Horizon – February 2022
Border crossings : new rules
As of 2022 (January in Europe, May in Switzerland), the rules for registering border cros-sings are changing. Any person crossing the border of the Schengen area (all of the European union except Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Ireland; as well as Switzerland and Norway) will now be registered when entering or exiting the area.
iometric data (fingerprints, etc.) is taken and stored in a common database that all the countries in the area have access to. This new procedure also applies to citizens of countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen area.
For all persons concerned, it will be easier for the authorities to check the duration of the stay in Europe and to identify overstayers. If you have questions or want more information on the risks of travelling and other forms of mobility, CCSI is organizing information sessions on this subject in April and/or May. Please visit our website to find out the dates.
Parascolaire and school meals for children
Depending on your income, you could benefit from free parascolaire (after-school) activities, regardless of where you live in Geneva. CCSI can help you with the application but caution, the request must be renewed each year and must be done before November.
If you live in the city of Geneva and your income is within the range, CCSI can request free school meals for your child. Please come with a copy of the health insurance subsidy certificate and valid passports. For residents of other municipalities, please ask CCSI if financial aid is available.
Caution, you must always pay the fixed fees (cotisation), and the meals your child didn’t attend without a valid excuse.
The request for free school meals must be submitted by 11 July 2022 for the 2021-2022 school year.
Parascolaire: 2022-2023 registration
Registration for parascolaire and school meals takes place from 4 April to 13 May 2022. Like last year, a telephone service is available for parents who do not have an “e-démarches” account for online registration. DO NOT MISS THESE DATES – or your child will not be able to attend when school starts! More information can be found at www.giap.ch
Supplementary insurance (called assurance complémentaire in French, or LCA) are not required. These insurances only cover costs that are not included in mandatory health insurance (LAMal), such as dental care or alternative medicines.
Caution! The subsidy (financial aid for health insurance costs) does not cover supplementary insurances. If you subscribe to supplementary insurance, all of the costs will befall you.
If you have signed a supplementary insurance contract, you have up to 14 days to cancel the contract. If however you decide to keep the insurance, it will be valid three years minimum. After that, if you wish to get rid of it, you can ask for a termination of the contract. Caution, this must be done at least a month before the end of the contract period.
In both cases, you must send a registered letter (recommandé) to your insurance company. If needed, we can provide a model for you. Just ask at CCSI reception desk.
Primary school registration
Any child living in Geneva, regardless of his/her legal status, has the right and the obligation to go to school. This year, children born before 01.08.2018 start school on August 22nd 2022. If you haven’t registered your child for school yet, you should contact the school closest to your home.
To be accepted at school, your child must have health insurance. CCSI is in charge of affiliation for children without a residence permit. Make an appointment, and come with the official identification for the child and his/her legal guardian, as well as your address. Your child will be able to start school as soon as you have come to CCSI.
It is very difficult to find a place in daycare for pre-school children in Geneva. CCSI can help you increase your chances, but cannot guarantee a place. If you live or work in Geneva city, go to the Bureau d’Information de la Petite Enfance (BIPE, rue du Cendrier 8). If you live in another area in the canton of Geneva, you must go to the Secteur de la Petite Enfance of your commune – if there is one. If not, pre-register your child in the daycare center(s) closest to your home or workplace. To do so, you must present your child’s insurance certificate.
CCSI can write a letter of recommendation to support your request. For this, you will need to make an appointment with the Childhood, education and health consultation at CCSI. Please note that there is no guarantee that your child will have a place in daycare. The cost of monthly payments depends on your income. There are currently no financial aids for those costs.
Health insurance subsidy
You must request the subsidy (financial aid from the State for health insurance) for your child’s health insurance each year by 30 November. If you haven’t done so yet, please make an appointment with CCSI and bring the 2022 insurance policy with you. This year, you need to provide the following documents:
- If you have family benefits (allo-cations familiales), you need to bring a statement of the sums you received in 2021;
- If you (as an adult) have health insurance, please bring your 2022 insurance policy/ies.
- Please bring your bus passes.
If you have a permit or are taxed at source (directly deducted from your salary), other documents are requested. Please ask the reception what to bring to the appointment.
As soon as you receive the subsidy, please bring a copy of the certificate to our reception with your name and phone number.
The subsidy is a right based on your income. Requesting it will not affect other proceedings, such as the request for a residency permit. Only children residing in the canton of Geneva have the right to the health insurance subsidy. CCSI cannot request the subsidy for children living in neighboring France.
The subsidy covers your child’s premium up to 100.- maximum. Every month, you will have to pay whatever exceeds 100.-. If you have supplemental health insurance, you will have to pay for it entirely; it is never covered by the subsidy.
It often takes time for the insurance company to register your subsidy. In the meantime, it is best to pay the first bills yourself (they will be reimbursed later), or to contact CCSI so that we can try to block the bills.
Civil responsibility insurance
Civil responsibility insurance (assurance responsabilité civile or RC) covers damages caused to other people by yourself or your family (e.g. your child breaks the neighbor’s window playing football, or you scratch a car in a parking lot).
This insurance is recommended for all, and is compulsory to register your child at daycare, for holiday camps, to rent an apartment or drive a car. It costs approximately CHF 120.- per year, and covers you and your minor children living with you. You can sign up for this insurance at any time during the year. Ask for information at your next appointment at CCSI.
CCSI organises collective information sessions. They are free of charge, in several languages, and on topics that interest you. The next issues we will discuss are travel risks and other safety concerns for undocumented people in Geneva (April/May) and a cycle of sessions on schools in May.
To find out the dates of the next sessions, please check the screens in the waiting areas, or our website, where you will find a special tab for information sessions.