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Old 14.10.2020, 11:54
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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, 12:04
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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, 09:41
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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, 19:20
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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, 16:10
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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, 16:42
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

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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, 07:35
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

thank you!!
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Old 12.01.2021, 13:08
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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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Old 19.01.2021, 15:59
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Hey all,


Quick update: about 2 months after the interview, I received a letter simply stating that the City of Zurich had forwarded my interview results to the SEM, and that the SEM would need some time to review it and make their decision. The letter thanked me in advance for my patience... so I guess it's gonna be a while longer!


@Island Monkey: I think the original confirmation letter came in several months after I submitted my full application. The summary of my experience so far: everything has taken longer than expected.
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Old 19.01.2021, 16:06
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

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Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.
Any chance you could share that guide that your received by mail?

I looked for the Brochure online - I couldn't find the exact same version, HOWEVER I did find this longer brochure, the first half of which is basically identical to what I was given. The only difference is that my brochure did NOT include details about the Kanton or City of Zurich - it was strictly national information (because, again, facilitated naturalisation is evaluated by the Bund, not by the Gemeinde).


Hope this helps!
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Old 24.01.2021, 12:09
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

I produced a set of Flashcards from it, here: https://chegg-prep.app.link/?%24iden...YxM2I5Y2Y1OSJ9
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:33
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Wow amazing thank you so much! Now to translate into French...
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:50
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

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Wow amazing thank you so much! Now to translate into French...
For canton Vaud you can find the questions and answers here:
https://www.vd.ch/themes/population/...aturalisation/
Most of them are generic Swiss and useful for other cantons as well.
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Old 26.01.2021, 18:53
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Saw those on another thread — thank you!
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Old 26.01.2021, 19:43
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

I'm still astonished that OP had to take a written test for facilitated naturalization. It hasn't been that long ago since I naturalized, and I wasn't aware that the federal level had instituted a testing regime for facilitated naturalization since.
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Old 20.02.2021, 18:04
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

Hi,
Thanks everyone for your insights . I have also applied a few month ago and recently got Einbürgerungsgebühr (1600CHF). Do you know if it means anything to receive this bill?

Good luck to everyone
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Old 26.03.2021, 10:27
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Re: My facilitated naturalisation interview, Zurich 2020 (erleichterte Einbürgerung)

UPDATE March 2021:
I am now a Swiss citizen!

In February, about 4 months after my interview/test, I received a letter from SEM stating that my citizenship was tentatively accepted, and that there would be a 30-day period for objections. (Quote: "Die Bundesbehörde hat Ihr Gesuch gutgeheissen. Gegen diese Verfügung können die zuständigen kantonalen und kommunalen Behörden innert 30 Tagen Beschwerde erheben. Geht keine Beschwerde ein, werden wir Sie in spätestens drei Montaen schriftlich über den definifen Charakter der erleichterten Einbürgerung informieren.") 6 weeks later I got another letter officially confirming my citizenship! It also officially assigned me to the same "Heimatort" as my husband. (The whole "Heimatort" thing is weird. In our case it's a tiny village in canton Bern that neither of us have ever been to! But that's for another thread.)

So the full timeline was as follows:
  • May 2019: Submitted application
  • Sept 2020: Got an e-mail inviting me for an interview
  • Oct 2020: Did interview/written test at Zurich city hall
  • December 2020: Received letter that SEM was evaluating my case
  • February 2021: Received letter that citizenship was provisionally accepted, with a 30-day period for objections
  • March 2021: Received letter confirming my citizenship!

All in all, it took just under 2 years.
The next hurdle will be getting the actual passport and ID card! I've just registered for both online and will update here once I get them.

xo

Last edited by JulesMng; 26.03.2021 at 10:42.
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