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Old 12.04.2021, 20:35
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C Permit Language

Hi everybody,

Help me please figure out this situation.

A Spanish individual moved to live in Canton Zug, in posses of permit B, after 5 years, would like to obtain a C permit. One of the requirements is the knowledge of the Swiss German language. The individual doesn't know this language, but do speak Italian.
Now, is it still possible to obtain the C permit, in Canton Zug, knowing one of the official Switzerland languages, Italian, even though it's not the official Canton's language?
If it's not possible, what can be done? Taking residence in Ticino and then come back? Are there any restrictions, like a minimum time of being resident before/ after?
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  #2  
Old 12.04.2021, 20:41
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Re: C Permit Language

Spain is one of the 11 EU/EEA countries that have a settlement agreement with Switzerland giving their citizens a right to a C permit after 5 years residence. They do not need to prove their language skills for that. So if they have already completed 5 years they should just go and ask their cantonal migration office for a C permit. They'll need to submit the usual docs like the debt register certificate and (no) Sozialhilfe confirmation, but the authorities cannot require a language certificate from them.

For details see here, especially the last paragraph of 4.1.2:

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Aus den Niederlassungsvereinbarungen lässt sich nach einem ordnungsgemässen und ununterbrochenen Aufenthalt von fünf Jahren ein Anspruch auf Erteilung der Niederlassungsbewilligung ableiten. Das heisst, dass Angehörige eines Staates, mit welchem die Schweiz eine Niederlassungsvereinbarung abgeschlossen hat, die Voraussetzungen aus Ziffer 3.2. erfüllen müssen. Einen Sprachnachweis haben sie aber nicht zu erbringen.
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  #3  
Old 12.04.2021, 22:35
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Re: C Permit Language

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Spain is one of the 11 EU/EEA countries that have a settlement agreement with Switzerland giving their citizens a right to a C permit after 5 years residence. They do not need to prove their language skills for that. So if they have already completed 5 years they should just go and ask their cantonal migration office for a C permit. They'll need to submit the usual docs like the debt register certificate and (no) Sozialhilfe confirmation, but the authorities cannot require a language certificate from them.

For details see here, especially the last paragraph of 4.1.2:
It's interesting that the federal legal summary on integration requirements doesn't mention this:

https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2007/758/en#art_34

But it is referenced in the various underlying documents (e.g. BBl 2013 2397, 2016 2821). The Zug website also doesn't mention it, they just reference the federal law.

It's a shame the Zurich document doesn't give the full reference for the EU law.
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Old 12.04.2021, 23:05
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Re: C Permit Language

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It's interesting that the federal legal summary on integration requirements doesn't mention this:

https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2007/758/en#art_34

But it is referenced in the various underlying documents (e.g. BBl 2013 2397, 2016 2821). The Zug website also doesn't mention it, they just reference the federal law.

It's a shame the Zurich document doesn't give the full reference for the EU law.
I don't think it's particularly surprising since these are international agreements overriding federal law. You won't find any reference to the FMOP agreement governing EU L and B permits in AIG, too

The Spain-Switzerland bilateral settlement agreement is based on SR 0.142.113.328.1.

The granting of C permits without the language skill requirements is spelled out in the federal (SEM) AIG guidebook, section "0.2.1.3.2 Niederlassungsvereinbarungen". In particular it says:

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Trotz des unterschiedlichen Wortlautes gehen sämtliche bestehenden Niederlassungsvereinbarungen bezüglich der Erteilung der Niederlassungsbewilligung dem nationalen Recht vor. Staatsangehörige dieser Vertragsstaaten erhalten nach einem ordnungsgemässen und ununterbrochenen Aufenthalt von fünf Jahren (statt zehn Jahren) eine Niederlassungsbewilligung (Ziff. 3.5.2.1). Bei der Erteilung der Niederlassungsbewilligung sind die Integrationskriterien (Art. 58a Abs. 1 AIG; Ziff. 3.3.1) nur massgebend, wenn sie einen Widerruf der Niederlassungsbewilligung rechtfertigen würden. Nicht ausreichende Sprachkompetenzen allein rechtfertigen den Widerruf nicht.
TL;DR Citizens of those states get a C permit after 5 years, period. The integration requirements re: the citizens of the privileged states only apply if the lack of integration would justify revoking an existing C permit. Just now knowing the language is explicitly stated as not enough for revocation.

