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Old 18.03.2011, 11:02
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VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

So we have just received the official letter of invite from CERN for our move over to Geneva.

The documents states we need to apply for a Swiss D+C visa, and a French type D visa.
  1. The Swiss visa must bear the words "Prise de fonctions au CERN" under Article 12 of the status agreement between CERN and Switzerland
  2. The French visa, must bear the words "Carte PRO-MAE à solliciter dès l'arrivée" under article XI 2 of the status agreement between CERN and Switzerland
Both are to be issued free of charge, valid for 12 months, and reissued the following year again

Of course these are all competently different to the research I have been doing regarding Permits. Would it be in my best interest to apply for the Permits as well while we are here, or should we just go over with the visa's, ignoring the permits for now?

Would we be able to apply for permits at a later date while in Geneva? or would we have to return home to South Africa to apply?


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Old 18.03.2011, 11:19
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

From the info you provided, this seems to be the visas to enter the country(ies). You would later get a residence permit, but it depends on where you want to live, France or Switzerland. As Cern employee, I understand you have the possiblities to live in France or Switzerland.
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:01
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

Well, My wife wants to live in France (Gex or Saint Genis).. I want to stay in Geneva But right now that depends more on where we can find suitable (ie: affordable) accommodation first and personal choice has nothing to do with it. I know we have about 3 months to sort it out and decide once there. We will more than likely be staying in a CERN hotel for a while.

I read up on wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenge...#Schengen_visa) that the C+D visa no longer exists as well, so I'm a bit confused
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:33
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

I am surprised that CERN did not inform you how to obtain these permits/visas. Perhaps you could start with them?
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:44
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

Your not the only one. I do see though that the D type, Long stay, Residency visa, seems to allow us to apply for residence permits, after 3 months. I'm guessing it's done this way so that we can choose first were we are going to stay, and then get the permits after that.
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Old 18.03.2011, 14:38
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

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Your not the only one. I do see though that the D type, Long stay, Residency visa, seems to allow us to apply for residence permits, after 3 months. I'm guessing it's done this way so that we can choose first were we are going to stay, and then get the permits after that.
A visa does not give you the right to take up employment. Work permits must be approved prior to starting work and should be applied for before entering the country. Your employer must do the paperwork..
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Old 18.03.2011, 19:42
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

You should contact CERN and ask questions about the letter. Normally, they are supposed to do all the paperwork for you.

Eventually you should have a carte de légitimation which allows you to live in Switzerland and/or some other card like a permis de séjour to live in France.

Some info here:
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1170492

Last edited by Suisse2008; 18.03.2011 at 19:43. Reason: add link
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Old 18.03.2011, 23:43
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

We have sent emails off to the PH and HR department this afternoon, trying to find out exactly what is going on.

I was originally worried about the permits/visa's, but was told I didn't have to worry because my wife and I would both be issued the same based on our married status.

Of course now that I have the letter and it mentions only visa's, and nothing about permits I am in a flat out panic. We are assuming that most of it is done by CERN during the initial "welcoming" that we have to do on arrival. I have been asking about it for almost 3 months already. But knew there was nothing I could do until we got the official letters of invite.

We got those on Wednesday, and the wording is what got me to ask here.

Hopefully the PR or HR departments can explain it further on Monday... At least I am praying they can otherwise I am pretty much... &**&ed
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Old 18.03.2011, 23:56
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

Stop panicking - CERN WILL sort it out! My husband trod its "hallowed halls" for 42 years prior to his retirement, thus I speak from experience when I say that everything will fall into place once you are sur place!
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Old 19.03.2011, 07:51
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

HAHA... Your more than likely right. We are not the first people to move over for them. So I'm sure they do know what they are doing and will sort out.

It just seems so different with regards to what everyone else has told us and what I have read up on, then again.. so is 90% of everything else that they do
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Old 25.03.2011, 10:34
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

Just an update.

Firstly it seems like we will have to stay in Geneva. If we do, then we have been told to follow the following procedure: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/...ir/mandi1.html

I had thought that this was only for people working at the UN, though the relations people have told us we would be the same. If I understand correctly here, then it means when we arrive, I should be allowed to apply for a "Ci" permit. If we stay in France however, then a different system would apply. This would also all depend on the status of our long term stay VISA's.

