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Old 17.07.2015, 11:28
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Leaving Switzerland, no visa in hand, but one cleared

Hi, I have to fly out of Switzerland in 5 days back to the states I have a valid student permit that has been cleared, but it got lost in the post when they sent it to me and I do not have it in hand.

Does anyone know what might happen, or my options? I cannot wait for the post to send it seeing as 5 days (really 4 days) is not enough time to reliably receive it.

Will they not let me pass through or will there be a fine or something of the sort?
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Old 17.07.2015, 15:03
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Re: Leaving Switzerland, no visa in hand, but one cleared

I would expect the Schengen visa database to hold you passport details.

This said, I thought a visa would be stamped into your passport and not sent as a separate sticker or document???
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Old 17.07.2015, 16:12
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Re: Leaving Switzerland, no visa in hand, but one cleared

It's not entirely clear which authorities you're concerned about - the Americans or the Swiss? If you're worried about the U.S. I would not travel without your visa sorted. In fact the airline might not even let you board without having your documents in order. Actually that applies to both directions of travel.

If you're concerned about the Swiss authorities you can go to your municipality and either get a letter that says your permit is approved and being issued, or perhaps a temporary visa. Then show that to the authorities here when you return.

The quote below is from my most recent return to CH. I'd been here for 5 years on a B-permit and my C-permit was being processed when we went on vacation. I'm a U.S. citizen, so I can be here for 90 days as a tourist without any paperwork. They still gave me a hard time...

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...A side note - Kantonspolizei at ZRH gave me a hassle coming back from holiday but did let me in eventually. My B-permit expired the day before we returned from vacation. The officer said she could see in her computer that the C-permit was issued but technically she did not have to let me in since my permit was expired and I did not have the new one in my possession. She gave my husband quite a telling-off in Swiss German, and told him that if the C-permit had not yet been approved she would have sent me back to the U.S...
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Old 17.07.2015, 16:59
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Re: Leaving Switzerland, no visa in hand, but one cleared

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It's not entirely clear which authorities you're concerned about - the Americans or the Swiss? If you're worried about the U.S. I would not travel without your visa sorted. In fact the airline might not even let you board without having your documents in order. Actually that applies to both directions of travel.

If you're concerned about the Swiss authorities you can go to your municipality and either get a letter that says your permit is approved and being issued, or perhaps a temporary visa. Then show that to the authorities here when you return.

The quote below is from my most recent return to CH. I'd been here for 5 years on a B-permit and my C-permit was being processed when we went on vacation. I'm a U.S. citizen, so I can be here for 90 days as a tourist without any paperwork. They still gave me a hard time...
Some people are idiots, crazy story 3Wishes!!!

Having said that, I agree with what you said re. US visas - for the OP, I would not attempt to travel to the US without your visa with you, they'll just refuse entry.

Maybe one option would be to enter the US temporarily with the visa-waiver program (assuming the OP is from one of the countries that qualify), then, once the visa is received, exit the US (vacation in Mexico or Canada?) and re-enter with the proper student visa.

As far as I know, you cannot change from visa-waiver to visa while in the US, you have to exit and re-enter.
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Old 17.07.2015, 17:04
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Re: Leaving Switzerland, no visa in hand, but one cleared

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Some people are idiots, crazy story 3Wishes!!!

Having said that, I agree with what you said re. US visas - for the OP, I would not attempt to travel to the US without your visa with you, they'll just refuse entry.

Maybe one option would be to enter the US temporarily with the visa-waiver program (assuming the OP is from one of the countries that qualify), then, once the visa is received, exit the US (vacation in Mexico or Canada?) and re-enter with the proper student visa.

As far as I know, you cannot change from visa-waiver to visa while in the US, you have to exit and re-enter.
The OP is going to have no problem getting into the US as he is a US citizen.

Returning to Switzerland is the problem. As 3Wishes says, he may not be allowed on to the aircraft in the US or he maybe refused entry at Swiss immigration.
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Old 17.07.2015, 17:58
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Re: Leaving Switzerland, no visa in hand, but one cleared

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The OP is going to have no problem getting into the US as he is a US citizen...
Oh, I've got great U.S. stories too.

Immigration officer: So, where are you coming from today?
Me: Switzerland
IO: And what were you doing there?
Me: I live there.
IO, in a testy voice looking a his computer: I can SEE that. WHY?
Me: I'm married to a Swiss man
IO: But why live in Switzerland?....

that story goes on and there are others too. Happy travels, OP!
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