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Old 27.11.2012, 13:03
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For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

I'm just wondering what would prompt the border control staff to ask to see a residency permit on re-entry into Switzerland - is it if you have a UK passport, for example, but have a Swiss address listed? Or is it if they see that you've been in the country for more than 90 days out of 6 months?
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:10
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

I am not sure but I guess as I re-enter Switzerland, I am also re-entering the Canton of Zürich where I live ?

A bit of pain at the first time when I was told to " next time, put the ID card together with your passport" but everything went smoothly subsequently.
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:12
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

It's the border police, they check documents... sometimes random, sometimes based on a suspicion.

Don't worry if there's a problem, you'll know about it!
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:15
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

there is no requirement to present a resident permit along with a passport.

and they do not know how long you have been in the country
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:18
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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there is no requirement to present a resident permit along with a passport.
Strange, the person at the counter ( Zürich Airport ) made it seem as if it was an absolute requirement at that time. He got irritated when I took it out of my wallet and presented it to him as he assumed it would be put together. ( me - non-EU person of colour non-Schengen flight B permit ).

I never had a single instance of being asked for my ID at Geneva and Basel airports though.
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:18
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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there is no requirement to present a resident permit along with a passport.

and they do not know how long you have been in the country
I agree, I don't volunteer mine, as they just examine that too and few more seconds wasted on bureaucracy...
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:20
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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Strange, the person at the counter made it seem as if it was an absolute requirement at that time. He got irritated when I took it out of my wallet and presented it to him as he assumed it would be put together. ( me - non-EU person of colour non-Schengen flight B permit ).
The first time I left the Schengen zone after living here, I was told by the cantonal police checking documents that I must ALWAYS show my permit going in and out (he was very pointed) (me: non-EU, white, leaving Schengen)
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:21
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

This thread might help

Asked for Swiss Residence permit Leaving the UK!
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:22
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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The first time I left the Schengen zone after living here, I was told by the cantonal police checking documents that I must ALWAYS show my permit going in and out (he was very pointed) (me: non-EU, white, leaving Schengen)
Nowadays they scan all passports and the permit information comes up on their screen, since they make some reference to where I live, and even sometimes say welcome back or something.
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:24
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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Strange, the person at the counter made it seem as if it was an absolute requirement at that time. He got irritated when I took it out of my wallet and presented it to him as he assumed it would be put together. ( me - non-EU person of colour non-Schengen flight B permit ).

I never had a single instance of being asked for my ID at Geneva and Basel airports though.

i pass thru every few days and have got to know quite a few of the people on the passport control, i have asked them in the past as this topic has come up quite a few times.

They have told me each time no need to present the resident permit... however we have only ever discussed this in relation to EU nationals.

It may be different for non EU...
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:27
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

They want to make sure you have a legal reason to be here. When we traveled to the US from Frankfurt during the recent fall break, I had to show my Swiss permit there since I didn't have any documents in my passport (or I should say, any valid ones). Same as why a green card holder shows the green card when entering the US. At least in Germany it is easier as the residency and work permits I have had were always put in as a page in my passport, not in a separate id.
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:30
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

Thanks for the replies everyone! So, it looks like they want to see your permit if you are registered under a Swiss address but are not a Swiss citizen... is that right?
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:31
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?


that was related to a single person who was "thinking above her station" to be perfectly blunt.

i work wih many that go thru MAN and it was the same woman asking all the time, after she refused to check someone in without seeing a residents permit the person demanded to see the manager and it was established there is no requirement to present a permit.
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:32
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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Thanks for the replies everyone! So, it looks like they want to see your permit if you are registered under a Swiss address but are not a Swiss citizen... is that right?

not at all.
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:34
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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not at all.
At border control on re-entry I mean... I don't really get what you mean?
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:37
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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At border control on re-entry I mean... I don't really get what you mean?
I sense a new thread along the lines of "Where can I learn to read near Geneva?"!

I think hes winding you up a bit. The consensus is that its rather unusual and certainly not systematic to be asked, certainly doesnt seem to be obligatory to present it, except for some jobs-worths officials who claim it is to try and make their life easier. I thank that would get me an A**** at GCSE nowadays.
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:39
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

Just wanting to be sure... right okay, cheers
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:40
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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At border control on re-entry I mean... I don't really get what you mean?
do you mean here in Switzerland or when checked at an airport abroad? Also, my blue passport might bring me extra attention as I need a reason to be here indefinitely in the EU or CH. Generally, I think they might ask because they are bored...we never get stopped when we travel by car, I won't know what to do the first time we do!
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Old 27.11.2012, 13:50
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

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At border control on re-entry I mean... I don't really get what you mean?

there is no requirement for swiss passport control officers to be presented with your residency permit and your passport... for EU nationals anyway. As you mentioned UK passport you are a EU national.

NON EU - requiring visas etc i can see the need to ask for the permit, but everything is computerised so the info is there.
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Old 27.11.2012, 14:01
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Re: For what reason would you be asked to present a residency permit at the airport?

I've lived in Basel for nearly 3 years and regularly fly back to the UK. Never been asked to show my residence permit (which is good, as I never ever carry it with me).

Once, about 6 months ago, I was asked if I lived in Switzerland. I said "yes" and was let on my way. Oddly, that was on my way out. It could be related to tax, as an ex colleague (who actually resigned over this and other issues) was living in London but flying to Switzerland 3 or 4 days a week for nearly a year. Eventually, they stopped him at the airport (again, on the way out) and although I don't know the conversation which took place, he was asked lots of questions which ended up with a request to immediately declare residency and pay Swiss tax.

Our company refused to help him (he was based in the London office, and they're clueless) so he resigned.
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