Stays of more than 3 months

Am I subject to a visa? 

If you are a Swiss national or from an EU Country, you are NOT subject to a visa.

To enter and stay in the Organization's Host States, Switzerland and France, any national of a third country (i.e. not a national of a country within the European Economic Area or Switzerland) is in principle subject to a visa requirement. more

Your local consulate will deliver you a D-Visa valid for three months only. As soon as you arrive at CERN, please ensure you go to the Users Office to request your Swiss and French Cards which will replace your D-Visa and which will be valid for the whole duration of your contract.

*PLEASE NOTE: You cannot apply for both the French and Swiss D Visa.*

Given that the Organization is located on the border between France and Switzerland, we strongly recommend that you contact the relevant consulates for information on the entry conditions applicable to you in these two countries, specifying the duration and nature of your work at CERN. Where appropriate, you are invited to take the necessary steps to obtain the requisite documents, in particular multiple-entry long-stay visas:

  1. a Swiss D type visa if you are establishing your place of residence in Switzerland, or
  2. a French D type visa if you are establishing your place of residence in France

1. If you decide to live in Switzerland:

Nationals from the following countries are exempt from Swiss Visa:

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Principality of Andorra
  • St Martin
  • Singapore
  • Vatican

Please submit an application to the Swiss Consulate competent for your place of residence and request a Swiss multiple-entry D Visa.

A Swiss invitation letter will be sent to you by e-mail within a few days. If you wish us to send this invitation letter to your consulate please send us a separate e-mail with the e-mail address of the Consulate. You must go to the Swiss Consulate competent for your usual place of residence, taking this letter with you, and request a visa bearing the words "prise de fonctions au CERN", explaining that you will become a member of the CERN personnel and that as such you will be entitled to a legitimation card issued by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

2. If you decide to live in France:

The French Note Verbale will be sent directly to the consulate competent for your usual place of residence by the French Ministry. Within 10 days you must contact your French Consulate competent for your usual place of residence and take an appointment with them. You have to request a visa bearing the words "carte PRO-MAE à solliciter dès l'arrivée", making reference to CERN's Note Verbale to the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

If you wish to include one or several family members (spouse or children) please inform us about this when sending the request.

NB: When applying for a French visa on the relevant consulate website, choose  Assumption of official functions" / "Assumption of official functions / ordinary passport" under the section "YOUR PLANS".


How to request an Invitation Letter for Visa purpose

To start the procedure, the following information (together with a scan copy of your passport) is to be sent to

  • First Name
  • Family Name
  • Birth Date
  • Birth Place
  • Nationality
  • Home Address and Phone (in the US if you live there)
  • E-mail
  • Passport no. and Type (ordinary or special)
  • Passport Issue Date
  • Passport Expiration Date
  • Employer/Institute's Name, Address and Phone
  • Name of the Town in which you will apply for Visa
  • Exact dates of stay at CERN
  • If you worked at CERN previously : did you return your French “titre de séjour spécial” and legitimation card ? (please note that failing return of French and Swiss cards, no visa can be applied for)
  • Are you coming several times in the coming year (in the coming 365 days)?
    • ​ If yes, please specify approximately how many days and how many times?
  • will you live in France or in Switzerland?
  • Are you coming with your family? 
    • ​If yes, please provide us with their personal information and the scan of their passports as well. 

During your stay at CERN

  • Name of the Funding Institute
  • Name of the Project
  • Name of the Team Leader (TL)
  • Name of your supervisor if different than the TL