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  #241  
Old 23.11.2011, 16:48
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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**sigh**.. hoping for the best. On looking it up further, I read that the applications from spouses of Swiss living abroad are not handled by the canton directly, but just the federal authorities. The relevant canton then only reserves the right to appeal.

Anyone here applied from abroad know more about this? Or have experiences?
This is better for you. The Feds just look to see that you meet the requirements. They are much more objective. It's the cantons that get more into subjective things.
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  #242  
Old 24.11.2011, 12:32
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Just wondering. Why do you want a Swiss pass?
It has been some time, and I already got the passport. Main reason: emotional ties to my ancestors. Practical reasons abound also.
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  #243  
Old 24.11.2011, 12:34
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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This is better for you. The Feds just look to see that you meet the requirements. They are much more objective. It's the cantons that get more into subjective things.
I agree with miniMia, with Bern is just bureaucracy (and actually fulfilling the requirements).
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  #244  
Old 22.02.2012, 17:54
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Well after 10 Months I finally got a positive decision regarding my citizenship.

Phew. Glad it's all over.

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Well just sent off today my application for Swiss citizenship! Now the waiting.
For facilitated citizenship there's no test. At least not in Zürich.But they might be changing the rules sometime-hopefully not in the next year.
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  #245  
Old 22.02.2012, 19:08
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Well after 10 Months I finally got a positive decision regarding my citizenship.
Congratulations and welcome to the club!
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  #246  
Old 22.02.2012, 19:10
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Well thanks!

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Congratulations and welcome to the club!
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  #247  
Old 11.03.2012, 10:56
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Hello. I am an Australian married to a Swiss.
Yes I was interviewed in my home by one person from the State Police Zürich. It was more to see if the marriage was genuine and also to ask a few general questions about me. I was also asked 10 questions to test my general knowledge of Switzerland. Everything went well.
The interview was 30 minutes.
The whole process took 10 Months





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Hi Omtatstat

Regarding your zurich application, was it based on marriage to a Swiss person? Were you interviewed at any stage? how long did it take? Thanks for your info
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  #248  
Old 14.03.2012, 08:52
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Submitted Docs to Consulate... Now What?

Please help...
I live in Michigan. I'm a US Citizen married >6 years to a Swiss wife. We traveled to Chicago's Swiss Consulate Feburary 4 to submit ALL required documents. I spent 5-10 minutes there talking with the woman at the consulate about some procedural things. My wife spoke (in Swiss German) with the woman about some things- (I understand spoken Swiss German at about 15% and High German at about 70%).

I was told by the woman at the Consulate that I would be contacted to set up the interview. But I haven't been contacted yet. It has now been almost five weeks.

I know from reading all of these very helpful posts on this thread that there seems to be a theme of "be patient". So should I still be waiting to be contacted to schedule my interview? Is it possible that the 5-10 minute discussion at the "window" WAS my interview?

Should I call the Consulate to ask when I can expect to have the interview scheduled?

Am I being paranoid?

I guess I'm just anxious and excited to continue this process.
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  #249  
Old 14.03.2012, 09:22
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

I recall it taking over a year from application to interview.

The only interview was a five minute chat at the local state cop station with a guy who lives in the next building, don't even recall what we spoke about.

Tom
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  #250  
Old 14.03.2012, 09:43
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Probably the different varieties of Appenzeller cheese.

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I recall it taking over a year from application to interview.

The only interview was a five minute chat at the local state cop station with a guy who lives in the next building, don't even recall what we spoke about.

Tom
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  #251  
Old 14.03.2012, 11:38
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Re: Submitted Docs to Consulate... Now What?

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Please help...
I live in Michigan. I'm a US Citizen married >6 years to a Swiss wife. We traveled to Chicago's Swiss Consulate Feburary 4 to submit ALL required documents. I spent 5-10 minutes there talking with the woman at the consulate about some procedural things. My wife spoke (in Swiss German) with the woman about some things- (I understand spoken Swiss German at about 15% and High German at about 70%).

I was told by the woman at the Consulate that I would be contacted to set up the interview. But I haven't been contacted yet. It has now been almost five weeks.

I know from reading all of these very helpful posts on this thread that there seems to be a theme of "be patient". So should I still be waiting to be contacted to schedule my interview? Is it possible that the 5-10 minute discussion at the "window" WAS my interview?

Should I call the Consulate to ask when I can expect to have the interview scheduled?

Am I being paranoid?

I guess I'm just anxious and excited to continue this process.
No. Your "5-10" minute chat was not your interview. Wishful thinking.

