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Old 02.09.2009, 16:52
emuelly emuelly is offline
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Re: Facilitated integration interview

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[I added more detail on the specific sections of the interview. Hope that helps.]

Well, I went through my naturalization interview last Friday (March 28th 2008). It lasted for about 75 minutes, with the following "sections":
  • Handing in all the paperwork: lots of certificates (birth and marriage for the whole blood line from my great grandfather, who was born in Schwyz, to my daughter and son); four filled-in forms; two letters of recommendation written (in German) by Swiss people living in my country (Chile).
  • Interview in a Swiss language: this was a short conversation, in French in my case. It lasted about 10 minutes and the whole idea was for the interviewer to assess whether I could understand her and make myself understood by her. The respective form has three possible levels for the language fluency: low, medium and high. I got a medium, which is what I was hoping for. Just for everyone to get a feeling, I took four years of French in high school (where English was the main foreign language); this was 20 years ago, and I have been re-polishing it on my own (no teachers) for the past five months.
  • Swiss history: I just talked about the subject, the lady interjected every once in a while with a couple of questions. When Switzerland was founded, the three original cantons, the fight against the Habsburg-dominated empire (with a little Tell spice), the 30 Years War, formal independence, reformation with Zwingli, the much-hated Helvetic Republic, Napoleon and the Act of Mediation, modern federal republic, the 1893 constitution, twentieth century, the UN membership, the EU non-membership, the Schengen pact.
  • Swiss politics: same modus operandi. What it means for Switzerland to be a Democratic Parliamentary Republic, the Federal Assembly with its two chambers and their composition, the Federal Council with its seven members and the collective head of state being associated with the WHOLE council, not its president only, the Federal Court, the magic formula and, most importantly, the direct democracy elements, referendums and initiatives.
  • Swiss current events: I mentioned several things that have happened recently in Switzerland: the elections of 2007, the ousting of Blocher, Calmy-Rey and her visits to Iran and Kosovo, etc.
  • Swiss geography: a couple of basic geography items, then questions on what Switzerland is famous for: where are well known waterfalls, mountains, lakes, etc.; what are the big cities, rivers, lakes, cantons, etc.
All in all it went very well. It is not hard to get good "scores" in this thing, as long as you dedicate some time to prepare. The foreign language might be the toughest part.

I hope that is of help to someone. Best regards.
Thank you for this detailed information and congratulations on becoming Swiss! I am now applying to become Swiss. I have filled out most of the application and am waiting on some letters of support. My husband is Swiss but we live out of the country... now we have been married long enough for me to apply.

I have a question: Is the rest of the interview in the language of the country in which the embassy lies? I had thought the entire interview was in a Swiss language, but the way you describe it above it sounds like maybe just that one section?

Also, has anyone else in this forum gone through the interview in New York? I am wondering how different they are at different embassies.

Thanks once again! Your description is the only one in any detail that I have been able to find!! I am getting very nervous as I get closer and closer to being ready to make the call to schedule the interview.
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