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Old 07.02.2020, 17:19
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Visa family reunification issue

Hi,

Been lurking on the forum for a while now, first post because I think someone might have been in a similar situation before and can pitch in.

I have Belgian and Dutch Nationality.
Married my wife in 2018.
She is Russian and has been living in Belgium since early 2018 with me.
We have a son that was born early 2019, he has all 3 nationalities.

Late last year, my employer (multinational) asked me to move to the Swiss office. I accepted on the basis of a local swiss contract. Moved here 2nd January and started working. Meanwhile my employer, who has a battery of expats so should be experienced in the matter, started paperwork.
They got me temporary housing close to the office and initiated permit application.
Wife and child stayed in Belgium in the house that we own.

Meanwhile, Iíve found a permanent flat as of 1st March.
Informed my employer as it is in a neighbouring canton. They applied to transfer permit application to the new canton and suggested I go see the ďcontrŰle des habitantsĒ there to make sure all ok.

I go there, we discuss documents needed, fact that I will be moving 1st of March and then will also be bringing over furniture together with the car and family. They say they canít do anything before that date, but all looks ok.
At the end of the conversation, she mentions: oh I also think your wife needs a visa?
Me: why? She can come here on her Belgian residency permit which serves as a Schengen visa...no?
She says she is not sure and itís not their decision, but best to call the embassy.

No clear answer from Embassy. I try to ask what use a D-visa is for my wife and she agrees there is none but still thinks she needs one.

The lady in HR taking care of this stuff was out so Iíll question her on Monday but:

- anyone else been in this situation ?
- It seems odd my wife needs a visa to travel to switzerland while she can perfectly do so on her residency permit and then initiate family reunification once in Switzerland like eu-citizens would do.
- Quickly looked at paperwork if we do have to get a visa. Thatís easy, but it seems it takes 8-12 weeks in the hague and more annoyingly, they would keep her passport for all this time? Is this true?
- She has quite a lot of travel plans in the coming weeks, so she cannot afford to be without a passport that long.
- Also, she will have to move together with our son on 1st March as we rented out our place in Belgium as of that date. Iím not worried she cannot come as she can legally enter the country and stay for 90 days, itís just annoying she needs to leave her passport for potentially 3 months just to obtainna document which is absolutely useless.

Only solution if she needs this visa will be to get a second Russian passport, travel back from Switzerland to the Hague to apply when she getís back from her next trip to Russia early April, wait, go collect visa and then go to the commune and say: right, we just arrived.

Am I missing something? Or is this just incompetence from my employer that got me into this ?


N.
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Old 07.02.2020, 19:03
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

Welcome to the forum.

The answer is she can only be here on her Belgian residence permit for up to 90 days. She needs the Type D visa to be able to be here for more than 90 days, i.e. permanently.

If she has a lot of travel that needs to be done then see if she can get a second passport to use while the visa is being processed.
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Old 07.02.2020, 19:23
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

Hi - I went through a family reunification process recently and I didn't need to deposit the passport at any time. The only time she needs to send the passport is when she needs the D-visa which would be 1-2 days at the end of the 8-12 week process (I collected mine on the same day).
She can travel with her passport for the whole duration while it is being processed.
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Old 07.02.2020, 19:31
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Hi - I went through a family reunification process recently and I didn't need to deposit the passport at any time. The only time she needs to send the passport is when she needs the D-visa which would be 1-2 days at the end of the 8-12 week process (I collected mine on the same day).
She can travel with her passport for the whole duration while it is being processed.
Thatís actually quite reassuring as it solves most of the problems.
Weíll just apply, move and enter on her permit, go and get it and then continue in switzerland.
Will just cost me a flight back and forth.
Still amazed my employer would have missed this step. You didnít happen to have an eu residence permit? As that is the small detail that is different in her case.
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Old 08.02.2020, 08:33
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Welcome to the forum.

The answer is she can only be here on her Belgian residence permit for up to 90 days. She needs the Type D visa to be able to be here for more than 90 days, i.e. permanently.