Yes. You must wait patiently.

Good luck!
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  #252  
Old 22.03.2012, 04:30
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Update one why my interview had not been scheduled yet since submitting my application documents five weeks ago:

I called the Chicago Swiss Consulate Monday this week. I talked to the officer who happened to have my documents in front of him at that moment and he said that I was on his to-call list and that he had been out of the country for a couple of weeks.

So we set up my interview for next Monday. I'm very excited. And nervous (of course about my language skills like many others on this forum). I've begun my cramming. My wife (originally from Frauenfeld in Canton Thurgau) is quizzing me on all of the facts that have been mentioned in this forum.

The officer in the Consulate Office who I spoke with to schedule my interview seemed very friendly and surprisingly informal. He said that the interview would be a chance to sit and drink a coffee while we talk about Switzerland.

I plan to watch a bunch of my toddler's favorite Disney Movies IN GERMAN this week to brush up on my language skills. (I only took one semester of German in college 15 years ago!)

I will post more updates throughout my "journey" of (hopefully) becoming Swiss!
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  #253  
Old 27.03.2012, 07:59
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Today I had my interview at the Consulate Office in Chicago. Here is a long post which outlines everything I can remember from my interview...

I arrived at 1:30pm and met interviewing officer- a 35yr old guy from Basel. We sat in a conference room. He told me that an intern would be joining us. He went and got her. He introduced me to the intern- a woman in her mid-20s from Zurich.
They both sat on one side of the conference table, me on the other. They each had paper with hand-written notes and a pen. He also had my application documents which I had submitted in person seven weeks earlier.

He was very friendly. And he did a great job of keeping the atmosphere light and casual despite my internal stress of trying to remember all of the Swiss facts I’ve tried to keep in mind.

He explained to me what the format of the interview would be... some questions, some discussion, etc. He shared with me that my application was extremely thorough. They seemed pleasantly surprised at how thorough my documents were, including many photos of my trips to Switzerland with my wife and her family, and how I had included flight reservation itineraries of my travels there in the past five or six years. He mentioned that they had received a letter from the Honorary Swiss Consulate of Detroit… someone I have met and talked to on a few occasions- My wife and I are members of the Detroit Swiss Society. I had asked the Honorary Consulate if he would write a letter of support on my behalf to the Chicago Consulate.

I made a light and friendly comment early on in the interview indicating that I was very nervous about my German language skills (or lack thereof) and joked how I would be grateful if we could simply conduct the entire interview in English. We all knew that wasn’t an option. But at least I prepared them (and maybe myself more) for the inevitable German conversation that was to come.

He said, “Let’s start by having you share why you want to become Swiss.” My answer dealt with the ability to consider living in Switzerland permanently in the future without restriction. I also shared that I would like to have the ability to work there legally without the need for work visa or work permit approval. And I shared that it could be a practical convenience to share the same citizenship status as my children and spouse.

He said, “Let’s continue with you telling us about Switzerland, or I could just ask you some questions about Switzerland.” I explained, with a smile, that I wouldn’t know where to begin if I just “told them something” about Switzerland. So he kindly narrowed it down for me, “Where have you been in Switzerland?” I named a few cities and towns I’ve been to and shared some anecdotes about my experiences in those towns. I talked about parajumping off of Mount Rigi (a Christmas gift from my wife). I talked about taking a flight in a private airplane from Zurich airport into the Alps (another Christmas gift from my wife). This discussion led to questions about how my wife and I met, which I explained.

The two interviewers joined in the conversation at various points, but the male interviewer definitely took the lead. He asked a few questions with a bit of tone like, “I can’t believe I’m going to ask this very easy question…” Name some tall Swiss mountains. What is the capital of the country? There were no questions about Swiss food, Swiss music, Swiss traditions.

We then moved toward the language part of the interview. I was dreading this. I had practiced with my wife the night before the interview- she asked me “basic” questions in German. I tried to answer. She corrected me. I struggled. I was resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to become fluent in time for the interview, so I would just do my best and hope that the interviewer/s respected my attempts. Fortunately, they did! The noticed that on my application submission, I rated my language level as “middle” out of “low”, “middle”, and“high”. “Low” would probably be more accurate. Both interviewers indicated that they’re wanting to see that I am willing to at least attempt to speak one of the Swiss languages. We spoke in German for nearly ten minutes. My concern was that I would not be able to understand their questions fully enough to then formulate an appropriate response. But somehow, I must have managed. Five minutes in to the discussion in German, he said, “wow… you look tired!” (implying that I was stressed about speaking German.) I was stressed. But his friendliness brought a bit of ease. They were very encouraging. I explained, in German, how I had taken a semester of German in college 15 years ago. And I also shared with them, in German, how my wife speaks Swiss German with my daughter. And although my wife and I try to discipline our daughter to speak only Swiss German with my wife, it is more common that our daughter responds, in English, to my wife. I continued, in German, that it’s important for me to have my children learn Swiss German so that they can communicate with, and have a relationship with, their Swiss grandparents and Swiss family. I also explained, in German, how my wife and daughter have a skype conversation with my in-laws usually every week.