Last edited by NichtsBesonders; 12.04.2021 at 23:24.
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Old 13.04.2021, 08:30
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Re: C Permit Language

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One of the requirements is the knowledge of the Swiss German language.
Point of accuracy. Where there is a requirement it's for German. Not Swiss German.
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Old 14.04.2021, 11:57
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Re: C Permit Language

Thanks everybody for clarification. I didn't expect such news, even better than I have anticipated.
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Old 04.05.2021, 10:54
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Re: C Permit Language

Dear @NichtsBesonders, following your post on language for a C Permit. I'm an Italian/ Brazilian leaving in ZH.

I went to the Gemeinde in the village I live yesterday to consult on my C Permit and I was surprised with the reply. I don't speak German and I was informed that this would be expected as I submit my C Permit application and will be informed to the Kantonal authorities.

On this context, my questions are:
a) Can I get the C permit, in ZH even though I don't speak German, as an Italian?
b) As I understand is a "YES" for the question above, is there any risk of not getting the C Permit randomly because the authorities use any loophole not to give me the C permit on the bases I don't speak

I felt a bit intimidated by the approach and would like to know better.

Thanks.
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Old 04.05.2021, 11:18
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Re: C Permit Language

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Dear @NichtsBesonders, following your post on language for a C Permit. I'm an Italian/ Brazilian leaving in ZH.

I went to the Gemeinde in the village I live yesterday to consult on my C Permit and I was surprised with the reply. I don't speak German and I was informed that this would be expected as I submit my C Permit application and will be informed to the Kantonal authorities.

On this context, my questions are:
a) Can I get the C permit, in ZH even though I don't speak German, as an Italian?
b) As I understand is a "YES" for the question above, is there any risk of not getting the C Permit randomly because the authorities use any loophole not to give me the C permit on the bases I don't speak

I felt a bit intimidated by the approach and would like to know better.

Thanks.
As said citizens of the following countries are exempt from the language requirement.

Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Liechtenstein, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Spain.

Bear in mind that gemeindes and sometimes even the cantonal authorities are not correct regarding the law.

Do you have an Italian passport to show them though? If they think you're just Brazilian then yes, they're going to insist on a language certificate from you.
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Old 04.05.2021, 11:50
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Re: C Permit Language

Also, is Italian your mother tongue?
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Old 04.05.2021, 12:01
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Re: C Permit Language

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Also, is Italian your mother tongue?
Does it matter? Take into account that the bottom 50% of native speakers of any language speak and write that bad that they would fail a native language test.
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Old 04.05.2021, 14:05
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Re: C Permit Language

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Does it matter? Take into account that the bottom 50% of native speakers of any language speak and write that bad that they would fail a native language test.
I was asking because, if he has Italian passport but does not speak the language, maybe Canton could argue that he does not speak a national language?
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Old 04.05.2021, 14:12
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Re: C Permit Language

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I was asking because, if he has Italian passport but does not speak the language, maybe Canton could argue that he does not speak a national language?
Maybe let's get back to the topic and forget about language skills of native speakers

From Swiss EDA feb 2021 https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf

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10. Is proof of language skills required when granting a permanent residence permit to persons from countries that have concluded an agreement with Switzerland on permanent residence?

Some countries have an agreement with Switzerland meaning that their citizens do not have to prove their language skills to obtain a permanent residence permit. This applies to citizens of: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Liechtenstein.15 A citizen of a country with which Switzerland has not concluded a residence agreement must provide proof of their language skills as required by the Foreign Nationals Act and by the ordinance (ASEO).
I assume Italian passport = Italian citizenship. Or, could there be another case?
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Old 04.05.2021, 14:40
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Re: C Permit Language

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As said citizens of the following countries are exempt from the language requirement.

Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Liechtenstein, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Spain.
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I was asking because, if he has Italian passport but does not speak the language, maybe Canton could argue that he does not speak a national language?
It has nothing to do with speaking a National language. Look at the list of exempt countries. Greek isn’t a language of Switzerland.

