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  #61  
Old 21.04.2016, 20:13
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

Can you get the death certificate? If you can get the genealogical BC and the death certificate that might work.
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  #62  
Old 21.04.2016, 20:15
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

I called the town clerk in the city where my grandfather was born and she says my mother is allowed to request an official copy if she sends them a photocopy of her drivers license and her birth certificate. I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy between the New York State website and the town clerk but I'm happy about it!
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  #63  
Old 26.04.2016, 15:44
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

Success!

The Heimatort emailed me today to tell me they have the documents for my great-grandfather and his parents. They have nothing on file about either them or my grandfather since my great-grandfather immigrated to America. To get the documents I need to send some birth certificates and a copy of my passport and 100 Swiss francs. Getting somewhere!
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  #64  
Old 26.04.2016, 16:29
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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Success!

The Heimatort emailed me today to tell me they have the documents for my great-grandfather and his parents. They have nothing on file about either them or my grandfather since my great-grandfather immigrated to America. To get the documents I need to send some birth certificates and a copy of my passport and 100 Swiss francs. Getting somewhere!
Congratulations on this important step!

Unlike Bullwinkle, you've managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat:

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Old 23.07.2016, 05:38
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

Hi there!

Well, I have the documents from my Heimatort in-hand (106 francs for a piece of paper ). However, the Swiss consulate of NYC has not been in contact with me for some time. About two months ago, they emailed me to ask the dates of my mother's previous marriages and divorces. I gave them, and when I inquired about progress on the case, they said they were in contact with Switzerland and would contact me when they had reached an agreement/gotten a response from Switzerland. Should I be concerned? I don't want to seem bothersome because the last time they made an inquiry they seemed a bit bothered that I was rushing them, but it's been two months now and I'm quite curious to know how the case is progressing. Is it a good sign that they didn't immediately deny my request?
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Old 23.07.2016, 10:23
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

Hello again medfordgirl,
in my understanding of the Swiss way, I'd say that having received the documents is an excellent opportunity to contact the Swiss consulate again. However: I'd suggest that at this point you do not ask them for anything, except whether they need these documents from you. Your letter could merely say something along the following lines....

I am pleased to report that the NAME OF DEPARTMENT of the NAME OF MUNICIPALITY in NAME OF CANTON has sent me the following documents:

List off all documents, including, for each page:
- the name of the document (in the original Swiss language)
- the names of each person about whom they certify something,
- original dates of events way back then,
- date of issue in the present.

I attach photocopies (or scans.... depending on the mode of correspondence you and they have been using) of these NUMBER OF documents.

Please would you let me know if you require the originals, so I can send them to you?

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your help in this matter.


and then: IF they do require the originals, first go to a notary and make certified copies, so that you, too, keep a proper document. Do not merely give the originals out of your hand. EVER, with any formal document.
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  #67  
Old 24.07.2016, 04:23
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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Hello again medfordgirl,
in my understanding of the Swiss way, I'd say that having received the documents is an excellent opportunity to contact the Swiss consulate again. However: I'd suggest that at this point you do not ask them for anything, except whether they need these documents from you. Your letter could merely say something along the following lines....

I am pleased to report that the NAME OF DEPARTMENT of the NAME OF MUNICIPALITY in NAME OF CANTON has sent me the following documents:

List off all documents, including, for each page:
- the name of the document (in the original Swiss language)
- the names of each person about whom they certify something,
- original dates of events way back then,
- date of issue in the present.

I attach photocopies (or scans.... depending on the mode of correspondence you and they have been using) of these NUMBER OF documents.

Please would you let me know if you require the originals, so I can send them to you?

