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Bureaucracy, swiss style

Austria (my country of origin) is not known for its swift and efficient bureaucracy. Nevertheless France managed to surprise me in 2005, during my ERASMUS-year (i.e. studying abroad). I must have used about eight or nine passport photos (is that how you say it in english? Passphoto/photo de passport), and I am sure an entire forest was chopped down to produce the reams of paper for all the forms that had to be submitted in triplicate. Since I was not clapped into prison for wrongly filling in form 2354/a in subsection c, I thought that I was sufficiently prepared for the swiss equivalents.

Swiss bureaucracy is a curious animal. The swiss are known to be hyper-efficient, and their diverse departments do not disappoint. On the other hand they seem to love labyrinthine conundrums, and getting all the permits you need to get some other permit can get you into some kind of vicious circle, like needing a permit the sejour (i.e. residence permit) for your bank account, which in turn is a requisite for your work contract, which you have to have for your bail a loyer - an try to get that without a permit de sejour!

But today I finally managed to apply for a permit de sejour at the controle des habitants (i.e. immigration) - though I have to wonder at the need to know my mothers maiden name, reminds me a bit on traveling through Yugoslavia when I was little. Now I will soon be able to get a mobile, because apparently you need a residence permit for that - can't have those aliens carrying our mobile phones out of the country!
Posted by Boris Legradic on Friday 9 March 2007 at 14:22