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Old 27.04.2008, 12:17
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B permit renewal non-EU

Hi all. Just wanted to pass along some information based on our experience renewing our B permits. We are non-EU (Canadians) and our permits were set to expire in early March. We got all of our info together and took it down to the Bern Canton office one month prior to the expiry. We waited for 2 1/2 months and still nothing, despite calls to the canton, and them reassuring us that nothing is wrong, but they couldn't tell us when we'd get the renewal.

None of this would have been a problem, except we wanted to travel to Russia in May and needed a visa. Well, no visa without the permit, as they told us at the Russian consulate. We were a little concerned, as we had already paid money in advance for this trip. So off I went to the canton office. Initially, I was told that they couldn't do anything for us, and they didn't know when they could get to the renewal. I explained that we needed the papers to get a visa, and I wouldn't budge. So after a quick consultation with a supervisor, the renewal papers were produced in a few minutes!!!

So, folks, just a bit of advice if you are waiting patiently for a renewal. Go down in person, and refuse to leave until you get what you want!! It worked wonders, and I didn't have to resort to hysterics. It was all very civilized, but I'm still mystified by what happened.
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