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Old 04.08.2014, 21:34
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Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

I am looking for a Swiss lawyer who has specific experience with facilitated naturalization for a foreign born child of a Swiss citizen (who lost their citizenship as a result of a marriage to a foreign national).


As I read the Swiss law this may either be an Article 31b or an Article 58a naturalization - but there may also be other applicable Articles.


I need someone with practical experience in advising and handling such facilitated naturalizations.
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Old 05.08.2014, 09:17
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

It may depend on how close their ties are to Switzerland.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm...uergerung.html

The other possible articles are listed here:

I have a Swiss mother or a Swiss father, but I am not a Swiss citizen. Do I have a possibility of facilitated naturalisation?
In certain cases, the Nationality Act (Art. 31a, Art. 31b, Art. 58a, Art. 58b) allows for facilitated naturalisation. For further information, please contact the Federal Office for Migration, Naturalisation Section, Quellenweg 6, 3003 Berne-Wabern ( email) or, if you are resident abroad, the relevant Swiss representation.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm...08.html#a_0008

I would e-mail the FOM first to see what they say before you go to the expense of a lawyer.
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Old 05.08.2014, 11:16
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

I can't help with a recommendation for a lawyer -- maybe someone else here can -- but I have looked into this in some depth. If you haven't found this resource already, I would suggest taking a look at the Swiss government's administrative manual on citizenship, which is available here:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm...rgerrecht.html

That document goes a good bit further than the limited guidance available on the general informational webpages relating to facilitated naturalization; it includes discussion of both the requirements and the procedures for applying for naturalization under the various relevant articles of the current (1952) citizenship law. Even if you still want to engage the services of a lawyer after looking that over, you would be able to go into a consultation with a better sense of the process.

The other thing to keep in mind -- and again, you might know this already -- is that it might well be best to try to file an application before the new citizenship law (of June 20, 2014) goes into effect (sometime after October 9, 2014, when the referendum period for it ends). While most of the press reporting on the law has focused on the changes to the requirements for ordinary naturalization, there are also some significant changes to the requirements for facilitated naturalization. For example, there appears to be no provision in the new law corresponding to the current Article 31b (which allows for the facilitated naturalization of children born to a parent who had previously lost Swiss nationality), and while you might still be covered by the new Article 51, paragraph 1 (corresponding to the current Article 58a, relating to the children of women who lost Swiss nationality as the result of marriage to a foreign spouse), that provision has been tightened up, too (for one thing, it apparently would no longer be possible for the grandchild of a Swiss grandmother who lost her nationality through marriage to apply for naturalization, as he or she could currently).

I hope this helps, and good luck!
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Old 05.08.2014, 11:48
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

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... while you might still be covered by the new Article 51, paragraph 1 (corresponding to the current Article 58a, relating to the children of women who lost Swiss nationality as the result of marriage to a foreign spouse), that provision has been tightened up, too (for one thing, it apparently would no longer be possible for the grandchild of a Swiss grandmother who lost her nationality through marriage to apply for naturalization, as he or she could currently).
Since I can't seem to find a way to edit my previous post:

Just to be slightly more precise about Article 51, paragraph 1, of the 2014 citizenship law, and about Article 58a of the still-in-force 1952 law, they apply to the foreign children of a woman who held Swiss citizenship at or prior to the time of the child's birth rather than specifically to the children of Swiss women who lost their nationality through marriage, so the category of people who might qualify under these provisions is potentially somewhat broader than suggested above. What's relevant here, though, is that the child of a mother who lost her nationality through marriage to a foreign citizen would qualify to apply for facilitated naturalization under these provisions.
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Old 05.08.2014, 16:59
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

Do you have a link to the new law (in French if possible)?
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Old 05.08.2014, 18:17
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

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Do you have a link to the new law (in French if possible)?
Here you go:

http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/federal-g.../2014/5001.pdf

The link to the PDF file above can also be accessed via:

http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifie...990/index.html
(from there follow the "Chronologie" link)

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2014 at 16:27. Reason: fixed name in quoted post
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Old 05.08.2014, 19:24
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

I read the new (2014) law, to apply to any decisions made on any naturalization applications, which decisions are made after the effective date of the new law? (this assumes the new law becomes effective). Do you agree?


