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Old 22.01.2015, 01:20
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Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

Hi everyone, recently I had an interview at the communal level which didn't quite go so well. Apparently I lacked adequate french skills and I didn't demonstrate an adequate level of integration. The commune office decided to give me a year to polish my french (and?) further my integration into the commune. I just have a few questions about this situation.

I have passed Delf B2 for french, but I go to a British university which means that my french is a bit rusty. French can be polished fairly quickly, so it isn't an issue, but the integration part stumps me a bit. Is integration connected to my french skills? As in, if I improve my french skills, will this ease the integration issue?

My current plan is to try and take french classes during the summer and join 1 or 2 clubs in the commune, to integrate better. Do you think that this is enough for the integration issue?

Also, I don't know if my application is only delayed at the communal and cantonal level or if federal is affected as well. As per Geneva's system, my application is also at the federal level, which I feel should continue despite this setback. Is this the case? Or would I need to resubmit my application again due to the delay?

Apologies for the length.
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Old 22.01.2015, 09:48
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Re: Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

You are not mentioning if you are applying alone and if you have a spouse/children. From what I have heard they are really picky on naturalizing single people or people without children. But this is unofficial of course.

What kind of "integration" did you show? Swiss friends, do you know the local customs, are you celebrating the local holidays etc etc? Do you have a REALLY swiss guy to vouch for you? Do you know the politics of the country? Apparantly when they ask you WHY do you want the red passport, you need to say because I want to be included in the democratic process of this wonderful country"

Do you have close Swiss friends or they are all colleagues?

Sounds like they want to give you a second chance so not all is bad.
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Old 22.01.2015, 10:48
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Re: Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

From the official Geneva site:



Apparently your application is stopped at the "Enquête du service." Federal authorization comes after that so yes, that's stopped as well.

If you have B2 written and oral French you shouldn't have a problem as right now they only ask for B1 oral.

As for integration, did they ask you about general knowledge of Switzerland and Geneva (geography, history, political institutions...)? To brush up on that there are several books and the canton itself has put up an online guide:

www.ge.ch/connaitre-la-suisse

You also need to participate in the "social and cultural life" of the canton.
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:29
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From the official Geneva site:



Apparently your application is stopped at the "Enquête du service." Federal authorization comes after that so yes, that's stopped as well.

If you have B2 written and oral French you shouldn't have a problem as right now they only ask for B1 oral.

As for integration, did they ask you about general knowledge of Switzerland and Geneva (geography, history, political institutions...)? To brush up on that there are several books and the canton itself has put up an online guide:

www.ge.ch/connaitre-la-suisse

You also need to participate in the "social and cultural life" of the canton.
No, I already did the ''Enquete du Service'' portion. Right now I am at the next portion dealing with the commune (the part where it splits off into federal and commune). I feel that the federal part should be continuing while the commune part stays still, but I would like to know a second opinion on this.

For the interview, they didn't ask about any of the typical swiss history/politics/geography stuff, but only about what I wanted to do in the future and some of my life in the commune. My french might not have made the cut, but I felt that I participated enough in commune life (events, etc).

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You are not mentioning if you are applying alone and if you have a spouse/children. From what I have heard they are really picky on naturalizing single people or people without children. But this is unofficial of course.

What kind of "integration" did you show? Swiss friends, do you know the local customs, are you celebrating the local holidays etc etc? Do you have a REALLY swiss guy to vouch for you? Do you know the politics of the country? Apparantly when they ask you WHY do you want the red passport, you need to say because I want to be included in the democratic process of this wonderful country"

Do you have close Swiss friends or they are all colleagues?

Sounds like they want to give you a second chance so not all is bad.
My naturalisation is ordinary and I am doing it alone. I do have some swiss friends (though not of the commune) and I participate in most local holidays, except for some sporting events. They didn't require me e to know the politics and they didn't really ask for why I wanted the Swiss passport. I was just wondering if there was any advice for me regarding how I could integrate effectively and boost my french while attending a foreign university. It is tough, but I do return often when I can.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.01.2015 at 20:42. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:42
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Re: Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

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... It is tough, but I do return often when I can.
Maybe I am mis-reading your posts but is it possible they've put it on hold because you're not physically here? It's hard to claim you're integrated if you're not here very often.
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:46
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Re: Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

You know, there is no actual description or tick box list on deciding is someone is 'integrated'. The people who make those decisions are as varied as you can possibly imagine- and the decision relies almost totally on them.

Must say, I do not know of anyone who was successful in their application whilst living abroad, unless it was facilitated naturalisation due to parents being Swiss or through long-term marriage to Swiss. Which does not mean ti doesn't happen, of course.

Why not finish Uni and then come back to live here, get a job, get settled in, improve your French and more importantly, get stuck in, make Swiss friends and join in activities- and it will then be much easier. It is difficult to persuade someone your intentions are 'sincere' if you choose to study abroad and not live here- can you see that?

Posts crossed 3Wishes.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:07
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Re: Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

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You know, there is no actual description or tick box list on deciding is someone is 'integrated'. The people who make those decisions are as varied as you can possibly imagine- and the decision relies almost totally on them.

Must say, I do not know of anyone who was successful in their application whilst living abroad, unless it was facilitated naturalisation due to parents being Swiss or through long-term marriage to Swiss. Which does not mean ti doesn't happen, of course.

Why not finish Uni and then come back to live here, get a job, get settled in, improve your French and more importantly, get stuck in, make Swiss friends and join in activities- and it will then be much easier. It is difficult to persuade someone your intentions are 'sincere' if you choose to study abroad and not live here- can you see that?

Posts crossed 3Wishes.
I do see that as being a possibility, but the interviewer said it wasn't an issue (unless if they were lying). I am on a legitimation card and I am non-EU, so getting a job and settling isn't very easy to do. They know that I am in the middle of the programme too and I don't think they would have suspended it for a year only if my being here was the pivotal issue.

I know that it is difficult to integrate while effectively living in two places at once, but a second opinion on how to deal with this, under these circumstances, is much appreciated.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:14
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Re: Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

As said, all areas, and all interviewers, deal with this differently. My OH went through facilitated naturalisation after we moved here, having been married for 40+ years. His French is very good, he is financially stable and a house owner here, and he was able to talk about holidaying here every year several times for over 40 years- and had a long list of Swiss people from very different backgrounds ready to vouch for him in writing or by phone- and he had spent some time preparing for the interview- in French, with me and with friends- ensuring he understood basic politics and systems, etc. He's also been a member of our local ski club for umpteen years- and as said, married to me, a Swiss local for a very long time. And even then- it was not a 'done thing' and he had a long interview in French- and they then asked to speak to me too. So it is not a 'walk in the park'.

If you say it may be difficult for you to get a job here- they would also be concerned that if you have Swiss nationality, you would then become a financial resposibility of the town's social services on your return here- which they definitely want to avoid. It is certainly the case here in Neuchâtel.

Last edited by Odile; 22.01.2015 at 21:30.
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Old 23.01.2015, 14:14
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Re: Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

If you're now attending University, and previously lived in switzerland for at least 6 years, I gather that means you went to school here. Why then is your French so bad? I'm currently doing exactly the same process as you, albeit in Vaud, and my application was approved by the commune in a week and a few days' time. I'm also studying in the UK.

I can imagine that you didn't go to a Swiss school. I don't see how someone can be considered integrated if they only have a few Swiss friends. Since you didn't go to a Swiss school, aren't going to a Swiss university, and don't have many Swiss friends, I suppose that from the interviewer's perspective you don't have many links to the country.

At any rate, I wish you the best of luck.
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