He asked if I understood French. I responded “a little” (in French). Then the language part of the interview was finished. Phew.

Then he said, let’s talk about politics a bit. I had spent quite a bit of time learning the structure and general procedures of Swiss politics and government. And felt prepared to discuss this. I was able to discuss with ease the bundesrat and the bundesversammlung. The bundesgericht never was addressed. He asked me to name the president. I answered with an anecdote about how my wife taught me that her name means “smurf” in English. This led to a light-hearted discussion. I continued the discussion by asking some questions to the interviewers which showed my knowledge of the political structure in Switzerland. They were questions which I legitimately did not know/understand the answer to, such as,“how is it determined which of the seven ministerial departments is headed by which of the seven bundesrat.”

He said to the female interviewer, “I want to see what the answer to this question is…” then he asked me, “Do you know any famous Swiss?” I said, “Well, of course there’s Federer.” He jumped, “exactly! That’s what everyone says!” All three of us then talked about what a an important ambassador he is… how he is a world-wide cultural “export”… and how he represents Switzerland so well. She indicated that his mother is South African. I explained that I come from a tennis-playing family, so I had to of course mention Federer. Then I added how I learned that Martina Hingis was not born in Switzerland though I had originally thought she was. Then from the dozens of other famous Swiss I had read about, I chose to mention Calvin and Zwingli because of their historical influence. I shared that in my line of work (I teach college-level music history courses), the protestant reformation has a significant influence. So I shared about their Swiss historical and geographical influence. I explained a bit about Calvin College in Michigan and West Michigan’s conservative history with Dutch and Calvin influences.

They seemed very pleased with how the interview was going. He then leafed through my documents. The two interviewers reminded one another about two concerns that had had before my interview; Firstly, though my flight itineraries of my recent trips to Switzerland were helpful, they asked me if could I provide my expired passport which would show other stamps in and out of Switzerland. I had a passport for ten years which expired in 2006 and reflected several in/out stamps of Switzerland. And my new passport only indicated two or three in/out stamps of Switzerland. I have looked for my old expired passport, and have no idea where it is. I shared this with them, and they seemed to think it was not a major problem. But I told them I would search for it. Secondly, they wanted me to show some sort of proof of my membership in the Detroit Swiss Society. He told me that an emailed scan of my cashed check for my Detroit Swiss Society membership dues would be sufficient. I told him that I would email that to him by the end of the day tomorrow. This was okay for him.

He asked if I had any questions. I did. I asked him about military duty requirements for myself and any possibly future sons, if I am granted citizenship. A five-minute discussion ensued with an official answer that no military service would be required.

He then explained that he has record of me paying my document submission fee (it was $611). But that now I must pay the interview fee ($342). I wrote a check. I declined an offered receipt.

He indicated that the procedure at this point is that he, along with the intern, would complete an evaluation form of my interview, and then send it, along with my documents, to the Federal Office of Migration in Bern. He indicated (in agreement with the intern) that, if it were up to them, they would grant my Swiss citizenship request. But we all know it’s not up to them. He indicated that his review of my interview would be quite supportive.

He shared with me that it could take up to two years to receive a decision. I was escorted to the exit. I left 90 minutes after I arrived.
I never had a good opportunity to prove that I had memorized all 26 cantons in “official” order… or to share my knowledge of many other facts I’ve tried to memorize in recent days. But that’s okay. I’ve enjoyed learning even more about Switzerland than I had already known before. And, other than my insecurities of being able to speak German, I am glad to have prepared thoroughly. I am optimistic of the outcome of this process. Now, I will wait patiently for a response.

Thanks to all who have posted in this forum. Your insights have been extremely comforting and have helped me to prepare (at least mentally) for this unique and exciting process.
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  #254  
Old 27.03.2012, 08:20
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Today I had my interview at the Consulate Office in Chicago. Here is a long post which outlines everything I can remember from my interview...
That's a great play-by-play. Sounds like it went very well.
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  #255  
Old 27.03.2012, 09:23
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Well I thought at least that to the question "Do you know any famous Swiss?” you would have said DJ Bobo..................um!! I'm dissapointed.