And if this is correct, wouldn't this prevent applications, which are filed now before the effective date of the new law (as well as any pending applications) to seek avoiding the (perhaps) more stringent rules under the new law?
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Old 05.08.2014, 20:59
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

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I read the new (2014) law, to apply to any decisions made on any naturalization applications, which decisions are made after the effective date of the new law? (this assumes the new law becomes effective). Do you agree?


And if this is correct, wouldn't this prevent applications, which are filed now before the effective date of the new law (as well as any pending applications) to seek avoiding the (perhaps) more stringent rules under the new law?
I think the first think to keep in mind is that we have civil law here in Switzerland not common law and that means there there is less need for a lawyer because everything is rule based.

If you make an application before the new law comes into effect it will be decided upon based on the old law, if you make the application after the date the new law applies then it will be decide on the basis of the new law, unless the new law states otherwise, but this is rear.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2014 at 16:27. Reason: fixed name in quoted text
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Old 05.08.2014, 21:18
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

But in this case, the law appears to say that any application pending at the time the new law is effective is to be decided under the new law - what I was looking for was whether my reading of the new law was correct (or did I mis-read).
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Old 05.08.2014, 22:12
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

They must be able to help you:

Micheloud et Cie
Maison Mercier
Grand-Chêne 8
Lausanne

021 331 48 48 (9am - 6pm, M-F)
info@micheloud.com

They also have an office in GVA.


The Swiss nationality law:

http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifie...208/index.html


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I am looking for a Swiss lawyer who has specific experience with facilitated naturalization for a foreign born child of a Swiss citizen (who lost their citizenship as a result of a marriage to a foreign national).


As I read the Swiss law this may either be an Article 31b or an Article 58a naturalization - but there may also be other applicable Articles.


I need someone with practical experience in advising and handling such facilitated naturalizations.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2014 at 16:27. Reason: fixed name in quoted text
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Old 05.08.2014, 22:19
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

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I read the new (2014) law, to apply to any decisions made on any naturalization applications, which decisions are made after the effective date of the new law? (this assumes the new law becomes effective). Do you agree?


And if this is correct, wouldn't this prevent applications, which are filed now before the effective date of the new law (as well as any pending applications) to seek avoiding the (perhaps) more stringent rules under the new law?
The new law will not apply to applications made before it comes into force, per its own "non-retroactivite" clause (Art. 50).

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2014 at 16:28. Reason: fixed name in quoted text
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Old 05.08.2014, 23:47
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

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I read the new (2014) law, to apply to any decisions made on any naturalization applications, which decisions are made after the effective date of the new law? (this assumes the new law becomes effective). Do you agree?


And if this is correct, wouldn't this prevent applications, which are filed now before the effective date of the new law (as well as any pending applications) to seek avoiding the (perhaps) more stringent rules under the new law?
Just a quick further note to mention that the bit of the new law that I suspect you are mis-reading is Art. 50, paragraph 1, which says that the acquisition and loss of Swiss nationality is governed by the law in force at the time of the "relevant circumstances," which in fact means (I think) that (for example) whether or not you are Swiss by birth depends on the law in effect at the time you are born rather than the current law.

It's Art. 50, paragraph 2, that states explicitly that applications filed before the new law goes into force will be adjudicated under the old rules.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2014 at 16:28. Reason: fixed name in quoted text
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Old 06.08.2014, 08:23
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

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I am looking for a Swiss lawyer who has specific experience with facilitated naturalization for a foreign born child of a Swiss citizen (who lost their citizenship as a result of a marriage to a foreign national).


As I read the Swiss law this may either be an Article 31b or an Article 58a naturalization - but there may also be other applicable Articles.


