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Old 15.05.2015, 14:50
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Swiss Conscription for a Dual Citizen?

I am a 28 year old male with Swiss/South African citizenship. Having been born in South Africa, I recently completed my studies and have since decided to move to Switzerland to pursue a career abroad. I moved to Zürich in March, 2015 and have just received a letter from the "Amt für Militӓr und Zivilschutz" regarding the nature of my stay in CH.

I am aware that the military conscription age is 19-26 (CIA World Factbook), which involves recruitment of individuals into the military or social services. However, I would like to find out what my options are...
  • Whether I can skip the military & social service due to my age?
  • Whether I am required to go straight to the Civil Defense (Zivilschutz)?
  • Or, whether I can skip everything, therefore being required to pay the exemption tax of 3% on annual income? (Ouch!!)

The best case scenario for me would involve being exempted from the Swiss conscription system as I have moved to CH solely to pursue career interests (internships, learning German, etc.) and am unable to state how long I will be staying for. However, I am unsure if this scenario is possible. In addition, if I am required to go to the Zivilschutz, is this experience worthwhile and what does it entail?

Thanks, I would greatly appreciate any advice.
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Old 15.05.2015, 14:53
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Re: Swiss Conscription for a Dual Citizen?

I believe you are required to present yourself if you are a citizen and resident of the country and they request you do so. They may, however, take one look at you, seeing your age, and decide they can't use you and let it be. This happened to a friend of mine. On the other hand, if they happen to need a person matching your profile, that's tough luck and you probably can't wriggle out.

Whether or not you have done military service in South Africa may also have an influence. If you learnt any special skills there they might want to know about that. On the other hand, you don't normnally have to do military service in two countries and the fact that you've already done it could work in your favour.
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Old 15.05.2015, 15:08
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Re: Swiss Conscription for a Dual Citizen?

Okay thanks, that's good to note.
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Old 15.05.2015, 18:03
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Re: Swiss Conscription for a Dual Citizen?

I came here at 28 as well, and they made me pay for two years. I offered to do zivilschutz, but I guess it didn't make sense to bother with the training at such an advanced age.
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Old 15.05.2015, 18:25
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Re: Swiss Conscription for a Dual Citizen?

Thanks for sharing your experience, Principia Discordia. Much appreciated!
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