I am a non-European student with a French residence permit. I have no residence in France currently, so I moved temporarily with my sibling in Switzerland.

Also last week I submitted my application for the renewal of my French residence permit and I have been issued a receipt (récépissé). Now this renewal process will take 45 days from submission.

In the meantime, I am scheduled to submit my application/passport for a UK Tier-4 study visa from France. I would like to come back to Switzerland by train/bus as I have no place to stay in France.

Is it legal to cross Schengen borders with a receipt and if possible, a proof of submission of a passport from the UK embassy (I am not sure if they would provide a receipt as well)? Well if not, I would have to stay in France until I receive my passport back.

I asked the Préfecture where I submitted my renewal and they couldn't answer me. I am in the process of asking this to the UKVI and also my university's visa support office in the UK.

Thank you for your answers.

  • I would be careful. Whilst it is legal to do this, you say that you have no residence in France. If so, how did you manage to request a renewal? You would have needed a proof of address, and correspondence about that renewal would have been sent by your local prefecture to that address. They do sometimes check at the border but normally you should be fine. But I would worry that your renewal might hit a problem if you are not actually resident in France. Unless I'm misreading, in which case apologies! Jul 29, 2018 at 15:46
  • Thanks for your comment. The French university where I'm enrolled in has provided me with the proof of address for my renewal. Since my programme has multiple campuses, I would need to move back and forth quite often. 'No residence in France' means I left the campus for summer break and had been constantly moving without contracts.
    – Keedaman
    Jul 29, 2018 at 17:34
  • Thanks a lot. I could relate a bit to what they have said on the two threads, but I am having a hard time with mine because in my case, the residence permit is under renewal (I had an OFII sticker on my passport) and at the same time I need to submit my passport to UK embassy. In case I do travel, the only documents I will have with me are the receipt of french residence permit and (possibly) some receipt from UK embassy. Flixbus is out of travel options for me as most often, they need a passport from us Non-Europeans.
    – Keedaman
    Jul 30, 2018 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


Strictly speaking, you do need to have the passport to travel within Schengen.

In practice, I would ask a bus travel agency/railroad administration.

What is your legal base for living in Switzerland?

a proof of submission of a passport from the UK embassy (I am not sure if they would provide a receipt as well)

In the application center, they provide you with a 'submission and collection checklist' that is signed only by you. But you can pay a service 'Keep My Passport When Applying' (€ 80.00) that allows you to apply and keep hold of your passport during the decision making process.

  • Thanks for the advice. I will seek clarification from these authorities on how I can travel legally. As for living in Switzerland, I am with my sister who holds a residence permit and I can also be here for a duration up to 90 days. I am not really sure about the service you mentioned in your comment. As per Google, it's a VFS Premium service. Though VFS does not manage application centers in France. Thanks once again.
    – Keedaman
    Jul 29, 2018 at 17:55

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