Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes. Yes. If you move to the Canton of Geneva during the school year, you must enrol your child in a school within three days of your move using the procedure for children living in Geneva.
If your child lives outside the Canton of Geneva and you wish to enrol them in a Geneva public school, you must check that they meet the enrolment conditions and then follow the enrolment procedure for children living outside the Canton.
In the Canton of Vaud
Articles 34 and 46 of the Constitution of Vaud set out the educational rights and duties relevant to all children residing in the Canton. As a general rule, children who arrive during the school year or who transfer from a private school, home schooling, a special education school or a school outside the Canton are placed in a class on the basis of their age.
Enrolment in a public school is based on the catchment area in which the parents’ place of residence is located. The procedure is different for primary and secondary schools: Enrolment at the primary level (grades 1P to 8P), Enrolment at the secondary level (grades 9S to 11S).
Yes, you can bring a friend on the Newcomers Programme’s excursions and outings. Simply include their first and last name when you register.
Unfortunately, the events listings are not exhaustive and the Kiosk does not have access to all ticket offices. For all events not included in the Kiosk’s listings, please contact the organizer’s sales platform directly.
All the offers negotiated by the Kiosk are available on the listings of the CAGI Cultural Kiosk at UNOG on the page entitled “Offers at preferential rates”.
Crèches and nursery schools provide care for children between the ages of 16 weeks and 4 years. regular full- or part-time care are possible
Under the Compulsory Education Act, children who have reached the age of four years on 31 July must attend school.
As soon as you know the termination date. First, advertise the housing offer on the housing platform of the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI). You should also ask the “régie” (real estate agency) to advertise the offer on its website, as doing so is also in its interest. However, you will have to organize any showings of the place. To increase your chances, you can place an ad on a specialized website. And be sure to share the information with colleagues, friends and neighbours – word of mouth can be very effective.
f you live in the City of Geneva, you should register with the Bureau d’information petite enfance (Early Years Information Office), which is the only office authorized to handle registration for childcare facilities subsidized by the City of Geneva. In the City of Geneva, childcare places are allocated using the same criteria for everyone. The waiting list is very long. It is advisable to try various options such as contacting a network of approved childminders (list available from the Bureau d’information petite enfance) or approved nannies (e.g. Mary Poppins, Chaperon Rouge; lists available on the websites of: fondation 022 famille or Chaperon Rouge.
If you live outside the City of Geneva or in the Canton of Vaud, you should contact the town hall of your commune directly.
You can send your partnership request to the Cultural Kiosk by email at email@example.com or to the CAGI Communication Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. After assessing your request, the team will contact you to define the terms of the partnership and the preferential rates that will be offered to the Kiosk’s customers.
Tickets can be bought remotely. You can contact the Kiosk by email at email@example.com or by phone at 022 917 11 11. Tell us which offer you are interested in and leave your mobile number and work email address. Mention how many tickets you require (adult and child + age) and for which date. A payment link will be sent to you by email/SMS so you can pay online and receive your tickets Purchases can be made by card only.
Salary and/or security deposit: the banks in the Nations neighbourhood and in certain international organizations offer the advantage of having extensive experience with international clients. They are the banks that will set up a security deposit for you if necessary. f you are unable to transfer the necessary funds to set up the security deposit, you can ask the lessor if they would agree to a “caution” (type of rent guarantee not requiring a deposit) .
Upon confirmation of accommodation support, the delegate will be informed of the amount of the financial contribution to be paid to CAGI.
The delegate undertakes to pay this contribution at the CAGI office (in cash or by credit card) or by bank transfer before leaving Geneva.
No payment should be made to the hotel.
All requests must be sent to the CAGI Communication Department at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. The Communication Department reserves the right to accept only those requests that are related to its field of activity. CAGI is impartial and will give priority to the promotion of partner events and events related to International Geneva.
If the association you want to set up is a legal entity under Swiss law, it will have to meet the relevant criteria listed on our site. We recommend that you consult the following pages:
De manière pratique, afin de créer une association, il faudra convoquer une assemblée générale constitutive, lors de laquelle vous adopterez les statuts de l’association et élirez les membres du Comité. Les décisions seront consignées dans un procès-verbal.
Suite à l’adoption des statuts par l’assemblée générale, l’association dispose de la personnalité juridique. Elle peut commencer à développer ses activités.
A noter qu’en Suisse, une association (art. 60 et suivants du Code civil) n’a pas besoin de s’enregistrer auprès des autorités publiques pour pouvoir exercer une activité. Elle doit néanmoins remplir une déclaration fiscale sur une base annuelle. Pour ce faire, l’association doit s’enregistrer auprès de l’administration fiscale (voir: “Guide de la déclaration 2020“) et peut bénéficier d’une exonération fiscale sur demande (si les conditions sont remplies – cf. page fiscalité).