If she has a lot of travel that needs to be done then see if she can get a second passport to use while the visa is being processed.
I can see that but how would that be different than if she was Belgian or for me? I can also stay for only 90 days with my Belgian Id or passport and yet donít need this type of Visa?
So it seems to me it does not make sense. I can see the utility for someone who is not European and does not have any legal means of entering the country...but in this case the Visa seems to be pointless.
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Old 08.02.2020, 08:37
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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I can see that but how would that be different than if she was Belgian or for me? I can also stay for only 90 days with my Belgian Id or passport and yet donít need this type of Visa?
So it seems to me it does not make sense. I can see the utility for someone who is not European and does not have any legal means of entering the country...but in this case the Visa seems to be pointless.
You are EU, she is not. And even if she has residency in the EU, that does not count for Switzerland, which is not EU.
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Old 08.02.2020, 08:52
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

Totally off topic to your question, sorry. Iím just interested to know how you and your son have dual/triple nationalities including Dutch? I thought the Netherlands did not allow dual citizenship? A lot of Brits living there (& Dutch living in the UK) who applied for UK/NL citizenship due Brexit, had to give the other up!
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Old 08.02.2020, 09:06
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Totally off topic to your question, sorry. I’m just interested to know how you and your son have dual/triple nationalities including Dutch? I thought the Netherlands did not allow dual citizenship? A lot of Brits living there (& Dutch living in the UK) who applied for UK/NL citizenship due Brexit, had to give the other up!
You can but basically only if you have parents with different nationalities or if your husband/wife has another nationality.

Hubby is German so I could take that nationality as well without losing the Dutch one.
Friend of mine is married to a Swiss woman, they and the kids have dual nationalities.

If you are Dutch in the UK and your partner is also Dutch and you apply for a UK passport, then you will have to give up your Dutch nationality.
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Old 08.02.2020, 09:13
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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You are EU, she is not. And even if she has residency in the EU, that does not count for Switzerland, which is not EU.
Thatís not quite accurate. Switzerland is not eu but it is schengen, which is why my wife does not need a visa to enter Switzerland regardless of her nationality but based on the fact she is a family member of a Eu citizen.

Iím sorry Iíll have to get the paper...but even the lady at the embassy agreed it is useless in our case.
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Old 08.02.2020, 09:14
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Thatís not quite accurate. Switzerland is not eu but it is schengen, which is why my wife does not need a visa to enter Switzerland regardless of her nationality but based on the fact she is a family member of a Eu citizen.

Iím sorry Iíll have to get the paper...but even the lady at the embassy agreed it is useless in our case.
She does not need a visa to stay here as a tourist, she does need a visa to enter here for residency. Different story.
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Old 08.02.2020, 09:29
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She does not need a visa to stay here as a tourist, she does need a visa to enter here for residency. Different story.
Thatís what it looks like but doesnít make it less useless.
Sheíll end up just flying back from Switzerland to pick it up.

Anyway, no one here been in this situation? Married to a non-eu partner who had eu residency permit before moving to swiss?

I will keep you updated what HR says on Monday

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Totally off topic to your question, sorry. Iím just interested to know how you and your son have dual/triple nationalities including Dutch? I thought the Netherlands did not allow dual citizenship? A lot of Brits living there (& Dutch living in the UK) who applied for UK/NL citizenship due Brexit, had to give the other up!
The dutch only allow multiple nationalities if you get it by birth (although someone below also cited marriage which I didnít know).
If you voluntary take up another citizenship of a country you reside in, youíll have to give it up.
E.g. If me or my son try to apply for Swiss citizenship one day, we would have to give up our Dutch nationality. Belgium and Russia allow multiple ones in all circumstances.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 08.02.2020 at 11:59. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 08.02.2020, 09:33
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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The dutch only allow multiple nationalities if you get it by birth (although someone below also cited marriage which I didnít know).
Not correct. You can take the nationality of your partner in addition to your Dutch nationality.
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Old 08.02.2020, 09:43
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Not correct. You can take the nationality of your partner in addition to your Dutch nationality.
Thatís what Iím saying between brackets right? Or you just wanted to disagree for the sake of it?

The question was how me and my son got to have dual/triple. That was obviously not through mariage. We get to do that because of our heritage and weíll lose it if we voluntarily take another one (except in the case of mariage as I learned from the other poster)
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Old 08.02.2020, 11:25
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Thatís what it looks like but doesnít make it less useless.
Sheíll end up just flying back from Switzerland to pick it up.

Anyway, no one here been in this situation? Married to a non-eu partner who had eu residency permit before moving to swiss?

