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Old 27.05.2015, 13:24
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non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

Hello everyone,

My fiancee got accepted at the University of Zurich as a PhD student and teaching assistant and she got the B permit. I am currently here 2 months as a tourist and I can stay in Switzerland for 3 months. We are planing to get married here in Switzerland.

If I understood correctly when we get married I can apply for family reunification visa and get the same permit as she has, with whom I can work here as well?

When we get married can I apply for visa here or do I have to go back to my country and apply from there?

If I can apply here can I somehow extend my stay in Switzerland with confirmation that we got married?

Sorry for the long post, I have a lot of questions and I would be really thankful for any help.
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Old 27.05.2015, 13:47
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

No, you need to go back to your home country and apply for a Type D visa there while at the same time your girlfriend applies for a fiancé permit for you. If she can meet the conditions required, i.e. accommodation is big enough for both of you and she earns enough to support you financially, then the permit may be granted. It will probably take some months for the application to go through.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification1/

You can't get married here until you both become residents and you can't do that without her getting a fiancé permit for you.

https://www.ch.ch/en/civil-wedding-ceremony/

Once you get married then you will get the same permit as she has; what work rights that includes as she's a PhD student I don't know.
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Old 27.05.2015, 14:04
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

Thanks a lot for your quick reply.

So, there is no way that I can get residence permit without leaving the Switzerland?

I am a bit confused now. On Friday we went to Zivilstandsamt, here in Zurich, to register for marriage and we gave them a bunch of papers all translated on German with certificates and no one said that I need to have residence permit before we can get married.

I hoped that we can get married here and start a procedure for family reunification permit, but I was wrong?
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Old 27.05.2015, 14:19
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

As it says in the marriage link I provided:

"If either of you are not Swiss citizens, you must be lawfully resident in Switzerland at the time of marriage."

You are not lawfully resident while you're here as a tourist. Your girlfriend needs to apply for a fiancé permit for you while you return home to get the Type D visa. Once the permit is approved, the visa will be stamped in your passport and you can move back here and then get married. Then you will get a dependent's permit based on your marriage.
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Old 27.05.2015, 14:48
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

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As it says in the marriage link I provided:

"If either of you are not Swiss citizens, you must be lawfully resident in Switzerland at the time of marriage."

You are not lawfully resident while you're here as a tourist. Your girlfriend needs to apply for a fiancé permit for you while you return home to get the Type D visa. Once the permit is approved, the visa will be stamped in your passport and you can move back here and then get married. Then you will get a dependent's permit based on your marriage.
I suspect that the language on the website -- that non-Swiss citizens must be "lawfully resident in Switzerland at the time of marriage" in order to marry in Switzerland -- is slightly misleading. It appears (from, for example, the news item and the old discussion thread below) that the requirement is that non-Swiss parties to a marriage in Switzerland must be legally *present* in the country in order to marry.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/legality...ioned/29957390

New Rules 2011 - Swiss Marriages with Foreigners


As for whether or not it's possible to obtain a dependent B Permit without leaving Switzerland after getting married, that's another question, and I'm afraid I don't know the answer.
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Old 27.05.2015, 15:15
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

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I suspect that the language on the website -- that non-Swiss citizens must be "lawfully resident in Switzerland at the time of marriage" in order to marry in Switzerland -- is slightly misleading. It appears (from, for example, the news item and the old discussion thread below) that the requirement is that non-Swiss parties to a marriage in Switzerland must be legally *present* in the country in order to marry.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/legality...ioned/29957390

New Rules 2011 - Swiss Marriages with Foreigners


As for whether or not it's possible to obtain a dependent B Permit without leaving Switzerland after getting married, that's another question, and I'm afraid I don't know the answer.
Sorry, jhm3, but that isn't what either of those links say. The law effective from 2011 states that you must have the legal right to be in Switzerland. Being here as a tourist does not meet that qualification. And the OP still needs his Type D visa which he must apply for in his home country.
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Old 27.05.2015, 16:34
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

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Sorry, jhm3, but that isn't what either of those links say. The law effective from 2011 states that you must have the legal right to be in Switzerland. Being here as a tourist does not meet that qualification. And the OP still needs his Type D visa which he must apply for in his home country.
Sorry, Medea; I know you are very knowledgeable and that you are very generous in providing a lot of much appreciated help and guidance to people on these boards, and I readily concede that I don't have any personal experience with or direct insight into the matter under discussion here, but based on the information I'm finding, I don't think you're right in this case.

