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Old 13.02.2015, 20:55
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Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

Hi everyone. I posted a few weeks back about getting a ''preavis defevorable'' from the communal authorities for my naturalisation application, due to a rusty french skills and a supposed lack of integration. However, the cantonal authorities recently decided to overrule this decision, on account of the fact that I have B1 and B2 french certificates. So, as far as it goes, I am currently in the ''approved'' pile and am expecting the naturalisation ceremony to occur during the summer.

However, I recently read up on Geneva naturalisation law and it seems that the commune can appeal against this overruling. I'm not entirely sure how this appeal works and I don't know about the frequency of these appeals (on average). Does it seem logical to guess that the commune would try to appeal, given that they are probably not going to be happy about this outcome? And if so, does anyone know what happens next?

I know this question is a bit obscure, but any help would be appreciated
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Old 13.02.2015, 21:04
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

A bit strange, as I would have thought if you had B1 and B2 certificates, you should have been able to communicate to a passable extent? If you were unable to communicate sufficiently, I'd say the certificates are irrelevant. When did you get those certificates? You are supposed to keep up language skills once acquired, and if possible get to a higher level.

OH was asked which certificates he had and courses he attended. He said none, as he had learnt with me and with friends and family- and that his ability to communciate with them should be sufficient. They laughed and said, yes, they were quite impressed.

There are no rules for the Commune. The administrator will discuss this with Council members (Conseil Communal and Conseil General) - they might call a meeting or just discuss this informally. Or the few members whose brief is to make such decisions, will meet and discuss- and approve or appeal.
These elected politicians come from all walks of life, and all political parties, left, right and centre- and it is just pot luck, really.
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Old 13.02.2015, 21:05
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

See how it goes first.

Given that you are not a high profile case, unlike the Professor who panicked at the crucial moment you should be OK.

Just keep a low profile and avoid eye contact with the locals.
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Old 13.02.2015, 21:10
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

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A bit strange, as I would have thought if you had B1 and B2 certificates, you should have been able to communicate to a passable extent? If you were unable to communicate sufficiently, I'd say the certificates are irrelevant. When did you get those certificates? You are supposed to keep up language skills once acquired, and if possible get to a higher level.

OH was asked which certificates he had and courses he attended. He said none, as he had learnt with me and with friends and family- and that his ability to communciate with them should be sufficient. They laughed and said, yes, they were quite impressed.

There are no rules for the Commune. The administrator will discuss this with Council members (Conseil Communal and Conseil General) - they might call a meeting or just discuss this informally. Or the few members whose brief is to make such decisions, will meet and discuss- and approve or appeal.
These elected politicians come from all walks of life, and all political parties, left, right and centre- and it is just pot luck, really.
Well here is the thing, I actually can communicate. However, I don't perform well in interviews due to anxiety to be honest. On a more normal occasion, then those certificates would outwardly be more justified. The certificates are DELF ones.
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Old 13.02.2015, 21:27
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

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However, I don't perform well in interviews due to anxiety to be honest.
Same here, and in English…. job interviews and the like are my worst nightmare … doing it in a foreign language though
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Old 13.02.2015, 21:41
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

After 12 years though (minimum required for naturalisation) - anyone well integrated in local life (work, friends, clubs, etc) should be able to communicate at level B1 quite naturally though (there is no requirement for grammatical precision- just be able to understand basic questions and respond in a basic manner).

If someone is used to speaking a language on a daily basis with colleagues, friends, neighbours, etc- then it is not like an exam, it is just 'natural' (and if it is not, then perhaps an indication of insufficient integration- and perhaps the reason for their decision - level B1 is quite low and should be attained without formal lessons in 12 years).

Checked all the sites for Geneva, and it just says the Commune can appeal the decision- but no procedure or timings mentioned anywhere. Bonne chance.
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Old 13.02.2015, 22:05
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

Here are OP's other threads, for context:

Naturalisation - Studying abroad?

Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

This sounds complex, as less than a month ago you were on a suspended application. I have no idea what they can do to appeal, but even you said it was language and integration. Odds are since you were studying abroad your language skills were a bit rusty and that combined with nervousness didn't help. However - maybe since you have the language certificate, focus on the integration part in case they do appeal? What will your arguments be for that?

Anyone know - if the commune appeals and wins, then what? Back to suspension or back to square one? I was under the impression the commune had the final say in regular naturalization since you're a citizen of that first and then it goes up the line. So confusing.
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Old 13.02.2015, 22:11
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

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Here are OP's other threads, for context:

Naturalisation - Studying abroad?

Suspended naturalisation application, Geneva

This sounds complex, as less than a month ago you were on a suspended application. I have no idea what they can do to appeal, but even you said it was language and integration. Odds are since you were studying abroad your language skills were a bit rusty and that combined with nervousness didn't help. However - maybe since you have the language certificate, focus on the integration part in case they do appeal? What will your arguments be for that?

Anyone know - if the commune appeals and wins, then what? Back to suspension or back to square one? I was under the impression the commune had the final say in regular naturalization since you're a citizen of that first and then it goes up the line. So confusing.
Yes, the situation is quite complex and I was under that impression too, but apparently, the ''preavis'' of the commune can be overruled by the state council/cantonal authorities. I suspect that if the commune wins, then I go back to doing the interview in one year, as originally planned. I already planned to suspend my studies for next year to work on the integration and french bit, which would more than likely be sufficient. However, with this new piece of news, I wouldn't have to do that, which is a far more desirable outcome.

And I wish it were less confusing, but then the entire process, for me, has been one big complication.
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Old 13.02.2015, 23:02
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Re: Communal appeal against naturalisation decision?

The situation might be complex, but don't exaggerate.


Imho 2 things are very useful:


1. Contact a lawyer who is an expert in Immigration issues (make sure he is a sympa).
Together with him, try to find out what is your manoeuvring space with the Commune. What if e.g. you redo your interview with them in a couple of months, who cares about the cantonal thing.
As it might not be a good idea to get in full collision with the Commune.
Tell them about your performance problems, and try to find a solution together with them.


2. L e a r n F r e n c h, which is not a very difficult language. Plus B1/B2 are really not so high levels. Normally Interviewers are quite tolerate, so it would probably be only B1. Which is low.
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