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Old 20.08.2018, 18:52
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American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

Hello, I intend to apply for Swiss citizenship in a few months.
I believe I will qualify for "Erleichterte Einbürgerung" as I have been married to my Swiss partner for 3 years (we've been together 11+ years). I recieved the C permit 3 years ago because I was employed as a professional here for 5 years.

Questions:
  1. I understand I will need "recent" documents < 6months old. Can someone provide a list of what is needed? Do I really need a birth certificate and another FBI criminal record < 6 months old?
  2. I have never applied for any sort of social money, but I am not employed by a company currently. During my first 5 years here I saved extensively and now live off my savings. Is this a "black mark" on my application?
  3. My Hochdeutsch is decent, and I am pretty sure it is past B2, but I only have an A2 certificate. Do I need to get an actual certificate?
  4. Any other advice / suggestions (especially for Zürich)?
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  #2  
Old 20.08.2018, 20:20
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

Here: https://www.ch.ch/de/erleichterte-einbuergerung/

and check the forum, this was answered many times
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Old 20.08.2018, 20:29
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

1. The documents required are easy to gather. I wouldn't worry for them. When you fill.go to your communal office to request the application form, you will be informed about the documents that must be submitted along with the application. As far as i remember everything can be collected by different swiss authorities.

2. No, I wouldn't worry about that. You must proof that you are integrated, for example joining a club might be useful if no other evidence is available.

3. Few years ago it was not requested to show a certificate. However i'm not sure about the new regulations. Be aware that thr police might come to your house without informing you in advance and interview you.

4. See above remark about police. Keep yourself always ready with basic info about switzerland (political parties, mountains names, lakes, politician names, etc.)

Good luck
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Old 21.08.2018, 10:49
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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3. Few years ago it was not requested to show a certificate. However i'm not sure about the new regulations. Be aware that thr police might come to your house without informing you in advance and interview you.

4. See above remark about police. Keep yourself always ready with basic info about switzerland (political parties, mountains names, lakes, politician names, etc.)
Just to emphasise this point, you really must expect the police to show up unannounced and at any time. I made my application a few years back roughly around February and expected nothing to happen for at least 6-8 months.

It was some time in May that my wife had to get me out of bed at 7 in the morning because the police wanted to interview me.

Or you might get lucky and your Gemeinde will invite you to an interview you can prepare for, but I'd prepare for the worst.

Things they asked me included: Naming neighbouring cantons, local newspapers, naming 2 of the 7 Bundesrat, the national languages. Nothing tricky at all. It was more about seeing if I could understand Swiss German and that I actually lived there.
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Old 21.08.2018, 11:11
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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Just to emphasise this point, you really must expect the police to show up unannounced and at any time.
Odd, here they just made an appointment for me to come visit them.

No questions, just chit-chat.

Tom
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Old 21.08.2018, 13:34
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

When we applied for my OH few years ago, 3 police officers came at home in their uniform at 10 pm....I remember it quite well because I was in my nighty
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Old 21.08.2018, 14:57
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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JThings they asked me included: Naming neighbouring cantons….. It was more about seeing if I could understand Swiss German and that I actually lived there.
I know someone who was asked to name the neighbouring… people.

They and their neighbours were very sociable folk, so were able to tell the police about which ones usually swap laundry-time, and whose children visit theirs, and who runs errands and babysits for whom, etc., and that many of them stroll over to the parents' events at the school together, each bearing a platter of home-made snacks… just like these ones here, would you like to try some? That settled it, happily.
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Old 21.08.2018, 16:49
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This is great info, thanks!

Now I know that the police might come by early or late (surprising a bit as this is usually considered a bit rude, even for phone calls).

I'll spend some time getting prepared, I can see myself getting stressed a bit and having a difficult time answering some of the questions below.

For a Mexican friend of mine, the police simply called while he was at work. They talked to his Swiss wife for a minute and that was it.

