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Old 14.07.2017, 00:01
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Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

Gruezi! I have been combing through the net to try and understand this all, and this forum seemed to be the most helpful.

Here's the context.

I am a USA born citizen, she is a Swiss born citizen. We would like to get married in CH (Basel Stadt, or Basel Land), and continue to live there.

We're trying to understand what is needed and when.
  • To get married in Switzerland what documents/forms are needed, and do they need to be filled out in our respective countries?
  • Do I (the US citizen) need to get a Type D visa AND a B permit to live and work in the country?
  • Can the documents for the permit and visa be submitted at the same time as the marriage, or does it need to be after?
  • How long does all of this usually take from start to finish?

Thanks so much
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Old 14.07.2017, 06:55
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

Get married first in the US would be my suggestion (As we did), you can register your marriage officially with Switzerland via a consulate near you or DC embassy

You cannot get the B permit without first having permission to live in Switzerland beyond the initial 90 day period. The D which will allow you to enter & reside will eventually lead to B but this is all filed by your Suisse spouse

As for timing of document submission, not sure but this is easily addressed by simply inquiring with a local Suisse consulate office in the US

I have always found as bureaucratic as it may sound here, things move much faster than they do in the US
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Old 14.07.2017, 07:25
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

As FCBarca says it may be quicker to get married in the States and get the marriage recognised by the Swiss embassy/consulate than doing it here. Your fiancée would need to apply for a fiancé permit for you to allow you to come here and help arrange the wedding if you want to marry in Switzerland since you must be a Swiss resident to do that. She'll also need to show she can financially support you since you're her dependent. More on marriage here:

https://www.ch.ch/en/marriage/

She'll need to file for family reunification either here in Switzerland if you want to marry here or with the embassy/consulate that covers your part of the States if you marry there and you'll need to apply for a Type D visa. If the family reunification permit is approved the visa will be issued and stamped in your passport. Once you arrive in Switzerland you go to the cantonal migration office to start the process of getting the pre-approved permit issued to you. It will be a B permit which has to be renewed annually.

Other things to be aware of/research. First, your continuing US tax filing obligations. The US tax system is citizen based, not residency based like the rest of the world so US citizens must file tax returns no matter where they live in the world. Start your research on that here:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

You may also have trouble getting a bank account here, your wife too if you decide to have a joint account. This is due to the US's FATCA law which requires banks to send US Persons account details on to the IRS. You/she will need to sign W-9 forms to allow the bank to do this before you'll be given a bank account. Most banks won't take American clients; UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance are likely to be your only choices. Also any foreign account or accounts, i.e. outside of the US, which come to an aggregate figure of more than $10,000 at any time of the year must be reported on an FBAR form.
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Old 14.07.2017, 07:53
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

keep in mind that you'll have to pick up your permit from a Swiss embassy/consulate in the US

(I was in the same situation - an American here on a tourist visa, we decided to marry, informed immigration, etc. - but I had to go back to NYC to pick up the paperwork.)
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Old 14.07.2017, 07:56
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

No, they'll have to pick up their Type D visa in the US. Permits are only issued once you're in Switzerland.
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Old 14.07.2017, 08:00
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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No, they'll have to pick up their Type D visa in the US. Permits are only issued once you're in Switzerland.
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Old 14.07.2017, 08:22
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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Get married first in the US would be my suggestion
Ditto.

We did it while on vacation (we were both Swiss residents at the time).

Took six months to get the marriage recognized here (for her as a Swiss, for me it was recognized immediately as I was a US citizen).

One reason that it took so long was that she didn't notify a consulate in the US ahead of time (before the marriage), so make sure she does that should you go that route, because if you don't they may try to take away her Swiss citizenship (though the laws may have changed in the past 29 years)!

Fortunately, a friend of ours had gone through the same thing with his sister when she married a German in Germany, so he knew how to handle it and did all the paperwork for us.

Tom
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Old 14.07.2017, 08:35
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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As FCBarca says it may be quicker to get married in the States and get the marriage recognised by the Swiss embassy/consulate than doing it here. Your fiancée would need to apply for a fiancé permit for you to allow you to come here and help arrange the wedding if you want to marry in Switzerland since you must be a Swiss resident to do that. She'll also need to show she can financially support you since you're her dependent. More on marriage here:

https://www.ch.ch/en/marriage/

She'll need to file for family reunification either here in Switzerland if you want to marry here or with the embassy/consulate that covers your part of the States if you marry there and you'll need to apply for a Type D visa. If the family reunification permit is approved the visa will be issued and stamped in your passport. Once you arrive in Switzerland you go to the cantonal migration office to start the process of getting the pre-approved permit issued to you. It will be a B permit which has to be renewed annually.

Other things to be aware of/research. First, your continuing US tax filing obligations. The US tax system is citizen based, not residency based like the rest of the world so US citizens must file tax returns no matter where they live in the world. Start your research on that here:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

You may also have trouble getting a bank account here, your wife too if you decide to have a joint account. This is due to the US's FATCA law which requires banks to send US Persons account details on to the IRS. You/she will need to sign W-9 forms to allow the bank to do this before you'll be given a bank account. Most banks won't take American clients; UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance are likely to be your only choices. Also any foreign account or accounts, i.e. outside of the US, which come to an aggregate figure of more than $10,000 at any time of the year must be reported on an FBAR form.
The OP does not need to be a resident. The link you provided doesn't even say that.
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Old 14.07.2017, 09:11
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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No, they'll have to pick up their Type D visa in the US. Permits are only issued once you're in Switzerland.
Actually, if you live far away from a Swiss consulate, you can express mail your passport to said consulate, provide a return airbill/postage and have the D visa fixed in your passport within a few days.