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Today I had my interview at the Consulate Office in Chicago. Here is a long post which outlines everything I can remember from my interview...

I arrived at 1:30pm and met interviewing officer- a 35yr old guy from Basel. We sat in a conference room. He told me that an intern would be joining us. He went and got her. He introduced me to the intern- a woman in her mid-20s from Zurich.
They both sat on one side of the conference table, me on the other. They each had paper with hand-written notes and a pen. He also had my application documents which I had submitted in person seven weeks earlier.

He was very friendly. And he did a great job of keeping the atmosphere light and casual despite my internal stress of trying to remember all of the Swiss facts I’ve tried to keep in mind.

He explained to me what the format of the interview would be... some questions, some discussion, etc. He shared with me that my application was extremely thorough. They seemed pleasantly surprised at how thorough my documents were, including many photos of my trips to Switzerland with my wife and her family, and how I had included flight reservation itineraries of my travels there in the past five or six years. He mentioned that they had received a letter from the Honorary Swiss Consulate of Detroit… someone I have met and talked to on a few occasions- My wife and I are members of the Detroit Swiss Society. I had asked the Honorary Consulate if he would write a letter of support on my behalf to the Chicago Consulate.

I made a light and friendly comment early on in the interview indicating that I was very nervous about my German language skills (or lack thereof) and joked how I would be grateful if we could simply conduct the entire interview in English. We all knew that wasn’t an option. But at least I prepared them (and maybe myself more) for the inevitable German conversation that was to come.

He said, “Let’s start by having you share why you want to become Swiss.” My answer dealt with the ability to consider living in Switzerland permanently in the future without restriction. I also shared that I would like to have the ability to work there legally without the need for work visa or work permit approval. And I shared that it could be a practical convenience to share the same citizenship status as my children and spouse.

He said, “Let’s continue with you telling us about Switzerland, or I could just ask you some questions about Switzerland.” I explained, with a smile, that I wouldn’t know where to begin if I just “told them something” about Switzerland. So he kindly narrowed it down for me, “Where have you been in Switzerland?” I named a few cities and towns I’ve been to and shared some anecdotes about my experiences in those towns. I talked about parajumping off of Mount Rigi (a Christmas gift from my wife). I talked about taking a flight in a private airplane from Zurich airport into the Alps (another Christmas gift from my wife). This discussion led to questions about how my wife and I met, which I explained.

The two interviewers joined in the conversation at various points, but the male interviewer definitely took the lead. He asked a few questions with a bit of tone like, “I can’t believe I’m going to ask this very easy question…” Name some tall Swiss mountains. What is the capital of the country? There were no questions about Swiss food, Swiss music, Swiss traditions.

We then moved toward the language part of the interview. I was dreading this. I had practiced with my wife the night before the interview- she asked me “basic” questions in German. I tried to answer. She corrected me. I struggled. I was resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to become fluent in time for the interview, so I would just do my best and hope that the interviewer/s respected my attempts. Fortunately, they did! The noticed that on my application submission, I rated my language level as “middle” out of “low”, “middle”, and“high”. “Low” would probably be more accurate. Both interviewers indicated that they’re wanting to see that I am willing to at least attempt to speak one of the Swiss languages. We spoke in German for nearly ten minutes. My concern was that I would not be able to understand their questions fully enough to then formulate an appropriate response. But somehow, I must have managed. Five minutes in to the discussion in German, he said, “wow… you look tired!” (implying that I was stressed about speaking German.) I was stressed. But his friendliness brought a bit of ease. They were very encouraging. I explained, in German, how I had taken a semester of German in college 15 years ago. And I also shared with them, in German, how my wife speaks Swiss German with my daughter. And although my wife and I try to discipline our daughter to speak only Swiss German with my wife, it is more common that our daughter responds, in English, to my wife. I continued, in German, that it’s important for me to have my children learn Swiss German so that they can communicate with, and have a relationship with, their Swiss grandparents and Swiss family. I also explained, in German, how my wife and daughter have a skype conversation with my in-laws usually every week.

He asked if I understood French. I responded “a little” (in French). Then the language part of the interview was finished. Phew.