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your help in this matter.


and then: IF they do require the originals, first go to a notary and make certified copies, so that you, too, keep a proper document. Do not merely give the originals out of your hand. EVER, with any formal document.
That sounds like great advice. I will email them and let you know how they respond.
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Old 24.07.2016, 04:25
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

Oh, I also forgot to ask:

On the documents from my Heimatort, my great-grandfather's name is listed as Heinrich. On my grandfather's birth certificate, his name is listed as Henry. The Heimatort suggested that upon immigration, a "helpful" American immigration officer Americanized his name. Will this prove an issue, and if so, how would I prove that Henry and Heinrich are the same person?
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Old 29.07.2016, 01:47
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

Progress:

The Swiss Consulate reached out to me today to tell me that I am eligible under article 58a of Swiss Citizenship Law to apply for simplified naturalization. Good news! But I suppose getting the green light was the easy part.

Would anybody happen to know, even vaguely, if I would have any chance of my application being approved given the following:

- I have been to Switzerland 2 in the past 10 years. I went once at 16 and once at 18. This is under the "golden three" that the immigration office seems to want, but would they give me a bit more leeway given my age? Or is this a hard-and-fast rule?

-I am only close with a few of my Swiss family members, maybe 4-5. I only have 2-3 non-familial Swiss friends.

- My French is very limited. I will be a German minor in university and will be studying abroad in either Hamburg or Zurich, but obviously that won't help me here. I might take the interview, depending on timing, in German given that I will be taking German 1 at university this fall. I could hold a very basic conversation in French but I definitely could not, for example, take a Swiss politics exam in French and hope to pass. I studied Spanish in school.

I asked these questions to the representative at the Consulate, as well, but you seem quicker to respond on this board. I would have to sink over 1000 dollars into this as well as time. Time, I have, but 1000 is a lot for a 19 year old! That's why I ask.
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Old 29.07.2016, 11:45
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

"My mother is wondering if she would still be eligible to apply for Swiss citizenship."
It clearly seems so - just my personal interpretation. This is based on the current legal text so do keep that in mind.

The consulate says article 58a applies to you. Well, article 58a is headlined "Simplified naturalisation for the child of a Swiss mother". The direct conclusion is that your mother is/was considered Swiss and therefore can also apply. Whether the right got simply passed down the line of your ancestors to you two, or whether your mother was considered Swiss until for instance age 22 or marriage, whichever came first, is yours to find out.

Don't rely on this post though, ask the consulate instead. There's a fair chance that you get an answer quickly because all the detective work has been done already.

PS:
I didn't read the whole thread, forgive me if this has been already said:
You want to ask the consulate what time limits you should keep in mind. For instance, will the legal situation change by you turning 22? Are there legal changes in progress or pending, in particular any that have already passed parliament (see post #10)? Just so you know if you need to speed things up and, perhaps, send in an application by date XYZ for no other reason than to not miss any deadlines.
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Old 29.07.2016, 12:22
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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"My mother is wondering if she would still be eligible to apply for Swiss citizenship."
It clearly seems so - just my personal interpretation. This is based on the current legal text so do keep that in mind.

The consulate says article 58a applies to you. Well, article 58a is headlined "Simplified naturalisation for the child of a Swiss mother". The direct conclusion is that your mother is/was considered Swiss and therefore can also apply. Whether the right got simply passed down the line of your ancestors to you two, or whether your mother was considered Swiss until for instance age 22 or marriage, whichever came first, is yours to find out.

Don't rely on this post though, ask the consulate instead. There's a fair chance that you get an answer quickly because all the detective work has been done already.

PS:
I didn't read the whole thread, forgive me if this has been already said:
You want to ask the consulate what time limits you should keep in mind. For instance, will the legal situation change by you turning 22? Are there legal changes in progress or pending, in particular any that have already passed parliament (see post #10)? Just so you know if you need to speed things up and, perhaps, send in an application by date XYZ for no other reason than to not miss any deadlines.

My mother is no longer interested in applying given the number of requirements she would need to meet. I personally have a better chance of proving close ties since I have Swiss relatives on both sides of my family and she is monolingual. From what I understand(I asked the consulate, waiting on their response) the law is changing very soon. Frankly I wish I could wait on this since I will be a German minor in school and was planning on studying abroad in Switzerland two years from now, which would make it considerably easier to prove close ties and I would have a much better chance of passing a language assessment.
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Old 29.07.2016, 13:52
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

In the meantime, check out

http://www.dw.de

as a resource for learning German. I don't know about a similar Swiss-centered resource.