I think mine took three days- one day down, back two days later.


My D visa was approved already (we were moving for my husband's job).

It is much easier to marry in the US. We married in the Netherlands - it was 5 or 6 months of crap going back and forth....we were both resident in the US, husband was Dutch. But we wanted to do it anyway.....and we're glad we did.
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Old 14.07.2017, 09:21
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

The Swiss "State Departement" has an overview about formalities regarding US-Swiss marriages.

https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/u.../marriage.html

Even they mention that:
Quote:
Marriage procedures are much more complicated and costly in Switzerland than they are in the United States. This is due to the civil law requirements, some of which might even be seen as bureaucratic red tape to an outsider. The Swiss civil registrar in the town or city where the marriage is to take place may even require some additional documents which are not mentioned below. The procedures may also vary from one canton (state) to another.
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Old 14.07.2017, 10:50
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

And one last point about getting married quickly in the US first - If it is important to you re: ceremony/party etc., go the civil marriage route through the city and even pay additional to have no witnesses & then do a proper ceremony/party here or in the US (Or both, as we did too )
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Old 14.07.2017, 11:33
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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The OP does not need to be a resident. The link you provided doesn't even say that.
Doesn't it?

"Requirements

To get married, you must meet the following legal requirements:

•The person you want to marry must be of the opposite sex;
•You must both be over the age of 18 and have the capacity to consent;
If either of you are not Swiss citizens, you must be lawfully resident in Switzerland at the time of marriage."

Frankly I thought that was the whole point of the fiancé permit. So non-residents could become resident before their marriage here when they're planning on staying in Switzerland afterwards.
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Old 14.07.2017, 11:44
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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Doesn't it?
Bad translation.

A more correct translation is "You have to be here legally until the marriage".

"lorsque l’un des futurs époux n’est pas citoyen suisse, il doit apporter la preuve qu’il est autorisé à séjourner en Suisse jusqu’au mariage."

Tom
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Old 14.07.2017, 11:53
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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Doesn't it?

"Requirements

To get married, you must meet the following legal requirements:

•The person you want to marry must be of the opposite sex;
•You must both be over the age of 18 and have the capacity to consent;
If either of you are not Swiss citizens, you must be lawfully resident in Switzerland at the time of marriage."
The information on ch.ch is unfortunately sometimes questionable, and in rare cases plainly wrong.

I trust the federal department of justice a bit more:
https://www.bj.admin.ch/bj/de/home/g...kblaetter.html

Memorandum Nr. 150.1 only says you will need proof about legal stay in the country up to date of the wedding.

or
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Bad translation.

A more correct translation is "You have to be here legally until the marriage".

"lorsque l’un des futurs époux n’est pas citoyen suisse, il doit apporter la preuve qu’il est autorisé à séjourner en Suisse jusqu’au mariage."

Tom
German version of ch.ch also says legal stay and not resident.
"wenn eine der beiden Personen nicht Schweizer Bürgerin oder Bürger ist, muss sie nachweisen, dass sie sich bis zur Trauung in der Schweiz aufhalten darf."
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Old 14.07.2017, 12:27
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

Okay, define legal stay?

And what document could you get to prove your stay here is legal unless it's a fiancé permit?
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Old 14.07.2017, 12:57
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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The Swiss "State Departement" has an overview about formalities regarding US-Swiss marriages.

https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/u.../marriage.html
Exactly

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Okay, define legal stay?

And what document could you get to prove your stay here is legal unless it's a fiancé permit?
The point of the law was to avoid that those who are illegally in Switzerland get married to normalize their legal status.
You can be in Switzerland on a tourist visa.

I imagine the fiancé visa would also be to avoid that the 90 days runs out before the marriage as it can take 3 months just to get a date!

The fiancé visa is not needed for EU citizens for example.
It's better to use the versions in the Swiss languages.
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Old 14.07.2017, 13:05
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

I find "legally stay" just as vague as "lawfully resident".

And those marrying on a tourist visa are then stuck trying to sort out a Type D after the marriage which as we know may or may not be easy to do.
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Old 14.07.2017, 23:40
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

Wow this has been super helpful!

So it sounds like, for the sake of time, ease and money:
  • Get Married in the US
  • Send off the paperwork for the marriage to be recognized in Swizterland (this can take months?) Have her notify the consulate before hand to cut down on time.
  • Apply for the type D Visa (concurrently or after the marriage is recognized?)
  • Move to Switzerland after getting my Visa (stamp) in the USA
  • Apply for B Permit
  • Live Happily Ever After

And she has her half of the paperwork, and I have to make sure taxes, banks, etc is taken care of.

I live about 2 hours away from the Atlanta Embassy so going back and forth as needed is no issue.
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Old 15.07.2017, 10:17
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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Wow this has been super helpful!

So it sounds like, for the sake of time, ease and money:
  • Get Married in the US
  • Send off the paperwork for the marriage to be recognized in Swizterland (this can take months?) Have her notify the consulate before hand to cut down on time.
  • Apply for the type D Visa (concurrently or after the marriage is recognized?)
  • Move to Switzerland after getting my Visa (stamp) in the USA
  • Apply for B Permit
  • Live Happily Ever After

And she has her half of the paperwork, and I have to make sure taxes, banks, etc is taken care of.

I live about 2 hours away from the Atlanta Embassy so going back and forth as needed is no issue.
Have her notify the consulate BEFORE you get married is the most important!

Tom
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Old 15.07.2017, 10:18
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Re: Marriage in Swizteland - US Citizen to Swiss Citizen

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And what document could you get to prove your stay here is legal unless it's a fiancé permit?
Schengen visa/stamp in passport.

Tom
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