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Old 30.01.2021, 15:58
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Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

I am the Australian partner of a Swiss citizen. We used to live in the UK together but a few months ago he had to move back to Switzerland for work, so he splits his time between both countries while I remain in the UK.

We would appreciate some advice:

1) Would it make more sense bureaucracy-wise to have the civil ceremony in the UK and then register it with the Swiss Embassy in London, versus directly in Zurich?

2) The Swiss authorities require from me, amongst other things, an original copy of a birth certificate. The country I was born in does not allow anyone to collect a copy of my birth certificate, and only if I present myself in person. However, due to the travel restrictions and my birth country being closed, I am not able to travel there anyway! Does anyone know if the Swiss authorities will make an allowance for this, or alternatives?

3) If we had a civil partnership in the UK (instead of marriage), would it be recognized in Switzerland? We are an opposite-sex couple.

Thank you

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 30.01.2021, 18:22
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

As far as 2) is concerned. Get married in the UK.

If I may ask - why would you want a civil partnership over a registry office marriage in the UK?
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Old 30.01.2021, 18:33
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

I would even say a UK marriage only needs you to produce the certificate when you register here. It won't even need translating.

Strictly speaking, you can't get a residence permit until you're married or qualify through getting a job. Which may make the Swiss experience more annoying - as you cannot simply fly here at the moment.

It will also likely be cheaper in the UK, it costs several hundred francs in Switzerland.
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Old 30.01.2021, 18:45
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

We actually are still weighing whether to do a civil partnership or marriage if we get married in the UK. It looks to me that legally both are similar in the UK, but I wasn’t sure if a civil partnership would be recognised in Switzerland, since I believe it is only same sex couples that are allowed in Switzerland except for in Geneva and Vaud? I may be wrong!

Luckily we have still been able to see each other by means of me having the unmarried partner laissez-passer, just not as often as we had hoped. Although having to quarantine in Switzerland everytime I arrive really does suck. And it wasn’t fun taking the train back to London via Paris when the flights were suddenly cancelled before Christmas due to the variant and I had to go home anyway because I had to work! 😩

Thanks for your replies 😊
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Old 30.01.2021, 20:17
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

Civil partnership not recognised in Switzerland for opp sex couples. Better to go with marriage for world wide recognition I think.
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Old 31.01.2021, 09:19
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

Could you explain how you were about to get the laissez-passer ?




Thanks
Nick
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Old 31.01.2021, 10:16
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

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Could you explain how you were about to get the laissez-passer ?




Thanks
Nick
This was the instruction from the embassy. It was straightforward and quick. After I submitted the documents electronically, they invited me to attend in person to collect the laissez-passer. Good luck.



We can confirm that, as of Monday 3rd of August 2020, a new ‘case of special necessity’ which relates to unmarried couples has been added to the exceptions to the current entry restrictions. This means that if proofs of the ongoing long-term relationship (see Documents to be presented below) can be provided, the unmarried partner of a Swiss national or a foreign national with a residence permit in Switzerland can again enter Switzerland from the UK to visit them.

Please take note of the below information/conditions:

Entry to visit a partner to whom one is not married or in a registered partnership with and with whom one does not have children is possible if:
a) the person wishing to enter the country has an invitation from the partner living in Switzerland and the partner is a Swiss citizen or has a short-stay permit, temporary or permanent residence permit (L, B, C permits);

b) confirmation of the existing partnership is submitted;
c) proof can be given that at least one face-to-face visit or meeting took place in Switzerland or abroad before entry restrictions were imposed;
d) the normal conditions of entry are fulfilled.

Entry is not permitted on the basis of a mere holiday acquaintance. Proof must be given that a relationship has already lasted for some time and is regularly cultivated. The persons concerned must provide credible evidence that they were in regular contact before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Documents to be presented:

The existence of such a partnership can be supported by the following documents:
a) written invitation (must be signed and dated) from the person who is a resident in Switzerland, with a copy of their Swiss passport or their foreign passport and Swiss residence permit;
b) confirmation of partnership (short self-declaration, preferably in a table format including surname, first name, date of birth, address and telephone number of both parties, duration of the partnership and details of the place and time of visits (in person) before 13 March 2020) signed by both parties;
c) documents proving a long-term relationship as unmarried partners (e.g. letters or e-mails or social media exchanges/correspondence, telephone bills, flight tickets, photos);
d) and evidence (such as a copy of a passport with entry and exit stamps) showing that at least one face-to-face visit or meeting took place in Switzerland or abroad before entry restrictions were imposed.

