Arrival in St.Gallen Welcome to St.Gallen! For many students, studying is also associated with a change of residence. To help you arrive in St.Gallen, we have compiled the most important information that may be relevant before and after a move to St.Gallen. Discover St.Gallen Before your arrival in St.Gallen: Checklist: Visa or assurance of a residence permit Confirmation of admission and/or enrolment Flat Recommended vaccination: tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, FSME Do I need a visa to study in St.Gallen? If you live in a country outside the EU or EFTA, you need a valid visa to enter Switzerland. Please note that it may take several months before a visa is issued. Therefore, apply for your visa at the Swiss representation in your country as early as possible. You can find out about visa regulations and general entry requirements here or directly from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). The fact sheet «Welcome! Information Sheet for entry into Switzerland» from the SEM is also helpful. Are there any special entry requirements because of the coronavirus? Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, special regulations must be respected when entering Switzerland. You can find the current guidelines on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Our code of conduct at the University of St.Gallen is constantly updated and published on the website. When do I need a residence permit for entry? If you are going to live in Switzerland for longer than three months, you need a residence permit. If you are not a citizen of an EU or EFTA member state, you must apply for a residence permit before you enter Switzerland. EU and EFTA nationals can also apply after they have entered the country. Check the fact sheets of the Migration Office of the Canton of St. Gallen to find out which documents you need to submit. If you have any questions about your enrolment status, you can always contact the Dean's Advisory Office (Assessment, Bachelor and Master students), the PhD Office (doctoral students) or the Student Mobility Office (exchange students). You usually have to renew your residence permit after one year. Can I work during my studies? Students from EU/EFTA countries with a B residence permit may work up to 15 hours per week during the semester and up to 40 hours per week during the semester break. The only requirement is to notify the cantonal migration office of the work activity. Students from third countries with a B residence permit can apply to the cantonal Office for Economy and Labour to be able to work to the same extent. You can find more information about job opportunities in St.Gallen on the hsgcareer website of the University of St.Gallen. Does the University of St.Gallen also offer flats for students? St.Gallen has a wide range of flats and shared rooms to offer. The Housing Service of the University of St.Gallen arranges furnished rooms for visiting students and, in exceptional cases, also for regular students. Another tip is to join the Sharing is Caring community Facebook page, where many students post flat advertisements. When looking for a flat, you should have the following documents ready, provided you have them: Copy of your residence permit and personal ID Copy of your employment contract excerpt from the debt collection registry It is also common for the landlord to ask for a security deposit of up to three months' rent. Usually, the landlord opens a Swiss bank account in the tenant’s name into which the deposit is paid. The deposit amount remains blocked for both the landlord and the tenant until the tenancy is terminated. In some cases, landlords also require a household insurance. If you encounter any legal uncertainties when concluding a rental agreement, you can contact the Municipal Housing Office (only in German) for free legal advice. After your arrival in St.Gallen: Checklist: Registration with the Population Service Residence permit Health insurance Private liability and household insurance Open a bank account (Mobile) telephone, internet, TV etc. Motor vehicle liability insurance Do I have to register with the city services after moving to St.Gallen? After your arrival in Switzerland, you must register in person at the population services within 14 days. You must also register your move with the local authority (municipality) within 14 days. Late registration of arrival or relocation are sanctioned with a fine. In addition to the identity card and rental agreement, the following documents must be presented: Students with main residence in Switzerland: certificate of residence or weekly stay certificate Swiss students with main residence abroad: certificate of residence Foreign students with main residence in foreign countries: passport, a passport photo and an immatriculation confirmation from the university; students from an EU country will need additionally the completed form ‘Gesuch Aufenthaltsbewilligung A1’ (available at www.migrationsamt.sg.ch) For detailed information, you can visit the website of the City of St. Gallen (only in German). Are there legally required insurances in Switzerland? Health insurance If you are studying in Switzerland for more than three months, you must have health insurance from the date you move here. Holders of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and privately insured students whose health insurance company ensures equivalent insurance coverage according to the Swiss Health Insurance Act (KVG) can be exempted from compulsory health insurance. To do so, fill out the certificate form of the City of St.Gallen (only in German). Old age insurance (OASI) Everyone who is resident and/or gainfully employed in Switzerland is subject to the compulsory old age and survivors’ insurance (OASI). People who are not gainfully employed have to start paying their contributions as from January 1 after they have reached the age of 20. Foreign students who are not gainfully employed are only covered by the OASI and are liable to pay contributions if their place of residence under civil law is in Switzerland. Personal liability insurance and household insurance Personal liability insurance is a voluntary insurance that indemnifies you against third parties’ claims for damages to property or personal injuries. If, for instance, you cause some damage to your rented flat, the insurance company will bear the costs. Some landlords explicitly demand evidence of such an insurance policy. Again, many insurers combine personal liability insurance and household insurance. The latter bears the costs of damage to household effects within the amount insured. How high is the cost of living in St.Gallen? According to the latest representative survey by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) from 2017, you should have a monthly budget of around CHF 2,200 to CHF 2,600. You can find more information on financing your studies here.