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Old 10.01.2019, 12:29
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New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

Hello,

Somehow I've been living under a rock and have just read this:
https://lenews.ch/2019/01/04/renewal...Mp_SoPVR61GA0o

I have a C-Permit based upon my marriage to a Swiss citizen and my time spent living here. I am integrated within the community, well behaved and with gainful employment (let's hope it stays that way). Unfortunately, although I have taken numerous German courses, I've been unable to get certification. It is already a priority for me as we were hoping to apply for my citizenship soon.

My questions are:

- How often are C-Permits renewed? Apologies, I could not find information on this.
- Could I be downgraded to a B-Permit for my lack of language certification even though I am married to a Swiss? I can communicate and have a strong understanding, but am far from fluent.
- How do they determine the above?

Thanks a lot!
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  #2  
Old 10.01.2019, 13:01
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

A permit C is granted "unconditionally". A downgrade to B is only possible in a very few specific cases. Lack of language is not one.

It is "renewed" when you have to get a fresh permit card. See date on your current card.

See Art. 63 Foreign Nationals Act
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a63

Reasons are:
- Lied, made false statements, or concealed material facts when applied for permit C.
* Long prison sentence, or long institutionalizing due to a criminal conviction
See Art. 59 to 61 and Art. 64 of the Swiss Criminal Code https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a59
- unlawfully tries to obtain Swiss citizenship or has Swiss citizenship revoked because it was obtained unlawfully.
- has been extricated after a criminal conviction (See Art. 66a Swiss Criminal Code https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a66a)
* has seriously violated or represents a threat to public security and order in Switzerland or abroad or represents a threat to internal or external security
- they or a legal dependent is permanently on social welfare

After 15 years of legal stays only the two reasons marked with * are valid reasons.

Edit: Ooops I overlooked Art. 63 Abs. 2. My bad. That is the integration part, which contains language etc.
You will need spoken A2, written A1 of the local language. Art. 60 VZAE https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a60
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 10.01.2019 at 13:12.
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Old 10.01.2019, 13:14
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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A permit C is granted "unconditionally". A downgrade to B is only possible in a very few specific cases. Lack of language is not one.
So, just to be clear, is the article factually incorrect when it says the following, or is there possibly a change from what you've detailed?
Quote:
The change, decided last year, grants renewals only if certain requirements are met. These include respect for the constitution and its values, respect for public order, participation in economic life1 or education, and competency in the local language.
...
Failure to meet these requirements could result in a permit downgrade, for example from a C permit to a B permit.
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Old 10.01.2019, 13:27
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

What do you think might happen if one spouse has the language certificates but the other doesn't?

(We received our C permits many years ago, before there were formal language requirements.)

I have the certificate, OH does not. (Although he speaks functional-but-mistake-laden German in his everyday life around the village, with aplomb...)

OH is the family breadwinner and good tax payer. I am a mere Hausfrau, I would not qualifiy on my own on employment grounds.

In such a case, would we both likely lose our permits?
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Old 10.01.2019, 13:36
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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OH is the family breadwinner and good tax payer.
I´d imagine that that is one of the biggest arguments for allowing you both to keep the C permits
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Old 10.01.2019, 13:37
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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A permit C is granted "unconditionally". A downgrade to B is only possible in a very few specific cases. Lack of language is not one.

It is "renewed" when you have to get a fresh permit card. See date on your current card.

See Art. 63 Foreign Nationals Act
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a63

Reasons are:
- Lied, made false statements, or concealed material facts when applied for permit C.
* Long prison sentence, or long institutionalizing due to a criminal conviction
See Art. 59 to 61 and Art. 64 of the Swiss Criminal Code https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a59
- unlawfully tries to obtain Swiss citizenship or has Swiss citizenship revoked because it was obtained unlawfully.
- has been extricated after a criminal conviction (See Art. 66a Swiss Criminal Code https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a66a)
* has seriously violated or represents a threat to public security and order in Switzerland or abroad or represents a threat to internal or external security
- they or a legal dependent is permanently on social welfare

After 15 years of legal stays only the two reasons marked with * are valid reasons.

Edit: Ooops I overlooked Art. 63 Abs. 2. My bad. That is the integration part, which contains language etc.
You will need spoken A2, written A1 of the local language. Art. 60 VZAE https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a60
We just got our C permits renewed ( in 2019 under the new rules) and no language test was required.

I had looked into the possibility of getting the FIDE certificate but the next date for the test in Neuchâtel was the end of February and as it turns out we didn’t need it anyway. We weren’t worried about being able to get the level required and junior was excused due to his studies here but the wait for the certificate could have been a bit inconvenient.
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  #7  
Old 10.01.2019, 13:43
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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It is "renewed" when you have to get a fresh permit card. See date on your current card.
I have 1.5 years to get my certificates - time to get cracking, just in case it really will be an issue.

Hope others in the same experience can provide info on this thread as time goes on...happy for you Belgianmum that it wasn't an issue for you and your family.
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Old 10.01.2019, 13:51
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

Important:
As of writing the English version of the FNA is not up to date !!

Art. 63 Abs. 2 should be
Quote:
The permanent residence permit may be revoked and replaced by a residence permit if the integration criteria referred to in Article 58a are not met.
NOT

Quote:
The permanent residence permit of foreign nationals who have resided in Switzerland in a law-abiding manner for an uninterrupted period of more than 15 years may be revoked only on the grounds set out in paragraph 1 letter b and Article 62 paragraph 1 letter b.
which is the old wording.