Answering questions about neighbors is new to me, had never heard of that. Good to know. Most of my neighbors are pretty private, guess I need to go ask them to borrow a tool or a cup of sugar or something.

Sounds like there is a real variety in how these things go.

Quote:
Odd, here they just made an appointment for me to come visit them.
@st2lemans Do you have children here?
Seems that makes a huge difference in how much they check you out (I do not have children).

@roegner Thanks, but I have already looked through this forum and the Erleichterte Einbürgerung link you provided. Unfortunately I did not find specific answers to these questions.

@StelladOriente Thanks, this helps, I will have to think about a club to join :-)

As for the documents, some of those will take months to get from the USA, so I was hoping to order them in advance to prevent delays.

If anyone knows about the A2 certificate, would be nice to know.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 21.08.2018 at 17:44. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 21.08.2018, 16:57
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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@st2lemans Do you have children here?
Seems that makes a huge difference in how much they check you out (I do not have children).
Yes, but I also lived next door to the cop, and would even say hi to the grumpy git whenever I saw him!

Tom
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Old 21.08.2018, 17:39
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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Odd, here they just made an appointment for me to come visit them.

No questions, just chit-chat.

Tom
It varies from Gemeinde to Gemeinde it seems. A friend of my wife applied at roughly the same times as me (also Kanton Zurich) and she was invited for a short interview and everything was easy.

I don't mind that they did it, I'd rather it be a serious process than a lax one.
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Old 21.08.2018, 18:01
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

Please refer to my post #11 in this thread:
https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...s-process.html

Send an e-mail to the address provided in my post and they'll reply with what documentation you need to gather. I went through the process before the law change this year, so what I needed then might not be the same as what you need now. Write your email in German.

I did not need a new birth certificate or FBI background check, nor did I need a language certificate. I did need a statement from the office of social help, a statement showing we were paid up on taxes, and a debt register extract. Plus of course my Swiss spouse's signature many times along the way.
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Old 21.08.2018, 18:45
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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Questions:
  1. I understand I will need "recent" documents < 6months old. Can someone provide a list of what is needed? Do I really need a birth certificate and another FBI criminal record < 6 months old?
  2. I have never applied for any sort of social money, but I am not employed by a company currently. During my first 5 years here I saved extensively and now live off my savings. Is this a "black mark" on my application?
  3. My Hochdeutsch is decent, and I am pretty sure it is past B2, but I only have an A2 certificate. Do I need to get an actual certificate?
  4. Any other advice / suggestions (especially for Zürich)?
Most of your questions are answered in the SEM handbook on facilitated naturalization: https://www.sem.admin.ch/dam/data/se...g18-kap4-d.pdf

You will need proof of B1 spoken/A2 written.
Living from your own fortune is o.k.
They may ask for an FBI criminal record.
A recent birth certificate is likely but maybe not needed as you are married to a Swiss person.

Note, facilitated (through the federation) is only possible for non-same-sex marriage. Same sex partnerships have a reduce time limit but it will go the standard route through the commune.

If you are eligible for application go to your communes office and get the application form from and discuss the needed documents with them. Once you have all documents apply, if something is missing they will tell you.
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Old 22.08.2018, 08:38
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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Odd, here they just made an appointment for me to come visit them.

No questions, just chit-chat.

Tom
With me one person came to the house. I put a few ( drops ) in the coffee. Needless to say he was very happy when he left. Got the papers no prob!
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Old 22.08.2018, 16:17
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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I did not need a new birth certificate or FBI background check, nor did I need a language certificate. I did need a statement from the office of social help, a statement showing we were paid up on taxes, and a debt register extract.
Thanks, I really appreciate the personal accounts as the process is quite different for different people.

Quote:
I put a few ( drops ) in the coffee.
Hmmm.. that leaves a LOT to the imagination. ;-)

Some helpful links I've gathered here and in other threads:
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Old 28.08.2018, 17:58
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

I applied for facilitated naturalization directly(thanks to 3Wishes) to the SEM mid July 2018. I live in Zurich Stadt. I have been married(Swiss partner) for 3 years and hold the C permit since a couple of years and have lived in CH for around 11 years.