Good luck.
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Old 29.07.2016, 14:18
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

I just checked #10. Indeed, the law will change by beginning of 2018. However, if you were to apply, say, in november 2017 current law should still apply.

Did you look for social groups of Swiss in your area? They may help learning the language, and it may also count towards keen interest in Switzerland. For instance this one, or on meetup.com, etc. For language only, Germans would of course also be useful.
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Old 29.07.2016, 19:25
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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Progress:

The Swiss Consulate reached out to me today to tell me that I am eligible under article 58a of Swiss Citizenship Law to apply for simplified naturalization. Good news! But I suppose getting the green light was the easy part.

Would anybody happen to know, even vaguely, if I would have any chance of my application being approved given the following:

- I have been to Switzerland 2 in the past 10 years. I went once at 16 and once at 18. This is under the "golden three" that the immigration office seems to want, but would they give me a bit more leeway given my age? Or is this a hard-and-fast rule?

-I am only close with a few of my Swiss family members, maybe 4-5. I only have 2-3 non-familial Swiss friends.

- My French is very limited. I will be a German minor in university and will be studying abroad in either Hamburg or Zurich, but obviously that won't help me here. I might take the interview, depending on timing, in German given that I will be taking German 1 at university this fall. I could hold a very basic conversation in French but I definitely could not, for example, take a Swiss politics exam in French and hope to pass. I studied Spanish in school.

I asked these questions to the representative at the Consulate, as well, but you seem quicker to respond on this board. I would have to sink over 1000 dollars into this as well as time. Time, I have, but 1000 is a lot for a 19 year old! That's why I ask.
Good news that it has been confirmed that you are eligible to apply. Congratulations! To address your questions, my own view, based on a very close reading of the Swiss administrative manual on citizenship and on some knowledge of how a few similar cases have been decided, is that you have a reasonably good shot at being successful. It's impossible to say for sure, as, ultimately, the outcome will depend to some extent on how well you are able to satisfy the Swiss consular officer that your ties to Switzerland are genuine and on how strict the federal migration office is being these days in interpreting their stated policy on what constitutes "close ties" -- as far as I know, no change to this policy has gone into effect recently, but it's possible that they might be drifting towards a higher standard in anticipation of the implementation of the new law. In any case, my take is that it's worth pursuing and not at all unrealistic to hope for a positive result.

You would obviously be on firmer ground if you could find a way to have visited Switzerland three times before you submit your application -- in that case, it would be that much clearer that you had ticked that particular box -- but the administrative manual does state that fewer than three visits might be acceptable if an applicant lives very far from Switzerland (it might be argued that the US is quite far from Switzerland), particularly if the one or two visits that the applicant did manage were of some length.

I think having 4-5 Swiss relatives with whom you are in contact, plus 2-3 non-relative friends, ought to be more than sufficient, and if you saw any or all of them on either or both of your visits, so much the better.

As for the language question, if you look at posts in other threads from those who have been through the faciliatated naturalization process from abroad, you will see that some went through the whole interview in a Swiss language, while others managed to be successful after struggling through a brief conversation with very limited knowledge of a language. The administrative manual makes clear that linguistic expectations are not as high as they would be for a regular naturalization, or even a facilitated naturalization applicant, *in* Switzerland, so I wouldn't panic about this if I were you, particularly if you think you can muster some basic conversational French or (after some study in university next year) German. You might bolster your confidence and give yourself some talking points by practicing some phrases about your ties to Switzerland, why you want to be Swiss, what you admire about the country, etc.

As has been mentioned previously, the other box to tick is involvement in your local Swiss club, and as there is an active Swiss Society in Boston, I would recommend that you join and try to make it to some of their activities, if you haven't already.

