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Old 03.04.2020, 13:14
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EU force majeure overstay

I'm EU (UK). My wife is non-EU. We came to visit family but COVID-19 means we may be in a bit of a force majeure overstay situation. Our 90 days will be up May 1st. My wife has already filled out an OCPM service request form for a visa extension (https://www.ge.ch/en/contact-ocpm).


I'm not sure what I should do though.


I've heard that permits are not being given out for the next 3 months. I cannot use the same OCPM service request form as it doesn't have any options for EU countries.


Ideas?
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Old 04.04.2020, 12:51
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

This might help: (Google Translate)
1.7 Departure of people who, due to the coronavirus situation, are unable or were unable to leave the Schengen area on time.
Travelers who contact the border control authorities because they have not been able to leave the Schengen area within the deadline must be redirected to the cantonal authorities responsible for migration (cf. ch. 3 ).
Travelers who, because of the coronavirus situation, leave the Schengen area after expiry of their visa or the maximum authorized stay (overstay) should not be penalized.
Their travel documents must be duly stamped when leaving the territory.
https://www.sem.admin.ch/content/dam...covid-19-f.pdf
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  #3  
Old 04.04.2020, 13:11
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

From what country are both of you residents?
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Old 04.04.2020, 13:34
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

I’m dual UK & US, entered on UK. Spouse is a Chinese national.
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Old 04.04.2020, 13:42
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

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I’m dual UK & US, entered on UK. Spouse is a Chinese national.
But where are you actually resident normally?
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Old 04.04.2020, 14:23
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

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But where are you actually resident normally?

China.
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Old 04.04.2020, 14:27
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

I'd just make copies of relevant papers and attach a letter explaining the situation and send this to the immigration services. You should be fine regardless but better safe than sorry.
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Old 04.04.2020, 16:18
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

Just wondering why you didn't fly back to UK or China when you could, until very recently. Surely that will be the question asked by the Swiss authorities. It has been clear for a while that borders would close.

Last edited by Odile; 04.04.2020 at 16:59.
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Old 04.04.2020, 17:10
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

Quote:
Just wondering why you didn't fly back to UK or China when you could, until very recently. Surely that will be the question asked by the Swiss authorities. It has been clear for a while that borders would close.
That doesn't seem the right way round. If someone is allowed to stay until a set date then there's no reason to expect that they'd be able to predict the external situation and get out earlier.

So no, I don't think (I would certainly hope not) that anyone would be expected to know what was going to happen and get out before their allocated date. If that had been the case then it would have been up to Swiss authorities to make it clear to them, not up to them to second-guess what might or might not happen in the then future.
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Old 04.04.2020, 17:26
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

But you did- as you saw it coming, no? So did many of my friends abroad who realised borders were going to close and things get difficult - so shortened their stay. Common sense.
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Old 04.04.2020, 18:18
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

Does anyone know the borders are closed until May? I don't.
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Old 04.04.2020, 18:21
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

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Does anyone know the borders are closed until May? I don't.
They aren´t closed. Crossing the border is restricted
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Old 04.04.2020, 18:56
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

Quote:
Just wondering why you didn't fly back to UK or China when you could, until very recently. Surely that will be the question asked by the Swiss authorities. It has been clear for a while that borders would close.

Multiple flight cancellations & re-bookings.
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Old 04.04.2020, 19:04
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

We've had several threads along these lines, here about China, in another thread France, in another thread the UK.

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They aren´t closed. Crossing the border is restricted
Yes. Crossing the border into Switzerland is severely restricted. However, as I understand it, there are no border restrictions on people leaving Switzerland.

Factors that could prevent one being able to leave Switzerland to return to one's country of residence would be
  • not being able to find transport out of Switzerland going to one's country of residence
  • the country to which one needs to travel has closed its borders to incoming people,
    although many countries seem still to let people in who are
    • citizens or
    • who have their legal place of residence in that country.

As I read the Swiss special directive, Cornona and global uncertainty do not, per se, bestow the right to overstay. The special permission to overstay without penalty seems to me to be granted only to those persons who cannot leave Switzerland.
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Old 04.04.2020, 19:07
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

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Yes. Crossing the border into Switzerland is severely restricted. However, as I understand it, there are no border restrictions on people leaving Switzerland.
Germany has severe restrictions on entering the country, afaik Austria as well and would assume similarly for France.
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Old 04.04.2020, 19:09
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

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Germany has severe restrictions on entering the country, afaik Austria as well and would assume similarly for France.
Yes. But as I understand it, German citizens, or those with their legal residence in Germany, can leave Switzerland and return to Germany. And so on for Austria and France, and the UK.
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Old 04.04.2020, 19:12
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

Quote:
But you did- as you saw it coming, no?
We guessed that cross-border travelling would become more difficult, but we didn't know for sure, and certainly wouldn't have made any huge decisions based on that guess.
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Old 04.04.2020, 22:16
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

Quote:
But you did- as you saw it coming, no? So did many of my friends abroad who realised borders were going to close and things get difficult - so shortened their stay. Common sense.
Thousands of Swiss are stranded worldwide, they get consular protection abroad.

As of yesterday 16 flights organised by the Swiss government have brought back 2100 Swiss and 1600 foreigners, an additional 800 Swiss were flown back by partner countries. Another 5 flights take place this weekend.

OP is far from alone, I would think they can expected to be treated friendly and with leniency. Especially if they get active a month before the visa runs out.
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Old 04.04.2020, 22:44
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

But the OP is not stranded in Switzerland, he could get back to the UK- a big difference.
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Old 04.04.2020, 22:55
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Re: EU force majeure overstay

Quote:
But the OP is not stranded in Switzerland, he could get back to the UK- a big difference.
That would be very helpful for Chinese residents.
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