Travel to Morocco without C permit (copy available)

Hi, UK citizen, long term C permit holder in Geneva.

I may have to travel to Morocco and back for a holiday in a few days time without being in possession of my C permit. (copy available, just not the original). I have a Swiss driving licence I can show, and all other Swiss documents, it's just the permit may be temporarily unavailable. (I left it somewhere and getting it back in time may be impossible)

Does anyone know if this is going to be an issue with passport control? For my recent trip to the UK (when I had the permit with me), the passport woman on exit of Geneva was an a**hole.

Yes it’s a problem. You are required to travel with it or get a return visa if it is under renewal.

It could be, it really depends on the officer on the day. You are required to justify your presence in the Schengen Area and since you are not a tourist you need to show you are a citizen or you have a residence permit. Some won't bat an eye lid and some may kick off about it.

And what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

I had to do similar (travel out of Schengen and back in again with no physical C permit) and got around it by getting a D entry visa in my passport from the Service de la Population. I had to provide a photo and pay for the visa, but it was processed within minutes.

A copy of your permit plus other docs (Swiss driving license, bank cards, etc.) mean nothing to customs officials. As Jim said, some officials might play nice, but others might give you a very difficult time for not having correct documentation. Play it safe and get the visa.

The Geneva OCPM is open until 4 pm today, or Monday from 7:30 am. If you are planning to travel this weekend you should imperatively head to the office NOW.…igrations-ocpm

The chap went a bit crazy at Zurich airport when I did not have my permit with me.

I had sent it away for renewal but then needed to travel urgently.

He calmed down when he saw it was registered in the database as being in the process of being renewed.

But lack of permit due to renewal is different. When I had to travel during a renewal process I was given (for a free!) an attestation letter from the Service de la Population that my permit was being processed, and that the attestation could be shown in place of a physical permit.

I think losing/forgetting your permit is not looked upon with favour.

It is an obligation that permit holders present them, with their passports, when entering or leaving Schengen. If you have lost your’s report it immediately and they can give you an attestation for you to use until it is replaced.

It is also likely that your airline will refuse youboarding without it. Airlines get big fines for attempting to bring in inadmissible passengers.

She absolutely was an asshole because this was on the exit from Geneva - I and my family all had our permits and she was still an asshole, for no reason whatsoever.

For the return, my family had their permits, I didn't have mine and was very anxious about it, and the (different) woman was as good as gold. Depends who you get I suppose.

Thanks to others for their replies, I don't travel until 14th Jan, it appears I can cover myself one way or the other before then.

Why do you not have it?

Thanks for this info. However for info Geneva OCPM are absolutely useless now, they don't answer the phones, going to the office is by appointment only, you can't just turn up, and getting an appointment isn't that easy either.

Fortunately I'm not travelling until the 14th, but this is going to waste quite a bit of my time and energy until then, I can see.....

(already wasted hours with useless inflexible courier companies trying to recover the permit)

I edited my post after I re-read your OP.

I did this a couple of years ago. The copy of my C permit got me into the quick queue not requiring a covid certificate. But the lack of the actual one got me a stamp in my passport.

However, the passport control at Basel airport are usually French who a) don't care and b) will stamp anything.

It varies from canton to canton. When I lived in Neuchâtel, the first years it was only a letter from the commune. Some time later I had to get a return visa from cantonal population office.

More recently in canton Aargau it's also a visa glued to my passport. On 2022 it was for free. A few months ago I had to pay 80 CHF for the return trip visa (Rückreisevisa)

I guess the answer is "whatever is valid in the canton of residence"

While I was non-EU, in BS the return visa was ~93 Fr.

What did she do/say? Im genuinely curious. I fly from Geneva often and never got anything else than a smile at border control.

I always carry mine with me when travelling but what I dont get. If they can see on their system my permit status then what's the point carrying it!?!?

When you are at check-in, the agent has to confirm that you have the right to travel to Switzerland/Schengen. They do not have the immigration computers. If you can not prove it, they will deny you travel.

Airlines face significant fines plus repatriation costs if they land someone who is later refused entry. So they make their own rules about who gets to fly on their planes. That normally means you must prove to them that you will not be refused entry. And they don’t have access to the immigration systems. So your physical card is needed.

Has the UK's status fallen so far that a UK citizen might not have a right to fly to Switzerland from Morocco as a tourist? If they fly from the UK to Switzerland to visit me, no-one questions my visitors, they just stamp the passports.

If the check-in staff don't have access to the immigration systems, then how would they know that I'm not just a UK tourist?

It all seems very illogical and stupid.

However, DHL are due to deliver it back to me tomorrow (it was a struggle organising it, a kind acquaintance in Northern Ireland helped) so it shouldn't now be an issue, hopefully.

Fairly surprising thread.

I'm travelling frequently (can be >10 per year) outside the Schengen zone, on an EU passport, and I've been asked for my Swiss residence permit exactly once in the last 10 years, and never had a bad experience at passport control in Zürich, they've always been professional and polite.