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Old 28.01.2015, 17:01
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Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

Hello everyone,

I'm a USA resident born in south america. Me and my Swiss girlfriend are planning to marry very soon. She is a few months pregnant and are planing to move to Zurich ( Her home town ) together.

Its urgent for me to be able to move as soon as possible to Switzerland. Need to be there to help out during here pregnancy. She is due in august.

So what would be the best option for me in regard to moving there as soon as possible. Getting married in the USA or CH ? Unfortunately i need a new Birth certificate ( Mine is expired ) and i'm not sure when i will be able to get it since my country of origin is very slow at issuing paperwork.

Also if getting married in the us will present risks in term of taxes to my future wife ?


Thanks for any possible help.

Cheers

I have searched the form and internet but still i'm a little unclear on the issue.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 28.01.2015 at 18:53. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 28.01.2015, 17:17
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

America.... definitely easier!
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Old 28.01.2015, 17:23
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

If you get married in the US, make sure that you fiancee announces to the local Swiss consulate that she is getting married and wishes to retain her Swiss citizenship after marriage.

Tom
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Old 28.01.2015, 17:32
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

Marrying in the US should be quicker so I'd go for that option if you can. You would need a new birth certificate anyway if you wanted to marry here so it really doesn't matter on that side of things.

Getting married to you and living anywhere other than in the States has tax implications for your wife if you have anything in joint names. As an American you're required to file US tax returns regardless of where you live in the world and you will also need to start filing FBAR forms for your "foreign" accounts if the aggregate amount is more than $10,000 at any time of the year. If you are either jointly named on any accounts or even have signatory rights they will also need to be reported on an FBAR. So keep everything completely separate.

Be aware that getting an account at all here is difficult for Americans and it will only be a basic/checking account. Whether you would ever be able to get a mortgage here in the future is questionable if you plan to live here long term.

Start your research here:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

and also search both the forum and google for the term FATCA - and then weep.

You may also find the Canadian Isaac Brock Society website a useful source for information - www.isaacbrocksociety.ca.
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Old 28.01.2015, 18:26
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Marrying in the US should be quicker so I'd go for that option if you can. You would need a new birth certificate anyway if you wanted to marry here so it really doesn't matter on that side of things.

Getting married to you and living anywhere other than in the States has tax implications for your wife if you have anything in joint names. As an American you're required to file US tax returns regardless of where you live in the world and you will also need to start filing FBAR forms for your "foreign" accounts if the aggregate amount is more than $10,000 at any time of the year. If you are either jointly named on any accounts or even have signatory rights they will also need to be reported on an FBAR. So keep everything completely separate.

Be aware that getting an account at all here is difficult for Americans and it will only be a basic/checking account. Whether you would ever be able to get a mortgage here in the future is questionable if you plan to live here long term.

Start your research here:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

and also search both the forum and google for the term FATCA - and then weep.

You may also find the Canadian Isaac Brock Society website a useful source for information - www.isaacbrocksociety.ca.
But is the OP a US citizen? He says he is currently a US resident, originally from South America. If he's not a US citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), getting married in the US shouldn't give rise to any particular tax issues.

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If you get married in the US, make sure that you fiancee announces to the local Swiss consulate that she is getting married and wishes to retain her Swiss citizenship after marriage.

Tom
I'm pretty sure that Swiss citizenship law has been revised over the years so that there is no longer any possibility of a Swiss woman losing her nationality by marrying a foreign husband (as would have happened in the past), whether or not she makes her wishes known to the consulate ... but she would need to report the marriage to the consulate anyway so that her Swiss civil status records can be updated.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 28.01.2015 at 18:53. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 28.01.2015, 18:43
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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I'm pretty sure that Swiss citizenship law has been revised over the years so that there is no longer any possibility of a Swiss woman losing her nationality by marrying a foreign husband (as would have happened in the past), whether or not she makes her wishes known to the consulate ...
Well, it was certainly the case in 1988.

Personally, I'd check.

Tom
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Old 28.01.2015, 18:57
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

I'll dig up all my info somewhere for you but in a nutshell the fastest, least complicated way is:

1. Get married in the U.S.
2. Start your family reunification paperwork with your nearest consulate, so you can get the D-visa stamped in your passport.
3. Have the wife notify her Heimatort that she got married and that you're going to be joining her. Even if she's never been there, they will see the paperwork at some point and they can help it along.
4. Get your D-visa stamped in your passport
5. Move to CH
6. Have fun sorting out all the banking, etc. here.

You have plenty of time between now and August.
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Old 28.01.2015, 19:05
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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Well, it was certainly the case in 1988.

Personally, I'd check.

Tom
It's certainly worth checking into carefully, but the relevant provisions in the nationality law have definitely been changed since 1988. It was the old Article 9 of the citizenship law that provided for the loss of citizenship by a Swiss woman who married a foreign husband and did not declare her attention to retain her citizenship. The provision was repealed in 1990.
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Old 28.01.2015, 19:05
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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But is the OP a US citizen? He says he is currently a US resident, originally from South America. If he's not a US citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), getting married in the US shouldn't give rise to any particular tax issues.
OP has said in his other threads that he's soon to become a US citizen. And if he does hold a Green Card then unless he gives it up properly using an I-407 form, he'll still be obliged to file US returns, etc.

