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Old 26.12.2006, 20:37
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Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Has anyone applied for Facilitated Naturalization as the spouse of a Swiss citizen from outside of Switzerland?

The rules state:

Quote:
People who have close ties with Switzerland may apply for facilitated naturalisation even if they are resident abroad. In such cases, however, they must have been married to a Swiss spouse for at least six years. source
Does anyone have any idea what is meant by "close ties"?
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Old 26.12.2006, 21:38
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
Has anyone applied for Facilitated Naturalization as the spouse of a Swiss citizen from outside of Switzerland?

The rules state:



Does anyone have any idea what is meant by "close ties"?
Maybe understands Swiss German and the political system? As it says -- you must be a spouse.
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Old 26.12.2006, 21:42
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

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Maybe understands Swiss German and the political system? As it says -- you must be a spouse.
Understanding Swiss German (dialect) is not a requirement for any type of naturalization. You need to be able to make yourself understood in a national language - so in my case, that would be German (High German). But they don't say this is the case. It just isn't clear by what is meant with "close ties". Does it mean family? Friends? Bank accounts? Property? Lots of visits back?

I know about the spouse. I've got one of those
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Old 26.12.2006, 21:49
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
Understanding Swiss German (dialect) is not a requirement for any type of naturalization. You need to be able to make yourself understood in a national language - so in my case, that would be German (High German). But they don't say this is the case. It just isn't clear by what is meant with "close ties". Does it mean family? Friends? Bank accounts? Property? Lots of visits back?

I know about the spouse. I've got one of those
I said this because I basically have decided to return to the US within the next two years or so. I will not be eligible for naturalization through residency if this is the case. I can actually already understand the damn Swiss German (it makes learning High German that much more difficult)! However, I would say it is the bank accounts, if you want the stereotypical answer. Everyone here already knows that the Swiss tend to offer citizenship to those who are wealthy. So: Either be wealthy or know Swiss history and speak Swiss German (or have a spouse from the Romandie or Ticino).

p.s. The wife says it is not a requirement, but it is an asset. REMEMBER: Citizenship inside of Switzerland is assigned by the *Gemeinde* (the town).
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Old 26.12.2006, 22:00
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

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I said this because I basically have decided to return to the US within the next two years or so. I will not be eligible for naturalization through residency if this is the case. I can actually already understand the damn Swiss German (it makes learning High German that much more difficult)! However, I would say it is the bank accounts, if you want the stereotypical answer. Everyone here already knows that the Swiss tend to offer citizenship to those who are wealthy. So: Either be wealthy or know Swiss history and speak Swiss German (or have a spouse from the Romandie or Ticino).
If wealthy was the yardstick, then cross my name off the list!! Being flush is a struggle most months.

Swiss German is absolutely not a requirement. Being able to speak German is an "unofficial" requirement as they ask for "integration" - which boils down to be understood in German. Dialect, which is not a language, can't be a requirement as you'd have to specify which dialect. Should I learn my husband's dialect of Zurich? Basel dialect since I live here? The AI dialect, because it is impossible for anyone else to understand? Bern, because they speak slowly and clearly? At least with high German, it is a standardized language with proper rules - and an official language of the country.

I see that you have a Swiss spouse, so this topic would also apply to you if you move back to the US. Citizenship definitely gives you more options. A good friend of ours left Switzerland to move back to the States last year. We spoke with him yesterday, and he wishes he could come back. However, since he gave up his C when he left and is divorced from his Swiss wife, he can't come back. But from your profile, it looks like you've also got Irish citizenship, which would allow you to live anywhere in Europe - including Switzerland - hassle-free.

Quote:
p.s. The wife says it is not a requirement, but it is an asset. REMEMBER: Citizenship inside of Switzerland is assigned by the *Gemeinde* (the town).
But it is decided upon by the Confederation, for the spouses of Swiss citizens.
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Old 26.12.2006, 22:16
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
If wealthy was the yardstick, then cross my name off the list!! Being flush is a struggle most months.

Swiss German is absolutely not a requirement. Being able to speak German is an "unofficial" requirement as they ask for "integration" - which boils down to be understood in German. Dialect, which is not a language, can't be a requirement as you'd have to specify which dialect. Should I learn my husband's dialect of Zurich? Basel dialect since I live here? The AI dialect, because it is impossible for anyone else to understand? Bern, because they speak slowly and clearly? At least with high German, it is a standardized language with proper rules - and an official language of the country.

