The format of the residence permits issued to foreigners in Switzerland depends on the country of origin and type of stay.
Currently, those from EU and EFTA countries and a few other types of foreign residents get paper permits that come in a plastic cover. Others get plastic credit card sized ones, which contain their biometric data.
Soon those with old-format paper ones will be issued plastic credit card sized ones, but without biometric data – the card will not have a chip.
According to the government, anyone renewing a paper permit from 1 November 2019 could get one of the new credit card sized permits, which are more fraud proof.
The change will be made in phases between 1 November 2019 and 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, only the new type of permits will be issued.
The process will eventually replace the 1.8 million paper permits in circulation.
Paper permits are currently issued to EU and EFTA citizens (L, B and C permits), cross-border workers (G permits), family members of diplomats wishing to work (Ci permits), asylum seekers (N permits) and those admitted temporarily (F permits).