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Old 23.09.2009, 16:04
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Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

I've decided that an Orange plan is probably the best one, but going through the website (not in CH yet, arriving on Friday), it says it needs an ID number which apparently needs a "B, C, G or L Permit." I'm a US citizen--does this mean I can't get a mobile phone until I get a residence permit?!?!

All I need is a SIM card, so even a pre-paid plan will do. Do all the wireless companies have the same rules?
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Old 23.09.2009, 16:08
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

You can get a pay-as-you-go (aka pre-paid) with your passport as id.
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Old 23.09.2009, 16:11
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

Hi Geekgirl,
For a prepaid you should be fine with just showing a ID card/passport. They just want to match phone number with a face.

Years ago, you could buy SIM cards here in Switzerland without a ID. But since it was said that one of the 9/11 Hijackers purchased a SIM card here in Switzerland, the rules changed...

Before the forum jumps in... This is what I was told at a Swisscom shop a few years ago. Not sure how true it may be...
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Old 23.09.2009, 17:33
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

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it says it needs an ID number which apparently needs a "B, C, G or L Permit."
Last week I asked in Swisscom and Apple if my certificate of registration will do to get a contract phone, but they were pretty firm that you need the permit....Seems like you can't do much until you get a permit here, though on the upside mine arrived today so in all only took two weeks...

Dan
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Old 23.09.2009, 17:36
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

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You can get a pay-as-you-go (aka pre-paid) with your passport as id.
Agreed. I did this when I arrived here as well. Though, if you want a subscription you most likely need a permit.
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  #6  
Old 23.09.2009, 21:14
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

Thanks for all the responses!

Now, which is the best company for pre-paid plans, that also offer data service (at a reasonable rate)? I'll be using my phone primarily in Lausanne, but I might stop at a wireless shop in Geneva with my friend who lives there. I was thinking of going to Orange, is that a good idea?

Also, when I finally get the stupid documentation I need and switch to a contract plan, can I keep the same phone number?
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Old 23.09.2009, 21:43
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

When I first came to swits it was with a tourist permit and they didnt want to sell me a chip (swisscom, orange) because I had no residency permit, my bf (he is swiss) had to buy it for me and switch it on my name when I got the fiance permit.
Anyways a friend of mine came to visit us recently (tourist) and she could buy a chip with Lebaron (not sure the spelling its right).
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Old 23.09.2009, 22:26
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

You probably mean Lebara Mobile (www.lebara-mobile.ch). They are very good for international calls. For example, only 0.09 CHF/min to US and you get 1 CHF free for every call that is longer than 15 minutes.
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Old 24.09.2009, 14:28
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

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You can get a pay-as-you-go (aka pre-paid) with your passport as id.
Swisscom would not give me a pay-as-you-go phone..... they wouldnt do anything without my residence permit.
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  #10  
Old 24.09.2009, 14:33
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

Yallo. Coop. Migros. LeBara.
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Old 29.09.2009, 22:53
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

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Swisscom would not give me a pay-as-you-go phone..... they wouldnt do anything without my residence permit.

Thats interesting, as I just came/landed this morning and i picked up a prepaid phone from swisscom with just showing my passport. Good deal too, 3ch/day and unlimited calls with in switzerland.
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Old 26.10.2009, 20:03
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

The one can get the prepaid card just by showing passport. I did it when I went to the job interview. Now, I'm trying to switch the same number to the postpaid account and take a phone that goes with the contract, but they ask for my permit.
Is there some workaround for this, so I should not be waiting for months. They just need my ZAR number, as they said to me. Can that be provided in Kreisbiro somehow before the permission is issued.

Please, if someone have advice?

Cheers, 0.
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Old 13.12.2009, 13:37
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

Hi everyone, I just joined this forum so I could post to this thread.

I just arrived in Zurich last Saturday and wanted to get a mobile phone. Alas, similar to the other in this thread, I don't have my B permit yet. I went to Orange Citydisc at the airport, and they told me that I can get a prepay phone just using my passport.

Since the Internet rates are cheaper than the offerings at the store, I decided to go online to order. However, the online form only has an option for the B permit ID number, and when I tried to enter my passport number, the system rejected it, saying it was in the wrong format.

Does anyone know how to workaround this? I guess my only options now are to pay the higher rates in the store, or just wait until I get my B permit.
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Old 17.04.2015, 12:21
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

Sorry to bump this thread. But, is this information still current/accurate?
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Old 17.04.2015, 12:39
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

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Sorry to bump this thread. But, is this information still current/accurate?
Don't worry about bumping old threads, when it's relevant.
New members are always slated, when they don't use the search function - so well done for that.


...... can't help with answering the question, though.
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Old 17.04.2015, 15:03
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

Lebara will tide you over until you have a permit
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  #17  
Old 17.04.2015, 15:04
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

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Sorry to bump this thread. But, is this information still current/accurate?
Yes as far as I know. Pre-paid you just need a passport but for a contract you will need a residence permit.
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Old 17.04.2015, 16:53
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

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Lebara will tide you over until you have a permit
I apologise, what is Lebara?
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Old 17.04.2015, 16:58
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

Lebara is a virtual network operator. They use the networks of the main operators

You can pick up a Lebara sim card in many places and from what I understand they do offer a good deal.
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Old 17.04.2015, 17:04
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Re: Getting a mobile phone before residence permit?

It would be worth getting a pre-paid of the network you want to go with on contract.

You're not likely to save much over a couple of months, and converting to contract is easier than porting the number especially if you're new. I've ported two numbers, involving all the three big providers, and all were a total shambles.

Also, if you try the pre-paid and the coverage is no good for where you use it most, you can still move to another network.
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