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Old 26.06.2013, 10:51
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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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Complicated case. But here is one thing you can clear up. Just because he was born in Zürich, he can not be Swiss. Location does not count in this case.

You have to research the age limit, swiss connections maintained etc.
Location isn't irrelevant, but the usual situation where it matters for Swiss-born babies is when they would otherwise be stateless.

The advice and links above are correct. There are some subtle elements for which it is helpful to know Swiss political history. Until the 1960s women did not have the vote. After they got it and after women gained more or less equal civil rights in the West, Swiss nationality law was revised. Women who had lost their Swiss nationality upon marriage or naturalisation abroad could get it back subject to certain conditions. And under current law their offspring of any age can apply for facilitated naturalisation subject to (1) speaking a Swiss language, (2) residence or visits in Switzerland totalling 3 years, (4) having Swiss friends and acquaintances.

Facilitated naturalisation includes all children under age 18; after that the children have to qualify on their own.

I have argued (not everybody agrees with me) that the current laws were prompted in part by the fall in fecundity of Swiss women and the political wish to include more "ethnic Swiss" (the Cinquième Suisse of my login name). Take-up of the option, especially from Latin America has varied with economic times. One complaint heard in Switzerland is that many of the "returnees" don't in fact speak a Swiss language and have trouble assimilating.

Switzerland was a poor country in the early 20th Century and many children of large families were forced to emigrate. My uncle (by marriage) left the Grisons with his brother early in the century when the farm could't accommodate them. At the end of his life he was executive head of room service & catering at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. His granddaughter was a MIT graduate and US Air Force Officer.
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