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  #21  
Old 21.06.2010, 21:00
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

A similar thing happened to me, they officially gave me a middle name, by adding my maiden name to the ausweis, I now have to sign everything with a my new one. I thought it would be easier than having them change it - didn't want to risk my luck.
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  #22  
Old 21.06.2010, 23:01
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I just found out that the authorities have changed my name a couple of years ago without telling me.
I have a colleague who had exactly the same problem. He went with his birth certificate to the gemeinde and sorted it out in 5 mins.

Sounds like your gemeinde are incompetent .
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  #23  
Old 21.06.2010, 23:47
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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This is not a clerical error. Apparently a couple of years ago some EU-related law came into force which they have to follow. And according to the law, name=family name. According to my passport my name is John Doe Smith. So according to this law, my family name is John Doe Smith.
.
My point is: at some time a mistake was made and your name was incorrectly recorded.

You need to stress the point that your name never has been John Doe Smith John Doe Smith, and that is always simply has been John Doe Smith

And then provide documents to back it up.
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  #24  
Old 21.06.2010, 23:57
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I have a colleague who had exactly the same problem. He went with his birth certificate to the gemeinde and sorted it out in 5 mins.

Sounds like your gemeinde are incompetent .
I did that. My BC says that my name is John Doe Smith. Name = family name. Same problem.
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Old 22.06.2010, 00:03
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

I have the same situation.. In asian cultures they have first 'family name' and 'given name' second.. now my family became first name.. tried to change with the authorities and seeing the hassle.. finally give up.
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  #26  
Old 22.06.2010, 00:08
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

If anyone had success in changing the name.. Please..Bitte..Bitte post here the procedure, cost, etc.,.. I was told that time it will cost 3K..
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Old 22.06.2010, 00:11
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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My point is: at some time a mistake was made and your name was incorrectly recorded.

You need to stress the point that your name never has been John Doe Smith John Doe Smith, and that is always simply has been John Doe Smith

And then provide documents to back it up.
I know what you are saying, but the point is that this is not something they did by mistake. They are aware of the error. They know it is wrong. Thing is, they did it on purpose:

1. new rule says that name must be exactly as it is on passport. My passport says that my name is John Doe Smith. So they did exactly that. Unfortunately, in Switzerland, name = surname.

2. However, their computer system didn't let them leave the vorname part blank. The workaround, they decided, is to repeat my name in the vorname part.

This is why they can't simply correct it even though they know it is wrong.

What they probably didn't think about is the side effect of the workaround - after a couple of years, this new name of mine has spread all over the place, such as the tax office, the land registrar, and who knows what else. They didn't take it seriously so far because as mentioned, the other people with the same problem as me are all women, and they anyway use their husbands' name.
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  #28  
Old 22.06.2010, 10:34
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Stop talking to the man at the counter and talk to his boss. Explain the problem, where the error was made, and ask him what can they do to fix it.

They are causing trouble for you because they do not recognise your name correctly.

It will continue to be a problem until you clear it up properly.

Do it sooner rather than later...
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  #29  
Old 22.06.2010, 10:53
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Same thing happened to my wife. In all their wisdom her parents didn't give her a surname

So now she is mrsporsch1909 mrsporsch1909. Even though she's married so should take my surname, they insisted that what was on her passport is what counted.

She has a new passport now, but I can't be bothered changing her permit.
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  #30  
Old 22.06.2010, 11:01
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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<snip>

I have actually opened a can of worms when I spoke to my Gemeinde because now they realize that they have to change my wife's name to Jane John Doe Smith and my children's name to Mary Elizabeth John Doe Smith and Tom Jack John Doe Smith.