I asked(in German) for the facilitated naturalization forms in the "Kontakt" section of the SEM website. I got a confirmation email and within a week I had the forms by post.

In my case the following documents were needed:

1. Familienausweis im Original, not older then 6 months
2. Copy of permit
3. Photo
4. Wohnsitzzeugnis im Original, for last 5 years
5. Bestätigung der Steurbehörde, letter from tax authorities for last 5 years
6. Betreibungsregisterauszug im Original, for last 5 years
7. Language certificate, At least B1 spoken and A2 written
8. Employment letter / Self declaration if self employed
9. Bestätigung der Sozialhilfebehörden im Original, no social help taken for last 5 years
10. Self declaration on compliance with public security and order
11. Self declaration that we are in a Real marriage and do not intend to separate.

The self declaration documents came along with the application form and I had to sign them. They also sent another page which said that they will be charging me 900 Chf for the verification process. This is probably new because I have read numerous other threads on EF and never found anyone mention this.

I applied for all the documents on-line and got all of them within 10 days. Most of them costing around 40 Chf, Betreibungs document around 18 Chf each and the letter from the Tax authorities was 75 Chf.

I sent the application by registered post and within a week of submission I got their acknowledgement as well as a bill for 900 Chf. I dont remember but it probably also said, once the 900 is paid the processing will start.

I am expecting the Police visit to happen anywhere from 3-9 months from now.
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Old 29.08.2018, 13:05
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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They also sent another page which said that they will be charging me 900 Chf for the verification process. This is probably new because I have read numerous other threads on EF and never found anyone mention this.
Yes I'm pretty certain that is new, or at least different. The old system had a 750CHF cost attached, but it wasn't a bill, it was paid on receiving the letter with the result of the process.

I had to pay this in our local Volg as our post office was moved there. Quite a strange experience, as the lady behind the till initially didn't believe that I had to pay 750CHF for a letter and insisted on looking for a parcel.
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Old 27.02.2021, 19:28
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

Hi everyone, just wanted to followup and mention that I am now a Swiss Citizen!

Notes:
  • Never got any phone calls or visits from the police.
  • Never asked for birth certificate or FBI criminal record (I guess they still have that from my initial B permit papers)
  • No questions about my lack of employment... I guess the high Vermögen + employment history was enough.
  • No need for a photo - they took that at the office.
  • Discussion with my gemeinde was a bit challenging because the guy was new and was told he needed to be diligent in asking me about history, politics, local info, etc. He was friendly and said I did fine despite some mistakes.
  • Total process from application to passport in my hand was about 1 year.
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Old 27.02.2021, 19:51
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

Congratulations!

Can one apply for facilitated naturalisation after three years of marriage to a Swiss? A friend of mine was told so when she renewed her permit in town in the third year—I just did the same (same town, just about six months between my third year and hers) and had no helpful hints from the lady behind the counter, though I did have the new young intern and not one of the older ladies on staff.
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Old 28.02.2021, 11:41
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

I needed to get an apostille on my US birth certificate (which needed to be less than 6 months old, but that part was easy.). The apostille was annoying and expensive, parcularly since I had to have it sent Fed-Ex.
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Old 28.02.2021, 12:12
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Re: American applying for citizenship (Kanton Zürich)

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Can one apply for facilitated naturalisation after three years of marriage to a Swiss?
Either: 3 year of marriage PLUS 5 year of residency (at least one full year just before application).
or
6 years of marriage PLUS strong ties to Switzerland.

The second part is mostly for naturalization from abroad, but can also be used when one lives in Switzerland. Obviously this gives a lot of bonus points on the "strong ties to Switzerland" topic.

Important: The spouse must have been Swiss at the time of marriage.
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