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  #21  
Old 01.04.2012, 03:35
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Re: Military Service?

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I just got this email from the Canadian Embassy:

So.. I don't have to do anything? I guess I'll find out when I turn 18.
The Organization of Swiss Abroad has quite comprehensive information on this:

http://aso.ch/en/consultation/living...litary-service

see especially

http://aso.ch/en/consultation/living...g-swiss-abroad

For what it's worth, this is what happened in my case:
I'm a Swiss citizen (no double citizenship) and moved to the UK before my 18th birthday, i.e. before becoming "stellungspflichtig" (becoming eligible for military recruitment, which also requires you to apply for leave from the military authorities if you're planning to go abroad for more than a couple of months).

Shortly after my 18th birthday, I received a letter from the Swiss Embassy in London (where I was registered), telling me that I can now vote etc., and also sending me a "Wehrpflichtblatt", which is essentially a fact sheet stating that I'm exempt from military service as long as I live abroad, but would need to register with the military as soon as I return and take up permanent residence in Switzerland again. Usually, when you go to the "Einwohnerkontrolle" (registry office) to register your residence, you'll be told whom you have to inform. They also tell you to hold on to your "Wehrpflichtblatt" and hand it in once you take up residence in Switzerland...which is probably a good idea, because it's also quite useful proof of your exempt status in case anyone asks.

There are some exceptions:
1) if you're returning to Switzerland after you've turned 25, you usually won't be enlisted anymore
2) if you're only returning for less than three months, you don't need to register your residence and thus won't be called up

If you're planning to study at a Swiss university - even if you're official residence continues to be abroad - that does NOT exempt you from the military service requirements. However, if your studies take less than a year, the military will usually not summon you for recruitment (or revoke the recruitment order once you tell them). See also http://aso.ch/en/consultation/living...in-switzerland

Ah - and just to be clear: if you're exempt of military service because of your residence abroad, you also don't need to pay military tax ("Wehrpflichtersatzabgabe")!

For detailed queries like that, the Legal Service of the Organization of Swiss Abroad is usually pretty helpful:

Ms Mastantuoni (mastantuoni at aso.ch) and Ms Schindler (schindler@aso.ch)
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  #22  
Old 04.04.2012, 14:57
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Re: Military Service?

Some info, in case it can be of help for someone:

I was a Swiss Abroad (born and living overseas) until a few months ago when I moved here and then made the rookie error of registering my address with the kantonal council. A few days later my 'invitation' to do civil service arrived - I turned 25 last year so I'm not automatically signed up for military service.

Of the three options:
(1) Military service,
(2) Civil service or
(3) 3% of annual salary in exemption tax

I decided that I would rather complete the military service because I feel it would be more interesting and a kind of rite of passage. BUT I will only be allowed to complete my military service (and be released from future service and taxes) if I learn German and complete a service period of 10 months - all in one hit.
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Old 13.12.2012, 06:00
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Re: Military Service?

Is serving in the Grenzwache deemed to be equivalent to military services in CH?
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  #24  
Old 13.12.2012, 07:41
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Re: Military Service?

No, the Grenzwache (formally, the 'Grenzwachtkorps') is a purely professional structure, similar to the police. You can apply for a regular job with them but it has nothing to do with your military or civil service.
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Old 13.12.2012, 10:16
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Re: Military Service?

What DOES count towards you military service is to sign up for peace-keeping missions.

My step-son did two six-month tours in the Balkans. Got paid quite well, and it more than fulfilled his entire military obligation so that he was done at 27.

Tom
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