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Old 26.06.2013, 09:48
slingb slingb is offline
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Re: My dad was born in Zurich, and his mother is Swiss. I was born in Brazil. Can I g

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Hello everyone :-)

This is a question that I wanted to clear up. My dad tried getting a Swiss Citizenship for himself but apparently ran into some trouble. Here's some details:

My dad's mom is Swiss (born in Switzerland to a married couple and one of them was from Switzerland). My dad's dad is Brazilian. They got married here in Brazil in the 1930s. In 1955 my dad was born while they were in Zurich. So he was born in Switzerland to a Swiss mother.
When my dad's dad tried getting his birth certificate, they told him to get it in the Brazilian Embassy, since my dad's dad was Brazilian.
Is my dad applicable for a citizenship? If he is, would it be Jus sanguinis (descent), or would it be simplified naturalization? I've read about renaturalization for people who were born from a Swiss parent abroad, but he was born in Zurich. And if he was able to get a citizenship, would I be as well?

Thanks :-)

PS: I was born in Brazil in 1990 and my mother is Brazilian.
A few things: firstly one needs to establish if you are already Swiss or not (since your birth). If you are not Swiss at birth, then there is a process of "facilitated naturalization" where you can start being Swiss from now on via a simplified process, but that's not easy (but can try if anything else fails).

To determine if you are swiss already, we need to determine first if your father is swiss (or was swiss at the time of your birth). I imagine being born in Zurich in 1955 to a Swiss mother would qualify. But you said that he ran into trouble trying to get a Swiss passport (?) so there may be other dimensions to it. It is not correct that he cannot get his birth certificate from Zurich and they send him to Brazil, if the birth was in Zurich, a Swiss birth certificate is ALWAYS obtained (the birth certificate simply documents the fact that a birth took place in Zurich, nothing to do with whether the person is Swiss or not. Tourists giving birth in Switzerland get a swiss certificate). But that doesnt mean he is automatically Swiss. Unfortunately I cannot find the nationality law from 1955 (it has been changed in 1953, 1957, 1973, 1978, 1980, 1985, 1992, 1997, 2000, etc, and the oldest available online is from 2000). The law that applied in 1955 will determine if your father is Swiss or not.

If he is not, then you are stuck.. If he is, we then need to look at the nationality law in 1990 when you were born. I suspect you will qualify for Swiss nationaility automatically if your father was Swiss and your parents were married at the time of your birth.

Your best bet is to contact the Swiss embassy for advice. It's unlikely anyone in this forum will have the law from 1955 at hand. They will help.

But be careful: time is running out. If you are indeed Swiss from birth, but born abroad, you must tell the Swiss embassy / authorities that you want to keep your Swiss nationality before you are 23 years old. If you dont do that, you automatically lose the Swiss nationality when you reach 23 years old. If you are born in 1990 you are 22 or 23, so you need to act quickly -- eg going to the embassy now and declaring that you wish to keep your Swiss nationality, - regardless of all the complications of the case, dont wait until all the research is done.
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