Last edited by Island Monkey; 04.05.2021 at 14:51.
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Old 04.05.2021, 14:49
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Re: C Permit Language

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It has nothing to go with speaking a National language. Look at the list of exempt countries. Greek isn’t a language of Switzerland.
Nor are Danish, Dutch, Spanish or Portuguese.

However, this only applies if you have been living here via your Italian citizenship.

Tom
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Old 04.05.2021, 15:41
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Re: C Permit Language

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I felt a bit intimidated by the approach and would like to know better.
Don't be intimidated, the clerks at gemeinde offices are often clueless about immigration matters and they aren't expected to know much, they only push papers between you and the cantonal migration office and don't decide anything.
I assume you're living here on a EU permit due to your Italian citizenship (since that's much easier than to get a permit for a Brazilian one). In that case don't worry, some time before the end of your fifth year in Switzerland the cantonal migration office will contact you with a request to submit some documents for your C permit. They're obliged to automatically start processing C permits for people from the privileged country list (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Liechtenstein) as soon as their 5 years come up.
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Old 04.05.2021, 16:48
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Re: C Permit Language

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Don't be intimidated, the clerks at gemeinde offices are often clueless about immigration matters and they aren't expected to know much, they only push papers between you and the cantonal migration office and don't decide anything.
I assume you're living here on a EU permit due to your Italian citizenship (since that's much easier than to get a permit for a Brazilian one). In that case don't worry, some time before the end of your fifth year in Switzerland the cantonal migration office will contact you with a request to submit some documents for your C permit. They're obliged to automatically start processing C permits for people from the privileged country list (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Liechtenstein) as soon as their 5 years come up.
Hi NichtsBesonders,

Thanks! Very clear.

When I moved to CH (5 years ago) I entered as a Brazilian, and was granted a B Permit. One year afterwards I got my Italian citizenship (and passport) and informed the cantonal authorities accordingly. So, from the 5 years I've been here I had 1 as Brazilian and 4 as italian.
I'm assuming I can now, as of June when I complete 5 years in total I can apply but nobody has confirmed this hence why I want to set the appointments to do so.
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Old 04.05.2021, 16:49
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Re: C Permit Language

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Maybe let's get back to the topic and forget about language skills of native speakers

From Swiss EDA feb 2021 https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf



I assume Italian passport = Italian citizenship. Or, could there be another case?
It is a citizenship =0)
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Old 04.05.2021, 17:14
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Re: C Permit Language

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I'm assuming I can now, as of June when I complete 5 years in total I can apply but nobody has confirmed this hence why I want to set the appointments to do so.
It's possible that they won't count your 1 year as a Brazilian because the agreements about C permits in 5 years might technically require you to reside here as an IT citizen for 5 years (and looks like you weren't even Italian for 5 years yet).
But anyway, it should be a piece of cake in a years' time at most.
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Old 06.05.2021, 12:28
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Re: C Permit Language

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some time before the end of your fifth year in Switzerland the cantonal migration office will contact you with a request to submit some documents for your C permit
I (Italian in Zurich) received a letter inviting me to renew my B permit. When booking an appointment at the phone I've been told that the upgrade to C must be requested on site when presenting the documents.
Does not change much, just what to expect in the envelope
I have friends who say they were automatically given the C a few years ago, maybe they recently made it optional - altough one still has the right to obtain it under the same requirements.

My B expires in May and I got the letter at the end of April. I suppose the letter for Garrotte will be sent out in May.
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Old 06.05.2021, 12:47
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Re: C Permit Language

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I (Italian in Zurich) received a letter inviting me to renew my B permit. When booking an appointment at the phone I've been told that the upgrade to C must be requested on site when presenting the documents.
Well, looks like the clerk you spoke too had violated the federal guidelines (see 6.2.4.1 and the reference therein to this federal court verdict (DTF 128 II 145)).
That particular case was about a spouse of a Swiss national but the gist is that the immigration office must initiate C permit proceedings on its own if the person has a legal right to it (which one has after e.g. marrying a Swiss national or spending 5 years in CH as an Italian etc. )

Oh well, I guess every office everywhere has a poorly trained clerk sometimes
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