And yes, it has now been announced that the new (2014) citizenship law will go into effect on January 1, 2018, so you will want to get the application process formally under way before then ... and I wouldn't cut it too close, if I were you, just to make sure that there is time to get confirmation that your submission is judged to be complete well in advance of the deadline. You could wait until, say, next summer to proceed, though, if you wanted to take some time to get all your documentation together and to work on your German. Just keep in mind it might well take a year or two for a decision to be reached on the application.

Good luck!
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Old 30.07.2016, 03:18
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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Good news that it has been confirmed that you are eligible to apply. Congratulations! To address your questions, my own view, based on a very close reading of the Swiss administrative manual on citizenship and on some knowledge of how a few similar cases have been decided, is that you have a reasonably good shot at being successful. It's impossible to say for sure, as, ultimately, the outcome will depend to some extent on how well you are able to satisfy the Swiss consular officer that your ties to Switzerland are genuine and on how strict the federal migration office is being these days in interpreting their stated policy on what constitutes "close ties" -- as far as I know, no change to this policy has gone into effect recently, but it's possible that they might be drifting towards a higher standard in anticipation of the implementation of the new law. In any case, my take is that it's worth pursuing and not at all unrealistic to hope for a positive result.

You would obviously be on firmer ground if you could find a way to have visited Switzerland three times before you submit your application -- in that case, it would be that much clearer that you had ticked that particular box -- but the administrative manual does state that fewer than three visits might be acceptable if an applicant lives very far from Switzerland (it might be argued that the US is quite far from Switzerland), particularly if the one or two visits that the applicant did manage were of some length.

I think having 4-5 Swiss relatives with whom you are in contact, plus 2-3 non-relative friends, ought to be more than sufficient, and if you saw any or all of them on either or both of your visits, so much the better.

As for the language question, if you look at posts in other threads from those who have been through the faciliatated naturalization process from abroad, you will see that some went through the whole interview in a Swiss language, while others managed to be successful after struggling through a brief conversation with very limited knowledge of a language. The administrative manual makes clear that linguistic expectations are not as high as they would be for a regular naturalization, or even a facilitated naturalization applicant, *in* Switzerland, so I wouldn't panic about this if I were you, particularly if you think you can muster some basic conversational French or (after some study in university next year) German. You might bolster your confidence and give yourself some talking points by practicing some phrases about your ties to Switzerland, why you want to be Swiss, what you admire about the country, etc.

As has been mentioned previously, the other box to tick is involvement in your local Swiss club, and as there is an active Swiss Society in Boston, I would recommend that you join and try to make it to some of their activities, if you haven't already.

And yes, it has now been announced that the new (2014) citizenship law will go into effect on January 1, 2018, so you will want to get the application process formally under way before then ... and I wouldn't cut it too close, if I were you, just to make sure that there is time to get confirmation that your submission is judged to be complete well in advance of the deadline. You could wait until, say, next summer to proceed, though, if you wanted to take some time to get all your documentation together and to work on your German. Just keep in mind it might well take a year or two for a decision to be reached on the application.

Good luck!
Thank you! The new law not going into affect until 2018 will make things MUCH easier. My mother and I were planning on going to Switzerland to visit family during my Spring break (visit #3) and in the Spring of next year I will have two consecutive semesters of college-level German under my belt. Having an interview done at this point in German will be easier and less stressful than using the French I've learned through my cousins and online.

I am a member of my local Swiss society and I went to their summer social I was probably the youngest one there by 20 years but it was interesting to hear their thoughts and opinons. They were excited that I was interested in applying for citizenship and offered to help me if they could along the way.

What sounds the best for me, right now, is using the next 6-8 months to get my documents together, travel to Switzerland again and get through German I and II in school. I could apply, I think, in March of next year. I think it's okay if it takes a year to process, I'm not in a rush. This is something I would only "need" per se once I finished university at age 22-23 (or older if I decide to obtain a masters).
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Old 30.07.2016, 21:25
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

First of let me say that I am impressed with your initiative and commitment to this. I wish my 19 y/o was as motivated as you are. Good luck to you going forward.

