Advisory Services Welcome Center

Residence permit

Register with the Office for Migration or the residential services of your place of residence within 8 -14 days of arrival (and before beginning work) and apply for a residence permit.

Anyone living in the city of Bern must register with the Amt für Einwohnerdienste, Migration und Fremdenpolizei (EMF) located at Predigergasse 5.  

Different residence permits are available (e.g. short-term residence permit L or residence permit B). For citizens of EU/EFTA member states, a "booklet format" identity card will be issued while citizens from non-EU/EFTA states receive a biometric ID card (in card format).

 

When registering with the city of Bern, EU/EFTA citizens have to bring:  

  • A valid travel document (validity passport, ID)
  • work contract or confirmation of employment
  • (PhD students: Admission letter) 
  • a rental agreement or sublease agreement **
  • 2 passport photos
  • and money for fees (approx. 95 CHF) 

In the city of Bern, you receive the residence permit on the same day as the application is submitted.

** A simple sublease agreement alone is not sufficient! The Alien Police in the city of Bern also requests the main contract of your landlord. (So your landlord should provide you with a copy of their contract! Sometimes a consent to sublease from the property owner or the property administration must also be produced.)

When registering with the city of Bern, non-EU/EFTA citizens have to bring:

  • passport and visa
  • work contract
  • (PhD students: Admission letter) 
  • rental agreement or sublease agreement (minimum duration of the lease must be no less than 3 months)**
  • ** A simple sublease agreement alone is not sufficient! The Alien Police in the city of Bern also requests the main contract of your landlord. (So your landlord should provide you with a copy of their contract! Sometimes a consent to sublease from the property owner or the property administration must also be produced.)

When registering, you will be given an appointment for a "biometric photograph". The residence permit will only be delivered after this photo has been taken. (Do not miss the appointment!) The time between submitting the application and receiving the residence permit may be several weeks. (At the beginning of the semester, it may be a total of 3-4 weeks.) Fees for the residence permit between 160-220 CHF (approx.) 

 

Initial Interview with local authorities

In accordance with the “Integrationsgesetz” (Integration Act) of the Canton of Bern, starting in 2015, local authorities meet with foreign nationals who are moving into the Canton of Bern for an initial interview. At this meeting, you will receive information on life in the municipality and on integration offerings. If you do not speak any German, it is possible that you will be asked to learn German (esp. postdocs and employees with families from non-EU/EFTA countries). – The local authorities may decide whom they invite for interviews.