Then he said, let’s talk about politics a bit. I had spent quite a bit of time learning the structure and general procedures of Swiss politics and government. And felt prepared to discuss this. I was able to discuss with ease the bundesrat and the bundesversammlung. The bundesgericht never was addressed. He asked me to name the president. I answered with an anecdote about how my wife taught me that her name means “smurf” in English. This led to a light-hearted discussion. I continued the discussion by asking some questions to the interviewers which showed my knowledge of the political structure in Switzerland. They were questions which I legitimately did not know/understand the answer to, such as,“how is it determined which of the seven ministerial departments is headed by which of the seven bundesrat.”

He said to the female interviewer, “I want to see what the answer to this question is…” then he asked me, “Do you know any famous Swiss?” I said, “Well, of course there’s Federer.” He jumped, “exactly! That’s what everyone says!” All three of us then talked about what a an important ambassador he is… how he is a world-wide cultural “export”… and how he represents Switzerland so well. She indicated that his mother is South African. I explained that I come from a tennis-playing family, so I had to of course mention Federer. Then I added how I learned that Martina Hingis was not born in Switzerland though I had originally thought she was. Then from the dozens of other famous Swiss I had read about, I chose to mention Calvin and Zwingli because of their historical influence. I shared that in my line of work (I teach college-level music history courses), the protestant reformation has a significant influence. So I shared about their Swiss historical and geographical influence. I explained a bit about Calvin College in Michigan and West Michigan’s conservative history with Dutch and Calvin influences.

They seemed very pleased with how the interview was going. He then leafed through my documents. The two interviewers reminded one another about two concerns that had had before my interview; Firstly, though my flight itineraries of my recent trips to Switzerland were helpful, they asked me if could I provide my expired passport which would show other stamps in and out of Switzerland. I had a passport for ten years which expired in 2006 and reflected several in/out stamps of Switzerland. And my new passport only indicated two or three in/out stamps of Switzerland. I have looked for my old expired passport, and have no idea where it is. I shared this with them, and they seemed to think it was not a major problem. But I told them I would search for it. Secondly, they wanted me to show some sort of proof of my membership in the Detroit Swiss Society. He told me that an emailed scan of my cashed check for my Detroit Swiss Society membership dues would be sufficient. I told him that I would email that to him by the end of the day tomorrow. This was okay for him.

He asked if I had any questions. I did. I asked him about military duty requirements for myself and any possibly future sons, if I am granted citizenship. A five-minute discussion ensued with an official answer that no military service would be required.

He then explained that he has record of me paying my document submission fee (it was $611). But that now I must pay the interview fee ($342). I wrote a check. I declined an offered receipt.

He indicated that the procedure at this point is that he, along with the intern, would complete an evaluation form of my interview, and then send it, along with my documents, to the Federal Office of Migration in Bern. He indicated (in agreement with the intern) that, if it were up to them, they would grant my Swiss citizenship request. But we all know it’s not up to them. He indicated that his review of my interview would be quite supportive.

He shared with me that it could take up to two years to receive a decision. I was escorted to the exit. I left 90 minutes after I arrived.
I never had a good opportunity to prove that I had memorized all 26 cantons in “official” order… or to share my knowledge of many other facts I’ve tried to memorize in recent days. But that’s okay. I’ve enjoyed learning even more about Switzerland than I had already known before. And, other than my insecurities of being able to speak German, I am glad to have prepared thoroughly. I am optimistic of the outcome of this process. Now, I will wait patiently for a response.

Thanks to all who have posted in this forum. Your insights have been extremely comforting and have helped me to prepare (at least mentally) for this unique and exciting process.
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  #256  
Old 27.03.2012, 15:13
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Today I had my interview at the Consulate Office in Chicago. Here is a long post which outlines everything I can remember from my interview...
Thank you very much, this is very informative for everyone and will be very useful for my wife, who will be having her interview in a couple of weeks (and is very nervous, particularly about the language part).
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  #257  
Old 28.03.2012, 01:22
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Wow, mlapratt! That's a tremendous account of your interview. My interview in Atlanta was much less involved. I'm glad it went so well, and I'm sure we'll be congratulating you soon....well, at least sometime in the next two years!

Last edited by Sophie_T; 28.03.2012 at 01:22. Reason: misspelled something
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  #258  
Old 13.04.2012, 16:11
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Well just got a letter from Migration office that my naturalization is now Legally valid
I'm now officially Swiss.
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Old 13.04.2012, 16:20
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Well just got a letter from Migration office that my naturalization is now Legally valid
I'm now officially Swiss.

Well congratulations! Are you changing your nick to omtatueli?
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Old 13.04.2012, 16:59
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Well just got a letter from Migration office that my naturalization is now Legally valid
I'm now officially Swiss.
Congrats (and welcome)!!
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