Wonderful.
Wow... just, wow...
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  #31  
Old 22.06.2010, 11:50
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Thing is, they did it on purpose:.... Unfortunately, in Switzerland, name = surname.
Whoever wherever is responsible for this, this is IMO a serious translation error, whether by a translator or by the person interpreting the rules. A paid translator would (should) know enough of the source and target languages and cultures to know that English name = full name which does not equal Swiss name = surname.
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  #32  
Old 22.06.2010, 12:06
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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My C ausweiss says:

Name:
John Smith
John Smith

Should be:
Smith
John

I never noticed that it is a mistake until recently. I mean, it is such a ridiculous thing that I didn't even realize that it is a mistake. Just noticed right now that on my income tax documents my name is John Smith John Smith.

What I don't understand is that they simply put in John Smith as my vorname because their computer system demands a vorname, but then they say according to the rules they must follow, they must have my family name as "John Smith". Eh? So they must follow THAT rule, but they then arbitrarily put in John Smith as my vorname even though with their way of interpreting my name in my passport, I do not have a vorname.
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I have a similar problem except it's not as bad as yours. Swiss records don't recognize middle names so instead of being

John / Doe / Smith

I'm

John Doe / Smith

Both my Ausländerausweis and my AHV-IV card say that I'm Smith (family name) and John Doe (first names). Even at work I was known in the beginning as John Doe but put everyone straight before being called that on a regular basis.

I'm sorry if it sounds insensitive, I do not mean to be! Both cases sound like an issue with how you filled out the paperwork to me as they do not simply look at your passport and that's it... there are actually portions that you are supposed to fill out AND not sign unless they are correct.

My permit "correctly" has
Smith
Jane Doe

And my insurance card "correctly" has
Smith
Jane

Then again, after helping an Mexican bf fill out his papers in the US, I became very aware of the importance of getting the name parts correct on those sort of documents.



In any case, I am sure they are troubles that have been seen before somehow or other. Hopefully between someone at Embassy, some legal help and some inspired paper shuffling at your cantonal immigration / registration office things can get straightened out.
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  #33  
Old 22.06.2010, 12:35
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I'm sorry if it sounds insensitive, I do not mean to be! Both cases sound like an issue with how you filled out the paperwork to me as they do not simply look at your passport and that's it... there are actually portions that you are supposed to fill out AND not sign unless they are correct.
This is also possible of course. My post above assumes no errors on the part of the OP
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  #34  
Old 22.06.2010, 13:07
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

In a nutshell the Swiss authorities are too bureaucratic, and with English not being a language they are comfortable with, errors creep in.


I had 2 issues, and both originated during the process of applying for visa.
  1. Similar to the OP & Posch1909 --- My mrs does not have last name, and her given (First) name was also recorded as the last name. So her permit still hold her name as FirstName FirstName.
  2. My son's name was spelled wrong. Not once but thrice. First when initial approvals were given asking for further documents. We approached the authorities and got a letter stating that the error was corrected.
    1. Again when the final approval came, it had the same error. Again we got a letter from the authorities.
    2. Then sent it Visa stamping to the embassy and it again comes back with the same error. We again raised the issue, and were told the permit would bear the correct name...
  3. Finally, the permit came back with the correct name.
  4. Now, I have to see what more problems I will face when I get the Birth Certificate of my new born child...
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  #35  
Old 22.06.2010, 13:19
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Alright John-John, keep your hair on, lol
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  #36  
Old 22.06.2010, 13:29
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I just found out that the authorities have changed my name a couple of years ago without telling me.

According to my passport, my "name" is John Smith. However, apparently, unlike most passports, it doesn't differentiate between family name and first name. As "name" means family name in Switzerland, the authorities have therefore assumed that my family name is "John Smith".

To make matters worse, they must put an entry into the Vorname section in their computers. So they have put in John Smith again. Good move as now my name is John Smith John Smith.

I found this out because the land registry asked me to sign something and they put my name down as John Smith John Smith. When I asked them to change it to John Smith, they told me that they need to see a confirmation from the authorities that I have changed my name to John Smith.

So I called the authorities and that was what they told me. My "name" according to my passport is John Smith. "Name" is defined as "family name". That's it. Nothing they can do about it.