As you wish to proceed with the certificate, please email the documents that are listed under Documents to be presented (see above) along with a copy of your passport and UK residence permit so we can check whether you qualify for an exception and if so we will suggest an appointment slot.
Please note that our Embassy is never in direct contact with airlines and will not intervene if you are refused to board their plane. It is recommended that travelers to Switzerland take a direct flight. The certificate of entry does not guarantee transit through another country. Each country has its own entry and transit requirements.

For additional information, please visit the website of the State Secretariat for Migration SEM, their FAQ Corona: Questions and answers on entry and stay in Switzerland, the exceptions and suspension of visas, in particular the Rules applicable to unmarried couples, and their Entry restrictions for high-risk countries.
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Old 31.01.2021, 10:34
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

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2) The Swiss authorities require from me, amongst other things, an original copy of a birth certificate. The country I was born in does not allow anyone to collect a copy of my birth certificate, and only if I present myself in person. However, due to the travel restrictions and my birth country being closed, I am not able to travel there anyway! Does anyone know if the Swiss authorities will make an allowance for this, or alternatives?
Where were you born? Swiss don’t normally budge on any rules. Do they require this if you want to register a marriage done in the U.K. or only to get married in CH?
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Old 31.01.2021, 14:16
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

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Where were you born? Swiss don’t normally budge on any rules. Do they require this if you want to register a marriage done in the U.K. or only to get married in CH?
Regardless of where the marriage takes place, I believe the Swiss still want a birth certificate in order to register here as a resident. As mentioned above, the birth certificate should be issued not more than 6 months prior to being handed in along with all the other registration paperwork.

For temporary exceptions to this due to Covid, it's probably best to contact the SEM directly.
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Old 31.01.2021, 14:19
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

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I believe the Swiss still want a birth certificate in order to register here as a resident.
Really? Is that just for family reunification? No one wanted mine until we got married here.
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Old 31.01.2021, 15:07
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

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The Swiss authorities require from me, amongst other things, an original copy of a birth certificate. The country I was born in does not allow anyone to collect a copy of my birth certificate, and only if I present myself in person. However, due to the travel restrictions and my birth country being closed, I am not able to travel there anyway! Does anyone know if the Swiss authorities will make an allowance for this, or alternatives?
I think you will need to make your best effort to obtain a copy of your birth certificate and demonstrate such before the Swiss authorities will waive the requirement for you to provide a copy of your birth certificate.

I had two colleagues at work who were in a similar situation to you. For one of them, it took nearly a year to track down a copy of their birth certificate with the help of their embassy. For the other, after 6 months of trying, the Swiss authority was prepared to accept that it was an impossible task.

Perhaps with Covid travel restrictions at the moment, your birth country has an easier process in place now to obtain a birth certificate?

In any event, if you choose to get married in the UK in order to avoid the birth certificate issue, be warned that the issue will come up again if you choose to give birth in Switzerland - you will need to present a copy of your own birth certificate in order to register the birth of your child.
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Old 31.01.2021, 15:16
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

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Really? Is that just for family reunification? No one wanted mine until we got married here.
Keep in mind my story is now more than a decade old...We got married in the States and I moved here under family reunification (Swiss spouse). I had to have my mom go to the county records office and get my birth certificate for me because the Swiss wanted it. I had one in my files that was issued a long time ago, but they wanted one issued less than 6 months before I arrived.
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Old 07.02.2021, 08:34
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Re: Getting married in the UK vs Switzerland

I was born in Malaysia; I will contact the Malaysian embassy in the UK to ask if there is any alternative process for getting a copy given the current situation, and also be in touch with SEM itself.

Fingers crossed. Thank you for all the advice
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