What Art. 98, section 4, of the Swiss Civil Code has said since it was amended in 2011 is that (per the translation in the swissinfo article), "fiancés who are not Swiss citizens must establish the legality of their status in Switzerland during the course of the preparatory procedures" before they can get married. The (non-official) English translation of the Civil Code offered on the Swiss government website states that they must show the legality of their "residence" (which accounts for the use of that term in the relevant section of ch.ch), but the official German, French, and Italian texts of the code refer to the legality of the "aufenthalt" or "sejour" or "soggiorno" -- the "stay" -- of the foreigner getting married.

This provision was introduced as a result of the Federal Act of 12 June 2009 (Prevention of Marriages in the event of Unlawful Residence). The parliamentary initiative presented upon the introduction of that bill (the reference in the official gazette is FF 2008 2145; there is a link to the text in the footnote to Article 98 in the online version of the Swiss Civil Code: https://www.admin.ch/opc/it/classifi...042/index.html), states that a "stay" is considered "legal" for the purposes of this provision "when the legislation on foreigners and asylum is respected." I'm not sure why you think a tourist visitor who entered the country legally would not meet this requirement -- after all, plenty of foreign tourists must get married in Switzerland as visitors -- but the initiative goes on to state explicitly that he/she would ("The stay is therefore consistent with the law if a foreign citizen [1] is not subject to a visa requirement and is staying in Switzerland during the period within which it is allowed to remain there (ie up to three months without gainful employment) ... [or] [2] has the necessary visa and stay in Switzerland during the period in which it is authorized to remain (ie up to three months without gainful employment) ... [or holds a valid permit, etc.]").

This provision is further regulated by the Ordinance on Civil Status (https://www.admin.ch/opc/it/classifi...234/index.html), which just states in its Art. 64, section 2, that fiances "who do not have Swiss citizenship must also enclose a document proving the legality of their stay [again: "aufenthalt," "sejour," or "soggiorno"] in Switzerland until the day on which the wedding is planned" -- nothing about a residence permit or not being a tourist.

Again, beyond the wedding, I don't know what the implications are for arranging a permit, but at least as far as I can discover, what is required in order to marry in Switzerland is any kind of valid legal status (including as a tourist) rather than a longer-term residence permit. If I'm wrong, I'm happy to be corrected ...
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Old 27.05.2015, 16:51
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

jhm3, as Medea said, you need to be a legal resident and a tourist is NOT a resident.

"who do not have Swiss citizenship must also enclose a document proving the legality of their stay [again: "aufenthalt," "sejour," or "soggiorno"] in Switzerland until the day on which the wedding is planned"

This means exactly that you need to be resident and cannot be a tourist.
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Old 27.05.2015, 17:32
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

The legality of their "stay" being either a permit or a visa. The point you are missing is that sejour is used in the context of the type of permit a resident holds here.

C permit - autorisation d'establissement
B permit - autorisation de séjour
L permit - autorsation de séjour de courte durée

Yes, foreign couples do come here to get married - and then they leave again for their own countries. It's different for someone who's a resident here. Otherwise, the law is a complete waste of time as it would facilitate marriages of convenience instead of combating them.

From the EF thread you linked to:

As of January 1, 2011 all foreigners who want to marry a Swiss IN SWITZERLAND must prove that they have a legal right to be in Switzerland (i.e. a valid permit or visa).

FYI this change also applies to foreign residents holding C or B permits, where the other party has no permit, it's not just for marriages to Swiss citizens, it's a crackdown on all marriages in CH where one side has no permit.
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Old 27.05.2015, 18:41
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

Thanks for your replies. I'm not trying to be contrarian, and by no means do I wish to show any disrespect for your expertise, but based on the available information, I'm afraid I'm not convinced. I don't claim that I definitively know the answer here, but in the absence of any official text explicitly contradicting what still seems to me to be the clear meaning of the relevant codes, ordinances, and parliamentary projects, I see no compelling reason to revise my reading of those documents.

