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Old 25.01.2016, 17:22
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What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

Hi, I'm an American entering into a registered partnership with my Swiss boyfriend. After we have our RP, I'll be applying for a long-term visa so I can move to Zurich later this year to be with him. And start being Swiss myself. ;-)

As part of the process to get that visa, I see that the Swiss gov't requires a copy of my criminal record (or, in my case, proof of no criminal record!).

I searched all over the web for more specifics but couldn't find much more than what I wrote above.

Does anyone know exactly they need? I can just trot down to the local Los Angeles Police Department office and ask them to give me a letter saying I don't have a record... is that enough?

Does it need to be notarized?

Thank you for any tips...
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Old 25.01.2016, 17:26
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

Yes, they are looking for a certificate that you have no serious offences on your police record.
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Old 25.01.2016, 17:34
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

LAPD will not issue you any such thing. You can go to the US Embassy and get a notarized affidavit that you don't have a criminal record, and they will accept it.
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Old 25.01.2016, 17:45
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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LAPD will not issue you any such thing. You can go to the US Embassy and get a notarized affidavit that you don't have a criminal record, and they will accept it.
Thank you, I'll check with the US Embassy in Zurich. Appreciate it.
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Old 25.01.2016, 19:30
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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LAPD will not issue you any such thing. You can go to the US Embassy and get a notarized affidavit that you don't have a criminal record, and they will accept it.
Oh really? I thought I read online that they would. In any case, nevermind, I'll go to the embassy in Zurich the next time I'm in town. ;-)

Out of curiousity, do you have any idea how long the embassy might take to produce this for me? Just trying to figure out if we're talking minutes, hours, days, or weeks. I don't live full-time in Zurich yet so I have to plan carefully.

Thank you!!
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Old 25.01.2016, 19:35
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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Oh really? I thought I read online that they would. In any case, nevermind, I'll go to the embassy in Zurich the next time I'm in town. ;-)

Out of curiousity, do you have any idea how long the embassy might take to produce this for me? Just trying to figure out if we're talking minutes, hours, days, or weeks. I don't live full-time in Zurich yet so I have to plan carefully.

Thank you!!
It takes minutes to raise your hand, swear it is true, and then they stamp and give it to you. But you have to make an appointment for them to prepare. Not sure it can be done in Zuerich, but it can be done in Bern.

Last edited by Phos; 26.01.2016 at 15:19.
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Old 25.01.2016, 21:40
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

Most of the time they don't actually ask that you produce this. You could get an FBI report. But if Phos has experience that the sworn affidavit will work that's even better!
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Old 25.01.2016, 22:12
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

As I recall, and FBI Identity History report took ages, and there were a couple of variations. I'm not sure, but I think you would have to apply in person for security reasons. The embassy was faster and cheaper.
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Old 25.01.2016, 22:30
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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As I recall, and FBI Identity History report took ages, and there were a couple of variations. I'm not sure, but I think you would have to apply in person for security reasons. The embassy was faster and cheaper.
13-15 weeks...

I rarely hear this actually asked for. Let's hope that's true for the OP as well.
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Old 25.01.2016, 22:32
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

If I read the thread's title correctly Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

Lol. Get any.

For instance, just go ahead and steal some chewing gum from the candy-shop
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Old 26.01.2016, 01:21
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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If I read the thread's title correctly Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

Lol. Get any.

For instance, just go ahead and steal some chewing gum from the candy-shop
LOL I should have said "criminal report or lack thereof" ;-)
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Old 26.01.2016, 08:38
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

I just did this back in August for a family re-unification B permit, and I was asked by the Zurich migration office specifically for an FBI background check. You need to send official fingerprints to the FBI, and yes their website says it takes about 11-13 weeks or something. BUT if you go the FBI's website, they have a list of official private companies that they contract out background checks to, so you can pay a bit extra, and get it faster. I think I paid about $60 and got mine in about 2 weeks, including the time it took for me to ship my packet there.
I recommend doing all of this in the US, as in Switzerland you have to go to Geneva, Bern or Winterthur Canton police to get the fingerprints (for some reason those are the only ones accepted). ALSO, many of the companies won't ship a background check outside of the US, so I had to have a family member receive it and send it to Switzerland.
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Old 01.02.2016, 23:22
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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I just did this back in August for a family re-unification B permit, and I was asked by the Zurich migration office specifically for an FBI background check. You need to send official fingerprints to the FBI, and yes their website says it takes about 11-13 weeks or something. BUT if you go the FBI's website, they have a list of official private companies that they contract out background checks to, so you can pay a bit extra, and get it faster. I think I paid about $60 and got mine in about 2 weeks, including the time it took for me to ship my packet there.
I recommend doing all of this in the US, as in Switzerland you have to go to Geneva, Bern or Winterthur Canton police to get the fingerprints (for some reason those are the only ones accepted). ALSO, many of the companies won't ship a background check outside of the US, so I had to have a family member receive it and send it to Switzerland.
Thank you soooo much! That is a little bit of what I found when I was doing my research but I wasn't completely sure this would fulfill the requirements of the Swiss immigration folk. Sounds like this is exactly it. I'll go with one of those "channeler" companies. Thanks again.
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Old 01.02.2016, 23:39
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

I got an FBI criminal record check, from the FBI directly. Then I had it apostilled for good measure, which required first sending it back to the FBI for a signature that could be apostilled. (Actually, I had a relative in the US take care of all this mailing, and it took long enough that all I had when I arrived was a non-apostilled zerox).

