Operation Papyrus – practical information

Operation Papyrus was launched on 21 February and aims to legalize well integrated undocumented migrants who have been living in Geneva for many years.


Operation Papyrus is only for legalizing persons who meet specific criteria (listed below) and are able to prove this by providing the necessary documents. The legal basis for this project is Article 30, paragraph b of the Law on foreigners (LEtr). This implies that persons who are seeking political asylum or who are citizens of the European Union cannot request a permit within this operation. The following criteria must be met in order to request a permit within Operation Papyrus (you can download a factsheet in French here):

  • Five years of consecutive residence for families with children in school; or 10 years consecutive residence for all other categories (families with children who are not in school, couples without children, or single persons).
  • Full financial independance, demonstrated by (among other criteria) having one or more jobs.
  • Successfull integration, demonstrated by having achieved the A2 level in French (oral only) and, if applicable, regular school attendance by the children.
  • Absence of any criminal record, demonstrated by providing an extract of the criminal record registry.

The criteria are cumulative and must be duly documented. Each case is examined individually.

Information service and help for presenting a request

Do you think you are eligible? Do you have any questions? Please come and get more information at one of the three information services that have been specifically set up for this opertion. It is free, and we can provide answers and explanations: what are the exact criteria? What documents do you need to provide? How can you present a request? What is the procedure? Do not take any risks, we can help you! The organizations who are all members of the Collectif de soutien aux sans-papiers (CSP, Caritas, EPER, CCSI) have set up a walk-in service with competent professionals. They take place:

  • Tuesday 10 am to 12 noon at CSP (14, rue du Village-Suisse)
  • Wednesday from 4 to 8 pm, at EPER (1, rue de l’Orangerie)

The SIT and Unia trade unions also have information services for this operation, you can find the schedule on their website or by downloading this leaflet.

N.B: employers who are seeking information on Operation Papyrus, how to legalize their employees and the risks that they might incur can also come to our information service. We will gladly provide information, for free and confidentially.