L’inscription d’une association au registre du commerce est souvent facultative. L’inscription est toutefois obligatoire lorsque l’association exerce une activité en la forme commerciale pour atteindre son but idéal ou est soumise à l’obligation de faire réviser ses comptes. L’inscription au registre du commerce ne joue dans tous les cas aucun rôle dans l’acquisition de la personnalité juridique. Pour davantage d’informations, nous vous invitons à consulter la page “Enregistrement“.
The International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) is not a language school and does not offer courses.
The aim of its Conversation Exchange Programme (BEL) is to bring together 2 partners wishing to improve a foreign language orally in exchange for their own. Each participant must have an intermediate level to be able to converse with the person they are matched with. The Programme does not accept beginners or children.
The Programme is free of charge and is intended to complement, rather than replace, school-based courses.
For registration, a form must be completed online.
do I go about finding housing? Sign up with the housing platform of the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) to receive housing offers that you would not necessarily find elsewhere and also to receive offers from the portal: www.immobilier.ch. Request email notifications from the website www.comparis.ch for offers posted on most real estate platforms. Word of mouth also works! Your acquaintances can be a good source of information.
If you are an international civil servant, a member of a permanent mission, a consulate, an NGO, you work for a multinational company or you are a professor at HUG/UNIGE, and you have just arrived in Geneva have the right to enroll in the Host Program.
CAGI maintains a database of international NGOs that have their head office or a representative office in the Canton of Geneva and meet all of the following conditions:
- § Operates on a non-profit basis
- Is able to prove regular and concrete activity in the Canton of Geneva
- Has a physical address (post office box alone is not sufficient) in the Canton of Geneva
- Works in one or more of the following five areas of excellence of International Geneva: (1) peace, security and disarmament; (2) humanitarian action and law, human rights, migration; (3) labour, economy, trade, science, telecommunications; (4) health; and (5) environment and sustainable development
- § Has a relationship with an international organization (e.g. consultative status or proven collaboration)
- § Is active in at least two countries
- § Does not participate in political or religious proselytizing
NGOs are added to the database free of charge. The following documents must be submitted:
- Copy of signed statutes
- Signed minutes of the constitutive general assembly and/or the most recent general assembly
- List of Board members (if not included in the minutes)
- § Most recent activity report (or, if the association has just been created, a detailed description of the association, its aims and projects)
- Most recent balance sheet and profit and loss account (or, if the association has just been created, a projected budget)
The inclusion of an institution in the NGO Service database is purely informal and does not entail any official recognition. NGOs must complete an up-to-date profile approved by the NGO Service before they can take advantage of the services and advice available. They must update their profiles once a year by submitting an activity report, a financial report and the minutes of the general assembly.
A foundation is an entity with legal personality. One of its essential characteristics is that its assets are intended for use in pursuing an ideal goal. Rules on foundations are governed by articles 80 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code.
The foundation must be set up by a public deed signed before a notary. A foundation is created by allocating assets for a particular purpose and is subject to oversight by the public law corporation (Confederation, canton or commune) to which it belongs by virtue of its purpose. This oversight body ensures that the foundation’s resources are used in accordance with its objectives.
This is a relatively rigid legal structure. Once the objectives have been adopted at the time of incorporation, they cannot be changed without the approval of the oversight authority.
According to the practice of the Swiss Federal Supervisory Board for Foundations, the minimum initial capital is CHF 50,000.
The foundation must have:
- a Foundation Board
- an Audit Board
In order to acquire legal personality, the foundation must be registered in the Commercial Registry. Foundations that operate internationally can also register with the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) . Foundations that operate internationally can also register with the CAGI.
The delegate must create a profile in order to apply for support.
He/she can submit and follow up his/her requests for accommodation support via his/her personal account. The delegate may share the required documents and consult his/her booking confirmation.
Group requests must be centralised by a coordinator who is the sole interlocutor with CAGI during the whole process.
Applications are to be made online via the “Visiting Delegates Application” accessible from a web browser. The group coordinator must create a user account. He/she can then invite people to join the group and is able to follow and coordinate the requests of the whole delegation.
The Conversation Exchange Programme is based on conversation only, an intermediate level is required to facilitate language exchanges between participants. We advise you to contact one of the many language schools in Geneva: https://www.ecole-club.ch/Offres/Langues https://www.ifage.ch/formation/langues/ https://learning.unog.ch/fr
Regardless of whether or not a visa is required, third-country nationals (non-EU/EFTA) must have travel documents that meet the following requirements (SEM, point 3) for a stay of no more than 90 days per 180-day period (short-term stay) :
- be valid for at least three months beyond the intended date of exit from the Schengen area,
- have been issued less than ten years ago (the date of issue concerns only the entry into the Schengen area).