I see that you have a Swiss spouse, so this topic would also apply to you if you move back to the US. Citizenship definitely gives you more options. A good friend of ours left Switzerland to move back to the States last year. We spoke with him yesterday, and he wishes he could come back. However, since he gave up his C when he left and is divorced from his Swiss wife, he can't come back. But from your profile, it looks like you've also got Irish citizenship, which would allow you to live anywhere in Europe - including Switzerland - hassle-free.
Ok... I guess this American thing is confusing for people. My mother *can* have Irish citizenship, I am one generation too far away / removed for that. My "ancestors" came over to the US in the 1840s. Basically everyone in my past, nonetheless, was Irish (hence my mother is eligible for citizenship). I only have US citizenship -- so actually gaining Swiss citizenship means the world to me.

I believe that understanding dialect would be rather important in terms of gaining Swiss citizenship from abroad if a spouse is Swiss and from the Germanic part. Back in the US one of my German teachers came from Rheinfelden (Baden -- the German side). Since I returned to CH, I have met with her and her boyfriend a number of times. He comes from Freiburg (Breisgau) and cannot understand any Swiss dialect, be it the dialect in Basel, Bern or Zürich. Maybe comprehension of dialect is not an official requirement; however, I would presume that it would help a great deal. If you can understand dialect, you demonstrate an interest in the country and a desire to integrate. One can simply state that it is not necessary to learn Swiss German... Well yes, it might not be necessary if your spouse is from the Romandie or Ticino; but, if one's spouse is from this region it would display a certain amount of interest!!
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Old 26.12.2006, 22:23
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
Ok... I guess this American thing is confusing for people. My mother *can* have Irish citizenship, I am one generation too far away / removed for that.
Ah. Your profile says "Irish American" under nationality.

Quote:
I believe that understanding dialect would be rather important in terms of gaining Swiss citizenship from abroad if a spouse is Swiss and from the Germanic part. ...

If you can understand dialect, you demonstrate an interest in the country and a desire to integrate. One can simply state that it is not necessary to learn Swiss German... Well yes, it might not be necessary if your spouse is from the Romandie or Ticino; but, if one's spouse is from this region it would display a certain amount of interest!!
I disagree, since even when I've attended integration courses for learning the language here, they've only taught high German and forbid any dialect from being spoken in the classroom.

Besides, if my spouse was from the German speaking part and we lived in the French speaking part - I'd learn French and not be quizzed on the language of my husband's local citizenship. And there aren't French and Italian dialects (to the degree that Swiss German is a dialect of German, more along the lines of American English being a dialect of English), making it simpler.

This is all really moot, however, since we are just making speculation. Hopefully someone with some knowledge of the process will be on the board and can shed some more light on the matter!
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Old 26.12.2006, 22:38
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
I disagree, since even when I've attended integration courses for learning the language here, they've only taught high German and forbid any dialect from being spoken in the classroom.

Besides, if my spouse was from the German speaking part and we lived in the French speaking part - I'd learn French and not be quizzed on the language of my husband's local citizenship. And there aren't French and Italian dialects (to the degree that Swiss German is a dialect of German, more along the lines of American English being a dialect of English), making it simpler.

This is all really moot, however, since we are just making speculation. Hopefully someone with some knowledge of the process will be on the board and can shed some more light on the matter!
I know this is just random speculation, but again: If you want to learn how to speak proper German you cannot merge it into Swiss German, hence the instructor of your class told you not to merge the two together. I am rather jealous -- the government paid for language classes? I had to fork over quite a bit (4 digits)! As I am American, I never even assumed I could look into such a thing and signed up for and paid for my own language classes.

Since I have been here, I have refused to learn Swiss German properly. Sadly, I hear only Swiss German and can now understand it. When I speak it randomly they all start to laugh because I sound as if I am Dutch; however, if I actually try to speak it seriously I apparently speak pretty well.

Now... If your spouse's family was Swiss German they would speak Swiss German, whether or not your spouse lived in Locarno or Fribourg! They would still speak Swiss German and not high German, French, or Italian as a mother tongue! It might be a little dream that families here are so flexible, but they are not. If you want to gain citizenship while living IN SWITZERLAND for a certain amount of time, *cheers*. You made it sound as is this had to deal with individuals who had a connection (i.e. a spouse) that came from Switzerland, but that did not live here. I do not plan to live here long enough for that route, hence hope another route will eventually be necessary. Also, Swiss German is a *mother tongue* for a large majority of the Swiss... So, it cannot simply be laughed off!!!
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Old 26.12.2006, 22:53
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
I know this is just random speculation, but again: If you want to learn how to speak proper German you cannot merge it into Swiss German, hence the instructor of your class told you not to merge the two together. I am rather jealous -- the government paid for language classes? I had to fork over quite a bit (4 digits)! As I am American, I never even assumed I could look into such a thing and signed up for and paid for my own language classes.
No, the government did not pay for classes. I was sent an invitation to join an integration class and the fee was on a sliding scale. There were many different types of people in the class, Brits, Colombians, Korean, Sinaporean, etc.