Regarding the points you raised in your last post, Medea, I have made some replies within the quoted text below.

Of course, I know that whether or not *I'm* convinced is immaterial! What matters, ultimately, is how civil registries interpret and enforce this provision. It seems the registry in Zurich has (so far, at least) had no issue with the OP's documentation. I hope we will hear from him soon whether or not any issues arise over this point (and there must be others on these boards who either have been able to marry as visitors or who found themselves unable to do so; it would be great to hear from such people with first-hand experience).

In the meantime, it seems we must agree to disagree. If I really am wrong, I look forward to being set straight ...


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The legality of their "stay" being either a permit or a visa. The point you are missing is that sejour is used in the context of the type of permit a resident holds here.

C permit - autorisation d'establissement
B permit - autorisation de séjour
L permit - autorsation de séjour de courte durée

I know that a B Permit is an "autorisation de séjour," but the Law on Foreigners is also full of uses of the term "séjour" in its general sense of any kind of "stay" (e.g., short-term tourist visitors are also admitted for a "séjour" in this sense).

And we don't have to wonder about the context in which séjour should be understood here. As I pointed out, it's spelled out in the parliamentary initiative that forms an official part of the record of the bill that introduced the "legal stay" (or, if you prefer, the "legal residence") requirement: it explicitly states that a tourist visitor meets the requirement.



Yes, foreign couples do come here to get married - and then they leave again for their own countries. It's different for someone who's a resident here.

There is nothing in the relevant section of the civil code that makes it different for someone intending to return home after getting married in Switzerland versus someone who lives there: It simply says that anyone who is not a Swiss citizen must demonstrate the legality of their stay. If this meant they had to have a residence permit, non-resident foreign couples wouldn't be able to marry ... and yet they do.


Otherwise, the law is a complete waste of time as it would facilitate marriages of convenience instead of combating them.

The way in which the law seeks to combat marriages of convenience is by preventing persons with no legal status (e.g., failed asylum seekers, visa overstayers) from marrying. It doesn't appear to me to make it any easier (or harder) for tourists to marry than before, but it does make it impossible for an out-of-status migrant to marry.


From the EF thread you linked to:

As of January 1, 2011 all foreigners who want to marry a Swiss IN SWITZERLAND must prove that they have a legal right to be in Switzerland (i.e. a valid permit or visa).

Right, e.g., a tourist visa ...


FYI this change also applies to foreign residents holding C or B permits, where the other party has no permit, it's not just for marriages to Swiss citizens, it's a crackdown on all marriages in CH where one side has no permit.

I would suggest this isn't quite right: more precisely, it's a crackdown on all marriages in CH where one side has no legal status.
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Old 29.05.2015, 17:47
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Re: non-EU citizen and marriage with non-EU citizen who has B permit in ZH

The only question that matters is - where are you legally staying, before your move to CH?

If it's EU/EFTA country, you could try registering yourself in the city hall with your marriage certificate. The city hall then contacts immigrations office, and if all goes well, they will call you again for biometrics, and in a few weeks, mail you a cute, pink residency card. Some people I know have done it this way. Holding residency of EU/EFTA technically allows them to stay as a tourist in CH, do the paperwork here, and avoids having to fly back and forth. However, the city hall will (should) NOT register you on a tourist visa, if you live in non-EU country. If they did, most likely, they only changed the civil status of your spouse. Did they indeed register you as a CH resident?

If all doesn't go well (I have also heard such cases), basically, the immigrations office has some objections to your specific case. These could be about salary, living space or your past history. Then just be prepared to fly back and apply again at the consulate of the country where you legally live. This can be different from your country of citizenship.

Do not bother calling immigrations office or visiting them. They will simply ask you to apply at the consulate - as that's the default route. Many of them are just college interns, and have no knowledge of special directives that give you some rights as a EU resident (even if you're non-EU).
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