I'm selected for the Ph.D. program at EPFL, Switzerland starting Aug 2017. I was also invited to an Open House visit to meet the faculty in March 2017 for two days. It's an opportunity to learn about the program and know about the campus culture.

What type of Schengen visa I should apply for, Tourist, Business, Visitor?

  • @pnuts well, sure, but what is with the current title? "What type of Schengen visa should I apply for when to visit Switzerland for a two-day Open House event?" sounds really odd. "What type of Schengen visa should I apply for, for visiting Switzerland for a two-day Open House event?" is too many "for"s. I'd suggest "What type of Schengen visa should I apply for, (to visit / when visiting) Switzerland for a two-day Open House event?", and not a mix of the two. – Florian Castellane Feb 1 '17 at 9:11

There is only one type of Schengen visa for short trips: the uniform short-stay visa known as "type C".

Apply for that from the Swiss representation, and describe the trip you plan honestly and accurately. There are checkboxes for "tourism", "business", etc on the application form, but there are not really any different rules about them -- the checkboxes just allow the bureaucracy to sort the applications into broadly similar groups where the same general kind of supporting documentation can usually be expected. You're free to clarify exactly what the purpose of your visit is in an enclosed explanation, and if you do so you won't be denied simply for having guessed "wrong" about the ordinary-case checkboxes.

That being said, it sounds to me like "business" would be a pretty good fit in your case.

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What you are describing calls for a Schengen short-stay visa, sub-type Business.

Meetings with university faculty to which you have been invited are a type of business meeting. I.e., you are not a tourist and not visiting friends/relatives, instead you will be at a formal and deliberative assembly of invited people who are sharing information in a structured way.

Include your invitation in your evidence. Your acceptance into the programme can also be helpful.

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