Regardless, depending on were we stay, will mean where I have to work. We are still waiting back for final clarifcation, But seems Merrylegs was right and I didn't need to panic
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Old 25.03.2011, 12:34
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

CERN is an international organization just like the UN. Staff do not pay Swiss taxes and get special conditions concerning purchase of cars, road tax, etc. The staff get same permits as the UN and family members can get the Ci permit. This permit has the big advantage over the standard B permit in that there are no labour market restrictions in finding a job. However, the Ci permit holder has to pay the same taxes and social costs that are required by Swiss residents.

One factor that you have to consider on which side of the border you would like to live is whether spouses of CERN staff who live on the French side have equal access to the Swiss job market. There are probably very few appropriate jobs on the French side so check first if you would be allowed to look for a Swiss job before you decide to move to France.
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Old 25.03.2011, 13:17
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

No.. You are very right there. We have already been told that if we stay in France, we will not be able to get the Ci Permit.

It something we are discussing now. Yes it might be Cheaper in France, but if I cant work, that doesn't count for much. So we are more than likely going to have to go with the more expensive accommodation in Geneva, While I look for a job. If all else fails, we still have the 12 month French long stay VISA, and we can shift over later if all else fails. For now however, I think we need to find a place in Geneva ASAP.

What we are just trying to Clarify right now, is the difference between CERN Personal, and a CERN User. My wife is classified as a CERN User, as she is not paid directly from CERN. Her funding is from external sources (SA-CERN). We should hopefully know soon if this effects the permits granted
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Old 25.03.2011, 14:10
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

If your wife is a CERN user, then both of you will need to think about health insurance. All CERN staff are covered by their own mutual insurance Uniqa. CERN users are not and have to find their own insurance. You could pay into the Uniqa insurance or you might try finding a better deal with an international insurance company or with a Swiss company.
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Old 25.03.2011, 14:50
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

We have been in contact with Jenny here on EF as well about that. Claire can get special students HI, My Son and I will have to take out our own insurance. We are covered as well for 3 months from my credit card company for R1 000 000 each because we bought the plane tickets through them.

We are also eligible to go onto the CHIS, but it will be about CHF 1500 a month, which is much more than we can afford right now. The bonus of course is that it covers almost everything.
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Old 25.03.2011, 16:04
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

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We have been in contact with Jenny here on EF as well about that. Claire can get special students HI, My Son and I will have to take out our own insurance. We are covered as well for 3 months from my credit card company for R1 000 000 each because we bought the plane tickets through them.

We are also eligible to go onto the CHIS, but it will be about CHF 1500 a month, which is much more than we can afford right now. The bonus of course is that it covers almost everything.
No idea what CHIS is but any Swiss health insurance company for two people would be around 30% of that including the bells and whistles.
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Old 25.03.2011, 16:32
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

Don't worry too much just get your entry VISA first and all will fall in place. CERN will process your permit. (if you plan to work in Suisse a separate Ci should be requested but you have to live in Suisse). CERN will also help you with your health insurance.
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Old 25.03.2011, 16:48
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

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No idea what CHIS is but any Swiss health insurance company for two people would be around 30% of that including the bells and whistles.
It is the standard CERN health insurance system. There is a reason why the premiums are so high. The deductible (franchise) is only 100 CHF per year, and as Kalvaer mentioned, practically everything is covered (private hospitals/private rooms, dental including orthodontistry, worldwide use, etc.). I believe it is also possible to get less coverage for about half the premiums but better check that as it was long time ago when I was at CERN.

But yes, it is certain the Swiss system is better value for money if you don't need all that coverage. You will need someone to help you fill out the forms in French.
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Old 25.03.2011, 21:22
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

There is the reduced cover, but it doesn't include family members. Full cover also only covers me as long as I am not working. As soon as I get a job, I then have to contribute about CHF500 on top of it.

Here are the new rates for 2011: https://hr-services.web.cern.ch/hr-s...is/contrib.asp

We are currently looking at Claire going on Student Care: http://www.studentcare.ch/index.php?...id=64&Itemid=1 where even the gold package seems decently priced. We just need to find out if my Son would be covered by them as well. Otherwise him and I will find something else to go over on to. But that is the easy part to do.. Finding a place to stay has now become priority.

We should have all our VISA's (French and Swiss long stay) by the end of next week hopefully
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Old 28.03.2011, 20:10
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Re: VISA's vs Permits for work at CERN

Just to update (In case 6 months from now somebody else is searching the same thing)

We have been told that as a "user", Claire is an "Associated member of personal of CERN". This means that the same rules apply. This means that's we are eligible for the "Ci Permits"

It still however, seems that this will only apply if we stay in the canton of Geneva, and not if we stay in France. As soon as we find out more, and finally get there to verify. I'll let you all know
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