Swiss cards

Applicable to:  members of the personnel and their family members

General

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE) issues a carte de légitimation to members of the CERN personnel and their family members subject to the following conditions of award. 
Members of the personnel who hold a carte de légitimation enjoy immunity from jurisdiction in Switzerland in exercising their functions. 
In addition, a carte de légitimation (hereinafter referred to as Swiss card) entitles the holder to live in Switzerland and to travel within the Schengen Area without a visa.  

Conditions of award

To obtain a Swiss card, the general conditions relating to the contract of employment or of association are as follows:  

  • working time > 50 % and,

  • contract duration > 3 months.

The category of document issued differs according to the nationality and type of contract of the individual in question, as shown in the table below:

Nationality Category of Members of the Personnel Type of card Members of the family
Resident in Switzerland Resident in France
Not Swiss national Staff Members in grades 1 to 4 E card (violet)
 

A Swiss card must be obtained for spouse/partner and children who meet the following conditions of award:

  • they must not be of Swiss nationality,
  • they must live under the same roof as the member of the personnel,
  • children must be unmarried and dependent on the member of the personnel.

The application for a Swiss card must be made as soon as the child is born. The card is withdrawn once the age of 25 is reached. They must then apply for a residence permit themselves from th Office Cantonal de la Population et des migrations if they wish to remain in Switzerland.

Family members wishing to take up gainful employment in Switzerland must apply for a 'permis Ci' certificate.

Swiss cards are not normally issued to family members residing in France.
Staff Members in grades 5 to 8
and Fellows
D card (brown
Staff Members in grades 9 and 10 C card (pink)
Director-General and Directors B card (pink)
Associated members of the personnel
Users, Administrative Students, Technical Students, Doctoral Students, Cooperation Associates, Project Associates, Scientific Associates, Corresponding Associates, Visiting Scientists, Guest Professors and Trainees. 
P card (blue)
 
Swiss nationals

All members of the personnel who are Swiss nationals, regardless of their salary position and contract type, but excluding all other associated members of the personnel.

S card (green)

Swiss cards are not issued to family members. If they are not of Swiss nationality, they must apply for a residence permit from the Office Cantonal de la Population et des migrations.

N.B.:
- Staff members in Salary Bands Bc, Cc or Ce before 1st September 2016 keep their D-type legitimation card.
- Apprentices who do not have Swiss nationality receive a permit under ordinary Swiss law.
- Administrative, technical and doctoral students who already held an E-type legitimation card before 1st September 2016 are entitled to keep it until the end of their contract with CERN.

Procedure

1. Administrative responsibilities

The administrative service responsible for the handling depends on the category of the member of the personnel concerned:

  1. Staff Members (STAF), Fellows (FELL), Apprentices (APPR), Project Associates (PJAS), Scientifc (SASS), Corresponding (CASS), Guest Professors (GPRO), Students (DOCT, TECH, ADMI) and Trainees (TRNE)

    • must contact th Cards Service for all affairs relating to Swiss cards, with the exception of the collecting of Swiss cards;

    • are informed by the Cards Sercice as soon as their Swisscard is available. They must then collect it from the CERN Internal mail office.

  2. Users (USER), Cooperation Associate (COAS) and Visiting Scientists (VISC) must always contact the Users Office that informs them also about the collecting of their Swiss card.

In the following text these responsibilities are referred to, according to the category of the member of the personnel.

2. First application

2.1 Necessary substantiating documentation

  Member of the personnel Spouse/Partner Child/Children
Photo taken by the CERN Registration Service
(The photograph appearing on the Swiss card will be the one taken upon issue of the CERN access card. Each family member applying for a Swiss card must visit the Registration Service to have their photograph taken.)
yes yes yes
A scanned photocopy of the passport or ID card (both sides) yes yes yes
A scanned photocopy of the Swiss visa (where applicable) yes yes yes
A scanned photocopy of the marriage certificate or parnership certificate (Document drafted in or translated into French, English, German, Spanish or Italian.) no yes no
A scanned photocopy of the birth certificate (Document drafted in or translated into French, English, German, Spanish or Italian.) no no yes

2.2 New arrivals

The procedure depends on the category of the member of the personnel concerned:

  1. Staff Members (STAF), Fellows (FELL), Apprentices (APPR), Project Associates (PJAS), Scientifc (SASS), Corresponding (CASS), Guest Professors (GPRO), Students (DOCT, TECH, ADMI) and Trainees (TRNE):
    No further formalities to complete as new arrivals have already uploaded the substantiating documentation (scanned photocopy of their passport or ID card, visa if applicable) onto the Electronic Recruitment Tool (ERT).

  2. Users (USER), Cooperation Associate (COAS) and Visiting Scientists (VISC) must go to the Users Office on the first day of their contract, presenting all necessary documentation for themselfs and their family members, in order to apply for a Swiss card.

2.3 Special cases: holders of Swiss "permis" (residence or work permits)

Members of the personnel who, upon taking up their appointment at CERN, hold a Swiss work or residence permit (e.g. "permis frontalier G", "permis C" or "permis B") must surrender this card to the Cards Service. It will be returned to the Swiss authorities in the carte de legitimation - and if applicable the "permis Ci" - application file.
Nevertheless, trainees (acronym TRNE) who hold a permit under ordinary Swiss law (L, B or C) may keep it under certain conditions examined case by case by the Cards Service.

2.4 Processing of the application

The file is sent to the Swiss authorities electronically and the card will be issued within approximately 2-3 weeks.
Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their Swiss card (see procedure paragraphe 1).

3. Application for a "permis Ci" certificate

This work permit can only be requested for family members who wish to take up gainful employment in Switzerland and meet the conditions of award of a B, C, D, E or P-type legitimation document.

