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The most important moment, when one is dealing with the authorities, is when they make a decision. (For a legal definition of administrative decisions in Geneva law: see Art. 4 LPA).

For example, the granting, withdrawal or renewal of a residence permit are all administrative decisions.

One can generally recognise a decision by whether or not it mentions the right to appeal and a specific deadline by which to take action if one disagrees with its content.

An example of how legal remedies are indicated
This decision may be appealed on reasonable grounds, before the Administrative Court of the First Instance, Rue Ami-Lullin 4, Post-Office Box 3888, 1211 Geneva 3, within 30 days of its receipt.


Administrative acts, such as decisions, generally set deadlines within which they can be contested. Legal deadlines cannot normally be extended. It is extremely important to act as soon as you receive a decision and to contact a legal advice service or lawyer immediately.

This is because the litigation procedures for challenging an administrative decision are relatively complex and there is often no way to correct errors.

The deadlines vary according to the type of decision, usually between 3 and 30 days.