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I'm gonna leave Switzerland on Nov. 25th for a conference trip in Australia, but my B permit will be expired on Nov. 11th. The new one, for which I applied today, will not be delivered before my departure. So, according to regulations, I have to get a re-entry visa to be able to get back to the country.

However, I am wondering how the border officer would react to the fact that I will leave the country 20 days after the expiration of my B permit. In fact, the population office of my commune did not pass me any receipt of renewal except a payment receipt which doesn't look like something reliable to officials. Does my re-entry visa prove that my excessive residence after the expiration of my B permit is authorized (otherwise, Swiss authorities would not have issued any re-entry visa for me)? If not, what should I do to justify the situation?

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Does my re-entry visa prove that my excessive residence after the expiration of my B permit is authorized (otherwise, Swiss authorities would not have issued any re-entry visa for me)

Yes, this will not be a problem. As long as you have a valid return visa (a national visa of type D), it is extremely unlikely for the border officer to inquire more regarding your status in Schengen.


Unfortunately, cautions should be exercised when travelling by land to Italy and certain Eastern European countries. There have been reports that certain border officers refuse, despite clear rules set out by the EU, to recognize type D visas (for the dubious reason that it is only valid in one country) or other documents acceptable for crossing external borders (e.g. the French renewal attestations RCPC) listed in an EU list. Language barriers often make it hard to communicate and justify your circumstances.

But if you travel by air, this is not a problem (not least because they are generally more well trained, encounter far more international travellers, and you cannot be immediately removed).

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  • "for the dubious reason that it is only valid in one country": it's not dubious; it's contrary to EU law.
    – phoog
    Dec 27, 2022 at 22:07
  • @phoog Indeed, I could not even believe it, but it did happen to a good friend (who later flew to Italy without any problem) a couple months ago and it was really difficult to communicate with the Italian guards since they did not speak English very well. I later checked Italian government website which also mentioned that national visas can circulate freely in the Schengen area under 90/180, but by then my friend was already forced to take the train back to Switzerland.
    – xngtng
    Dec 28, 2022 at 8:22

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