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Old 22.01.2015, 07:04
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Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Hi, I'm new to the forum and I have spent some time reviewing similar questions asked in the past but I have not been able to find anything that answers my questions specifically.

I am in a same sex partnership in the US state of Illinois. The marriage is legally recognized by the State of Illinois and by the US Federal Government. However, my husband’s future employer, in Zurich, has informed us that Switzerland does not recognize same-sex marriages issued by the State of Illinois and I will only be allowed to apply for a tourist visa. He will be issued an L-permit.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Do we have any other options? The marriage is legally recognized by the US Federal Government as if it were a marriage between an opposite sex couple which is why I'm confused.

Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance for any guidance you can provide.
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Old 22.01.2015, 08:32
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Good morning..

Welcome to the forum.

People can get married here, so I am not sure why the employer would say this.

Has it got something to do with being American?

Check out here about how to get married in Zurich:
https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/de/...rschaften.html

(Yes, I KNOW its in German.. but the site isnt in English. Google translate?)
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Old 22.01.2015, 08:35
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Welcome to the forum chi26.

Sorry, but the employer is wrong. Same sex marriages done abroad are recognised by the Swiss authorities as you can see here:

"Recognition
A marriage between two persons of the same sex concluded abroad is recognised in Switzerland as a civil partnership."

https://www.ch.ch/en/register-same-sex-partnership

However, there is no automatic entitlement for non-EU nationals holding either a B or L permit to have their families join them in Switzerland. So your partner needs to move here first and get established and then apply for family reunification for you. At the same time you'll need to apply for a Type D visa to be able to enter Switzerland long term legally (your partner will need one too so make sure to apply for that asap). The two will be matched up during the application process. If the Swiss authorities grant you a dependent's permit the visa will be issued and you go to the embassy/consulate to get it stamped in your passport. You then have a certain period of time to make the journey to Switzerland. After you arrive you need to start the process of getting the permit issued to you within 14 days.

There's more info here:

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification

If they refuse the permit for some reason, then you will be restricted to visiting as a tourist for a maximum of 90 days before you have to leave. You must stay out of Switzerland and indeed the whole of the Schengen Area for another 90 days before you'd be allowed to enter again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

Note that if you get a permit it will not allow you to work in Switzerland. That doesn't mean you can't look for a job, but before you're allowed to take up any position the Swiss authorities have to give approval. This is because Swiss/EU nationals come before you in the hiring process so any employer has to make a case for hiring you over them. More info here:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html
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Old 22.01.2015, 08:42
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

MF, you're a girlie-swot!

Haven't you got some kids to get ready for school or something

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Old 22.01.2015, 08:52
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

The key word here is 'marriage'.

Same sex 'marriage' is not recognized as marriage here, but as a 'civil partnership'.

On the flip side, non-same sex 'civil partnership' is not recognized here, either.

Tom
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Old 22.01.2015, 09:04
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Good morning..

Welcome to the forum.

People can get married here, so I am not sure why the employer would say this.

Has it got something to do with being American?

Check out here about how to get married in Zurich:
https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/de/...rschaften.html

(Yes, I KNOW its in German.. but the site isnt in English. Google translate?)
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MF, you're a girlie-swot!

Haven't you got some kids to get ready for school or something

Firstly, I'm way past girlie age.

Secondly, no. Got the OH out the door just after 6am as usual so now my time's my own.
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Old 22.01.2015, 12:57
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

To prevent delay, the employer should lodge the paperwork for you as a 'dependent' on the basis that you are in a 'civil partnership' and then hopefully it will not be too complicated.

I do not think that this should be done after your partner arrives, it should be possible to do them together, and it will reduce the chance of finding out later that his salary etc is not considered high enough to support a partner.

But, be aware, if he gets an L permit, and you are both Non-eu, you may not be entitled automatically to work... Which could mean a big stress and financial issue for up to 2 years...

Is it a permanent or temporary move?
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Old 22.01.2015, 13:28
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and I have spent some time reviewing similar questions asked in the past but I have not been able to find anything that answers my questions specifically.

I am in a same sex partnership in the US state of Illinois. The marriage is legally recognized by the State of Illinois and by the US Federal Government. However, my husband’s future employer, in Zurich, has informed us that Switzerland does not recognize same-sex marriages issued by the State of Illinois and I will only be allowed to apply for a tourist visa. He will be issued an L-permit.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Do we have any other options? The marriage is legally recognized by the US Federal Government as if it were a marriage between an opposite sex couple which is why I'm confused.

Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance for any guidance you can provide.
I agree with Tom. I think it must just be the wording. I know a couple that came from Spain, and they have no issues at all. I think it is because it registered under the PAX.
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Old 22.01.2015, 19:56
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Thank you everyone for your help. My husband just received a response from his employer in Zurich and they confirmed that the local authorities keep a list of countries and states where same-sex partnerships are not recognized and Illinois is on that list (Illinois passed same-sex marriage in June of last year). They also informed us that the immigration standards have been made more strict this year and there is nothing else they can do. I will call the Swiss embassy in Washington to confirm this.
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:09
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

I would also check with the Federal Migration office, details here:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...s/kontakt.html

They will be able to give you a definitive answer on this.

It could be that, as Illinois only recently passed a law recognising same-sex marriages, the Federal/cantonal authorities don't know of that change.
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:18
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

I think the authorities may also accept a same-sex partnership without 'legalised' recognition anyway... But you would have to go through other steps to show that you are in a permanent, dependent relationship... But yes, it sounds more like the swiss authorities may not be aware of the law change in your home country, and do not assume that the employer really knows what they are doing, either...

The best point of contact would be the swiss consulate general in your home country. They will know what to do - has your partner already signed the contract and the employer already submitted his application for a work permit?
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:21
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Worst case you could come here on a spousal visa, and do it over again here.

Tom
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:31
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Thanks again! My partner and I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. He has not signed the contract yet and they have not filed for his work permit yet – they are currently waiting for our decision on whether or not to proceed with the offer in light of this new information. We will make sure to contact the Cantonal migration office and the Swiss Embassy here in the U.S. to confirm what his prospective employer has informed us.

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Worst case you could come here on a spousal visa, and do it over again here.

Tom

Would we be allowed to get married again in CH even though we are Non-EU?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.01.2015 at 20:36. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:45
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Thanks again! My partner and I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. He has not signed the contract yet and they have not filed for his work permit yet – they are currently waiting for our decision on whether or not to proceed with the offer in light of this new information. We will make sure to contact the Cantonal migration office and the Swiss Embassy here in the U.S. to confirm what his prospective employer has informed us.




Would we be allowed to get married again in CH even though we are Non-EU?
Yes, but it takes a lot of doing and fairly long to organise. The Swiss will ask very personal questions about your relationship before they grant you permission to get hitched.
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:48
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

My two cents:

- American gay marriages are state law, not federal (yet), they are still waiting for a last ruling from supreme court to clarify the situation at federal level. Foreign countries can only deal with federal level rights. It's a bit like the issue with the driving license.

- Partnership is a legal term invented to give marriage rights without a short list (mainly about adoption and children related issues) avoiding falling under anti discrimination laws in place. The concept was technically useful at the time. Nowadays, the children related issue are clearing up so marriage as a legal term and as a human right is back on the scene.

- Nothing makes it impossible for a company to put the paper together for you both and the authorities to accept it, but it is one of these situation where it is not a right, just a matter of good will from people you'll never meet.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:09
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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My two cents:

- American gay marriages are state law, not federal (yet), they are still waiting for a last ruling from supreme court to clarify the situation at federal level. Foreign countries can only deal with federal level rights. It's a bit like the issue with the driving license.

- Partnership is a legal term invented to give marriage rights without a short list (mainly about adoption and children related issues) avoiding falling under anti discrimination laws in place. The concept was technically useful at the time. Nowadays, the children related issue are clearing up so marriage as a legal term and as a human right is back on the scene.

- Nothing makes it impossible for a company to put the paper together for you both and the authorities to accept it, but it is one of these situation where it is not a right, just a matter of good will from people you'll never meet.
My understanding is that the U.S. Federal government does recognize same-sex partnerships in states that have legalized the practice as the Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Federal government will honor and provide federal benefits to those unions. However, I may be wrong. If so, and the Supreme Court rules in late June that any same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional - will we then be able to apply for family reunification as our marriage will, without a doubt, be federally recognized?
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:27
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Would we be allowed to get married again in CH even though we are Non-EU?
Yes.

Tom
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:42
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

The Supreme Court has so far only ruled Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional. The rest of DOMA still stands for now, although the attorney general has said the government will not defend the law in court.

It looks like the law in Illinois only took effect last June. So it's possible the authorities here haven't caught up with it yet. I suppose you could apply for marriage here, but part of that process involves proving you're not already married. Since you can prove you ARE already married, it seems silly for the authorities here to make you get married again.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:56
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

The situation is not stabilized on the legal front in the US. The Swiss just wait to see what they have to deal with exactly. Things take time and human rights applied to gays are always questions by people who want to select whom human rights should applied to. (I know it's a contradiction in terms, tell them).

EDIT: As always, ask directly to pink cross, they are the only ones following up these kind of things.
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Old 23.01.2015, 02:25
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Does anyone know if when we call the Cantonal Migration Office there will be someone available who can speak to us in English? Neither one of us speaks German so I'm wondering what the best way to contact them is? Thanks again.
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