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Old 14.10.2020, 12:54
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My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Hello all,


I've recently read that the canton of Zurich is implementing new rules on the path to citizenship to ensure that the process is more standardized and less subjective. So, I thought I'd share my recent interview experience to give folks a sense of how it is right now (2020). I know from experience that when preparing for the citizenship interview, the more stories you can gather from others, the better!

Firstly, it is important to understand that applications for facilitated naturalization, unlike regular naturalization, are evaluated by the federal government (der Bund), and not by the Gemeinde. So the person interviewing you will not be making the final decision, but will merely be gathering information to pass on to the federal migration bureau (SEM).

Here's how it went down for me:
  • May 2019: Submitted facilitated citizenship application to SEM. Got two letters from them over the n ext year or so, requesting more documents. Otherwise heard nothing.
  • Sept 2020: Got an e-mail inviting me for an interview in 2 weeks' time at Zurich city hall. Attached to the e-mail was a 30-page brochure with basic information about Switzerland only (no specific info about the city or canton of Zurich). The e-mail also stated that I had "fulfilled the language requirements" (presumably because I had entered German as my mother tongue in my application, I guess?).
  • Oct 2020: The interview was conducted in a small office with one person. Language used was German.
    • The first part of the interview, to my surprise, was a written test, for which I was given 20 minutes. The test had 30 questions: 10 multiple choice, 10 true/false, 10 short open-answer questions. The questions were pretty easy, since all of the answers would have been in that brochure they had sent me. Questions like: "In what year was Switzerland founded?" "Which of the following mountains is not in Switzerland: a, b or c?" "Men and women have equal rights in Switzerland, true or false?" "Name the canton where the Rheinfall is located." "Name a half-canton." "Name a typical Swiss dish." etc. When I finished the test, the interviewer quickly scored it and told me my score. (29/30! )
    • The second part of the interview was a discussion, in which the interviewer asked me about my connection to Swiss culture: Do I have Swiss friends? Am I in any clubs or other groups? What do my partner and I do in our free time? Do we attend any cultural events? The interviewer wrote down key points from my responses. He explained that he would be sending this to the SEM to help them make their decision.
Overall, the whole thing probably lasted 30 minutes. The interviewer was friendly, and the atmosphere was quite casual.

I was told at the end of the interview that SEM would be contacting me in a month or two with their response. I also heard from a friend who recently did the exact same process that he got several very dry letters from SEM after his interview, containing a lot of legalese along with instructions on how to get his passport or some such. He never really received an official "congratulations, you're Swiss!" letter, which annoyed him since it was all so anticlimactic. I think a lot of us want that moment of victory, a reason to throw a party! But in times of Covid, I guess it's just as well to get a dry letter from some bureaucrats instead.


Anyway, will update once I hear back from SEM!
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Old 14.10.2020, 13:04
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

I went through this outside of Covid times.... they basically just sent me a bill as my “You’re Swiss” confirmation
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Old 15.10.2020, 10:41
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.
Any chance you could share that guide that your received by mail?
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Old 21.10.2020, 20:20
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Thanks a lot for sharing!!
I sent my application 3 weeks ago and I have no news yet. To my understanding they should send a letter to confirm they received the documents and the bill, and the process actually starts after the fee is payed. Do you remember how long it took for you to get this confirmation letter?
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Old 22.10.2020, 17:10
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Several people give timelines on this thread
https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...xperience.html
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Old 22.10.2020, 17:42
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Quote:
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Thanks a lot for sharing!!
I sent my application 3 weeks ago and I have no news yet. To my understanding they should send a letter to confirm they received the documents and the bill, and the process actually starts after the fee is payed. Do you remember how long it took for you to get this confirmation letter?
I heard absolutely nothing for 6 months.... they sent the bill at the end.
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Old 23.10.2020, 08:35
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

thank you!!
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Old 12.01.2021, 14:08
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Hi JulesMng, any news since your interview?
Cheers and bleib gesund!
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