This could be a huge problem because this change happened only a couple of years ago and until then I have been using my correct name. So now my house is not my house as it belongs to John Smith. I am not my wife's husband (she is married to John Smith, not John Smith John Smith). I am not my kids father. Those documents I signed at work are probably not legal, etc. etc....

The local gemeinde told me that they have some women with the same problem, but as they are married to Swiss men and have taken their husbands name, it hasn't been an issue.

They will call me back with maybe a solution, but already told me that there is probably nothing they can do about it...

Does anyone else have the same problem? Do I need to go to Bern or get a lawyer?
Talk about blindly following the rules!!! Only in this country could the authorities empowered to change your name turn around and plead helpless to change the very same name when you've provided them proof.

On the face value, I would conclude they just don't wanna accept they were wrong (though technically right)...

Hope it turns out how you want it, dude. Got my fingers cross for you.

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  #37  
Old 22.06.2010, 17:01
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I'm sorry if it sounds insensitive, I do not mean to be! Both cases sound like an issue with how you filled out the paperwork to me as they do not simply look at your passport and that's it... there are actually portions that you are supposed to fill out AND not sign unless they are correct.

My permit "correctly" has
Smith
Jane Doe

And my insurance card "correctly" has
Smith
Jane
I think some of you don't quite understand what I am trying to say.

My passport and BC says "Name: John Doe Smith"
There is no mention of first name or last name. Just my full name.

As the rule says that my name on my swiss permit must be exactly like it is on my passport, and name= surname in this country, therefore, my surname must be John Doe Smith. I am not allowed to fill out the form any other way as it will be against this rule that says that my (sur)name should be exactly like it is on my passport.

The proof is my passport, unfortunately my passport, as mentioned above, says that my Name is John Doe Smith. If anything, it only proves that they are right!

I have been told today that I have to speak to someone in Bern.

Anyone know a good lawyer?
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  #38  
Old 22.06.2010, 17:03
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Whoever wherever is responsible for this, this is IMO a serious translation error, whether by a translator or by the person interpreting the rules. A paid translator would (should) know enough of the source and target languages and cultures to know that English name = full name which does not equal Swiss name = surname.
Interesting question for you native English speakers. Does name = surname? Or name = full name?

I thought it would be the latter. That is how my passport is.
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  #39  
Old 22.06.2010, 17:26
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I think some of you don't quite understand what I am trying to say.

My passport and BC says "Name: John Doe Smith"
There is no mention of first name or last name. Just my full name.

As the rule says that my name on my swiss permit must be exactly like it is on my passport, and name= surname in this country, therefore, my surname must be John Doe Smith. I am not allowed to fill out the form any other way as it will be against this rule that says that my (sur)name should be exactly like it is on my passport.

The proof is my passport, unfortunately my passport, as mentioned above, says that my Name is John Doe Smith. If anything, it only proves that they are right!

I have been told today that I have to speak to someone in Bern.

Anyone know a good lawyer?
In reading between the lines it may be that there are cultural differences between your home country and this country

We don't know what your name is and where you are from.

But your case is very clear:

If your birth certificate and passport of your country only show "name" without any christian name, then the Gemeinde needs to question you as to the correct use of your name. It is obviously unclear from your passport which component of the text is your surname and what is your christian name.

Assuming that the entire text is your surname, and that you simply have no christian name, is absurb and belies common sense.

Take your passport and birth certificate back to the Gemeinde, along with an explanation of what is normal and accepted in your country, and tell them what your proper surname and christian name is, and get them to correct their error.

Arm yourself with papers from your embassy or consulate backing up your claim of how your name is constructed.

That they refuse to accept your name as it stands according to your country, culture, passport and birth certificate is just absurd, make sure you talk to someone in authority, not just the counter girl.
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  #40  
Old 22.06.2010, 23:17
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

It is starting to sound a little like Ellis Island...
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