FAQ- New credit card format for European (EU-EFTA) residence permits

What will change on July 1st 2021?

Starting on July 1st 2021, all permits (L, B, C, G, Ci) will be issued in credit card format. Unlike paper permits, the address will no longer appear on the cards. The employer will remain on cross-border commuter permits.

You must first register with the Residents’ Registration Office in your municipality before you can apply for your first time permit or extend / renew the permit you have. You will then receive a written notification inviting you to report to the Biometry and Identity Documents Centre in Lausanne to record your personal data.

An appointment is required for the Biometry Centre. We recommend booking your appointmtment online or calling toll-free number 021 316 20 30.

Card permits will be sent directly to your home address by registered mail.

Paper permits issued before July 1st, 2021 shall remain valid until their expiry date and cannot be exchanged for a card permit before then.

Personal data has a five year validity. So, for permit renewals that occur in this time frame, an appointment at the Biometry Centre is not required.

What information is on the new TS19 card for Europeans (EU-EFTA)?

1 Residence permit category
2 Document type

3 Residence permit number
4 SYMIC number (federal database)
5 Photo of permit holder’s face
6 SYMIC number, date of birth and expiration date in small print
7 Surname and first name of the permit holder as printed on his or her national identity document
8 Sex
9 Description of the residence permit category
10 Observations by migration authorities
11 Nationality
12 Date of birth
13 End of validity period
14 Second photograph of the permit holder with stereoscopic effect
15 Signature of the permit holder

16 Name as recorded in the civil register (if available) and other observations by the migration authorities
17 Date of issue, place and issuing authority (canton abbreviated in 2 characters)

18 Place of birth
19 Date of entry

20 SYMIC number and cantonal reference
21 Machine readable zone

How do I make an appointment at the Biometry Centre?

(NB: PLEASE WAIT TO RECEIVE THE LETTER FROM THE POPULATION OFFICE REQUESTING THAT YOU MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE BIOMETRY CENTER. Do not make an appointment until the Population Office has made a decision).

(Test of the convocation notice to the Biometry Centre translated into English (PDF, 148 Ko))

Making an appointment online

The letter which you received from the Population Office requesting that you make an appointment at the Biometry Centre contains a link to an appointment booking website, a QR code and a personal number with eight (8) characters.

If you scan the QR code or copy the relevant address into your browser, you will be directed to the appointment booking website.

After entering your personal eight (8) character code, you can choose the date and time of your appointment.

If you need to change your appointment because it is no longer suitable, you may do so only once. You will need your personal eight (8) character number to reschedule the appointment.

When you arrive at the Biometry Centre, make sure you have the following on-hand:

  • Your convocation notice from the Population Office (SPOP)
  • Your passport or national identity card
  •  Your old residence permit (if you have one)

For C adult permit only : the biometrics fee of CHF 15 must be paid by means of an invoice sent by separate post.
(On invitations sent from 1 July 2022 onwards, it is specified that biometric fee  must be paid by means of an invoice sent by separate post).

Making an appointment by phone

Call number 021 316 20 30, Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Have your letter from the Population Office handy so you can refer to your SYMIC number.

When you arrive at the Biometry Centre, make sure you have the following on-hand:

  • Your convocation notice from the Population Office (SPOP)
  • Your passport or national identity card
  • Your old residence permit (if you have one)

For C adults permit only : the biometric fee of 15 francs must be paid by means of an invoice sent by post separately from the invitation.
(On invitations sent from 1 July 2022 onwards, it is specified that biometric fee  must be paid by means of an invoice sent by separate post).

 

 

Does the new, card-based permit for European nationals (from the EU/EFTA) have a chip in it like the permit for third-party countries?

In accordance with international standards, permits issued to nationals from a non-European country (third party country) have an electronic chip that contains the signature, two fingerprints and a digital photograph of the permit holder’s face.

Permits for nationals from the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) do not contain an electronic chip. Only a facial photograph and a signature are captured so they can be printed on the permit.

Do I have to bring a photo?

Yes, you must bring a passport photo to the commune when you apply for a residence permit (initial application or renewal). (A photo will be taken at the Biometry Centre, but you must still bring a photo to the commune).

 

I am not satisfied with the photo on my permit, can I come back to take it again?

No. Once the photograph has been taken and validated, it cannot be changed.

My child has grown and is no longer recognizable on his/her permit, can a new photo be taken?