Quote:
Since I have been here, I have refused to learn Swiss German properly. Sadly, I hear only Swiss German and can now understand it.
Where I work, the majority of the people I work with are from Germany, and any meetings I go to that are held in German are in high German. I avoid listening to Swiss German as much as possible so as not to cloud my high German.

Quote:
Now... If your spouse's family was Swiss German they would speak Swiss German, whether or not your spouse lived in Locarno or Fribourg! They would still speak Swiss German and not high German, French, or Italian as a mother tongue! It might be a little dream that families here are so flexible, but they are not.
My husband's native language is Slovak, actually. He was born there, and his family escaped when he was a young boy in the 1970s. In their household, Slovak and high German were mostly spoken. My mother in law died a couple of years ago and my father in law moved to Spain and we don't see him very frequently. They all went through the very hard way to obtain citizenship, making even non-facilitated citizenship these days a cakewalk.

Quote:
You made it sound as is this had to deal with individuals who had a connection (i.e. a spouse) that came from Switzerland, but that did not live here. I do not plan to live here long enough for that route, hence hope another route will eventually work. Also, Swiss German is a *mother tongue* for a large majority of the Swiss... So, it cannot simply be laughed off!!!
I made it sound that way because that is what I was asking. It can be done, but I wanted to get input from someone who has been through the process and knows more about what they really mean.

Quote:
People who have close ties with Switzerland may apply for facilitated naturalisation even if they are resident abroad. In such cases, however, they must have been married to a Swiss spouse for at least six years.
source of quote

I've never laughed off swiss german. I've simply said that it is not an official language of the country. What they speak in goverment is high German, not dialect.
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Old 27.12.2006, 10:56
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

I'm going off-topic, but oh well....

To Swiss-German or not to Swiss-German....hmmm. I think people ought to lighten up.

evilshell, I think you'd be more inclined to Swiss-German if your partner were a "real" Swiss German.

I understand High German and Swiss German the same - both about 85%. I don't even pay attention anymore to which one is being spoken to me. Answering is a different story, though. I tend to speak High German because that is what I tried the hardest to learn (in a formal environment). Any mixing between H-G and S-G that comes along in my speech is totally involuntary. I have *almost* given up caring. 7.5 years here have beaten me down to settling for just being understood!
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Old 27.12.2006, 11:00
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

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Since I have been here, I have refused to learn Swiss German properly. Sadly, I hear only Swiss German and can now understand it. When I speak it randomly they all start to laugh because I sound as if I am Dutch; however, if I actually try to speak it seriously I apparently speak pretty well.
They are probably laughing because they are enchanted with your lovely accent! Most Swiss are dead-shocked when they are faced with an American who tries to speak foreign languages!

Let's keep them guessing (and laughing)!
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Old 27.12.2006, 11:34
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
I'm going off-topic, but oh well....

To Swiss-German or not to Swiss-German....hmmm. I think people ought to lighten up.

evilshell, I think you'd be more inclined to Swiss-German if your partner were a "real" Swiss German.

I understand High German and Swiss German the same - both about 85%. I don't even pay attention anymore to which one is being spoken to me. Answering is a different story, though. I tend to speak High German because that is what I tried the hardest to learn (in a formal environment). Any mixing between H-G and S-G that comes along in my speech is totally involuntary. I have *almost* given up caring. 7.5 years here have beaten me down to settling for just being understood!
Nope, not so true. Long before I met my husband, I dated a Swiss guy (who was quite Swiss) for a couple of years. I also then had no inclination to learn Swiss German, just high German.
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Old 27.12.2006, 12:04
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Just popped in and saw this thread. I am not quite sure what the question is any more but you wanted to know the process. As a foreign living spouse you apply through the Swiss consulate or Embassy. The reference to ties is actually there to allow someone who was married to a Swiss but since divorced to be able to apply for citizenship if there is a close tie to Switzerland. Be very aware that this has nothing to do with money. If you are wealthy then there is another route to Swiss citizenship and you don't need to wait a minute but that is another story...

Types of ties are really living related ie:
You have a house or business in Switzerland.
You have reason to visit regularly - family usually.
You have a legal obligation to Switzerland.


The Commune has nothing at all to do with the facilitated Naturalization, the commune of the spouse is simply allocated the task of being the home town.


If you have any questions be specific and I will answer them.
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Old 27.12.2006, 15:06
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
I am not quite sure what the question is any more but you wanted to know the process. As a foreign living spouse you apply through the Swiss consulate or Embassy. The reference to ties is actually there to allow someone who was married to a Swiss but since divorced to be able to apply for citizenship if there is a close tie to Switzerland. Be very aware that this has nothing to do with money.

