• News and current developments on work and residence permits - January 2019 - 2

    • Format change for permits
    • New technology


News and current developments on work and residence permits - January 2019 - 2

29 January 2019

Format change for permits

A modern, forgery-proof, non-biometric card in credit card format will replace the paper-based alien‘s card. The consultation on the necessary amendments to the regulation was initiated at the Federal Council meeting in December 2018 and will continue until spring 2019.

The permit cards of the following foreign nationals are affected:

  • EU/EFTA citizens (L, B, C permit)
  • Cross-border commuters irrespective of their nationality (G permit)
  • Family members of diplomats engaged in gainful employment in Switzerland (Ci card)
  • Asylum seekers during the asylum procedure (N-certificate)
  • Temporarily admitted (F pass) and persons in need of protection (S pass)

The changeover will be launched from July 2019 to December 2020, each time a permit card is issued or renewed. From January 2021, only credit card sized permits will be issued.


New technology for control at the external Schengen borders

A Europe-wide information system (Entry/ Exit System, EES) will record the travel data of third-country nationals entering the Schengen area for a short stay from 2021 onwards. This automatic recording makes it easier to calculate the length of stays still authorized for the traveler in the Schengen area. The EES is also intended to make it easier to detect irregular migration (especially over stayers) and to identify undocumented travelers during checks within the Schengen area with the help of biometric identifiers (facial image and fingerprints).

In Switzerland, checks continue to take place at airports and with the introduction of the EES, manual stamping of a travel document will no longer be necessary and entry will be via self-service systems.