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Working at CERN

Relocating to CERN

US CMS Project Office @ CERN's Twiki page

Newcomer Welcome Center - A guide to settling into the region

CERN Women's Club

Joe Incandela's page on Moving to CERN

Please NOTE: Do not mail any personal items to CERN. CERN personnel (users included) are not allowed to accept such items and getting them through the customs will be at the expense of the owner of the items.

Visas

Visa requirements are well explained in this September 2010 CERN Bulletin. Procedures for applying for long term visas can be found here. When you have obtained those, the CERN User's Office will apply for CERN Residency documents for you. The Swiss one is called an Attestation de Fonctions and the French one is called a Titre de Sejour Special. You do not need the French one if you plan to live in Switzerland.

You usually don't need a visa for stays less than three months with an American passport, but you will need an invitation letter to work at CERN. Please start the process three months in advance. Refer to the CERN Users' Office. Check here for the French protocole d'accueil.

Renting a house

The US CMS Project Office can only recommend resources for finding an apartment near CERN. We do not have time to setup appointments with owners or visit apartments on your behalf.

The CERN Housing service has an electronic bulletin board where people advertise accommodation for rent. The coordinates of the person advertising are protected, so you must send Email to housing.service@cern.ch to get contact information. People also advertise rental properties on the site cern.market.   Usually a deposit of 1 1/2 months rent is requested and the owner may request that you have CERN residency documents in order to rent (which require that you obtain the above mentioned long term visas), so it's good to plan ahead. You will be required to sign a lease (usually in French) and the person who signs the lease is somewhat responsible for what happens in the apartment - something to keep in mind if you are renting an apartment for you and your colleagues. In France you are required by law to have "renter's insurance" which can be purchased through the French bank or an independent insurance agency. This protects the renter in case of damage to the apartment caused by water, fire, weather, etc...

CERN Installation Service

The CERN Installation Service helps with passing your household items through the customs (when they arrive) and registering cars on diplomatic license plates

Bank accounts

Depending on which currency you'll be paying rent in, you may want to open a Swiss and/or a French bank account.

The Swiss UBS is located near the main cafeteria on the CERN Meyrin site. In order to open an account, they may insist that you have CERN residency documents (called the Attestation de Fonctions). They charge a monthly fee of about 3 CHF a month for "account keeping" so you may not want to keep an account here unless you actually need it. They have a pretty good Ebanking system and debit cards. You can open an account in US Dollars and transfer money between accounts online. They do not issue checks as one would find in a checking account in the US.  The Swiss Post Office (La Poste) also has bank accounts.  There is a branch on-site at CERN in the main building near Restaurant 1 (across from the UBS).

The French Credit Agricole is located on the Prevessin site in building 866 (near the cafeteria). They have checking accounts in Euros, direct debit cards and credit cards. It is generally easier to get credit in France than in Switzerland. Their version of Ebanking is not as useful as the Swiss Ebanking. They also allow you to have a Compte en Devise (an account in US Dollars).

Their opening hours are Tue: 9-12,14:15-16:30, Wed-Fri:9-12,13:30-16:30

Health Insurance

There is an insurance company on the CERN site which insures CERN Staff and Visitors, but we find that it is expensive and not such a good deal for CERN Users. Some people have had good experience with the following company which is a fraction of the cost and the advisor speaks English - Wahle Bernard bwahle@goldencare.ch.

http://www.goldencare.ch/eng/index.html

Webmaster | Last modified: Wednesday, 17-Nov-2010 13:06:24 CST