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Old 10.07.2015, 03:24
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Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

Hi all,

My wife is a Swiss Citizen, and immigrated to the US in October 2011 (I am American). Our son was born in June, and we can register him with the local Swiss consulate so that he has dual citizenship. We were thinking it would be nice to do so, if perhaps he'd want to complete university studies in Switzerland one day... (assuming other requirements are met, e.g. language)

Just one question: If he "moves" to Switzerland to study, will he have to complete a military service obligation (if he does not do so in the US, where it's not mandatory)?

According to this site here, I believe so?
http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg...t/doppelb.html

Thanks!
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Old 10.07.2015, 05:10
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Hi all,

My wife is a Swiss Citizen, and immigrated to the US in October 2011 (I am American). Our son was born in June, and we can register him with the local Swiss consulate so that he has dual citizenship. We were thinking it would be nice to do so, if perhaps he'd want to complete university studies in Switzerland one day... (assuming other requirements are met, e.g. language)

Just one question: If he "moves" to Switzerland to study, will he have to complete a military service obligation (if he does not do so in the US, where it's not mandatory)?

According to this site here, I believe so?
http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg...t/doppelb.html

Thanks!

June you say ,nice ,but what year
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  #3  
Old 10.07.2015, 06:11
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Hi all,

My wife is a Swiss Citizen, and immigrated to the US in October 2011 (I am American). Our son was born in June, and we can register him with the local Swiss consulate so that he has dual citizenship. We were thinking it would be nice to do so, if perhaps he'd want to complete university studies in Switzerland one day... (assuming other requirements are met, e.g. language)

Just one question: If he "moves" to Switzerland to study, will he have to complete a military service obligation (if he does not do so in the US, where it's not mandatory)?

According to this site here, I believe so?
http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg...t/doppelb.html

Thanks!
Your son would be liable to do military service if he moves to Switzerland and is deemed fit for military service. This said, it is relatively easy to avoid doing military service and organisations such as OSOA can advise him if he doesn't want to do it.
Swiss citizens residing outwith Switzerland are only liable for military service in times of active war.
Swiss nationality would not only allow him to access free university education in Switzerland but would also grant him access to universities in other European countries on an equal footing as the citizens of those countries.
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Old 10.07.2015, 09:53
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Hi all,

My wife is a Swiss Citizen, and immigrated to the US in October 2011 (I am American). Our son was born in June, and we can register him with the local Swiss consulate so that he has dual citizenship. We were thinking it would be nice to do so, if perhaps he'd want to complete university studies in Switzerland one day... (assuming other requirements are met, e.g. language)

Just one question: If he "moves" to Switzerland to study, will he have to complete a military service obligation (if he does not do so in the US, where it's not mandatory)?

According to this site here, I believe so?
http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg...t/doppelb.html

Thanks!

Speaking as a dual US/Swiss citizen, I think you should definitely register your son as Swiss. To be honest, my US citizenship is basically a burden, and I'm very thankful to have Swiss citizenship. I moved here at 28ish, and was deemed too old for any sort of military service, so I paid a tax until I turned 30. I wouldn't have minded doing military service in my 20s though to be honest, I think it would have been an interesting insight into Swiss culture and the like.
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Old 11.07.2015, 00:45
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

Thank you for your responses! You've been very helpful!!!
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  #6  
Old 16.11.2018, 19:14
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Speaking as a dual US/Swiss citizen, I think you should definitely register your son as Swiss. To be honest, my US citizenship is basically a burden, and I'm very thankful to have Swiss citizenship. I moved here at 28ish, and was deemed too old for any sort of military service, so I paid a tax until I turned 30. I wouldn't have minded doing military service in my 20s though to be honest, I think it would have been an interesting insight into Swiss culture and the like.
So is there a rule to say you would only pay until you are 30?

I’m also a dual citizen and have to pay a tax ,
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Old 16.11.2018, 19:38
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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So is there a rule to say you would only pay until you are 30?
Sure, there are always "rules" when the government is involved. We call those rules the law and all can be found here https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi.../national.html
Now, one would assume the rule can be found under Defense, but it is actually listed under Finances. But luckily there is a link to the other.

Here it is: https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...129/index.html
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Old 16.11.2018, 21:00
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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So is there a rule to say you would only pay until you are 30?

I’m also a dual citizen and have to pay a tax ,
Correct, until age 30 you have to pay 3% of your taxable income.
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Old 16.11.2018, 21:07
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Correct, until age 30 you have to pay 3% of your taxable income.
It used to be 2%, when did they increase it?

Tom
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Old 19.11.2018, 11:53
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

It's been 3% the whole time I've been here (~10 years).


To avoid the tax one can also do Civil Service (essentially medial task volunteering). This can be the best paying, easiest job in the country, or the worst paid toughest work :P
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Old 19.11.2018, 12:21
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

They must have increased it when they reduced the age to 30, as it was 2% until at least 2001, and the age was 42.

Tom
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Old 20.11.2018, 14:23
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

Turns out (bulletin available in German only) the current regulation will be replaced. By next year you'll still have to pay up to 11 annual installments, but you're now liable until age 37 (starting with age 19 like today).

