It’s all change for the "carte de légitimation"

From now on, the Swiss carte de légitimation will be issued to associates and users as well as staff members, and applications will be handled electronically, thus facilitating various procedures.

In collaboration with the GS-AIS Group, the HR Department is continuing its modernisation of administrative procedures. Now that MARS forms and applications to participate in the saved leave scheme have been computerised and employment certificates and change of home address forms have been made available on line on a self-service basis, it’s the turn of the carte de légitimation to enter the digital era. In future, when a new card needs to be produced, the member of the personnel’s data will be forwarded electronically from CERN’s database to the database of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE), eliminating the need for a paper form. Similarly, paper ID photos will no longer be needed as the digital photo taken for the CERN access card will also be electronically forwarded to the DFAE, while cumbersome photocopies will be replaced by digitised copies of passports and birth and other certificates.

"This new system will allow us to streamline procedures and improve the service we provide", says Jean-Marc Saint-Viteux, Head of HR’s Services, Procedures and Social Affairs group. The time it takes for the card to be issued will be cut from three weeks to just one week. This may seem a modest step forward but any change in the procedures relating to official documents issued by Member States invariably requires lengthy negotiations, since the authorities need to make sure that the new procedures are watertight. This particular project, initiated by CERN, was conducted jointly by the HR-SPS and GS-AIS Groups, with the support of the Relations with the Host States Service. The technical solutions adopted by the DFAE, which are based on Internet standards, were inspired by the Laboratory. The new procedure is the fruit of successful collaboration between CERN and the DFAE and has served as a pilot project: in parallel, the DFAE has launched a similar project with the Office of the United Nations in Geneva and intends to extend the move towards computerisation to the majority of international organisations based in Geneva.

At the same time, the entitlement to the carte de légitimation has also been extended. Ever since CERN’s early days, employed members of the personnel have been issued with a Swiss carte de légitimation granting them privileges and immunities linked to their status as international civil servants and having the same value as a residence permit. From now on, cards will also be issued to all associated members of the personnel (associates, students and scientific users) who spend more than 50% of their time at CERN for a consecutive period of more than three months, with the exception of Swiss nationals and persons sent to CERN by a Swiss Institute. Family members will also be entitled to them. These cards, known as "P-type" cartes de légitimation, will replace the old attestations de fonctions. The move will greatly facilitate the everyday life of associated members of the personnel, particularly if they come from a country whose nationals are required to obtain a Schengen visa.

Since Switzerland’s entry into the Schengen area last year, the attestation de fonctions and the carte de légitimation allow travel throughout the Schengen area (most of the countries of the European Union) without a visa. Around 3000 users and associates will be entitled to the new card.

For more details on obtaining the card, see the announcement by the Relations with the Host States Service.