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  #81  
Old 07.10.2009, 02:47
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

My experience through the Atlanta consulate was very friendly and efficient also. I did not have to show very much knowledge of one of the languages at all. The interview was in English. I expressed a few sentences in French, and that was that.
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  #82  
Old 16.10.2009, 15:41
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Just a minor update for my specific case: about four months after receiving the Swiss citizenship, I also became a Spanish citizen. Ole!

One thing that bothers me is: I applied for and received a Spanish passport. This thing is biometric and lasts for ten years. Its cost? 25 USD. Really.

When I got my Swiss passport, I had to go for the non-biometric (because I reside in Santiago and the closest Consulate where one can apply for a biometric passport is Sao Paulo, Brazil); this thing also lasts for ten years. Its cost? 120 USD.

Even more: if I had applied for the biometric password, it would only last for five years (if I recall correctly). Its cost? 240 USD.

What can possibly justify the Swiss biometric passport costing TEN TIMES as much as the Spanish one, and lasting for HALF as long? I think we are being taken for a ride here...

No "Welcome to Switzerland" comments, please. Not in the mood.
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  #83  
Old 09.11.2009, 15:16
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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...Seven visits to Switzerland is plenty, but were they during the last ten years? Be prepared to show evidence about these visits, but only upon request.
Gonzus, was it the embassy that said a certain number of visits within the past ten years was mandatory? If so, did they specify a minimum? And it sounds as if they also recommended bringing evidence of the visits, is that right?

(I was just there (CH) for the first time in 14 years, having been there 4 times previously, and am trying to decide how many additional trips to schedule before applying for FN (all the documentation is in order now). An accurate idea of the official expectations would be helpful.)
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  #84  
Old 10.11.2009, 16:47
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Gonzus, was it the embassy that said a certain number of visits within the past ten years was mandatory? If so, did they specify a minimum? And it sounds as if they also recommended bringing evidence of the visits, is that right?
Yes, it was the Embassy that said three visits (absolute minimum: two) within the past ten years were mandatory. They used to ask you to simply state the dates and places of your visits (this goes on the forms you have to fill) but required no further proof; I think some people got "creative" and now the Embassy is asking for physical evidence of those visits: plane tickets, hotel / restaurant / store bills, etc.

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(I was just there (CH) for the first time in 14 years, having been there 4 times previously, and am trying to decide how many additional trips to schedule before applying for FN (all the documentation is in order now). An accurate idea of the official expectations would be helpful.)
Mind you, what I said above applies to Chile. It might be the case that for the US the specific requirements are different; best would be to inquire at the local embassy.

Sorry for not answering your PM, it's been hectic here after coming back from wonderful Zürich.
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  #85  
Old 11.11.2009, 20:04
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Re: Facilitated integration interview

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Good luck with your process and please do let us know how it moves forward. If I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.
I had my interview yesterday!! I think it went well... I wanted to share my story in case others like me are preparing to go through the same or a similar process. I qualify for for facilitated naturalization as my husband is Swiss and we live outside of Switzerland and have been married >6 years.

In retrospect, I think I “over-prepared” for the interview, but as people have mentioned, experiences may be variable, so I'm glad I did! Also, I am glad I did because I learned so much about the country, its history and culture, in the process and came to love it even more than I already did.

I was so nervous for this event that I had another Swiss Abroad I know give me a “mock interview” completely in German (I didn't know at that point if it was all in the foreign language or just part of it). This was very helpful in my preparation as it helped me practice formulating my thoughts out loud, helped identify any holes in my knowledge or language, and just in general boosted my confidence. My husband and I usually speak English at home – we try occasionally to speak German, but usually not detailed conversations; when we met he knew English very well and I did not know German.


So enough background – to the interview. Here is what I remember:
My appointment was at the Swiss Consulate's office in NYC.I had to call up to the office from a phone at the reception when you walk in, to tell them I was there before I was allowed in.