Like today, you need to have completed your basic service ("Rekrutenschule") before age 26. So like today, if you immigrate at age 26 or older you won't be enlisted. But contrary to the current regulation you'll pay until you've turned 38 or have paid 11 times, whichever happens first.

Also new: When you leave the military (the the alternive civil service) there's a final bill for those who did serve but didn't rack up enough days. 15 days too few, or more, will trigger the exit bill.

As before, you have five years after leaving the military to claim back surplus payments, if any. Payback (the enquiry for your bank account to pay into) happens automatically in standard cases, that is if your Canton receives the info. But that may not work in certain cases (and mistakes happen of course), so you may need to get active yourself by placing a claim with your Canton of residence.
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Old 29.05.2021, 20:20
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

Hello Everyone,

I see it has been a while since someone posted here, but I couldn't find a newer and more relevant thread for my post. I'm especially replying to the previous post, as the new law has indeed passed on 01.01.2019.

I have read both the law and a few lawyers' websites, and I can't really say the law is too clear with respect to taxes due by foreigners who get Swiss citizenship, for example, in their early 30s, who are anyway no longer eligible to actually go through the military service. The law does not specifically say anything about people who get citizenship thorugh naturalization, but mixes information like:
- you have to pay for at most 11 years
- you have to pay until the end of the year in which you turn 37
- expiration / limitation to 5 years (art. 38) - not clear how this has an effect

What I would like to understand, if anyone has been through this, is what happens to someone, say, for the sake of argument, gets citizenship during a year when turning 33:
A) they count only from there on so he pays 4 times? (33 - 37)
B) they count retroactively so he pays 11 times?
C) they count retroactively but are limited to 5 retroactive years (art. 38) so he ends up paying 9 years?

if B) or C), is the total due distributed over the remainder 4 years, or all retroactive comes in with first year bill?

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 29.05.2021, 20:39
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Hello Everyone,

I see it has been a while since someone posted here, but I couldn't find a newer and more relevant thread for my post. I'm especially replying to the previous post, as the new law has indeed passed on 01.01.2019.

I have read both the law and a few lawyers' websites, and I can't really say the law is too clear with respect to taxes due by foreigners who get Swiss citizenship, for example, in their early 30s, who are anyway no longer eligible to actually go through the military service. The law does not specifically say anything about people who get citizenship thorugh naturalization, but mixes information like:
- you have to pay for at most 11 years
- you have to pay until the end of the year in which you turn 37
- expiration / limitation to 5 years (art. 38) - not clear how this has an effect

What I would like to understand, if anyone has been through this, is what happens to someone, say, for the sake of argument, gets citizenship during a year when turning 33:
A) they count only from there on so he pays 4 times? (33 - 37)
B) they count retroactively so he pays 11 times?
C) they count retroactively but are limited to 5 retroactive years (art. 38) so he ends up paying 9 years?

if B) or C), is the total due distributed over the remainder 4 years, or all retroactive comes in with first year bill?

Thanks a bunch!
Post the links please to above so we all can read and see whenever it makes sense or not
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Old 29.05.2021, 21:06
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Post the links please to above so we all can read and see whenever it makes sense or not
The law is here (in French, since they don't officially translate them to English):
https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/1...5_2097_2125/fr

The comments from some legal advisors here (in French):
http://www.infodroit.ch/spip.php?rubrique18
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Old 29.05.2021, 21:09
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

I think you pay for the years during which you are Swiss (so not retrospectively) - there's an article here (in DE. FR or IT)

https://www.parlament.ch/de/ratsbetr...airId=20191024

It also says they are being more flexible if you want to actually do the service despite your age...
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Old 29.05.2021, 21:14
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

A.

BTDT.

HOWEVER, they can also call you up for civil service, though I only did one day of that.

Tom
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Old 29.05.2021, 21:21
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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A.

BTDT.

HOWEVER, they can also call you up for civil service, though I only did one day of that.

Tom
Did you groan at too many people so they sent you home?

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Old 29.05.2021, 21:24
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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Did you groan at too many people so they sent you home?

No, they wanted me to do a course that would have taken a lot of time, AND extended my time, so my employer wrote that I was too important bla bla bla, and that was the end of it.

Tom
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Old 29.05.2021, 21:24
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Re: Dual Citizenship / Military Service?

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I think you pay for the years during which you are Swiss (so not retrospectively) - there's an article here (in DE. FR or IT)

https://www.parlament.ch/de/ratsbetr...airId=20191024

It also says they are being more flexible if you want to actually do the service despite your age...
Thanks for this link! I have read it but I couldn't find anything really specific about not paying retroactively. They do mention that you now have the option of serving if you want to avoid paying, as opposed to the previous version of the law, which is something that is decently visible within the law, too.

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A.

BTDT.

HOWEVER, they can also call you up for civil service, though I only did one day of that.

Tom
Thanks, in the absence of anything specific in the law or in official communication like the one listed above by newtoswitz, I guess personal experience is the best (and only) reference to understand what to expect...
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