To this end, the applicant must complete the on-line application form, print it out, sign it and forward it to the Cards Service/Users Office, depending on the member of the personnel category.

The "permis Ci" certificate is then sent directly to the applicant's home address – not via CERN – within a minimum of three weeks.

Additional information:

4. Renewal

Applications for extensions can only be made six weeks before the card's expiry date, at the earliest. The card of each family member must be renewed at the same time as that of the member of the personnel.

4.1 Supporting documents required by the responsible service

  • the card (and those of the family members where applicable),

  • a photocopy of both sides of each card,

  • a photocopy of the passport or ID card,

  • a recent, passport-format photograph if the cards were issued more than 4 years previously.

4.2 Processing of the application

A certified copy will be issued to the member of the personnel.
The file is sent to the Swiss authorities and the card will be issued within approximately 2-3 weeks.
Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their Swisscard (see procedure paragraphe 1).

5. Removals from France to Switzerland

Procedure to follow:

  • The member of the personnel must register his new private address using the EDH form Changement d'adresse locale / Change of local address.

  • Members of the personnel taking up residence in the Canton of Vaud are recommended to register their arrival with the local municipal authority (Commune).

  • For information on the export/import formalities relating to personal effects and vehicles, please consult the web pages of the Installation Service.

The HR Department is responsible for informing the Swiss mission of changes of private address. However, members of the personnel are invited to contact the local authorities (Office cantonal de la population de Genève-OCPM) to register their new address.

N.B.: For the member of the personnel, a change in the country of residence does not require any change in carte de legitimation.

The initial application procedure must be followed for family members who fulfil the conditions of award.

6. Removals from Switzerland to France

Procedure to follow:

The HR Department is responsible for informing the Swiss mission of changes of private address. However, members of the personnel are invited to contact the local authorities (Office cantonal de la population de Genève-OCPM) to register their new address.

N.B.: For the member of the personnel, a change in the country of residence does not require any change in carte de legitimation.

Additional information: change of residence in Switzerland and Swiss"Attestation de Départ" (departure certificate)

7. Theft, loss

7.1 Procedure to follow

  • If the card was stolen abroad, the theft must be reported to the relevant foreign police authorities.

  • Complete and sign the declaration of loss/theft available in HRT.

  • Send the original declaration to the Commissariat de Police de Genève (address shown on the declaration form).

7.2 Supporting documents required by the responsible service

  • a photocopy of the declaration of loss/theft,

  • a photocopy of the passport or ID card,

  • a recent, passport-format photograph if the cards were issued more than 4 years previously.

7.3 Processing of the application

The file is sent to the Swiss authorities (Geneva then Bern) and the card will be re-issued within approximately 2-3 weeks.
Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their Swisscard (see procedure paragraphe 1).

8. Other reasons for changing cards

8.1 Promotion (for Staff Members only)

Promotion to grade 5 and grade 9 give rise to a change in Swiss card (except for holders of S-type cards, i.e. Staff Members who are Swiss nationals). Following their promotion, the Staff Members in question are notified by e-mail of the documents to be submitted to the Cards Service.

9.2 Change of name or nationality

Any change of name or nationality may give rise to a change in Swiss card. In such cases, please contact the Cards Service/Users Office, depending on the member of the personnel category.

9. Surrendering cards

9.1 Contract expiry

Upon contract expiry, the cards of the member of the personnel and family members must be surrendered to the Cards Service/Users Office, depending on the member of the personnel category.
If necessary, the member of the personnel can be given a certified copy, in particular to facilitate the departure travel.

Surrendering these cards is a pre-condition for the issue of other documents by the Swiss authorities in the future (residence permits, etc.).

Persons wishing to maintain their principal place of residence in Switzerland after expiry of their contract must apply for a residence permit either from Geneva's Office Cantonal de la Population or from Contrôle des habitants in the Canton of Vaud.

Under certain conditions, a courtesy period or a usual delay may be granted by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland. For further details, the members of the personnel may contact the Cards Service/Users Office, depending on the member of the personnel category.

Courtesy period

People who require a visa for their stay in Switzerland must be in possession of a valid carte de légitimation when they leave the country. Departure must take place before the expiry of the courtesy period allowed by the Swiss authorities, i.e. 2 months following the end of the employment contract.
 
Applications to extend the validity of the carte de légitimation must be completed at least one month before its expiry in order to be sure that the person has it in their possession upon departure.
 
If travelling through another country in the Schengen Area en route to the destination country, the carte de légitimation must be presented to the border police along with the travel document (passport).
 
Upon arrival in the destination country, the carte de légitimation must be returned to the Swiss Permanent Mission, either by sending it back to CERN, or by handing it in to the local Swiss Embassy or Consulate.

9.2 Special leave

Members of the personnel who have been granted special leave must surrender their card and those of family members before their leave period commences.

Persons wishing to maintain their principal place of residence in Switzerland during their period of special leave must apply for a residence permit either from Geneva's Office Cantonal de la Population or from Contrôle des habitants in the Canton of Vaud.

Revisions 

No revision Modifications Approved
1 Applications for extensions can only be made six weeks before the card's expiry date, at the earliest.  11.03.2014
2 Documentation of Swiss cards for members of the personnel managed by the Users Office; details reagarding courtesy period granted at termination of contract.  10.11.2014
3 Members of the personnel are invited to contact the local authorities (Office cantonal de la population de Genève-OCPM) to register their new address. 02.02.2016
4 Guidelines regarding the issuance of FDFA legitimation cards (entry into force on 15 January 2016). 15.01.2016
5 Courtesy period for people who require a visa for their stay in Switzerland. 22.04.2016
6 New career structure on 01.09.2016. Council, 15.12.2015