Then the Swiss authorities never actually asked for it.
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Old 02.02.2016, 00:26
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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Hi, I'm an American entering into a registered partnership with my Swiss boyfriend. After we have our RP, I'll be applying for a long-term visa so I can move to Zurich later this year to be with him. And start being Swiss myself. ;-)

As part of the process to get that visa, I see that the Swiss gov't requires a copy of my criminal record (or, in my case, proof of no criminal record!).

I searched all over the web for more specifics but couldn't find much more than what I wrote above.

Does anyone know exactly they need? I can just trot down to the local Los Angeles Police Department office and ask them to give me a letter saying I don't have a record... is that enough?

Does it need to be notarized?

Thank you for any tips...
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Thank you, I'll check with the US Embassy in Zurich. Appreciate it.


You have a long way to go for "Being Swiss". If you looking for the US Embassy in Zurich Just saying
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Old 05.02.2016, 11:02
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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I got an FBI criminal record check, from the FBI directly. Then I had it apostilled for good measure, which required first sending it back to the FBI for a signature that could be apostilled. (Actually, I had a relative in the US take care of all this mailing, and it took long enough that all I had when I arrived was a non-apostilled zerox).

Then the Swiss authorities never actually asked for it.
I'm not sure the FBI thing is really necessary. When I did the paperwork for my wife's family reunion permit, she just went to the state police office, paid 20 bucks and left 30 min later with a criminal background check that worked just fine with the Zurich Migrationsamt.
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Old 05.02.2016, 16:10
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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Does anyone know exactly they need? I can just trot down to the local Los Angeles Police Department office and ask them to give me a letter saying I don't have a record... is that enough?

Does it need to be notarized?

Thank you for any tips...

This is exactly what I did when I moved to Switzerland about 3 years ago and was applying for a B residency permit. In the US, I trotted down to the police department of my town, and requested anything they could produce with their letterhead that attested to any criminal offences they had on record for me. Was fast, painless, and if I recall correctly (free, or really cheap).

In my application packet, I submitted that one page document from my local police department, no notary needed. Nobody asked for more information, and I got my permit.

YMMV
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Old 05.02.2016, 21:07
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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This is exactly what I did [...] I trotted down to the police department of my town, and requested anything they could produce with their letterhead that attested to any criminal offences they had on record for me. Was fast, painless, and if I recall correctly (free, or really cheap).
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I'm not sure the FBI thing is really necessary
Thank you both for sharing this info. Yeah, it's kind of irritating that there's no agreement online about exactly what Switzerland needs! ;-) So far the info I've found seems to fall into three categories:

1. Don't worry about it, they never asked me for my background check at all
2. Get a letter from the local cops
3. Get a letter from the FBI

I'm going the third route right now, which is turning out to be a big pain in the ass. $55 to a "channeler" online, plus I have to pay a local UPS Store here in Los Angeles to produce three (!!) fingerprint cards. (Two cards go to the channeler to be sent on to the FBI for my background check; the third card is required by Switzerland at the time I apply for my visa.)

Oh well. I didn't expect this to be a simple process. :-) Glad I'm still here in the states, at least, so I can sort it out easily here and then bring all the paperwork with me to Switzerland.

Onward... !!
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Old 05.02.2016, 21:09
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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You have a long way to go for "Being Swiss". If you looking for the US Embassy in Zurich Just saying
LOL, yes, I've since discovered the difference between an embassy and a consulate... clearly I have a lot to learn... ;-)
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Old 06.12.2016, 15:13
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Re: What kind of "criminal record" do they want to see?

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I just did this back in August for a family re-unification B permit, and I was asked by the Zurich migration office specifically for an FBI background check. You need to send official fingerprints to the FBI, and yes their website says it takes about 11-13 weeks or something. BUT if you go the FBI's website, they have a list of official private companies that they contract out background checks to, so you can pay a bit extra, and get it faster. I think I paid about $60 and got mine in about 2 weeks, including the time it took for me to ship my packet there.
I recommend doing all of this in the US, as in Switzerland you have to go to Geneva, Bern or Winterthur Canton police to get the fingerprints (for some reason those are the only ones accepted). ALSO, many of the companies won't ship a background check outside of the US, so I had to have a family member receive it and send it to Switzerland.

Can I ask which company you used? We had the letter from state department for our criminal check but were told at immigration just today that it was not good enough. We also want to make sure that whatever we get back from the FBI channeler is good enough for immigration.
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