That fact that the consulate indicated that simplified naturalization was the route to pursue is great news. This is by far the easiest route. The only requirement is close ties to Switzerland; residency and language are irrelevant. Also, I don't think the change in law is relevant to you since simplified is the route you will be taking. What is important is that you get this done before you turn 22. After 22, simplified naturalization will require you to apply for reinstatement.

Are your children Swiss or can they become Swiss? - Einbuergerung-Kinder-2014_en.pdf

Based in this, if your Swiss grandparents where married, your mother was Swiss by Birth. Since she wasn't registered with a Swiss authority, she would have 'lost' her Swiss citizenship after turning 22. However, she can still have her citizenship reinstated provided she can show close ties. If your mother gets her citizenship reinstated, then you would be Swiss by Birth(retroactive to the day you where born).

Your focus needs to be on providing the consulate with every piece of info that they request. If they haven't already, they're going to send an email requesting a bunch of docs. When I went through the process this is some of the things I had to provide:

- A certified copy of the marriage certificate (not older than 6 months/long form). The document has to show the complete identity of both spouses (dates of birth), the names of their parents and, if possible, the civil status prior to the marriage.
- A certified copy of the birth certificate (not older than 6 months), as your child was born in the US, please make sure that the place of birth (City or Town) is mentioned on the certificate and not just the County.
- Attached form "Application for Marriage Registration", please have your signatures notarized.

- A certified copy of your wife's birth certificate (not older than 6 months).
- Attached form "Application for Birth Registration"

My experience with the NYC consulate is that they are very particular about the documents and will not go forward until all documents have been satisfactorily submitted.

Earlier, you mentioned that your mother is having second thoughts due to some of the requirements. I would encourage her to stay with it. Quite frankly, I don't think your efforts will be successful without her. Close ties is the only requirement she needs to meet. The definition of "close ties" is debatable. However, if your mother as been to Switzerland a couple times and has family or other contacts in Switzerland willing to vouch for her, then that might be enough.
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Old 31.07.2016, 05:57
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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First of let me say that I am impressed with your initiative and commitment to this. I wish my 19 y/o was as motivated as you are. Good luck to you going forward.

That fact that the consulate indicated that simplified naturalization was the route to pursue is great news. This is by far the easiest route. The only requirement is close ties to Switzerland; residency and language are irrelevant. Also, I don't think the change in law is relevant to you since simplified is the route you will be taking. What is important is that you get this done before you turn 22. After 22, simplified naturalization will require you to apply for reinstatement.

Are your children Swiss or can they become Swiss? - Einbuergerung-Kinder-2014_en.pdf

Based in this, if your Swiss grandparents where married, your mother was Swiss by Birth. Since she wasn't registered with a Swiss authority, she would have 'lost' her Swiss citizenship after turning 22. However, she can still have her citizenship reinstated provided she can show close ties. If your mother gets her citizenship reinstated, then you would be Swiss by Birth(retroactive to the day you where born).

Your focus needs to be on providing the consulate with every piece of info that they request. If they haven't already, they're going to send an email requesting a bunch of docs. When I went through the process this is some of the things I had to provide:

- A certified copy of the marriage certificate (not older than 6 months/long form). The document has to show the complete identity of both spouses (dates of birth), the names of their parents and, if possible, the civil status prior to the marriage.
- A certified copy of the birth certificate (not older than 6 months), as your child was born in the US, please make sure that the place of birth (City or Town) is mentioned on the certificate and not just the County.
- Attached form "Application for Marriage Registration", please have your signatures notarized.

- A certified copy of your wife's birth certificate (not older than 6 months).
- Attached form "Application for Birth Registration"

My experience with the NYC consulate is that they are very particular about the documents and will not go forward until all documents have been satisfactorily submitted.