I will keep you updated what HR says on Monday
Well, to make it less senseless to you, if she doesn't have a Type D visa she could end up "overstaying" as a tourist and that could cause problems. You don't want to end up in a situation like this

https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...t-problem.html

Whether it makes sense to you or not, it's required by Swiss law, so just get it and then you'll have no problems.
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Old 08.02.2020, 12:05
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Thatís not quite accurate. Switzerland is not eu but it is schengen, which is why my wife does not need a visa to enter Switzerland regardless of her nationality but based on the fact she is a family member of a Eu citizen.

Iím sorry Iíll have to get the paper...but even the lady at the embassy agreed it is useless in our case.
It's not useless. It's perhaps a bit silly but it's needed because it's the law. As a non-EU resident with residency in the EU, she can only come to Switzerland as a tourist.

Once she intends to move here and stay longer than 90 days, she needs the Type D visa. I'd add that since she's Russian and not from say, an OECD country, there might be more time needed for paperwork due to translation requirements, etc.

As such, I'd advise doing the paperwork properly, no matter how frustrating. It's probably better in the long run. Best of luck to you both, I understand why you're frustrated.
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Old 08.02.2020, 14:47
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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It's not useless. It's perhaps a bit silly but it's needed because it's the law. As a non-EU resident with residency in the EU, she can only come to Switzerland as a tourist.

Once she intends to move here and stay longer than 90 days, she needs the Type D visa. I'd add that since she's Russian and not from say, an OECD country, there might be more time needed for paperwork due to translation requirements, etc.

As such, I'd advise doing the paperwork properly, no matter how frustrating. It's probably better in the long run. Best of luck to you both, I understand why you're frustrated.
The strang thing is the same thing applies to me: I can also only come and stay for 90 days as a tourist.

Anyway, Iíll let you know what HR says on Monday because thatís the only thing that really frustrates me: had they told us this 2 months ago weíd already gotten it done.
No translations needed luckily, marriage certificat is in French and birth certificate of my son as well.

Would still like to hear from others in a similar situation. There must some around here.

Thx,

N.
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Old 08.02.2020, 14:49
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Well, to make it less senseless to you, if she doesn't have a Type D visa she could end up "overstaying" as a tourist and that could cause problems. You don't want to end up in a situation like this

https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...t-problem.html

Whether it makes sense to you or not, it's required by Swiss law, so just get it and then you'll have no problems.
I always wondered how my wife could possibly overstay? There is no border control so how would anyone even know when my wife entered Switzerland?
Thatís why Iíve always found the 90 days intra-schengen a strange concept. They have no idea when someone entered or left, especially not by car.
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Old 08.02.2020, 15:50
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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I always wondered how my wife could possibly overstay? There is no border control so how would anyone even know when my wife entered Switzerland?
Thatís why Iíve always found the 90 days intra-schengen a strange concept. They have no idea when someone entered or left, especially not by car.
Depends on how you get here. Passports are checked on inter-country trains and she'd have to go through the non-EU passport control at an airport and I assume would get a stamp in her passport for her entry date. Since passport is needed to register as being a resident here it's quite easy to see if she overstayed and as said in the other thread that's something they have to report to the police if they find it.
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Old 08.02.2020, 15:57
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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Depends on how you get here. Passports are checked on inter-country trains and she'd have to go through the non-EU passport control at an airport and I assume would get a stamp in her passport for her entry date. Since passport is needed to register as being a resident here it's quite easy to see if she overstayed and as said in the other thread that's something they have to report to the police if they find it.
What are you talking about? There is absolutely no passport control at any swiss airport for intra-shengen flights. Nor is there any when driving in.
My wife lives already in the shengen area for 2 years, sheís never showed a passport at any border crossing.
She will come with me on 1st March and will not have to show anything at any border so as far as the swiss are concerned she never arrived.
Weíll go back to pick up the visa when ready, then with that announce her and my son at the commune upon return and thatíll be it.
Itís the exact reason, as opposed to for non-eu who do not have a residence permit, the visa is useless in our case.
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Old 08.02.2020, 16:13
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Re: Visa family reunification issue

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What are you talking about? There is absolutely no passport control at any swiss airport for intra-shengen flights. Nor is there any when driving in.
There is around here.

Tom
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