Insurance + Compulsory Service

Insurance

social security AHV/IV/EO

From 1 January after their twentieth birthday, Swiss and overseas students domiciled (under Swiss civil law) in Switzerland must pay old-age and survivors’ insurance (AHV), disability insurance (IV) and income compensation (EO) contributions of CHF 482 each year (minimum contribution). Students who are working must pay contributions from 1 January after their seventeenth birthday. Students earning less than the minimum contribution or in receipt of EO compensation during a given year may have these contributions deducted: they only have to pay the difference to the minimum contribution.

Information on social security for overseas students:
exchange students are not covered by social security in Switzerland. However, overseas students who complete all of their studies in Switzerland are generally covered by social security.
Old-age and survivors’ insurance (AHV), disability insurance (IV) and income compensation (EO) are an important part of compulsory Swiss social security. Everyone living or working in Switzerland is insured and must pay contributions.
Students are generally required to pay contributions. From 1 January after their twentieth birthday, Swiss and overseas students domiciled (under Swiss civil law) in Switzerland must make AHV, IV and EO contributions of CHF 482 each year (minimum contribution).

Exemption from contributions:
during your studies, will you remain domiciled overseas? If so, you can apply for an exemption from contributions from the Old-Age and Survivors' Insurance (AHV) Office responsible for your area. In accordance with Art. 23 (1) Swiss Civil Code, a person’s domicile is the place where they reside with the intention of settling. The place must be the person’s centre of vital interests. This definition has an objective (stay) and subjective element (intention of settling). If the visit is for study purposes only, you don’t have to pay any AHV, IV or EO contributions. However, if you start working, you are required to pay social security contributions.

More information:

health and accident insurance

All individuals resident in Switzerland must be insured with a Swiss health insurer, regardless of citizenship.

Information on health and accident insurance for overseas students:
in principle, individuals staying or working in Switzerland (with the exception of tourists) have to have health insurance in Switzerland. Within three months of the beginning of the compulsory insurance requirement (from the commencement of their stay/job in Switzerland), the person must take out basic health insurance with a Swiss health insurance provider in accordance with the Federal Act on Health Insurance. It then applies retroactively. Foreign nationals residing in Switzerland for the purposes of education or training are subject to certain conditions.

More information:

Compulsory Service

Swiss students have to complete compulsory service while studying too. Make sure you start planning and coordinating your studies and compulsory service early.

We strongly encourage you to complete basic military training and your first block of civilian service before starting your studies. If you complete these activities during your studies, you may miss classes. As a result, the duration of your programme may increase.

Advice

You can get help with coordinating your studies and your compulsory service from our team of advisers.