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Old 30.11.2011, 00:12
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Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

Hi,

I am a Pakistani PhD student on B permit in Zurich. I got married in Pakistan soon after arriving in Zurich from Germany (where I had been for 3 years, so I had already been holding Schengen visa for 3 years), and applied for my wife's visa in January this year.

Now, for Pakistan, the swiss embassy performs some kind of marriage certificate verification (for which they asked me to submit 1000 CHF at Migrationsamt, Zurich as fees). I did so in May 2011. From then, the process is stuck at the Swiss Embassy in Pakistan. They are simply not conducting the verification, for the initial 3 months they were saying that they haven't received a notification to conduct the verification from Switzerland (whereas Migrationsamt was saying they already sent it). Finally they accepted that they have received the notification, but now for the last 4-5 months they are saying that they have handed over our documents to a Pakistani lawyer hired by them who performs this verification, but he has not done the verification as yet. I visited them myself, in September, where as Swiss official promised me that the verification will be finished in 2 weeks, but nothing happened!

Does anybody have any suggestions for me? Does it make sense to go to court for this?

thanks a lot in advance.
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Old 30.11.2011, 00:14
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

Sounds a bit like this case:

$1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!
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Old 30.11.2011, 10:16
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

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but now for the last 4-5 months they are saying that they have handed over our documents to a Pakistani lawyer hired by them who performs this verification, but he has not done the verification as yet. I visited them myself, in September, where as Swiss official promised me that the verification will be finished in 2 weeks, but nothing happened!
Is the lawyer maybe waiting for his... er... "verification fee"?
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Old 30.11.2011, 12:44
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

No no, the lawyer is also supposed to visit our house, to talk to my and my wife's parents. But he hasn't done so.

I am pretty sure that they are lying and haven't handed our documents to anybody, because a Pakistani lawyer would immediately do whatever they said, as I'm sure it pays pretty well to work for the swiss embassy.

These are just kind of their standard replies. Every once in a while one of their operators still tells me that they haven't even received such a notification from Switzerland (which they then acknowledge when I say that you already gave that in writing per email to me)!

Could it help to go to a lawyer here in Zurich, and ask him to handle things for me?
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Old 30.11.2011, 15:36
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

Hello Zeeshan,

I seriously think that you should hire an aggressive and experienced lawyer at this point. Since I am in the same situation with the Swiss embassy in ISB, I am thinking the same right now.


I hope if anyone on this forum can recommend a good attorney for that matter!

Best of luck and keep us updated.

Last edited by Megamind; 30.11.2011 at 16:35.
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Old 30.11.2011, 18:15
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

I also had a similar situation. You need to consult the local autorities or cantonal authorites with a registered letter. They can conduct an investigation from here why it is taking so long.
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Old 30.11.2011, 18:19
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

Thanks for the comment. But I already sent 3 letters in German to the local authorities in Zurich at different times.

They simply reply with, 'Your application is at the Swiss Embassy in Islamabad in process for marriage verification. Please contact them directly for any questions. Thank you for your patience.'!!!
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Old 30.11.2011, 18:54
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

How about writing an email to isl.visa@eda.admin.ch?
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Old 30.11.2011, 18:57
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

I have written to them around 10 times over the past few months. Their replies range from 'your application is being processed in Switzerland, and we haven't obtained any notification' to 'your documents are with our lawyer for verification, however due to the circumstances in Pakistan, we cannot predict how long it will take'. And they don't give the contact details of the lawyer.

Even my boss (a Professor at a very reputed university) wrote a letter to the ambassador recently, but no response!
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Old 30.11.2011, 19:19
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

Yeah, I have the same experience when it comes to Swiss embassy in Islamabad. Its always a dead end.

Is there a way some of us can write a letter signed by as many people as we can find to an authority figure, human rights watch, a congressman, media or someone like that just to put pressure on these folks?

Justice delayed is simply justice denied!

Btw, did you manage to call their phone number in Islamabad and were you able to speak with a Swiss person / counselor? In my case, the operator refused to help. The Swiss guys avoid coming in contact with the applicants.
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Old 30.11.2011, 20:09
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

I personally went to the embassy with my wife 2 months ago, and met a swiss official there. Basically if you go there personally and ask for a swiss official, they do meet you, perhaps after making you wait for a couple of hours. The swiss official agreed that it had been too long, and he expected the verification to finish in "maximum" of two weeks.

However nothing really happened! Also most of my emails to them have been in German and from the replies that I get, I am pretty sure they are sent by swiss, not pakistanis. Frankly speaking the swiss officials are no help either.

My, and many of my senior pakistani colleagues' understanding is that they simply deliberately delay the process for people of certain origins, to test their marriage or whatever.
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Old 30.11.2011, 20:42
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

It sounds to me that you are close to the end of this process if you can somehow get the dreaded background check completed.

I know it probably costs lots of money but do you think that involving an immigration attorney who knows the law should put some pressure on getting this done?

I can't think of any other option!
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Old 01.12.2011, 10:52
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

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Their replies range from 'your application is being processed in Switzerland
Exact same thing happened to me. My wife wrote a letter to the guys in ISB asking for the status and they said that they are waiting for the guys in Switzerland to process my case. By that time, my wife's employer already checked that with the local (in Switzerland) authorities and they confirmed that everything here in Switzerland was processed but the guys in ISB just kept on sitting on their hands saying its still being processed in Switzerland. Then we had to again get it confirmed from the local guys (population office) and then they brought this background check story in it. Now back to dealing with ISB
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Old 01.12.2011, 11:02
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

Hi Zeeshan,

I am from Pakistan, PhD Student at EPFL. I am also experiencing the same problem. They have lots of tricks to delay the visa process, and they are like GODS, they dont consider themselves to any authority. They just have fixed lines of responses on phone or by email e.g. your documents are in process, we will inform you as soon as some decision is made.

Please let me know if you find any solution for this or if you want to take some steps to bring this issue in notice to Swiss authorities here then please let me know also, I can also join you.
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Old 01.12.2011, 13:32
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

After researching online, it seems that visa processing at Swiss embassy in Islamabad has always been highly controversial:

All of the embassy staff was replaced due to human trafficking and sexual harrasment allegations in the past:

http://slashnews.co.uk/news/2006/05/...an-Trafficking

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2...s05192006.html

This is quite worrisome!
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Old 02.12.2011, 23:52
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

This is extremely worrisome, I delt with the Canadian Swiss Embassy in Toronto, handed in all documents, paid nothing to them as spousal visas are paid for by the swiss consulate themselves. And it took a total of 3 months for my visa to arrive. I would contact the consulate directly here in Switzerland and in Pakistan to see what is going on. Sounds like some "illegal" action.
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Old 03.12.2011, 11:27
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

I assume it is local personnel processing in Islamabad ? do you have any way to figure out what the workings of the consular section are, via networking with employees through contacts in Pakistan ?
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Old 04.12.2011, 12:03
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

Swiss embassy in ISB has nothing in common with the one in Canada! Its a lost cause!
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Old 09.12.2011, 14:22
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

After talking to some people, I found out that the processing time for Verification depends on:

1. Which office (in Pakistan) your documents were issued from. I guess the lawyer physically visits the office and verifies the docs

2. Which Province/city/locality an applicant belongs to. So if you are from from a major city, your process should take less time in that case I suppose.
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Old 19.12.2011, 12:44
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Re: Spouse visa process stuck for 10+ months

http://eumovement.wordpress.com/2011...n-effectively/
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