Earlier, you mentioned that your mother is having second thoughts due to some of the requirements. I would encourage her to stay with it. Quite frankly, I don't think your efforts will be successful without her. Close ties is the only requirement she needs to meet. The definition of "close ties" is debatable. However, if your mother as been to Switzerland a couple times and has family or other contacts in Switzerland willing to vouch for her, then that might be enough.

Thank you! That's kind of you to say. This is something I care a lot about, and if I care a lot about something, I put a lot of effort into it!

However, I think you might be mistaken on a few things.
While the consulate did tell me that I qualified for (direct quote) simplified naturalization, they did also indicate that I needed language proficiency and a knowledge of Swiss politics, history etc as well as trips to Switzerland. I was under the impression that reinstatement of Swiss citizenship after 10 years had similar requirements. All the info I can find on reinstatement mentions "close ties", which I would assume would be the same as for simple naturalization.


This is the reason why I don't think my mother would be interested. She's a smart woman, but not a language person (whereas I am). There is NO way she would pass an interview in German, French or Italian. She has fewer ties than I do (I have Swiss family on both sides and the friends I mentioned are my own). She has been to Switzerland once and frankly would have no use for Swiss citizenship other than as a means for me to obtain it. She is 60, dislikes traveling at this point in her life and has very little interest in living abroad. I don't feel comfortable asking her to go through the effort of this process solely for my benefit. I also think she has a weaker chance even though she actually held Swiss citizenship herself. I won't lie, I would love it if she would be able to do the "heavy lifting" and I got it by default by being under 22...but that's not going to happen.
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Old 31.07.2016, 08:46
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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However, I think you might be mistaken on a few things.
I looked a little deeper into art 58a and came across this
Simplified naturalisation for the child of a Swiss mother.

1 A foreign child born before 1 July 1985 whose mother held Swiss citizenship prior to or at the time of the child's birth may apply for simplified naturalisation if he or she has close ties with Switzerland.
2 The child acquires the cantonal and communal citizenship that his or her mother holds or last held, and thus is a Swiss citizen.
3 If the child has children of his or her own, they may also apply for simplified naturalisation if they have close ties with Switzerland.

(1) applies to your mother. (3) applies to you. It looks like (3) is not dependent on (1). I'm glad to see that you might be able to do this without unduly burdening your mother.

jhm3's previous remarks about close ties and basic language proficiency are spot on.
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Old 31.07.2016, 17:24
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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I looked a little deeper into art 58a and came across this
Simplified naturalisation for the child of a Swiss mother.

1 A foreign child born before 1 July 1985 whose mother held Swiss citizenship prior to or at the time of the child's birth may apply for simplified naturalisation if he or she has close ties with Switzerland.
2 The child acquires the cantonal and communal citizenship that his or her mother holds or last held, and thus is a Swiss citizen.
3 If the child has children of his or her own, they may also apply for simplified naturalisation if they have close ties with Switzerland.

(1) applies to your mother. (3) applies to you. It looks like (3) is not dependent on (1). I'm glad to see that you might be able to do this without unduly burdening your mother.

jhm3's previous remarks about close ties and basic language proficiency are spot on.
I might be understanding that wrong, but my mother was born to a Swiss father, not a Swiss mother. Also, you mentioned a marriage certificate. Would that need to be for my parents, or just my grandparents? My parents were never married.
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Old 31.07.2016, 23:35
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Re: Mother with 2 Swiss grandparents

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I might be understanding that wrong, but my mother was born to a Swiss father, not a Swiss mother. Also, you mentioned a marriage certificate. Would that need to be for my parents, or just my grandparents? My parents were never married.
Since your mother was born to a Swiss father, Art 58c would apply to her. I wish I could figure out how "Swiss Mother" in Art 58a applies to you.

The marriage certificate was for my younger child. This granted her citizenship by birth. I was considered an unmarried Swiss father when I had my older child. I had to sign an acknowledgement of paternity in order for his simplified naturalization to go through
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