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Schengen Area entry, stay and exit: reminder of the documents required

When crossing a border to enter or leave the Schengen Area, as well as when travelling from one country to another within the Schengen Area (including crossing the local borders between the canton of Geneva and the départements of Ain and Haute-Savoie), it is essential to carry an identity document (e.g. passport) that is recognised by the country you are entering. Unless they are specifically exempt, all nationals of countries other than the Member States of the European Economic Area and Switzerland must also carry a valid residence permit (residence or settlement permit issued by a Schengen state or passport containing a Schengen visa). In the absence of these documents, entry into the country concerned may be refused.

As is the case for everyone travelling within the Schengen Area, members of the CERN personnel may be subject to an identity check and must be able to present a recognised identity document.

The carte de légitimation issued by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the titre de séjour spécial issued by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs are residence permits, not identity documents. They allow travel within the Schengen area for up to a maximum period of 90 days per 180-days periods. Official specimens available for :

When leaving the Schengen Area, nationals of countries other than the Member States of the European Economic Area and Switzerland who hold those documents must check that they are valid for the duration of their stay outside the Schengen Area. If the documents have expired or you are unable to present them, you may be refused entry on your return.

Third-country nationals in the European Economic Area who are awaiting the issuance of their legitimation card or special residence permit shall ensure that their D visa is multiple-entry and valid during their travels. It is still possible that, when crossing an external border of the Schengen area, an entry/exit stamp may be affixed to their passports, as well as to those of holders of legitimation cards or special residence permits, without affecting their right to stay in the host states.

In case of difficulties at the borders, immigration authorities of the Schengen area may contact:

  • for Switzerland, the International Security Police at Geneva Airport, tel. +41 22 427 58 30 (until midnight) or tel. n° +41 22 427 92 20 (24 hours a day);
  • for France, the Protocol of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign affairs, tel. +33 (0)1 53 69 30 20 (diplomatic privileges and immunities) / +33 (0)1 53 69 37 69 (consular privileges and immunities), on working days and hours.

More information on:

Host State Relations