I am a St. Lucia national living in St.Lucia. I am married to a Swiss national. I obtained my Swiss resident card 2 years ago and it expires in 2015. I left Switzerland last year to tend to a family emergency and did not take my card, I was gonna be out for more than 6 months so my husband was worried since I was not there and my health insurance and other documents started arriving. He returned it thinking that it would be somehow on hold. I would like to return but do I need to apply for another Schengen visa to re-enter since I do not have my card?

To obtain a new copy of the card I need to be there in person, they would not give it to my husband.

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    You need to have something to prove you can go to Switzerland when boarding the flight so probably some form of visa or residence permit. Did you try to ask the relevant Swiss embassy about it? – Relaxed Feb 13 '14 at 14:38
  • @Relaxed OP will be allowed to board the flight as St Lucians are allowed into the Schengen area visa free for a 90 days in a 180 day period – BritishSam Apr 11 '17 at 14:52
  • @SamJones Yes, but it wasn't in February 2014. The relevant regulation was amended later in 2014, with a disposition planned to take effect after a visa-waiver agreement was signed, which happened the following year. – Relaxed Apr 11 '17 at 20:36
  • My bad I never saw the date! Why was this on the home page?! – BritishSam Apr 12 '17 at 7:08

The customs official can look you up on the system and verify that you are a residence permit holder. He will not turn you back when you go back to Switzerland. Worst thing that can happen is that he asks you to step into an office while they check the status of your permit, specially if you have a rather common name and/or your passport number changed since you applied or the permit.

If you want to make sure, ask your spouse to take a photo of the card and the other documents and send it to you by email. You can then show the photo to the customs officer so they can refer to the registration number on the card to speed up the process.

Source: I am a holder of a Swiss residence permit and crossed the border before without it. Customs officers asked me about my permit without me showing it to them, so they knew I have one from their IT system.


While the immigration official can look your residence permit data, I'm not sure if this applies to your situation for the card was returned (if I understand correctly) and you've been out of the country for longer than 6 months anyways. And even then, the airline most likely won't let you board without visa or residence permit on hand.

If you want to make sure, refer to the relevant Swiss embassy (in Caracas, I think).

  • OP will be allowed to board the flight as St Lucians are allowed into the Schengen area visa free for a 90 days in a 180 day period – BritishSam Apr 11 '17 at 14:53

The good News is St Lucians no longer need a Schengen visa for up to 90 days per 180-day period. Otherwise you would have a problem, not with Swiss passport control, but with the airline letting you board the flight.

You'll be fine - the Swiss authorities have you in the database.

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    (+1) I did some editing, hope that's OK. – Relaxed Apr 11 '17 at 21:06

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