They were mostly verification of what's on my application or open-ended questions with a lot of room for me to focus the conversation.
  • Looked over the paper work to make sure everything was there... He seemed pleased that I had a letter from my Swiss-Abroad organization (although it was in English) and also 2 additional letters in German from other Swiss-Abroad I knew.
  • Where I'm from → I live near three-mile-island so we talked about that briefly
  • If I've ever lived in Switzerland or Europe at all → I haven't, but intend to
  • If I ever worked for a Swiss company → I haven't
  • Something along the lines of: Do I have Swiss relatives? → I explained several generations back, some of my family did come from Switzerland (I think though he was looking for closer ancestry than what I had)
  • Trips to Switzerland – What did I do while there? → I visited family and friends mostly, traveled around some for sightseeing/ visiting museums...
  • How many trips to Switzerland do you actually have documentation for? → I have been to Switzerland about 9 times or so and did not have supporting documentation for all, but I did have copies of my passport stamps (unfortunately I couldn't find my older passport to get older trips... I didn't have hotel confirmations because we stayed at my husband's parents' house). I think I had documentation for about half of these trips so he did not seem to upset and seemed to understand that such a thing could be difficult to collect.
  • If I spoke any of the 4 languages? Reading in that language? In what language do you speak with your husband? → basically he just asked me to say something in that language... I wasn't really sure what to say, but eventually we fell into conversation. In German, I explained: I learned French in high school, and have now forgot most of it due to having since learned German - except a rudimentary understanding of written language... When I met my husband, who is from the German-speaking part of Switzerland, I started studying German and added it as an additional major in college. So when he asked about reading I also mentioned names of Swiss authors whose works I have read. I am very excited because I think this part went so well that we held the rest of the interview in German!!
  • Discuss my involvement with Swiss – Abroad organizations → he wanted specifics because I am involved with a group from Pittsburgh but live quite far away from there – I explained we travel back for events and my parents live in the Pittsburgh area so we get to visit them whenever there is a Swiss American Society event.
  • My knowledge about Switzerland: we focused mainly on politics & geography... the history may have gotten buried in the fact that we had discussed literature earlier and he had seemed impressed by that in terms of knowledge of Swiss cultural history...
  • Essentially: What can you tell me about the Swiss political system? → I explained the 7 members of the Bundesrat, what the magic formula used to be and how it's changed – I didn't list names but had prepared to in case I was asked... I explained the SP was the most liberal and SVP the most conservative... I explained generally how Initiative + Referendum work.
  • Essentially: What can you tell me about Swiss Geography? → I pretty much randomly chose to cover the following: 3 regions (Alpen/Mitteland/Jura), mountain peaks / Dufourspitze as highest, # cantons/half cantons and which are half-cantons, largest cantons by land & by population.
  • I can't remember I think that was pretty much most of it anyway... at the end he explained how the process works from here, basically he sends it to Switzerland and waits to hear back and that could take a year even... and that he'd contact me when he hears back from them... He said the length of time depends on the canton, if anything is missing / if they ask for additional information, and on how long it takes my references to respond as they will be contacted.
So now I wait... In the meantime I'll post some additional comments to specific questions at least based on from my experience / understanding of the application.


Thanks again gonzus for your earlier descriptions... it helped me give me a guideline in my preparation.
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  #86  
Old 11.11.2009, 21:25
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Re: Facilitated integration interview

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I had my interview yesterday!! I think it went well... I wanted to share my story in case others like me are preparing to go through the same or a similar process. I qualify for for facilitated naturalization as my husband is Swiss and we live outside of Switzerland and have been married >6 years.
Congratulations! Which kanton are you going through? I am a Schwyz citizen, and it took 15 months from interview to final notification.

