New residence permit and visit to the Biometry Centre
FAQ in English: click here
Frequently Asked Questions about the new card-sized permits (residence documents in credit card format)
New design for residence permits
Credit card-sized residence documents as of July 2021.
All residence permits (and cross-border work permits) issued as of July 1st 2021 will be in the form of a plastic card, the size of a credit card. Current paper permits for European nationals (European Union, EU, or EFTA, European Free Trade Association) remain valid until expiration. Paper permits will only be replaced by cards upon renewal or when there is a change in the permit holder’s status.
A visit to the Biometry Centre every five years
The new documents will include photo and signature in electronic form. The stored data is valid for five (5) years. This means that the permit holder will be required to visit the Centre for Biometry and Identity Documents, in the Flon district of Lausanne, every five (5) years.
Wait for the decision by the authorities regarding the issuance of the residence permit before you make an appointment at the Biometry Centre
Once the Population Service has made a decision to issue or renew a residence permit, it sends a convocation notice to the concerned person to make an appointment at the Biometry Centre.
An appointment is mandatory to visit the Biometry Centre.
Wait to receive the letter from the Population Office before you make the appointment.
Asylum: N and F residence permits also in card format
People in asylum procedures who have been assigned to the Canton by the Confederation shall receive a card-sized document (N permit in credit card format). Their data (surname, first name, photo, signature) are recorded during their stay in one of the federal asylum centres. Therefore, they do not need to go to the Biometry Centre for the next five (5) years (period of validity of the stored data).
Holders of a provisional admission permit (F permit) who need to renew their permit will be invited by the Population Office (SPOP) to make an appointment at the Biometry Centre if the validity (5 years) of the data on file at the federal asylum centre has expired. An appointment is required to visit the Biometry Centre.
Wait to receive the letter from the Population Office before you make an appointment.
Nationals of third-party countries
For years, nationals of countries that are neither members of the European Union (EU) nor the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have had a permit in the form of a plastic card. There is no change for them insofar as they are already required to visit the Biometry Centre in Lausanne to apply for or renew their residence permit.
Summary of the procedure in English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian (PDF)
English: how to proceed (PDF, 490 Ko)
Portugués: pasos a seguir (PDF, 317 Ko)
Español: cómo proceder (PDF, 316 Ko)
Italiano: come procedere (PDF, 485 Ko)
Français : marche à suivre (PDF, 492 Ko)