Types of ties are really living related ie:
You have a house or business in Switzerland.
You have reason to visit regularly - family usually.
You have a legal obligation to Switzerland.
Thank you for popping in. Sorry it got so convoluded and drawn out up there.

The main question I had was what do they mean by "close ties". As my husband has no family left here (except for an ill second cousin that he's not particularly close to), we would be coming to visit friends and to just come "home" for vacations. Would this be sufficent for "close ties"?
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Old 27.12.2006, 17:25
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Apparently moderating an internet forum where people regularly whinge about the Swiss can count heavily against you
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Old 27.12.2006, 17:34
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
Thank you for popping in. Sorry it got so convoluded and drawn out up there.

The main question I had was what do they mean by "close ties". As my husband has no family left here (except for an ill second cousin that he's not particularly close to), we would be coming to visit friends and to just come "home" for vacations. Would this be sufficent for "close ties"?
Is your husband Swiss? If not I don't see the connection. Assuming he is and you are living in Basel then the first question is how long have you been married or do you intend to soon jaunt off to a new country? If you have been married long enough then you can apply straight off. If not then the route will be tricky. Coming back just for vacations will not wash unless he has property here in which case fine. The Swiss are noted for being rather reluctant to give away those bright red little books.

If you are wanting an accurate answer you need to provide more details otherwise it ends up just being a recital of Swiss law rather than an interpretation according to your circumstances which I guess is what you are actually looking for...
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Old 27.12.2006, 18:49
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
Is your husband Swiss? If not I don't see the connection. Assuming he is and you are living in Basel then the first question is how long have you been married or do you intend to soon jaunt off to a new country? If you have been married long enough then you can apply straight off. If not then the route will be tricky. Coming back just for vacations will not wash unless he has property here in which case fine. The Swiss are noted for being rather reluctant to give away those bright red little books.

If you are wanting an accurate answer you need to provide more details otherwise it ends up just being a recital of Swiss law rather than an interpretation according to your circumstances which I guess is what you are actually looking for...
Thanks, I'll send you a PM with the info.
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Old 29.12.2006, 17:07
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

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Apparently moderating an internet forum where people regularly whinge about the Swiss can count heavily against you
Oops! There's going to be a few in trouble then!
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Old 23.01.2007, 01:10
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Hello,

I just thought I would share my experiences with facilitated naturalization from outside Switzerland.

I applied through facilitated naturalization in 2000 through my mother (born before the law changed in 1985) and spoke a little high german during my interview. The interview included questions about my knowledge of Swiss government and economy and my "close ties" They asked me for contacts in Switzerland they could get references from. I have 6 aunts and uncles, their spouses and 20 + cousins, so that was no problem. They also asked me how often I visit, which is about once every other year. I went through the new York City consulate.

My husband has now applied for it as well (we've been married the six years.) He went through the same process, except he conducted his interview in French, as he is originally from Montreal. He used 3 of my aunts and uncles as references. We are now waiting for the final word. My process took just under 18 months, while his is going on 20 and still no word. They asked us during both our interviews not to inquire until 2 + years have elapsed. I am getting anxious and my husband actually thinks he will be turned down. Hubby is going through the Los Angeles consulate, as we have moved.

My lifelong dream has always been to move back and live there, but hubby has insisted we wait until his citizenship arrives.
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Old 23.01.2007, 06:51
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Re: Facilitated Naturalization - from *outside* Switzerland

Quote:
Hello,

I just thought I would share my experiences with facilitated naturalization from outside Switzerland.

I applied through facilitated naturalization in 2000 through my mother (born before the law changed in 1985) and spoke a little high german during my interview. The interview included questions about my knowledge of Swiss government and economy and my "close ties" They asked me for contacts in Switzerland they could get references from. I have 6 aunts and uncles, their spouses and 20 + cousins, so that was no problem. They also asked me how often I visit, which is about once every other year. I went through the new York City consulate.

My husband has now applied for it as well (we've been married the six years.) He went through the same process, except he conducted his interview in French, as he is originally from Montreal. He used 3 of my aunts and uncles as references. We are now waiting for the final word. My process took just under 18 months, while his is going on 20 and still no word. They asked us during both our interviews not to inquire until 2 + years have elapsed. I am getting anxious and my husband actually thinks he will be turned down. Hubby is going through the Los Angeles consulate, as we have moved.

My lifelong dream has always been to move back and live there, but hubby has insisted we wait until his citizenship arrives.
Your husband may be waiting a long time, then.

You're Swiss, and you're married. Your husband would be able to apply for the relatively simple process (in comparison) of facilitated citizenship after a few years residence in Switzerland. If you really want to live in Switzerland, then just go for it, and let his citizenship take a bit longer but be simpler.
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