Good luck!
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  #87  
Old 12.11.2009, 04:58
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Hi Johnny,
  • Ten letters of recommendation should be more than enough, but remember you also need the names and addresses (no letters) of Swiss people currently residing in Switzerland who are willing to give references about you later in the process.
  • Seven visits to Switzerland is plenty, but were they during the last ten years? Be prepared to show evidence about these visits, but only upon request.
  • Your membership in the Swiss club is good, you should be prepared to prove it upon request.
  • It is good the lady at the Embassy is cooperative; she will be your first filter out of (hopefully) several, you should really strive to make a good impression on her.
I believe you are in good shape. Please keep us appraised of your progress, and arm yourself with lots of patience. And do get in touch should you need anything else. Good luck!
I agree, I think it sounds like you're ready. Plus, there is nothing like finally setting the interview date to really push you to spend more time learning. I just wanted to add a few comments...
  • Here is a very nice summary of Swiss Politics put out by the Swiss government: http://www.bk.admin.ch/dokumentation...x.html?lang=en It is long, but it is really just the first few pages that are most important... It has a decent timeline of political history as well. Other languages are available, so you could, for example also download the French version and compare as a "double learning" exercise...(as I did for the German one). Here is another useful website... http://www.all-about-switzerland.info/ or http://history-switzerland.geschichte-schweiz.ch/ - probably some of these pages go into more detail than necessary, but I found them fun sites to explore.
  • The application suggests that you include the proof of travel to Switzerland. They also asked me how I spent my time while there.... not sure if they were looking for connections to people or time spent in museums/learning about the country/culture... both would probably be good. The text at least in my application was on #7 on the questionnaire: "Aufenthalte und Ferien in der Schweiz / Séjours et vacance en Suisse"... on the bottom: "Bitte, wenn möglich Belege beilegen / Svp si possible joindre des justificatifs" For this and the other comments below, I'm not sure if maybe applications are different depending on how you qualify or where you live...so don't take my word on it - check your text. (Mine also has italian but already typing out 2 languages is a lot - you get the idea!)
  • The application suggests you include a letter from the organization stating your association/involvement. Number 5 on the questionnaire "Haben Sie und Ihr schweizerischer Ehepartner Kontakte zu Auslandschweizer Organisationen oder Kreisen? Nehmen Sie regelmässig an deren Anlässen teil? (bitte näher präzisieren und eine Bestätigung beilegen). / Avez-vous, vous-meme et votre conjoint suisse, des contacts avec des organisations ou des associations de Suisses de I'etranger? Prenez-vous regulierement part a leurs manifestations? (preciser s.v.p. et joindre une attestation)" ... But if you have 10 letters of recommendation from other Swiss I'm guessing that gets what they're looking for - that you have connections with other Swiss besides your spouse.
  • Texaner: My application does include a request for letters of recommendation - besides the "confirmation" of membership to an organization)... #10 on my quetionnaire: "Haben Sie Kontakte zu AuslandschweizerInnen ... bitteBestätigungsschreiben - in einer schweizerischen Landessprache abgefasst - diesem Fragebogen beilegen. / Avez-vous des contacts avec des suisses ... svp joindre au questionnaire des confirmations écrites de ces personnes, rédigées dans une langue nationale suise)" - note this letter in particular is asked to be in one of the 4 languages... I don't recall seeing a minimum necessarily but I'm sure the more the merrier :-) as long as they are by Swiss in a Swiss language and in support of you becoming Swiss!
  • The application requests that the documents be translated (under what is I think the longest of the "checklists" in a box with "Wichtig / Important / Importante" written in front of it) into German, French, or Italian (it does not list Romansch), but my certificate of conduct (got online from the police dept doing a background search of some sort), passport copy, flight info, and the letter from the Swiss organization were in English and they didn't say anything (but my interview was just yesterday...). I will post again if I find out that my documents do have to be translated!!
Hope this helps!

BTW, gonzus: I am applying through the canton of Zürich. However, my husband's family actually lives in Lachen, Schwyz! :-)
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  #88  
Old 12.11.2009, 05:17
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Texaner: My application does include a request for letters of recommendation - besides the "confirmation" of membership to an organization)... #10 on my quetionnaire: "Haben Sie Kontakte zu AuslandschweizerInnen ... bitteBestätigungsschreiben - in einer schweizerischen Landessprache abgefasst - diesem Fragebogen beilegen ... I don't recall seeing a minimum necessarily but I'm sure the more the merrier :-) as long as they are by Swiss in a Swiss language and in support of you becoming Swiss!
Thanks for that. And I think you are right. I was actually reading the forms more thoroughly tonight, and I see where they ask for various letters of affirmation.

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The application requests that the documents be translated (under what is I think the longest of the "checklists" in a box with "Wichtig / Important / Importante" written in front of it) into German, French, or Italian (it does not list Romansch), but my certificate of conduct (got online from the police dept doing a background search of some sort), passport copy, flight info, and the letter from the Swiss organization were in English and they didn't say anything (but my interview was just yesterday...). I will post again if I find out that my documents do have to be translated!!
Gonzus has mentioned (either in a post here, or in a PM to me) that he didn't supply any translations either. The forms actually specify certified translations, which sounds potentially costly. For whatever it's worth, when I applied for my Familienschein at the appropriate Zivilamt, they too called for certified translations, but I gave them my own translations, and they accepted them without question.