I need someone with practical experience in advising and handling such facilitated naturalizations.
I was the foreign born child of a Swiss citizen (my mother) who lost her citizenship as a result of a marriage to a foreign national, and have since become a Swiss citizen via facilitated naturalization without needing a lawyer. In fact, I think involving a lawyer is unnecessary and costly.

The official starting place for the process is the official Swiss representation (embassy or consulate) nearest the person wishing to apply for facilitated naturalization. They have personnel trained to handle the entire process, including the first step — determining a person's eligibility for applying.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.08.2014 at 16:28. Reason: fixed name in quoted text
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Old 12.09.2014, 13:00
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Re: Swiss Facilitated Naturalization

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I was the foreign born child of a Swiss citizen (my mother) who lost her citizenship as a result of a marriage to a foreign national, and have since become a Swiss citizen via facilitated naturalization without needing a lawyer. In fact, I think involving a lawyer is unnecessary and costly.

The official starting place for the process is the official Swiss representation (embassy or consulate) nearest the person wishing to apply for facilitated naturalization. They have personnel trained to handle the entire process, including the first step — determining a person's eligibility for applying.
Swiss consular officers at posts where many (relatively speaking) applications have been submitted are skilled in verifying applications and rejecting those that would fail in Bern. I have had experience (on behalf of family) in London, San Francisco and New York. The issues that have arisen in our cases were:

¶ Civil status documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, divorce decrees) need to be dated within six months of submission. Even if the Federal Office for Migration has an older copy relating to the applicant, a new one will need to be obtained. If the consul isn't alert this problem may not be noticed until the cantonal office gets involved (the cantonal officials have no right of rejection except for cause, but they can be perfectly bureaucratic)

¶ Civil status documents need to be translated (in most cases, if not in a Swiss language) and certified by the consular office having jurisdiction over the place where they were issued. That means your file can be moved around from city to city or country to country before it ever reaches Bern, involving some delay. (This is normal: it is a consul's job to know real from fake when it comes to civil status documents issued within his or her jurisdiction. Think of the invalidation in 2010 of all Puerto Rican birth certificates ever issued earlier:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=124827546 )

¶ Swiss individuals listed as relatives and friends may or may not be contacted. If they already submitted a letter in support of the application they are unlikely to be contacted but the consular officer will check whether they are, in fact, domiciled in Switzerland or in the foreign country where the application is made instead of as shown on the letter. I have seen consuls recharacterise such a letter where a Swiss friend living abroad has retained his Swiss domicile. (The consular computer system makes it easy to trace most Swiss citizens.)

¶ We won't know what the amended law means until the FOM issues definitive guidance. It seems to me that it's now been so long since Swiss women were discriminated against (forfeiting their citizenship by marriage to a foreigner if they thereby obtained a foreign citizenship, or in the case of the USA after the Cable Act of 1922 becoming naturalised there). Compare some WW II cases with opposite results in reaction to Nazi nationality law:
http://uniset.ca/naty/rosenthal.html
http://uniset.ca/naty/levita-muhlstein.html
http://uniset.ca/naty/wasservogel.pdf
made moot, one supposes, by Allied Kommandatura Law No. 1:
http://www.uniset.ca/nold/all_kom.pdf
But you get the point. When Swiss women got the vote, the law was changed and it seems women lobbied for equal treatment of their sisters who had emigrated. And then for the children of those sisters. (I'm guessing of course: I haven't gone back to read the parliamentary papers. But I will some day.)

¶ Your mileage may vary with respect to the history and culture test (in London it is written; in San Francisco it was oral and the consul was called away for a meeting and so the "test" didn't amount to much). Sometimes the consular officer is uncomfortable in the language of the applicant (French or Italian or Romansch) and that test is trivial too. I tried to convince my cousin, daughter of two former Swiss citizens, to apply and to take the test in her father's language (Romansh) but she wasn't interested and at her age may never leave California again anyway.

The above is for newsworthiness only and is not a legal opinion.

Last edited by Potrzebie; 12.09.2014 at 13:16.
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