Welcome to Geneva

1. Overview

There are 5 important steps that must be followed immediately upon arrival in the Canton of Geneva if you wish to stay here permanently or for a long time:

  1. Obtain a residence and work permit (mandatory)

    Citizens from the European Union meeting the necessary conditions for the obtention of a residence and/or work permit must report within 3 months of their arrival to the Office cantonal de la population et des migrations (OCPM)

    Citizens from other countries (outside the European Union) meeting the necessary conditions must report to the OCPM within 14 days of their arrival.

    Steps to obtain a residence or work permit:
    - permis de travail (salarié) / work permit for employee
    - permis de travail pour indépendant / work permit for freelance
    - permis de séjour sans activité lucrative / residence permit without gainful activity
    - permis de séjour pour étudiant / student residence permit
    - permis de séjour pour membres de la famille (regroupement familial) / residence permit for family members

  2. Enrol your child aged 4 or more in school (mandatory)

    Children 4-11
    Chlidren 12-15
    Young people aged 16 to 18 are required to be in training
    You can place your children in a crèche (day nursery) up to the age of 3.

  3. Suscribe to a health-insurance policy (mandatory)

    You must subscribe to a health-insurance policy immediately, but at the latest 3 months after your arrival in Switzerland (otherwise, an insurance company might be imposed upon you).

  4. Take a liability insurance (mandatory for tenants) / Assurance responsabilité civile

    Consult an insurance comparison website

  5. Open a postal or bank account


Translation services are available in case of need

Translation of official documents

Sign language interpretation :

  • Procom, rue Caroline 7bis,1003 Lausanne, Tél. 021 625 88 22, Fax. 021 625 88 24


Find your geographical landmarks

Find the location of an organization or administration.

The BIE has created an online map for newcomers with almost 260 useful addresses :


Dernière modification
14 December 2021
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