You can ask the lessor if they will accept a “caution” (a type of rent guarantee not requiring a deposit). Be aware that most companies offering “caution”-type guarantees will not work with you if you have a “carte de légitimation”. ou may in any event contact the focal point for members of the CAGI.
Sometimes it is difficult to find a suitable person. In such cases, we suggest you try some of the numerous language schools in Geneva. https://www.ecole-club.ch/English/Languages https://www.ifage.ch/formation/langues/ https://learning.unog.ch/
Otherwise, please try contacting the Programme again.
Unfortunately, it is not possible for you to register. The language exchanges take place in Geneva and are intended solely for people living in Geneva or the Lake Geneva region.
Yes, you may decline the offer when you get the call that your application has been accepted. That way, you will avoid any fees.
No, the Kiosk is open to persons working in International Geneva (employees and interns) who hold a United Nations badge (United Nations, international organizations, NGOs and Permanent Missions) allowing them access to UNOG.
No, there is no registration fee. The cost of all our events and conferences is covered by the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI). However, a small financial contribution may be requested for certain excursions, for example for equipment rental.
It is essential that you renew (reactivate) the registration every 6 months and provide the documents concerning your professional situation. Yes, you must renew (reactivate) your registration. If you do not, your file will be cancelled and you will have to register again and wait even longer.
If you live outside the City of Geneva or in the Canton of Vaud, you should contact the town hall of your commune directly.
Yes, children who do not speak French can enrol in a public school.
hildren between four and six years of age will be placed in a regular class and given individual support if necessary. Children over six years of age will spend 50 per cent of their time in a regular class and 50 per cent in specialist French-language classes. They will spend a minimum of 12 months taking French classes.
Students with special educational needs or disabilities are enrolled in the same way as other students.
The “diplomatic clause” is (in principle) part of the general conditions applicable in Canton of Geneva. It involves paying an indemnity for early termination of the lease of up to 3 months’ rent after the keys are returned to the lessor. The inclusion of a “liberatory clause”, which must be requested before the lease is signed, allows the lessee to terminate their lease without penalty as from the second year, so long as a three-month notice period is observed (the language of the clause and the specific terms and conditions may vary).
“Standard” leases: these have an initial term of one year and are renewable on a yearly basis thereafter, unless notice is given at least three months before the (annual) expiry date.
Multi-year leases: these often provide for a three-year term (never less); the rent for the initial period of the lease is fixed in advance. The rules for renewal and termination are usually the same as for standard, one-year leases.
Indexed leases: these have a term of at least five years, and the rent may be adjusted in accordance with the Swiss Consumer Price Index (ISPC) once a year. After an initial term of at least five years, such leases may be renewed for another five years every five years, or for one further year on a yearly basis (depending on the régie or real estate agency), unless notice is given at least three months before the (yearly or five-yearly) expiry date.
Fixed-term lease: often for a period of one year, but can be longer. There is no need to formally terminate the lease on the expiry date, as the end date is known from the start. It is possible to request an extension; however, that request may or may not be accepted by the lessor
Reminder: regardless of the type of lease, it is always possible to terminate a lease early by presenting a solvent buyer tenant; more information.
Your application must include the following documents:
1. the agency’s application form, 2. a copy of your I.D., 3. a copy of your permanent residence permit (“C” permit) or carte de légitimation, 4. a statement certifying your salary or a copy of your last three monthly payslips, and a statement (“attestation de non poursuite”) issued by the Debt Collection and Bankruptcy Office (Office des poursuites et faillites).
Ideally, as soon as you know the desired termination date, but at least three or four business days before the 15th or end of the month preceding the termination notice date.
The NGO database of the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) is an internal tool that is not accessible to the public.
The International Geneva website lists the main Geneva-based international NGOs (i.e. those that employ staff and can prove official status or collaboration with an intergovernmental organization). The site is for informational purposes and does not grant any special status.
NGOs incorporated in the form of a foundation, as well as associations that have chosen to register with the Commercial Registry, can be accessed via the Commercial Registry search engine.
CAGI can provide support to representatives of :
- A civil society organisation from a developing country,
- A government of a Least Developed Country (LDC),
- A government of a Small Island Developing State (SIDS),
- A subnational government (city/region) from a developing country,
- An organisation for the defence of minorities,
- An organisation of indigenous peoples’,
- Students from an LDC or SIDS.
- Countries eligible to receive official development assistance (ODA). LDC: Least Developed Countries.
- SIDS: Small Island Developing State according to the UN DESA list .
- Student enrolled in a university of of a Least Developed Country and participating to a course offered by an international organisation.
Founded by the Swiss Confederation and the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the Geneva Welcome Centre is the single entry point for the support and integration of employees of International Geneva and their families, NGOs and visiting delegates.