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Old 02.07.2017, 03:33
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Facilitated naturalization from outside CH - questions

Having spent the better part of the day reading entire forum strings, I'd like to say thank you to the several contributors who have given ideas, timing, advice and encouragement.

Living in California, but having worked in ZU and GE over 17 years ago over a span of 15 years, and also being married to a Swiss and having 2 children who have passports, I thought it was about time for me. My concern was over language, but after reading the numerous and various posts, it seems either my German or French would be adequate. So..... appointment with the San Fran Consulate in a couple weeks for the interview (having satisfactorily completing FBI, collecting all affirming paperwork, getting letters of reference and obtaining agreement from several Swiss residents that they would answer positively on my behalf if contacted).

All this has taken about 9 months, but might have been quicker if I had worked on all the non-FBI stuff while waiting for them to find I wasn't a criminal.

In any event, it appears that someone in my situation would still be looking at several months, as the paperwork works its way to Bern.

So, here is my question: for someone residing outside of CH but with all the requisite ties and language, will the Gemeinde of my spouse (her Heimatort) also need to weigh in, or would the decision be taken in Bern at Federal level? I'm guessing Federal level, but would not be surprised if the Gemeinde will also need to approve.

My intention would not be to live in that Gemeinde, rather to have mobility and living rights of a citizen anywhere in the country. Thanks for any reactions.
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Old 02.07.2017, 04:23
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Re: Normal Naturalisation - applicant diary

The decision will be entirely federal if you're living abroad. But in this case you would not be applying for normal naturalisation, but rather for facilitated naturalisation. Your husband's commune and canton of origin have the legal right to be heard on the case, but in practice this is never exercised.
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Old 02.07.2017, 04:33
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Re: Normal Naturalisation - applicant diary

Thanks for the quick response. I wasn't clear: I am the husband, but I think it works in either direction. If the Canton and Gemeinde don't need to be involved, then tant mieux.
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Old 02.07.2017, 10:13
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Re: Normal Naturalisation - applicant diary

There are no cantonal or gemeinde requirements for facilitated naturalisation, but the canton is given a hearing first and both can appeal the decision.

"The decision to grant facilitated naturalisation is in the sole responsibility of the Confederation. The canton in question is first given a hearing and, like the community in question, has a right of appeal."

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...uergerung.html

You're not limited to living in the gemeinde of your Swiss "birthplace" which is what this effectively is. You can live and work anywhere in Switzerland.
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Old 02.07.2017, 16:03
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Re: Normal Naturalisation - applicant diary

Thanks, Medea... The link spelled it out perfectly. I see why you have so many (6,536) posts thanking you. I'll post the results as they play out.
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Old 02.07.2017, 17:19
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Re: Normal Naturalisation - applicant diary

Yes, please do. It always helps to have people's experiences outlined here on the forum for others to check when they want to try and do the same thing.
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Old 11.07.2017, 18:31
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Re: Facilitated naturalization from outside CH - questions

I had the interview yesterday in San Francisco. Briefly, my experience was...
- very pleasant and low key
- the interviewer was VERY well versed in the particulars of my case; he had done his homework
- the interview was somewhat formal in that he had three or four pages of questions (each in 3 languages) which he indicated had been randomly generated for the interview.

We began with his assessment of language. In my case the German was Hochdeutsch, which was ok for him, and French. This was just pleasant conversation.

He had questions about...
- date regarded as the birth of Switzerland (1291)
- date of first constitution (and of subsequent revisions)
- three original cantons
- number of cantons
- names of all the cantons and half cantons
- 3-4 major cities
- 3 major lakes, and which is the largest (Neuchatel) entirely within the borders
- major religions (Catholic and Reform)
- 3 major mountain names
- what is direct democracy
- the four main political parties
- names of 3 of the Bundesrat members and their parties
- organization of the parliament and representation
- what a people's initiative is (we discussed the similarity of Swiss initiatives and the proposition process in California)
- 3-4 Swiss foods
- major Swiss cheeses (I said my preference of Gruyeres, Emmental and Vacharin in a fondue)
- Capital city of Switzerland
- 2 major rivers
- result of the last referendum (only one on the last ballot was to phase out nuclear power...he hinted along to help coax this out)
- 3-4 well known Swiss personalities or famous people (he said most people single out Roger Federer and also Albert Einstein...even though he was not Swiss but did live and work in Bern)

As it happened, we conducted most of this interview in German, except for the more technical explanations of the parliament and direct democracy. The interviewer was, of course, fluent in English, but even my sort of low level of German was sufficient to continue mostly that way. In all, with the pleasantries and side conversation, we were together about 1:45.

He did confirm that it might be a year before the process is completed and that it was a federal decision, but that the Gemeinde and canton could be involved, usually only in an appeal.

I can see that many of the answers to the questions were made easier because I had lived there. For someone who has not lived there, some of the place names and other details would be more abstract. But it seemed only fair that if one wants to obtain citizenship, one should know at least these basics about the country.

To sum it up: it was a very pleasant, low key and somewhat broad brush conversation.
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