri (Regional Office for Foreigners).
Application must be made using the appropriate form, which should be requested from the Ufficio Regionale degli Stranieri. The application must be accompanied by the following:
- a valid passport, if necessary with a visa
- two passport photos
- a statement of enrolment issued by the Conservatorio
- supporting documents (or self-certification document) guaranteeing the financial means required for study (a letter from a bank or an authenticated document)
- a verifiable address in Switzerland
The residence permit will be granted only if the means of subsistence are assured, and it must be renewed annually.
Work residence permits
Foreign students are authorised to work a maximum of 15 hours a week, provided the appropriate permission has been granted. The duration of a course of study may not be extended in view of such work. The Conservatorio draws on the student body for assistance with concerts, events and various other activities, assistance for which students are paid. Any students involved in such activities must have a contract and a work permit.