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Swiss Card for visitors

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3 posts
new member
Jun 25, 2011 - 5:00 AM
Hi everyone :-)
I'm new to the forum. It is my first post and here comes my question.

This maybe a silly question but I need help.

I am going to attend graduate school in Switzerland starting this July.

Before the program starts my family and I plan to do some sightseeing the beautiful country.

Well, we were about to purchase the Swiss Pass when the travel agent told us that the Pass was only available to visitors as in non-residents. My family were able to purchase the pass because they would only spend 15 days in Switzerland.

As for myself, I will be issued a B-permit during my studies so the agent told me I was ineligible.

There must a rail pass for Swiss residents for traveling and other needs to utilize the public transportation.

Can anyone please tell me how and where I can get the rail pass for the residents?

I appreciate your help in advance!
7351 posts
expert &
Jun 25, 2011 - 7:22 AM

Hi no1jchic! Welcome to the forum. That's not a silly question at all. Rail passes for tourists are indeed not the same as rail passes for Swiss residents. However, I'm not sure if you're ineligible for a Swiss Pass or any other pass of the STS rail pass system. The STS regulations state that their rail passes are available to those with a permanent residence outside of Switzerland, and I don't know if your B-permit for Switzerland causes any changes to this permanent residence, as you'll probably still have a passport from your country of residence as well. I think you can best check with either STS or the migration office.

In case you can't purchase a Swiss Pass, this overview of the SBB may help you out. It lists passes available to Swiss residents. I'm not sure what you'd be looking for. If you want to profit from discounts not only during the first two weeks with your parents, but also during your studies, a 1 year Half-fare travelcard may be a good option. There's a pass allowing free travel as well, but this is only cost effective if you plan to use public transportation very often.

It would be great if you could get back to us and tell us what you found out!

Last modified on Jun 16, 2021 - 1:08 PM by Arno
3 posts
new member
Jul 3, 2011 - 5:07 AM

Thank you Annika for your prompt response.
I apologize for not getting back to you any sooner.

Per your suggestion, I wrote to STS with my question.

See the following answer I got from STS for your review.

I decided to get a Half Fare Card during my stay in Switzerland.


Only persons whose permanent place of residence is outside of Switzerland are entitled to purchase Swiss Travel System tickets. Unfortunately, there is no similar Pass for Swiss residence since most people posses a so called Half Fare Card or a GA Travel Card. People who posses a Half Fare Card have got the right to buy day tickets at special rates.
Thanks again for your help!


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