Thanks, emuelly, for all you've contributed here on this subject!
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  #89  
Old 12.11.2009, 13:22
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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BTW, gonzus: I am applying through the canton of Zürich. However, my husband's family actually lives in Lachen, Schwyz! :-)
Hey, maybe we are related... My great grandfather came from the Lachen area (little town called Galgenen).
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  #90  
Old 14.11.2009, 07:41
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

emuelly, Gonsuz, I would like to thank you and thank the others for the support I am getting from you. you are great people.
I hope one day we will be fellow citizens

Guys, i need your opinion on one thing, I have been a member of a Swiss club here in London but honestly, i never attended any of their events, will that be bad for my application, I ma trying to attend one at least before the interview.

I am thinking of booking the appointment around 10 - 20th January 2010. I will keep studying until then, before that i am planning to attend two events.

my language has improved since my last post. history I have a rough idea, politics same, geography i know good because i have been there around 7 times.

Contacts in Switzerland confirmed 11, outside non.

I hope it will be fine, again thank you so much, and emuelly, keep updating on the process please..
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  #91  
Old 15.11.2009, 17:05
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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Guys, i need your opinion on one thing, I have been a member of a Swiss club here in London but honestly, i never attended any of their events, will that be bad for my application, I ma trying to attend one at least before the interview.
Unless it is some sort of official club, it is extremely unlikely anyone at the Embassy has any way of checking you participation in the club. If I were you I would try to attend at least one event, to be able to answer truthfully when they ask you "when was the last time you attended?".

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I am thinking of booking the appointment around 10 - 20th January 2010. I will keep studying until then, before that i am planning to attend two events.

my language has improved since my last post. history I have a rough idea, politics same, geography i know good because i have been there around 7 times.

Contacts in Switzerland confirmed 11, outside non.
You need to be aware of "current events". Keep reading swissinfo.ch daily and you should be fine.

The eleven contacts in Switzerland, are they all willing to answer a letter from Bern? That's excellent, I had six on my list and four of them were actually contacted.

Good luck.
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  #92  
Old 18.11.2009, 06:26
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Yes, I suppose most of them are willing to answer as they are friends in a way, i think i will have to catch up with what's going on until january and then i will see how it goes
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  #93  
Old 17.12.2009, 19:10
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

I'm almost ready to schedule my interview(!), but first, I really want to ask: Has anybody here who has undergone this process provided certified translations of their birth and marriage certificates? I get the impression that few, if any, have done so, even though the instructions explicitly state that documents in languages other than German, French, or Italian must be accompanied by certified translations. I'm willing to deal with the additional delay and expense necessary for certified translations, but only if failing to do so would jeopardize something...
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Old 17.12.2009, 19:22
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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I'm almost ready to schedule my interview(!), but first, I really want to ask: Has anybody here who has undergone this process provided certified translations of their birth and marriage certificates? I get the impression that few, if any, have done so, even though the instructions explicitly state that documents in languages other than German, French, or Italian must be accompanied by certified translations. I'm willing to deal with the additional delay and expense necessary for certified translations, but only if failing to do so would jeopardize something...
Hi Tim,

As you probably remember, I did not provide certified translations. But I do seem to remember, from something the lady at the Embassy told me, that the ~ 700 CHF fee you have to pay covers, among other things, the translation (which in that case would be done at the Embassy).

Please keep us updated regarding your interview! Best of luck.
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Old 17.12.2009, 19:44
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

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...I did not provide certified translations. But I do seem to remember, from something the lady at the Embassy told me, that the ~ 700 CHF fee you have to pay covers, among other things, the translation (which in that case would be done at the Embassy)...
Yes, I remember that. In fact, that's one of the primary reasons I'm asking about this again. I have the impression that your experience was not unique in that respect, and I'm looking for further confirmation. Otherwise I'm a bit nervous about deliberately not following official instructions.
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Old 17.12.2009, 19:48
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I'm a bit nervous about deliberately not following official instructions.
Why don't you just call the Embassy and ask them directly? I'm sure they will be happy to clarify.
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Old 18.12.2009, 07:40
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Yes, we went through Atlanta too and asked about that. They took care of the translations there. I would call or email and just ask about it to make sure. They were quite nice and helpful everytime we contacted them.
Good luck!
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Old 04.01.2010, 00:50
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Re: Facilitated integration interview

[QUOTE=gonzus;198686][I added more detail on the specific sections of the interview. Hope that helps.]

