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Working at CERN

Visa: Short Term

Short term visas for non-US citizens who are US Employees

The US CMS Project Office drafts Swiss and French invitations for help in obtaining visas for those traveling to CERN.   These are diplomatic documents and can only be signed by a small number of CERN officials.  We send them to the authorized people inside CERN, obtain stamps and signatures (the French ones also go off-site with a driver to be signed by the French authorities), fax or Email scanned copies to the requestor and the consulates where you will apply for the visa and send the original invitations to the requestor by express mail.  Short term visas are for < 3 months.  The information we require for the short term invitations can be found here.  Please mail this information to Yasemin.Uzunefe.Yazgan@cern.ch to request invitations.

American citizens do not need Swiss or French visas if they are visiting CERN for less than 3 months.

Health Insurance

People coming to CERN short term should be covered for disability and health insurance by their home institute.  The CERN User's Office will not register you if you do not have proof of this insurance. 

US CMS Apartments

There is limited space in a small number of apartments that US CMS rents for collaborators from any US CMS institute on a first-come first-served basis.  Washing machines are provided and lodgers are expected to clean their own bedsheets and dishes.  There is a cleaning service that cleans the floors and bathrooms every Monday and there is internet access.   Each person has their own bedroom, but the living space is shared with other US CMS collaborators.   There are a few logistical problems with paying the utilities in a timely manner and legal responsibility of the person who signed the lease for US CMS.  An investigation is ongoing to resolve these problems so that more apartments can be acquired.  To inquire if there is space, please send an Email to Tina.Vernon@cern.ch with the DATES you will be visiting CERN.  We cannot book any housing for you without dates.

CERN Rental Cars and Restrictions

In order to drive any car rented through a CERN team account (white vans and cars rented through the CERN Transport Service's contract with Hertz), you must have CERN Driving access.  This can be requested in EDH (Access Request) with a scanned copy of your American Driver's License.  These cars are for official use only and should not be used to transport families or private equipment.  They also are insured only for the "zone" around the LHC accelerator ring and should not be used to go to downtown Geneva or day outings to Chamonix.

We have been informed that one can also get the CERN rate (at the Hertz counter at the airport) by just showing your CERN Id (not yet verified).   For those wanting a car for longer term, the Hertz cars come to about 810 CHF a month.  There is also Kemwel which has cars that can be reserved from America (European residents cannot benefit from this deal, so you must reserve this car yourself from your institute in America).

Users Office and CMS Secretariat registration for newcomers

The first thing you should do upon arriving at CERN is register with the User's Office.  Note that they require a few things to register you.  One being a letter from your institute which states your dates of employment.  This is something that people don't normally carry around with them.  One also needs to fill out the User's Office Registration form and have it signed by the Team Leader of your institute.    Tami Kramer can sign for Fermilab employees.  If you will be long term on CMS, you should also register with the CMS Secretariat, where you can signup for various mailing lists you might be interested in.   


Shipping is handled by creating a document in EDH (CERN's electronic document handling system).  On this document, you must input a description of the contents, the approximate value, whether you want the shipment to be insured or not, reasons for shipping, whether it will be returned to CERN or not and when.  If it will not be returning to CERN, they may ask you for proof of ownership of the equipment.   When shipments arrive at CERN, there is a piece of paper stuck to them which lists the method by which it came in.  This number can be used as proof of ownership, so it is good to keep that piece of paper.

French Lessons

CERN runs French lessons from Beginner up to Level 9.    The web link for enrollment and information is here.

Webmaster | Last modified: Wednesday, 25-Feb-2009 08:45:53 CST