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So, just to be clear, is the article factually incorrect when it says the following, or is there possibly a change from what you've detailed?
To be clear, I relied a bit too much on the English translation of the law which is not up to date. I edited the original answer.
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Old 10.01.2019, 14:20
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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Important:
As of writing the English version of the FNA is not up to date !!

Art. 63 Abs. 2 should be

Quote:
The permanent residence permit may be revoked and replaced by a residence permit if the integration criteria referred to in Article 58a are not met.
NOT


which is the old wording.


To be clear, I relied a bit too much on the English translation of the law which is not up to date. I edited the original answer.
What exactly this article 58 states? I need glasses I think, I hope you don't mind me asking.
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Old 10.01.2019, 14:33
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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I´d imagine that that is one of the biggest arguments for allowing you both to keep the C permits
Unfortunately it looks like that no longer bears weight.

Although he speaks SG certainly well enough to get along in everyday life, OH's schedule does not leave free time to do a formal language course.

We are up for renewal soon. Que sera, sera.
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Old 10.01.2019, 14:36
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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To be clear, I relied a bit too much on the English translation of the law which is not up to date. I edited the original answer.
And you often tell us never to rely on the English text when it comes to laws
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Old 10.01.2019, 14:39
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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We are up for renewal soon. Que sera, sera.
Do keep us informed please? Mine´s due in June (latest)
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Old 10.01.2019, 15:13
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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Unfortunately it looks like that no longer bears weight.

Although he speaks SG certainly well enough to get along in everyday life, OH's schedule does not leave free time to do a formal language course.

We are up for renewal soon. Que sera, sera.
But you can take the exam and get your certificates anyway, you don't need to complete a course first for that. Just be careful to pick the right (recognised) school. I think it's not impossible to schedule an examination date for say in two weeks. Well, or at least it shouldn't be impossible...but you never know here.
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Old 10.01.2019, 15:16
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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I´d imagine that that is one of the biggest arguments for allowing you both to keep the C permits
not really. you still pay tax if you work with a C, B or L permit.
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Old 10.01.2019, 15:18
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

As an aside, what is the cheapest/easiest way of getting an exam/certificate to prove this status (in Basel)? Would be nice to be able to drop-in somewhere, do a quick test and cover this off.
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Old 10.01.2019, 15:20
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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What exactly this article 58 states? I need glasses I think, I hope you don't mind me asking.
Article 58a. Looks like you indeed need reading glasses

Art. 58a FNA Integration Criterias
Quote:
1 When assessing integration, the competent authority shall take into account the following criteria:

a. respect for public safety and order;
b. respect for the values of the Federal Constitution;
c. language skills; and
d. participation in economic life or in the acquisition of education.

2 Appropriate account shall be taken of the situation of persons who, because of disability or illness or other serious personal circumstances, are unable to fulfil, or who have difficulty in fulfilling, the integration criteria referred to in paragraph 1(c) and (d).

3 The Federal Council shall determine which language skills must be available when granting and renewing a licence.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

As said, required language skill is A2 spoken, A1 written. This is a very basic requirement.

See SEM Handbook for more details https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/de/home...tegration.html
specially
https://www.sem.admin.ch/dam/data/se...egration-d.pdf
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Old 10.01.2019, 15:35
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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As an aside, what is the cheapest/easiest way of getting an exam/certificate to prove this status (in Basel)? Would be nice to be able to drop-in somewhere, do a quick test and cover this off.
TELC, Goethe, and Sprachenpass fide are recognized.

Goethe is the most versatile one as it is known worldwide. Cost is always around CHF 200

https://www.goethe.de/de/spr/kup/prf/wwt/pch.html

https://www.telc.net/pruefungsteilne...y]=Switzerland

https://www.fide-info.ch/doc/08_Spra...titutionen.pdf
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Old 10.01.2019, 15:44
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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As an aside, what is the cheapest/easiest way of getting an exam/certificate to prove this status (in Basel)? Would be nice to be able to drop-in somewhere, do a quick test and cover this off.
Most language schools will offer tests, and it should be easy to find one nearby if you are organized enough to sign up 1-2 months out. When I was looking, I never found a school that admitted to accepting drop-ins, though I did find a language school in Vienna that gives ÖSD tests on weekends and allows relatively late registration.
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Old 10.01.2019, 15:56
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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But you can take the exam and get your certificates anyway, you don't need to complete a course first for that..
OH needs a course.

He has picked up a good smattering of SG-mixed-with-the-odd-bit-of-HG on the fly, which has stood him in good stead interacting with the butcher, baker, candlestick maker. He can, and does, chat with anybody and everybody as he goes about his non-work life. A misdeclined adjective does not hinder conversation, but won't cut the mustard on the test.

Scheduling a course simply does not work with the demands of his job; OH works round the clock, travels frequently, at short notice. In the beginning he tried to take courses twice, each time work responsibilities meant he had to miss lectures, in the end he was simply flushing money down the drain.

Now is certainly not the time to ease up on the workload, a course would have to wait.

---

Worst case we get bounced down to a B, which would hopefully buy us enough time to tie up loose ends here.

As above: que sera, sera.
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Old 10.01.2019, 16:38
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Re: New Swiss law - downgrade in residence permit question

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As said, required language skill is A2 spoken, A1 written. This is a very basic requirement.
I wonder how each kanton will test this - I am hoping just with certificates (?)
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