In the event of significant physical changes and at the time of permit renewal, you can ask the administrative officers in your municipality of residence that a new photograph be taken.

Can I exchange my paper residence permit for a new, card-based permit?

No. Paper permits issued before July 1, 2021 will remain valid until their expiry date and will not be exchanged for a card permit.

If I happen to be in Lausanne for a couple of hours, can I take advantage of this to record my data at the Cantonal Biometry Centre?

No. An appointment is required to record your data at the Biometry Centre.

What are the opening hours of the Cantonal Biometry Centre?

The Biometry Centre is generally open Monday to Saturday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm non-stop.

Please check the website for changes www.vd.ch/themes/population/documents-didentite

NB An appointment is required to visit the Biometry Centre.

Can I change my appointment?

You can change your appointment once if the one you booked initially is no longer suitable. In this regard, refer to the confirmation email you received after scheduling your first appointment.

You can also call number 021 316 20 30, Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Where is the Cantonal Biometry Centre located?

Cantonal Centre for Biometry and Identification Documents :

Voie du Chariot 3 (Place de l’Europe)
1014 Lausanne – Quartier du Flon

Parking garages : Flon, Rôtillon, St-François, Grand-Chêne, Montbenon
Public transportation : Metro M1, M2, bus 18, 22, 60

Operating hours: Monday to Saturday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm non-stop. Please check the website for changes: www.vd.ch/themes/population/documents-didentite

Switchboard: Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

https://goo.gl/maps/Xjk9gsxWjGEzYooJ7

NB: Appointment required

I live in Valais, but work in Vaud. Can I register my personal information in Lausanne?

Unfortunately not. The data must be registered in the canton of your principal place of residence.

Do card-based permits have the same validity as paper permits?

Absolutely. There is no difference in terms of validity between the paper version and the card format.

Once I have my card, will I be required to return to the Biometry Centre in Lausanne to renew it?

Not necessarily. If your residence permit (L permit, short-term stay) xpires in less than five (5) years after your data are registred, the data remain valid: you will not be asked to return to the Biometry Centre in Lausanne. The stored data are valid for five (5) years.


How long will it take to receive my permit once my data is recorded?

You can expect to receive your permit within ten (10) working days of recording your data at the Biometry Centre.

I was not at home when my permit was delivered and I have not had time to pick it up at the post office. How can I collect it?

Please contact the Residents’ Registration Office in your town of residence.

I received a convocation notice to go to the Biometry Centre to renew my data, but am unable to make an appointment before my permit expires. Is this a problem?

No. You have three months to register your data at the Biometry Centre in Lausanne after receiving the invitation letter from the Population Office (SPOP).

I have a new card permit from Geneva. Why wasn’t it changed to a Vaud permit when I arrived in the Canton?

The new EU / EFTA card-size residence permit does not change if you move from a different canton because it is valid for all of Switzerland. However, you need to go to the Residents’ Registration Office in your new municipality of residence to complete the administrative formalities for intercantonal migration => pour l'annonce au contrôle des habitants.

My family's residence permits are coming up for renewal, but the expiry dates of our documents are different (between two (2) and three (3) months). Can we submit our data together or are we required to make multiple trips?

You have three (3) months to make an appointment subsequent to receiving a convocation notice. If the expiry dates are close to each other, you can plan a group trip by making an appointment online (the convocation notice will provide a link to the appointment schedule of the Biometry Centre). If necessary, you can call the Biometry Centre to make an appointment on toll free number (021 316 20 30, Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 12 pm and1 pm to 4:30 pm).

What do I do with my old residence permit?

You must report to the Biometry Centre with your old permit so it can be cancelled.

Attention, if you are planning a trip abroad around the time you are renewing your permit:

Between the time you hand in your old document to the Biometry Centre and the time you receive your new card, you will not have a residence permit.

Therefore, if possible, avoid making appointments at the Biometry Centre less than two weeks before your departure abroad.

 

I have a valid paper permit, but I have moved to a different address. Will I receive a new paper permit or a card?

As of July 1, 2021, you will no longer be able to obtain a paper permit. So, even if yours is still valid, you will be invited to come and register your data at the Biometry Centre in order to replace your paper permit with a new, card-size permit.

If you are the holder of a paper permit, you must change it for a new card permit and will therefore have to go to the Biometry Centre if you move house, change cantons, communes or even change address within the same commune.

 

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