Visa and Residence Permit

Two Geneva Academy’s students during a course Two Geneva Academy’s students during a course

Start Early

To prepare for their stay in Geneva, students are advised to begin visa formalities, if applicable, immediately after their place on the course is confirmed.


Students who are nationals of countries outside the European Union or the European Free Trade Association need a visa to enter Switzerland and stay for more than 3 months. You will need to consult your nearest Swiss embassy for details about the procedure and required documents.

Residence Permit

Upon arrival in Geneva, all students are required to apply for a student residence permit (Permis B) from the Office Cantonal de la Population (OCP) within 14 days of their arrival in Switzerland.

Residence Permit Extention

In July, when classes are over, students can extend their residence permit for up to six months (i.e. until December) to undertake an internship or temporary assignment in a Geneva-based organization and/or look for a job in Geneva or Switzerland.

Relevant Information

Our Student Office provides students with all the necessary information regarding application procedures for visas and residence permits.

Study With Us

Why Choose the Geneva Academy?   >

We are a leading education and research institution in international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice.

Exposure to Practical Work   >

Our three master's programmes provide a solid foundation for careers in the humanitarian and human rights fields.

Our Students   >

We attract some of the most experienced and academically qualified students from around the world who are taught by leading academics and practitioners in the field.

Our Campus   >

The Geneva Academy campus spans from Geneva’s international area – where most international organizations are located – to downtown Geneva with its cafes, restaurants and vibrant cultural life.

Studying at the Geneva Academy has been an incredible experience. I have been able to learn a lot from many great professors and academics in a friendly, supportive and constructive environment while being surrounded by friends sharing my interest in this field of law.

Claudia Maritano

Senior Research Fellow, British Red Cross