Visitors cards: Access to CERN for visitors and conference participants

Applicable to:  Visitors and conference participants who do not have a CERN access card


The conditions of access to the fenced parts of the CERN site are defined in Operational Circular No. 2 and the accompanying Implementation Measures.

Visitors may come to CERN:

  • for individual (guests) or group visits;
  • to attend conferences on the CERN site;
  • to participate in guided tours organised by the Visits Service.

These visitors must be in possession of a CERN visitor card, which must be worn where it can be easily seen. The visitor card bears the holder, who is the only person permitted to use it, and its maximum period of validity is the duration of the visit or conference.

This card allows the holder access to the CERN site when presented to the security guards on duty. Nevertheless, it does not allow access to controlled-access areas unless the holder has a special authorization or is accompanied by an authorized person (guide, guarantor, etc...).

It will no longer be possible for holders of a CERN access card to be accompanied by persons who do not hold a visitor card.

N.B.: visitors who remain outside the fenced parts of the site, for example in the permanent exhibition areas (Microcosm and the Globe) or in the CERN shop, do not need a visitor card.

Visitors and participants in tours and conferences arriving at CERN by private transport may park in the visitors’ car park adjacent to the Globe, except in the park and ride (P+R) area. By default, they are permitted to enter and leave the car park only once.
In certain cases, holders of a visitor card may obtain a "laissez-passer" sticker allowing them to bring their vehicle onto the CERN sites. 


1. Obtaining a visitor card

1.1 For individual visitors or groups of visitors

If individual visitors or groups of visitors wish to visit a person present on the CERN site, whether in a professional or a private capacity, a member of the personnel must vouch for the compatibility of the visit with CERN's activities and must apply for the visitor card(s).
This guarantor must be:

He is responsible for the visit and, for security reasons, must be on site for the duration of his visit. It is also his responsability to ensure that all visitors abide by the CERN Code of Conduct in all respects.

The guarantor must apply for the visitor card in advance, 48 hours before the beginning of the visit, by completing the Request for a CERN visitor card (individual visitors or groups), providing the first information about the description of the visit:

  • the guarantor of the visit,
  • the name of the visit which will used as a reference for the visit,
  • the reason for the visit, providing the necessary details to enable the Security Service to determine the legitimacy of the visit,
  • the date of arrival and departure.

and then the registration of the visitor(s):

1. either by filling the details of the visitor(s):

  • surname, first name (to be completed as mentioned on the identity document to ease their identification by the Security Service upon their arrival),
  • nationality,
  • e-mail address (only if the visitor must be informed of the reservation code),
  • phone number (facultative information),
  • date and place of birth,
  • vehicle registration number if the visitor is coming by car and cannot park in the Globe car park. 

2. or by mentioning the surname, first name and e-mail address of each visitor and then submitting the form. In this case, the visitor(s) will receive an e-mail containing the instructions allowing them to complete the information concerning them in the visitor card request.

N.B.: It is strongly recommended to create your visitor card request at least two working days (48 hours) before the beginning of the visit.

Each application may include up to 10 persons. In the case of a larger visit, it is recommended to create an event in Indico and follow the procedure.

If the requestor completes the request in place of the guarantor, he must agree that the guarantor has read the terms and conditions.

The guarantor follows the evolution of his request as well as the status of each request for each person: completed, pending, refused and cancelled (cf. KB0006227: Request for a visitor access card: Checking visitors status (en anglais seulement)). He can't however see the personal information submitted by the visitor(s) in accordance with the processing of personal data.

In the case of a visit cancellation, the guarantor is responsible for informing the Security Service. If a visitor has himself submitted his private data in the visitor card request, he will also be able to cancel the visit.

Applications for visitor cards valid for a period of more than two days will be examined individually by the head of security.

When the application has been approved by the Reception and Access Control Service and all the data collected, the confirmation code of the visit is sent to the requestor and the guarantor, who are then responsible for forwarding the information to the visitor(s) concerned. If the requestor provided the e-mail addresses of the visitor(s) in the application, they will also receive this confirmation. It is important to note that the requestor and the guarantor are responsible for informing the visitor(s) of the procedure to be followed and for sending them the visitor card(s).

If the visit takes place from Monday to Saturday between 8:30am and 5:30pm (opening hours of the Main Reception), the guarantor or visitor must go to the printing terminal in Building 33 (Main Reception), enter the unique code that they have received, select the name(s) of the person or persons concerned and collect the visitor card(s) from the security guard on duty, presenting a valid identity document.

Outside these opening hours and 24 hours a day, it is also possible for the guarantor or visitor to follow the same procedure on the printing terminal located in front of the building 55 (inside the phone booth). Then the visitor card(s) can be collected from the security guard on duty at Entrance B.

“Laissez-passer” stickers are also produced by the security guard on duty and given to the visitor, along with the visitor card.

N. B.: If an unannounced visitor arrives at the Reception in Building 33, the security guard on duty there contacts the guarantor to check that the visit is legitimate. The guarantor then follows the procedure above to produce the visitor card.

1.2 For participants in a conference (or workshop or seminar) on the CERN site

If the conference organiser is a member of the personnel, he or she is considered to be the CERN guarantor for all participants. If the organiser is not a member of the personnel, another person involved in the organisation of the event who is a member of the personnel must act as the guarantor.
No visitor cards can be issued to accompanying persons who are not on the list of conference participants.

The CERN conference organiser creates the event in Indico. The organiser then activates visitor card management using the “CERN visitor badges” option in the “Logistics” menu. At the time of activation, the organiser indicates which registration forms will be used to give access. The participants must register online using one of the forms indicated. The organiser then individually confirms each participant’s right to access the site in Indico and the participants receive an e-mail asking them to fill in their nationality and date and place of birth online (in an Indico form). When this information has been submitted, each participant receives an e-mail containing a reservation code and a visitor card, which should be printed in A4 format and then folded into four to obtain an A6 format.