Well, I went through my naturalization interview last Friday (March 28th 2008). It lasted for about 75 minutes, with the following "sections":[LIST][*]Handing in all the paperwork: lots of certificates (birth and marriage for the whole blood line from my great grandfather, who was born in Schwyz, to my daughter and son); four filled-in forms; two letters of recommendation written (in German) by Swiss people living in my country (Chile).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Gonzus and all that had added information on this topic.

Firstly I would like to thank you for the information given here.

I had always understood that only children of Swiss nationals could apply to the Swiss citizenship and was more than happy to learn from you that in fact it is not exactly like that anymore as there is this Facilitated Naturalization in the Swiss law.

In my particular case I am a great-grandson of a Swiss woman and all the lineage comes through women (i.e., Swiss great-great-grandmother, then great-grandmother, then grandmother, then mother and finally myself).

I believe I am in the same situation as Gonzus's children.

Armed with the knowledge accrued from this Forum I contacted the Swiss Embassy here in London to know whether I could apply or not, but assuming that the answer would be "yes, of course you can".

The answer from the Swiss Embassy in London was surprisingly that no, I could not apply. That only the grand-children of a Swiss woman can apply.

I would like to hear from the co-listers if this is correct (could they possibly be lying to me ???) and why some great-great-grandchildren will be granted with the Swiss citizenship and others can't even apply for it.

Any help would be most appreciated.
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Old 04.01.2010, 02:15
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I had always understood that only children of Swiss nationals could apply to the Swiss citizenship and was more than happy to learn from you that in fact it is not exactly like that anymore as there is this Facilitated Naturalization in the Swiss law.

In my particular case I am a great-grandson of a Swiss woman and all the lineage comes through women (i.e., Swiss great-great-grandmother, then great-grandmother, then grandmother, then mother and finally myself).

I believe I am in the same situation as Gonzus's children.

Armed with the knowledge accrued from this Forum I contacted the Swiss Embassy here in London to know whether I could apply or not, but assuming that the answer would be "yes, of course you can".

The answer from the Swiss Embassy in London was surprisingly that no, I could not apply. That only the grand-children of a Swiss woman can apply.

I would like to hear from the co-listers if this is correct (could they possibly be lying to me ???) and why some great-great-grandchildren will be granted with the Swiss citizenship and others can't even apply for it.

Any help would be most appreciated.
Hello Claude,

I understand you are one generation "lower" in the ladder, compared to me; as you said, you would be in my children's situation. If that is the case, from what I have gathered in the past years, I would think it might be too late for you to apply for facilitated naturalization. Your mother could apply, but she only would be able to pass it onto you if you were a minor at the time she presents her papers at the Embassy.

As I understand, the law as applied to my case was:
  • My great-grandfather was born a Swiss (in Switzerland) and was a Swiss his whole life.
  • His son, my grandfather, was born a Swiss (in Chile) and was a Swiss his whole life.
  • His son, my father, was born a Swiss (in Chile) but lost his citizenship when he stopped being a minor and did not declare to the proper authorities that he intended to keep his citizenship.
  • His son, I, was NOT born a Swiss. However, being the son of somebody who at some point in his life was a Swiss, but lost his citizenship, I was entitled to apply for facilitated naturalization.
  • My son and daughter (who are today 7 and 4) automatically became Swiss when I was granted the citizenship, due to both of them being minors under my custody. They would not have been able to apply for themselves once they became legal adults.

That is how I understand the law. But if I were you I would ask again, at the Embassy or directly with the federal authorities in Bern.

Good luck in you endeavors.
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Old 26.01.2010, 20:27
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Re: Facilitated naturalization interview

Well guys, I've finally received the next stage of the whole process - they want to come and visit me and the wife at home!

I fixed the appointment with them today, so someone will be popping around for some tea and maybe a slice of cake on the 4th of February...

Any pointers?

Could this be the final stage and what should I expect??

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