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Old 28.03.2012, 18:54
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Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

Hi all,

My fiance and I will be getting married in England. My partner is Swiss and I am a British national and we both live permanently in Switzerland - I have a Swiss permit B visa.

When we return to Switzerland after our marriage - How do I register our marriage in Switzerland? (apologises as I cannot get any answers from the website as the specific Zurichstadt wedding page is in German and my language skills are non existant )

There have been 1 previous post on englishforum which stated to go to the local geminde after our marriage but the post is dated a few years ago so I'm not sure if it is still valid?

The reason why we chose to get married in England was due to the rather tedious list of task required to get married here in Switzerland and plus I would find it difficult to locate my birth certificate! I sincerely hope we don't have to go through that hassle still just to tell the authorities we are married and pay more taxes??

If anyone has any info or point me in the right direction on who to contact, I would be most grateful!

Thanks in advance!
Lisa
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Old 28.03.2012, 20:27
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

This looks like the relevant page for you. Among other things it says you need to register the marriage at the Swiss embassy in the country you marry in. Hopefully either your fiance or Google Translate can help you understand the rest of the information. In any case it is probably worth visiting or ringing the Zurich Zivilstandsamt to talk about your specific situation with a human.

Congratulations on your impending marriage. Hope it all goes well.
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Old 28.03.2012, 20:41
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

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There have been 1 previous post on englishforum which stated to go to the local geminde after our marriage but the post is dated a few years ago so I'm not sure if it is still valid?
Yes. This is still valid. Things like that don't really change that often. Take your marriage certificate to the commune and they will tell you what to do.

Wednesday mentioned registering with the embassy. But if you are residents in Switzerland then you don't need to register it at the embassy in the UK.

Congrats!
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Old 28.03.2012, 21:04
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

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Hi all,
plus I would find it difficult to locate my birth certificate!
Lisa
you can order your Birth Certificate on line.

In the UK you will need to go your local Town Hall and register your intent, to get your "Freedom papers" - sorry I can never remember the legal term. (a) you have to make the appointment usually several weeks in advance, (b) thereafter believe it takes 3 weeks to finalise
there is not much to do, but the timeframe is something to be aware of
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Old 29.03.2012, 15:50
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

Thanks a lot to Wednesday, MiniMia and Groggy and in particular to Wednesday for the links! (sorry can't find the thank button!)

For those in a similar position:
If you're marrying a swiss person the Civilstaadt Zurich advice is to register the marriage at the Swiss embassy in the place where you're getting married.
For us, this is a real hassle since we now live in Switzerland but there is nothing that can be done - I'm beginning to think whether it is worth the hassle and the beaucracy just to register our marriage in Switzerland!
Does anyone know the consequences of not doing so???

Anyway, if you are both foreigners and want to register your marriage in Switzerland, you just need to go to the Geminde. Ah..why did I have to fall in love with a Swiss man and Switzerland??
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Old 29.03.2012, 16:05
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

Based on personal experience, you deal with the Heimatort of the Swiss spouse, NOT with your local commune. In our case, we were resident in ZH, but the Heimatort was in SG, so my wife dealt only with SG.

You also don't need to deal with the local embassy, though it may make things easier, especially for Swiss women, as they risk losing their Swiss citizenship!

You will need your marriage certificate, and not much else.

Also, it is the Swiss spouse that has to do the registering, the foreign spouse needs to do nothing.

We had a Swiss friend do all the letter writing for us, as he had done the same for his sister when she married a German in Germany (and the PITA thing had to do with not losing Swiss citizenship, the rest was minor).

It took six months, and CHF 35 by the time it was done.

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 29.03.2012 at 17:30.
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Old 29.03.2012, 17:07
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

If I was the OP, I would ask my future Swiss husband to call his local Gemeinde (or his Heimatort) and say (in the relevant local lingo of course)

"Hey guys, I'm about to marry an English girl in England. What do you need from us to register it here?"

I certainly wouldn't count on (or even ask for in the first place) very well meaning, but possible contradictory advice from a group of expats of various nationalities, living in different Cantons who have may have had experience of this over, quite possibly, many years. Just saying.
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Old 29.03.2012, 17:19
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/

If you do need a new copy of your birth certificate (and you will need one that's less than 6 months old for a lot of things in Switzerland), you can order one on-line using this link.
You'll need your date of birth and if possible the place.
I had to do it a few years ago for my son, cost about 15 including postage to Switzerland and took a couple of weeks. They do a priority service too for about 25 if you're in a hurry.
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Old 29.03.2012, 17:59
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

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If I was the OP, I would ask my future Swiss husband to call his local Gemeinde
I was thinking the same thing. Why do the local fiances never do this?

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If you're marrying a swiss person the Civilstaadt Zurich advice is to register the marriage at the Swiss embassy in the place where you're getting married.
Huh? There is something wrong there.... Or am I reading this wrong?

If you marry in the UK but are NOT resident there, then Embassies do not deal with non residents. You just register your marriage when you get back to where you are a resident, in this case that would be Switzerland.


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For us, this is a real hassle since we now live in Switzerland but there is nothing that can be done - I'm beginning to think whether it is worth the hassle and the beaucracy just to register our marriage in Switzerland!
Does anyone know the consequences of not doing so???

Anyway, if you are both foreigners and want to register your marriage in Switzerland, you just need to go to the Geminde. Ah..why did I have to fall in love with a Swiss man and Switzerland??

Sigh. It really isn't that difficult. Seriously get your fiance to call his commune of origin.
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Old 29.03.2012, 18:28
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

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If you marry in the UK but are NOT resident there, then Embassies do not deal with non residents. You just register your marriage when you get back to where you are a resident, in this case that would be Switzerland.
Well, if you are a Swiss women who marries a non-Swiss outside of Switzerland, you risk losing your Swiss citzenship if you do NOT announce to the Swiss embassy or consulate BEFOE you marry, resident or not!

Again, I am speaking from personal experience.

Tom
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Old 29.03.2012, 18:29
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

My english son married a swiss girl in Switzerland.

I don't really know why you think it's so difficult....it was just a question of collecting the correct paperwork (a copy of his birth certificate; less than six months old, his permit, plus an attestation from the British Consulate to say he wasn't already married) and booking the Mairie for the ceremony.
That last bit was the worst part as they wouldn't (in theory) allow bookings more than six months in advance. He found persistance and flattery worked a treat though.
Wouldn't have thought registering it after the fact would be any worse.

NB; finding your original birth certificate won't help, the swiss will only accept a new certified copy.

Doesn't getting married in the UK involve applying for a special licence if you don't have a permanent address there anymore? Or have things move on recently.... quite possible I'm sure!

Last edited by Anjela; 29.03.2012 at 18:37. Reason: Adding bit about birth certificate
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Old 29.03.2012, 18:38
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

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Well, if you are a Swiss women who marries a non-Swiss outside of Switzerland, you risk losing your Swiss citzenship if you do NOT announce to the Swiss embassy or consulate BEFOE you marry, resident or not!

Again, I am speaking from personal experience.

Tom
Are you sure this is still the case??? That was a long time ago, Tom!
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Old 30.03.2012, 00:00
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

Another source of information that might be useful: www.binational.ch -- it's the website of a group of advice centres for binational couples in Switzerland. This page is specifically about arranging the marriage ceremony either in Switzerland or abroad. (It is all in German.)
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Old 30.03.2012, 00:03
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Re: Getting married in England, How to register in Switzerland

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Are you sure this is still the case??? That was a long time ago, Tom!
Indeed.

But, still, something to check!

Asking costs nothing.

Tom
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