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Old 19.03.2021, 18:58
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Family Reunification with Teens

We are applying for family reunification in 2 weeks but have been told that we will have to jump through extra hoops because my children are older and we've been married over a year. My children are from my previous marriage but we have the legal right to move them. I am American and so are my children. My husband is a Swiss citizen. We spoke to a lawyer and have no problem meeting the financial and home size requirements. The only concern seems to be my kids being older.

Has anyone applied for family reunification with teenagers who are just learning German from the US? My oldest 3 are in German classes at school but I have a 13-year-old who is too young for the only school that offers German in our area so is learning Latin at his school (not super helpful but may help him transition into French - we'd be in the canton of Bern so both French and German are seen well, according to the lawyer).

My husband thinks it'll be fine but he's also an optimist. I have a lot of anxiety about it and feel like our lives are stuck on hold until we get approval. I'd love to hear if other people have successfully moved English-speaking kids to Switzerland. My husband and I would never have considered this if we didn't think they'd integrate well. But my anxiety is with being able to show the government that they'd integrate well so that they'll approve the move.
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Old 19.03.2021, 21:54
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

I can't see why. If your husband can prove he can support you all financially and the accommodation is big enough for all of you, it should be fine.

That said, with 6 kids of the ages you specified in another thread they're all going to have to have their own bedrooms so you're looking at at least an 8 room property if not more. 7 bedrooms plus a living room at the minimum bearing in mind kitchens, bathrooms, caves, etc, aren't part of the room count for these things.
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Old 19.03.2021, 21:59
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

Would only be an issue if they were over the age of 21.
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Old 19.03.2021, 22:17
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

And before people start asking, from another of the OP's threads in January last year:

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16, 14, 13, 11, 10, and 9. They all have a lot of German vocabulary but nearly zero grammar. They have a tiny bit of Swiss German. They definitely won't be attending any private or international schools. Our goal is integration as we are moving permanently.
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Old 19.03.2021, 23:05
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

I don't know how old your kids are but if you say older teens that probably means they are past the age of mandatory schooling here. If you read some other threads about moving older kids it is usually recommended that they do international schooling unless they have been schooled in a swiss language. Be aware that if international schooling is not an option, getting into the Swiss matura (high school) steam here would be very difficult without fluency in two swiss languages and a lot of ambition. Likewise doing the trades and apprenticeship route will equally require local language skills. If the teens don't have this, it may be better for them to stay where they are and finish high school, like with a relative, rather than end up here with very few options. That may be what the authorities may question as they would not want teens who are soon to be adults with no swiss language and schooling to end up with no possibilities.
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Old 20.03.2021, 09:37
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

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That said, with 6 kids of the ages you specified in another thread they're all going to have to have their own bedroom.
This is only true for foreigners.

Her husband is Swiss so does not apply in this case.

Tom
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Old 20.03.2021, 10:25
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

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I can't see why. If your husband can prove he can support you all financially and the accommodation is big enough for all of you, it should be fine.

That said, with 6 kids of the ages you specified in another thread they're all going to have to have their own bedrooms so you're looking at at least an 8 room property if not more. 7 bedrooms plus a living room at the minimum bearing in mind kitchens, bathrooms, caves, etc, aren't part of the room count for these things.
The gender of the children isn't specified but where is it written that children of the same gender cannot share a bedroom? If there is a law, does it make a distinction between Swiss and foreigners?
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Old 20.03.2021, 10:48
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

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That said, with 6 kids of the ages you specified in another thread they're all going to have to have their own bedrooms so you're looking at at least an 8 room property if not more.
Not sure why you think that...

The rules for family reunification only specify that the living conditions must be in line with what would be normal for a Swiss family. We have had neighbours with large families (all Swiss) who have had children and young teenagers (same gender) sharing rooms. So I don't see why the rules would be any stricter for foreigners.

Here's a link to a page in English

Unfortunately the detailed pages are in the Swiss national languages, but they also do not specify that children must have their own rooms. Naturally a 2.5 room apartment would not be deemed appropriate, but a bigger apartment with larger bedrooms (2 teenagers in 10m2 would probably be deemed unacceptable) would probably be ok.

With property/rental prices here, even large Swiss families can't always affford one room per child.

Last edited by Snoopy; 20.03.2021 at 13:50. Reason: Typo
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Old 20.03.2021, 11:16
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

When signing a rental contract, max number of occupants is usually included in the rental agreement, depending on which region you will move to.

Make sure that your landlord knows that a family of 8 will be living in the apartment.
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Old 20.03.2021, 11:18
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

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This is only true for foreigners.

Her husband is Swiss so does not apply in this case.

Tom
Tiff does say the children are from a previous marriage. So perhaps the authorities are considering them as “Ausländer”.
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Old 20.03.2021, 11:41
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

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When signing a rental contract, max number of occupants is usually included in the rental agreement, depending on which region you will move to.
I've never seen that.

Alternative is to buy, and do as you wish.

Tom
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Old 20.03.2021, 12:42
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

It's standard, depending on the Canton. Vaud, Geneva usually mention max number on rental contract.

I have moved several times, all over Switzerland, and most of my rental contracts mentioned max number of occupants.

It's not uncommon to see, for example, a studio with max number of occupants = 2.
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Old 20.03.2021, 12:51
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

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It's standard, depending on the Canton. Vaud, Geneva usually mention max number on rental contract.
That's two cantons out of 26.

Tom
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Old 20.03.2021, 13:09
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

That was just an example.

Couldn't find anything on Canton Bern, though.
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Old 20.03.2021, 13:35
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Re: Family Reunification with Teens

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That was just an example.

Couldn't find anything on Canton Bern, though.
Number of occupants in the dwelling is also common on leases in the cantons where I have worked, Zurich, Zug, Lucern, Aargau, to name a few.

If you buy, no one is going to ask you how you intend to live in the property. We don't know if the OP is going to rent or buy.

A former neighbour of mine, who is in her 80s, was complaining to me one day about how much space "young people" want today. She is very proud of the fact that she raised 5 children in her very modest bungalow. Absolutely her children shared bedrooms.
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