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Old 23.05.2017, 14:55
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Newborn baby and citizenship

Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is a silly concern to have or not but any helpful advice would be appreciated.

I'm due to have my second child in August. I'm an Australian citizen working here on a B permit. I'm well aware that the baby cannot become Swiss and I've spent many an email getting all the information I need to register the baby in Switzerland and apply for Australian citizenship. During that process, I have learnt that once I have the birth certificate, it can take up to 2 months to organise Australian citizenship for the baby. After that point, I can then organise a passport for the baby (it cannot be added to my own), which can take up to a month. I'm not sure how long it may take to get the baby's birth certificate to get this process started, but even so it may take 3 months to finally have the citizenship sorted and not stateless.

My question is though, until this is sorted, are we unable to leave Switzerland? I know that we're within Schengen, but technically, if the authorities at the border want to see documentation (i.e. passport) I'll need to provide it (understandably).

I'd like to be able to travel within the EU with the newborn but I'm uncomfortable with the idea of doing so until I have the proper documentation...at the same time, I'm not comfortable with the idea that during that time we might be unable to leave if we need to (e.g. family emergency back home).

Have others had this experience who can offer advice?
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Old 23.05.2017, 15:21
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

Be careful here. Practically, you can travel around Europe with the birth certificate, but if you get stopped, need to go to a hospital, you might be in trouble. I would personally wait until i get proper documentation.
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Old 23.05.2017, 15:46
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

My guess is no. While you may not be asked for documentation within Schengen, there's always the possibility that you may. And if you can't produce anything, what's to stop the person enquiring from not thinking you've kidnapped a baby? Is that a risk you want to take? You can't prove the baby is yours so what are they going to think?

Have you used this form to see if they can give you an answer?

https://www.border.gov.au/about/corp...orm-for-europe

It may be an inconvenience not to be able to travel, but I would wait until the citizenship is confirmed and the baby has it's passport. And yes, even if that means you can't travel home for any emergency situation, because an airline won't let anyone travel without a passport, not even a baby.
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Old 23.05.2017, 16:27
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

We were in the same position 5 years ago when our youngest was born here. I could not take the risk traveling outside Switzerland without a Passport and Permit. Luckily for us, we did not have any emergency situation.

It seems that you already know what is needed by your local Gemeinde to register for the birth certificate. In our case, there was one huge surprise which delayed everything. They needed my and my wife's birth certificate, ok no issue, I have original copies here. They said, no, it has to be 'certified' by the Swiss Embassy in my home country. I countered, well when we entered CH the first time, we presented the same documents at your embassy so we can get our visa. So your embassy should have our documents, already certified on record. Reply: Sorry no, this is for a new and different procedure, so you have to do it again. With a new born at home, I was too tired, too shocked to complain and bring it up the line.
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Old 23.05.2017, 16:39
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

Thanks for your answers!

I don't think we'll travel until we have the proper documentation either but I've found it quite exasperating explaining to parents, inlaws, friends and colleagues that we will be unable to leave Switzerland until we have the right documents for the baby and that this will take time...everyone seems to be "oh you're over-reacting" or "surely just put bub on your passport" to which I don't think any country does this anymore!

The AU immigration enquiry form has remained mute on this question!

I've now got a list of all the documents we need to register the birth and yes ones from outside EU need apostiles done by the Embassy. A bit tedious but atleast I know now what they all are!
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Old 23.05.2017, 17:27
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

Also check whether, if they need you and your spouse's birth certificates, they shouldn't be more than 6 months old. Seems to be a favourite Swiss/European thing that an "original" original isn't always good enough.

Yeah, I don't think any countries allow you to put a baby on your passport these days. Certainly not in Europe anyway.
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Old 23.05.2017, 17:35
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

Also check whether, if they need you and your spouse's birth certificates, they shouldn't be more than 6 months old. Seems to be a favourite Swiss/European thing that an "original" original isn't always good enough.
Oh yes! Well aware of that one! Plus need to provide residence confirmations too that are not older than 6 months. Its a tad annoying that I need to order new birth certificates and marriage certificates because these all occurred in different Australian states and therefore I have 3 different online systems with different proof of identity requirements to order them...very costly affair too as they can't be sent together either!
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Old 23.05.2017, 18:17
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

Well, not as costly as mine would be if I needed it. Being an ex-US citizen it would mean a trip back to the state I was born in to get a new American one! Good thing I also have a British one via my parents.
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Old 24.05.2017, 06:38
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

We found getting a birth certificate for our first born to be a really convoluted process but once you have the birth certificate everything else follows fairly quickly after that. Our issue was my wife was born in Vietnam after the Vietnamese war and records of her birth were hard to come by so there was a lot of bureaucracy, embassy certifications, translations and notarisations to jump through before the Gemeinde was satisfied that her birth certificate was genuine. It has always puzzled me that you don't need a birth certificate to obtain a B permit and live in Switzerland but you need one to get a birth certificate for the birth of your child that was clearly witnessed by several employees within the hospital of birth... but I digress...

