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Old 15.01.2021, 10:19
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Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

Hello!

I am new to posting, but have found many of the threads here extremely helpful!

I am a US citizen living in the US and married to a Swiss citizen. We have been married 6 years, going on 7, and we travel to Switzerland once a year. I speak conversational French, but it is often times not grammatically correct, but I would say I understand quite fluently and can get by reasonably well as my in-laws and extended family do not speak any English! We have 2 young children, who have their Swiss passports already, and we hope to get mine so that we can all eventually move and live in Switzerland.

I applied for my citizenship in July 2020, but just received word last week that they would like to conduct my interview in a few weeks! So, I am slightly panicked and very nervous!

I have been studying any and everything that I can, but would love any insight or tips from anyone else who has done their citizenship interview outside of Switzerland. What type of questions did you have? Did they ask any Canton specific questions? How strict were they on the language requirement? In my interview letter, they stated the interview would be conducted in French, but I could answer in English if needed.

Also, has anyone in a similar situation been denied their citizenship? Based on what I've read it seems that the Facilitated Naturalization process should be quite standard as long as you show close ties with Switzerland, but I'm quite nervous about the language requirement and testing. I've read the stories of people being denied in Switzerland, but I haven't heard much from those applying from abroad.

Sorry for the long winded post!! Any insight would be so, so appreciated!
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Old 15.01.2021, 11:24
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

Know and understand the federal political system. Helpful to know the names and portfolios of the seven gnomes.

Know and understand the Cantonal political system and names of itís gnomes. Remember, you are not becoming Swiss, you are becoming a citizen of your commune and Canton of origin.

Geography. Can you name the 26 Cantons? Identify the 1/2 cantons, although they donít call them that any more. The highest point (trick question, not the highest mountain); the largest lake wholly within Switzerland; neighbouring countries? What is the RŲstigrabend?

They will likely ask you why you want to become Swiss, be prepared.

Each Canton has information on their websites about the interview and possible questions.
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Old 15.01.2021, 14:18
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

Not sure if you get access to the RTS replays from abroad but look for the "La fabrique des Suisses" documentary series that was aired recently
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Old 15.01.2021, 19:49
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

I spoke only English and the interviewer only German. I gave her the choice of either German or French, and she was impressed that I could understand both very well, while she could only speak German.

The questions as mentioned by bowlie - plus the current acting pres, and definitely some history and some economic issues (EU, etc).

Know, and especially accept, that once you take pass this test, it will take about a year or so (1.5) of processing, time when no one will tell you anything about where in the process your application is, and don't bother with calling. It's like the black hole. Just trust the system, it works.
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Old 15.01.2021, 22:29
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

Since the new citizenship law came into force, they've standardised the questions to be asked, at least here in the French region. See here the link to Canton Vaud questions, one with answers, other not.

https://www.vd.ch/themes/population/...aturalisation/

Now, caveat is, don't know if they use the same standard questions for facilitated and also for those abroad. But at least it gives an idea. Under normal naturalisation in VD before new law came into force there were indeed some canton specific questions. If VD is not the canton of your spouse, check the naturalisation page of the relevant canton and they should have the same info.
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Old 17.01.2021, 23:50
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

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Know and understand the federal political system. Helpful to know the names and portfolios of the seven gnomes.

Know and understand the Cantonal political system and names of itís gnomes.
I agree with the being familiar with the federal system. But does anyone have any evidence of Naturalization Interviews abroad requiring knowledge of Cantonal politics? That's the first I've heard of that in scouring these boards.
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Old 18.01.2021, 07:55
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

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I agree with the being familiar with the federal system. But does anyone have any evidence of Naturalization Interviews abroad requiring knowledge of Cantonal politics? That's the first I've heard of that in scouring these boards.
Not Cantonal politics but the system.
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Old 18.01.2021, 09:12
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

I know of two people who had their interviews abroad. It sounded like their interviews were fairly comprehensive and detailed. Neither were given any reading material beforehand, so they had to do a lot of research on their own. The interviews were also conducted in German to test their language skills.
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Old 18.01.2021, 09:58
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

Hello! Thank you to all that have replied as it has all been extremely helpful! My interview will be at the San Francisco consulate, and they did send me a list of websites to reference but there was no mention of any cantonal politics. My husband is from Canton Vaud, so I am using their questionnaire as a study guide. I also did watch the RTS documentary mentioned below and I found it really fascinating. My stress level is still quite high, but it did help to see the process in such detail!

I also intend to answer as much as possible in French, but I am by no means a fluent French speaker. However, Iím hoping my trying to do so shows my intent and drive to become a Suissesse!
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Old 17.01.2021, 22:15
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

I know the original poster was french speaking, but here is an example of how Kt Luzern treats the process. Might help others that are German speaking to get an idea.

https://gemeinden.lu.ch/Einbuergerun..._einbuergerung

Link to the 100 questions PDF for Luzern:
https://gemeinden.lu.ch/-/media/Geme...n.pdf?la=de-CH

This is definitely the process for those living in Kanton Luzern, again like the earlier poster, don't know if it applies to those living outside Switzerland.
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Old 17.01.2021, 23:51
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

OP — where is your interview in the US? Which Consulate?
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Old 19.02.2021, 14:28
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

Tamzee thank you for posting your experience. I am at the beginning of the process. Due to COVID things have been held up. I will be going to through as yours my wife is from Bern.

I have a couple of questions about the language requirement. You said you speak spotty French. Is that A1 or A2 level? I have working on my French language skills reading, writing, speaking. I have taken in the past so it is easier for me than German.

I hope you post how everything turned out for you.

Thank you!
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Old 24.02.2021, 10:13
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

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Tamzee thank you for posting your experience. I am at the beginning of the process. Due to COVID things have been held up. I will be going to through as yours my wife is from Bern.

I have a couple of questions about the language requirement. You said you speak spotty French. Is that A1 or A2 level? I have working on my French language skills reading, writing, speaking. I have taken in the past so it is easier for me than German.

I hope you post how everything turned out for you.

Thank you!
Hello! I am not sure what level my French is unfortunately since I have never taken any formal courses. I have learned by speaking with my husband and his family, since the only way we can communicate is in French! I would say that in general conversation, I am pretty comfortable getting my point across, but my grammar is a bit off. I generally understand most conversations in French, but I did find that it helped to watch videos on youtube covering Swiss history, geography and politics to help familiarize my ear to those types of terms and vocabulary. Simply because those aren't topics I hear on a daily basis.

Wishing you the best of luck, and feel free to ask any other questions you may have!
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Old 01.03.2021, 17:44
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

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Hello! I am not sure what level my French is unfortunately since I have never taken any formal courses. I have learned by speaking with my husband and his family, since the only way we can communicate is in French! I would say that in general conversation, I am pretty comfortable getting my point across, but my grammar is a bit off. I generally understand most conversations in French, but I did find that it helped to watch videos on youtube covering Swiss history, geography and politics to help familiarize my ear to those types of terms and vocabulary. Simply because those aren't topics I hear on a daily basis.

Wishing you the best of luck, and feel free to ask any other questions you may have!
Thank you tamzee. This is very helpful.
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Old 14.03.2021, 10:48
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Re: Any tips for a Citizenship Interview Abroad!

Hello everyone! I just wanted to post an update for timeline purposes! So I had my interview approx 6 weeks ago. A few of my references received notices recently to answer some questions from SEM. I guess thatís progress! 😉
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