Green Card Holders
1. What are my responsibilities as a green card holder if I have been absent from the United States for a long period of time?
As a green card holder, you generally are required to file a U.S. income tax return and report worldwide income no matter where you live.
However, if you surrender your green card or the U.S. Citizen & Immigration Service determines that you have abandoned your green card and takes it away from you, you will need to follow the nonresident alien requirements for filing a Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return (PDF). See Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for more details.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...al-Tax-Matters

A couple of questions though Ocean8. Do you still plan to go through with getting your US citizenship? And what sort of work do you think you'll be able to do once you're here? Yes, having a permit through marriage will remove the non-EU stigma, but unless you're highly qualified/skilled jobs that need only English are few and far between.
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Old 28.01.2015, 19:29
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

Getting registered is definitely much easier/faster/cheaper in US than in Switzerland, typically takes only 2 days (I am speaking of the case in either Las Vegas or New York City) and do not require a birth certificate; but in order to get a family reunification visa, I assume you'd have to get the registration recognized by Switzerland, in order to do that, you still need that birth certificate. But maybe you can start with a long term visit visa (D) even before getting your US registered marriage recognized in Switzerland? (similar to a fiance visa)
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Old 28.01.2015, 20:33
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

Thank you for all the reply and great info yet again! Looks like this forum is going to be Key to my survival in Switzerland lol.


Yes, i am a green card holder and in the works to get the citizenship. Im aware of the nasty tax situation now. I will also deffinatly check on that my girlfriend doesnt loose her swiss citizenship do to marrying in the US ( i think this has been ruled out but ill double check just in case).

Thanks for posting the detailed list 3wishes defenitly helps to visualize .

Medea, Yes still planning on getting the citizenship. Not sure how Switzerland will treat me need to keep my options open when making a big move. Im planning on learning German (Actualy i have already begun just so slightly. Im looking to get some work in the Marketing/Creative/Design area if possible. Also working on a project that aperantly i will have to be finished in Switzerland by the end of this year which if everything goes like planed i will be doing fulltime .
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Old 28.01.2015, 21:15
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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Thank you for all the reply and great info yet again! Looks like this forum is going to be Key to my survival in Switzerland lol.


Yes, i am a green card holder and in the works to get the citizenship. Im aware of the nasty tax situation now. I will also deffinatly check on that my girlfriend doesnt loose her swiss citizenship do to marrying in the US ( i think this has been ruled out but ill double check just in case).

Thanks for posting the detailed list 3wishes defenitly helps to visualize .

Medea, Yes still planning on getting the citizenship. Not sure how Switzerland will treat me need to keep my options open when making a big move. Im planning on learning German (Actualy i have already begun just so slightly. Im looking to get some work in the Marketing/Creative/Design area if possible. Also working on a project that aperantly i will have to be finished in Switzerland by the end of this year which if everything goes like planed i will be doing fulltime .
Well, that could work out quite nicely then. Do you think you'll be able to complete the citizenship process before you move? If not, will it affect your application if you're no longer living in the States?
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Old 28.01.2015, 21:24
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

Vegas
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Old 28.01.2015, 21:43
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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Vegas
Anywhere in NY state, really.

24 hour wait, and they accept divorce decrees in German (just tell us what it says).

Tom
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Old 28.01.2015, 21:55
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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Anywhere in any state, really...
FTFY. Few states have waiting periods longer than a few days and most no longer require a blood test. You don't even need a fancy ceremony. Rock up to the courthouse and see any judge that's available. Or have any ordained minister officiate and sign the marriage certificate/license.
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Old 28.01.2015, 21:59
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

My best friend did a drive-thru wedding in Vegas - I was driving
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Old 28.01.2015, 22:31
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

Definitely marry in the States.

Even as an EU citizen, I had a bit of a nightmare organising getting married here in Switzerland. Seriously considered going to Gibraltar or Vegas to do it.
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Old 29.01.2015, 09:35
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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FTFY. Few states have waiting periods longer than a few days
CT was a week, which is why we got married in NY.

Tom
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Old 29.01.2015, 10:15
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

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Well, that could work out quite nicely then. Do you think you'll be able to complete the citizenship process before you move? If not, will it affect your application if you're no longer living in the States?
Making the move to Switzerland before the naturalization process in the US is complete could potentially present a difficulty, as a requirement for US naturalization is that the applicant must continue to be a resident (with his/her "domicile, or principal, actual dwelling place" there, not just maintaining a Green Card) up to the point at which he/she is sworn in. I don't know how long the US naturalization process is tending to take these days -- when the system is running smoothly, it can be as quick as 3-4 months, but if there are backlogs, it can take much longer. It sounds like the OP has started the process, so maybe the timing won't be an issue, but if he does need to relocate to Switzerland before he has his naturalization interview or takes the oath, I would suggest that, if possible, he try to maintain documentation that would show that he retains close ties to the US and that demonstrate that his stay abroad is -- if in any sense it can be thought of in this way -- a temporary one. It's possible that the issue might not arise, or be dwelled upon, at the interview, but it would be good to be prepared to field any questions that might come up.
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Old 29.01.2015, 15:34
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Re: Marriage in the USA or Switzerland?

Haha, yes there many fast options to get married in the US. After the legal wedding here then we can make a bit nicer one in Switzerland.

I think that as long as i don't stay more than 3 months (legally 6 month) out of the USA my naturalization should be fine.

Anyone know how long is the wait time after submitting the USA marriage certificate & paper work to the consult of CH in US ? How long until i can set foot in Switzerland?
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