Email from Jake:


1 passport
1 photocopy of passport
1 passport photo
1 original CERN invitation letter
1 completed Swiss visa registration form


Make a photocopy of your passport.  I got my passport photo on campus at the Recreation Center Cashier's Office for $10.  They say that you should make an appointment but that is a load of crap I think.  Here is their information:

Complete this form:

Drive to Los Angeles and arrive at the Swiss visa desk between 9 and 12 Monday through Friday.  Here is a map:,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90025&sll=34.433622,-119.792829&sspn=0.012495,0.020578&ie=UTF8&ll=34.048286,-118.4624&spn=0.006276,0.010289&z=17&om=0

If you look at the map above, my recommendation is to park in the big building north of Wilshire ($2/15 minutes, $14 max), then walk across the street to the big building south of Wilshire (address is 11766).  There you will sign it at the front desk, ascend to the 14th floor, ring the bell and talk to the blond woman, and be out of there in five minutes.  The earlier you arrive the better are your chances of not having to wait.

Here is a link with more details about the visa:

They should already have a fax of your CERN invitation letter, but it is probably a good idea to bring multiple copies of the listed ingredients as your visa situation may be different than mine.


For the French visa, call either:

310 235 3255

to talk to the head guy, or if he is not there call:

310 235 3257

Make sure they have all your paperwork from Paris and not just the invitation letter from CERN.  If they don't have everything have them contact Paris and get you pre-approved for the visa.  Once they have everything, go here:

and schedule an appointment.  I was told I will receive my visa during the appointment, so if you still do not have a Swiss visa maybe you can get the French one first and then the Swiss in the same day.

The consulate is located here:,+Suite+115,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90025&sll=34.433622,-119.792829&sspn=0.00876,0.01575&ie=UTF8&ll=34.05881,-118.423841&spn=0.035198,0.063&z=14

which is just east of the 405 (the Swiss is just west of the 405).

Complete the long stay visa form available here (it's in French, but there is a Word document translation available):

The process is free of charge.  Make sure to bring a photocopy of your passport and a passport photo in addition to your completed long stay visa application.  My appointment is on Wednesday so I'll update you on the process once I'm finished.


Jake here is a template you can use to get your process started TODAY

Jake Hi Tami,

I am told that the first step toward moving to CERN is to contact you in regard to a letter of invitation. Let me know if the following information is insufficient, and thanks in advance for what I imagine will be a great deal of help!


4895 Kodiak Avenue Santa Barbara, CA 93111 USA

Matt Physics Department University of California Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA


Jake issue: January 11, 2005

Jake Student

I am employed by Claudio Campagnari of the University of California at Santa Barbara Physics Department. His work address is the same as mine, his work phone number is 1-805-893-7567, and his email address is

I am a member of the CMS collaboration and work on the tracker. My institution representative is Joe Incandela who currently resides at CERN. His email address is

Jake with the Swiss and French (time permitting) consulates in Los Angeles. Their fax numbers are:



Thanks again!


Jake but don't send it to tami

Matt sweet, thanks buddy

Jake send it to Yasemin Uzunefe Yazgan <>

Jake that's all you need to do to get started

Jake is send yasemine that letter

Jake then she will send you an official cern invitation letter

Matt aight

Jake and also send the same letter to the swiss and french consulates you specified

Jake then you call up the respective consulates once a week and see if they have your letter

Jake the swiss once will be super fast

Jake the french will take some pestering

Matt sweetness

Jake by the way you need BOTH a swiss and french visa

Jake they will only give you a visa that is good for three months

Jake but that doesn't matter

Jake because then you get here and apply for your swiss and french cards

Jake which are like green cards

Jake and make you as good as swiss or french

Jake also...

Jake the websites for the visas say that they cost like 50 euros to get

Jake however

Jake because you have the cern invitation they are free

Jake which is tight

Matt tight

Jake i'll continue...

Matt k

Jake one doesn't need an appointment for the swiss visa

Jake so long as they have your invitation letter, you just show up at their "open hours"

Jake there were zero people waiting when i was there

Jake it's in los angeles by the way

Jake you have to leave your passport with them

Jake and you can either go back THE NEXT DAY and pick it up

Jake or give htem like $10 to fedex it to you

Jake i did the fedex and am pretty sure i received it the same freaking day

Jake because i was in la in the morning when they opened

Jake it was crazy

Matt is that also true of the french?

Jake i'm getting there

Matt do you have to leave it with them?

Matt oh

Jake when claudio went to get his swiss visa he just sweet talked the lady into doing it on the spot

Jake she clearly could have done that for me or anyone but she said it was policy

Jake but claudio is a sweet tlaker you know

Jake anyway

Jake so swiss visa was extremely easy

Matt dude, im gonna pick it up the next day and go when the dodgers are in town

Jake nice good call

Jake french visa was a little trickier only because the invitation letter has to first go to paris and be processed and then sent to the la consulate

Jake so i had to call them a couple times to make sure they had it

Matt ~ how long?

Jake couple weeks i guess

Matt darn

Jake i wasn't even sure if i was going to get it in time

Jake but i did

Jake i started my whole process less than two months before i left too

Jake that's why you saw in my email "time permitting"

Matt right, i got rid of that

Jake also why i'ts important to start the process asap

Jake anyway

Jake once i verified they had my letter

Jake i went to their website and scheduled an appointment

Jake then drove to la

Jake gave the dude my papers

Jake and he printed out my visa and applied it on the spot

Jake of course there are a few pages you need to fill out to apply for both visas

Jake but they are trivial shit

Jake mostly the identification stuff

Jake and "reasons for going"

Jake and that's it

Jake and that was it buddy that was all there was to it!

Jake everything else is done at cern

Jake so send that template to ryan and tell him to get started now

Jake see dude i'm going to get you to cern by provence

Jake it's going to happen i've decided

Jake it's in your best interest

Matt sweetness, im gonna put this on a twiki

Jake nice

Jake let's see what else i can find...

Jake right so...

Jake i sent that email to tami, who forwarded it to yasemine as yasemine became the "relocation assistant"

Matt two days later she sent me this:

Jake Hi Jacob, Please find attached a copy of the invitation letter in support of the Swiss visa. I've mailed the original to you via express mail. You'll need the original to apply to the consulate in LA, and I have also faxed a copy to them.

The invitation letter in support of the long term French Visa (Note Verbale) goes directly to Paris from CERN. There it goes through a 4-6 week procedure and then is forwarded to the relevant consulate. Theoretically the consulate is then supposed to contact you, but if you haven't heard from them in about 5 weeks, it may be a good idea to contact them and find out what's going on. And find out what other documents both consulates may need before you go may be a good idea.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns, Best wishes, Yasemin Uzunefe-Yazgan

Jake maybe it did take 5 weeks i dont' remember

Jake but i started calling them after a few weeks

Jake so yeah like i said i started contacting the french dudes like after three weeks and called like once a week

Jake and i seem to recall someone doing something that sped up the process even

Jake once i told them about cern and whatnot

Jake or rather someone told me they would personally look into it and let me know

Jake i think they did look into it but they didn't let me know before i called them back to find out that it had arrived

Jake anyway make sure you get the right visa it's the 3 month one

Jake in both cases

Matt k

Topic revision: r1 - 2009/04/22 - 23:27:21 - MatthewLeBourgeois
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