We had to travel back to Australia urgently when our first born was 8 weeks old. At that point in time we had only just obtained the birth certificate from the Gemeinde i.e. it took 2 months after birth to obtain but we began the process of obtaining my wife's birth certificate and relevant certifications/translations about 4 months before birth so all in all - 6 months in total. We had not yet obtained a passport or citizenship as that could not start without the birth certificate and had a choice of Australian, NZ or British citizenship. The Australian process to get citizenship was too long given our need to travel urgently and the fact that the embassy was in Geneva did not help either. The British embassy and Home Office in the UK however were extremely helpful and they were understanding of our need to travel urgently. Processing the citizenship and issuing of an emergency passport was processed within a couple of days. We had to do a day trip to the embassy in Bern but it was worth it. My wife/son traveled prior to the B-permit being issued but that came quickly after the birth certificate/citizenship was issued so there was not a problem getting back into Switzerland.

Long story short...
- Get your birth certificate sorted now including all relevant certifications. Maybe check with the Gemeinde that they are satisfied with it in advance of the birth. This will enable the birth certificate of your child to be issued quickly after its birth.
- You will likely need documentation to travel within the EU unless the Gemeinde is prepared to issue you a temporary permit but suspect they would only do this in case of an emergency
- if you need to travel urgently and have a citizenship option other than Australian available it may be best to consider getting that one first and then sort the Australian citizenship later.
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Old 24.05.2017, 07:48
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

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We found getting a birth certificate for our first born to be a really convoluted process but once you have the birth certificate everything else follows fairly quickly after that. Our issue was my wife was born in Vietnam after the Vietnamese war and records of her birth were hard to come by so there was a lot of bureaucracy, embassy certifications, translations and notarisations to jump through before the Gemeinde was satisfied that her birth certificate was genuine. It has always puzzled me that you don't need a birth certificate to obtain a B permit and live in Switzerland but you need one to get a birth certificate for the birth of your child that was clearly witnessed by several employees within the hospital of birth... but I digress...

We had to travel back to Australia urgently when our first born was 8 weeks old. At that point in time we had only just obtained the birth certificate from the Gemeinde i.e. it took 2 months after birth to obtain but we began the process of obtaining my wife's birth certificate and relevant certifications/translations about 4 months before birth so all in all - 6 months in total. We had not yet obtained a passport or citizenship as that could not start without the birth certificate and had a choice of Australian, NZ or British citizenship. The Australian process to get citizenship was too long given our need to travel urgently and the fact that the embassy was in Geneva did not help either. The British embassy and Home Office in the UK however were extremely helpful and they were understanding of our need to travel urgently. Processing the citizenship and issuing of an emergency passport was processed within a couple of days. We had to do a day trip to the embassy in Bern but it was worth it. My wife/son traveled prior to the B-permit being issued but that came quickly after the birth certificate/citizenship was issued so there was not a problem getting back into Switzerland.

Long story short...
- Get your birth certificate sorted now including all relevant certifications. Maybe check with the Gemeinde that they are satisfied with it in advance of the birth. This will enable the birth certificate of your child to be issued quickly after its birth.
- You will likely need documentation to travel within the EU unless the Gemeinde is prepared to issue you a temporary permit but suspect they would only do this in case of an emergency
- if you need to travel urgently and have a citizenship option other than Australian available it may be best to consider getting that one first and then sort the Australian citizenship later.

Sounds like your experience was quite stressful. I've been advised by the Zurich Stadthaus that we need our birth certificates (with apostiles and not older than 6 months), marriage certificate (with apostile and not older than 6 months), residence confirmations of both of us (not older than 6 months), copies of both of our permits and of our passports. I have been advised that we can send this to them in advance...and then we will likely get the birth certificate soon after the birth. But I'll follow your advice and get them to check that they are happy with the documents in advance and hopefully avoid nasty surprises!
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Old 24.05.2017, 08:55
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

Our son was born in Basel. Before the birth we gave copies of all the documents you mentioned in at the hospital and their staff care of the registration.

The only thing was we waiting with supplying the name as we did not know the sex beforehand and we wanted to see what the baby looks like before deciding - though we did have a shortlist of a few names for boy or girl.

The Zivilstandsamt sent the birth certificate about a week later.

I recall we got the passports sorted (GB and NL) within a couple of months. The fun part was doing the passport photo. We had to lie baby on a neutral coloured cloth and take as many photographs as the digital camera would hold. We handed these to a photo shop where they have a manual giving the passport photo specs for the different countries and they printed it out.

So consequently we have a few hundred photos of our 1 month old son making a variety of smiles, frowns, quizzical looks and other funny expressions.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 25.05.2017, 16:41
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

NZ passport holders here - we travelled when our little one was 3 months old. Had everything lined up in advance for the paperwork so just needed to fill in date of birth, name and gender. Birth certificate still took 3 weeks (Fribourg).
Once we had that, the NZ passport took less than a week.

But the good thing is that you can buy plane tickets etc for the baby without the passport details. We did this through a travel agent and only had to give them the passport details just before we traveled so they could add all bubs details to the booking.
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Old 25.05.2017, 17:34
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Re: Newborn baby and citizenship

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NZ passport holders here - we travelled when our little one was 3 months old. Had everything lined up in advance for the paperwork so just needed to fill in date of birth, name and gender. Birth certificate still took 3 weeks (Fribourg).
Once we had that, the NZ passport took less than a week.

But the good thing is that you can buy plane tickets etc for the baby without the passport details. We did this through a travel agent and only had to give them the passport details just before we traveled so they could add all bubs details to the booking.
Depends on where you travel to. For the US you'll need to get ESTA clearance first and that needs your passport number.
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