The conference organiser may customise the back of the card, adding specific information pertaining to the conference, such as its logo.

The organiser may also at any time withdraw access from or grant access to a participant whose name appears on the Indico list.

On the day of the event, participants must be able to show their visitor cards, along with a valid identity document, to the security guard on duty at Reception in Building 33. A badge holder is distributed on arrival, so that the visitor card can be worn where it can be easily seen. Any participant who forgets to bring a visitor card, or if the Main Reception is closed, may request that a replacement be printed by entering the reservation code at the terminal provided for this purpose at Reception or inside the phone booth located in front of the Building 55 presenting it to the security guard at Entrance B.

1.3 For participants in guided tours organised by the Visits Service

The Visits Service website outlines the procedure and conditions applicable to the organisation of various types of tour: tours for pupils and students, tours for groups, tours for individuals and private visits.

The organiser submits a tour organisation request on the site (Guided tours). Organisers who have no connection to CERN can request that a CERN Lightweight Account be created for them. When the visit has been approved by the Visits Service, the organiser receives an e-mail requesting additional information for each visitor (surname, first name, date of birth, city and country of birth).

The Visits Service then prints the visitor cards, which are distributed to the visitors by the staff on the reception desk at the Main Reception in Building 33. These cards are in the same format as the individual visitor cards.

1.4 Overview of the different procedures for obtaining a visitor card

Category of event

Professional visitor

Private visitor


Workshop, etc.

Guided visit




Request validated by

Guards service

Event organizer

Visits service or service in charge of the visit point

  • a member of the CERN personnel, or
  • a member of the Council, a committee or another subsidiary body of CERN (usually registered as External, COMT), or
  • an Industrial Liaison Officer

Event organizer if member of personnel

Visits service or service in charge of the visit point

Number of visitors

Less than 10 with the possibility to submit different requests

More than 10

Less than 50

Validity of the card

2 days or more following the head of security's approbation

Limited to the duration of the event

Limited to the duration of the guided visit

Who submit the personnel data

Requestor (member of personnel) or each visitor individually

Each visitor individually or the organizer

Requestor of the guided visit

Collection of the visitor cards

Main Reception or bldg 55 (outside the opening hours)

Main Reception or bldg 55 (outside the opening hours)

Main Reception or bldg 55 (during the opening hours only)

Print at home


Yes (optional)



Special case for participants in a guided visit and a visit of another type during the same period:

When the same group of visitors would like to add to a guided visit a visit of another type (conference, private visit or professional visit), it is recommended to make sure that the request for a guided visit can be accepted then to prepare the visitor card request:

As an example: a person wants to organise a visit via the Visits service on a day and then the following day after the guided visit, she takes the responsibility as guarantor to propose and additional conference on the Prévessin site. The requestor must first book a guided visit during the dates of the event with the Visits service while informing them that the visitor cards will be requested in parallel. Then, once the guided visit has been accepted by the Visits service, the requestor will apply for visitor cards either via ServiceNow (see paragraph 1.1) or Indico (see paragraph 1.2) according to the number of visitors concerned.

2. Parking and access to the CERN site for private vehicles and coaches

2.1 Private vehicles

Visitors and participants in tours and conferences should normally park their private vehicles in the Globe car park, except in the P+R area, if their visit takes place on the Meyrin site and is within walking distance.
By default, they are permitted to enter and leave the car park once. For an event lasting two days or more, they must report to Reception in Building 33 or to the intercom of the parking entrance outside working hours with their visitor card or special badge to be granted an additional entry.

Where bringing a car onto the CERN site is justified, for example if the venue is some distance away, holders of visitor cards can obtain "laissez-passer" stickers for their private vehicles. The need for these stickers must be indicated and substantiated in the visitor card application. The stickers, which are produced by the Reception and Access Control Service, bear the relevant vehicle registration number and are valid for the same period as the holder's visitor card.

2.2 Coaches

Coaches are permitted to enter the CERN site to drop off or pick up participants in visits or conferences at the event venue.

If a coach is to be used:

  • conference organisers must notify the Reception and Access Control Service and provide the details of the driver(s) (surname, first name) and the coach itself (model, registration number);
  • tour organisers must provide the details of the driver(s) (surname, first name, date of birth, town and country of birth and registration number) when booking the guided tour.

Special parking spaces for coaches are provided in the Globe car park, outside the Meyrin site.
By default, coaches are permitted to enter and leave the car park only once. For an event lasting two days or more, the coach driver must report to Reception in Building 33 in order to be granted an additional entry. Coaches may not be parked on the CERN site.


No revision Modifications Approved
1 If the visitor plans to come to CERN with his car, a visitor's parking ticket may be requested in advance by providing the service concerned with his car number plates. 17.12.2010
2 "Special badges" are created either using a Word template or using "Indico", as detailed in the CERN Printshop instructions. 21.10.2013
3 Update of the content to the new OC 2: contractor's personnel no longer entitled to request visitor's cards; visitors park their vehicles on the parking lot closed to the Globe 04.03.2015
4 Visible wearing of a badge. 02.05.2018
5 Outside the opening hours of the Main reception and 24 hours a day, new printing terminal in front of the bldg 55 and the visitor card(s) can be collected from the security guard on duty at Entrance B. 15.10.2018
6 A summary table and a paragraph on the organization of a multiple visit had been added. 02.11.2018
7 The guarantor can submit his request for a visitor card in two ways: either by mentioning all the information concerning the visitor (s), or by mentioning the name, first name and e-mail, then the persons concerned complete the missing information themselves. 23.05.2019