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  #41  
Old 05.12.2022, 13:56
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

Not the same situation, but I had a friend who had to prove he had enough money to support himself. Instead of naming sponsors, he got his parents to transfer a large sum to his bank account, showed the statements to the authorities, then returned the money. Maybe your brother or parents could do similar for you?
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  #42  
Old 05.12.2022, 15:00
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

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Not the same situation, but I had a friend who had to prove he had enough money to support himself. Instead of naming sponsors, he got his parents to transfer a large sum to his bank account, showed the statements to the authorities, then returned the money. Maybe your brother or parents could do similar for you?
Thank you for the idea. But the problem here is that I get money for my education (bourse) so I believe if they see that I have enough money on my bank then my bourse kind of becomes illegal for me..
Can I put money on my account and explain to them that it’s my husband’s money in order to prove financial means you think?

Thank you again for all your help
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  #43  
Old 08.12.2022, 17:31
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

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Thank you for the idea. But the problem here is that I get money for my education (bourse) so I believe if they see that I have enough money on my bank then my bourse kind of becomes illegal for me..
In that case, you should not risk anything that will upset your stipendium/bourse. Unless, of course, you are, in reality, sufficiently wealthy (somewhere else) and are thereby not actually entitled to that money for your education, in the first place.

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He can support himself. Him and his family is financially stable. And can manage to live in Switzerland until he gets a job.
This is the part that the Swiss authorities are going to look at: "until he gets a job". First of all, that "until" is not quantifiable in advance, and it could end up being a long time. Many immigrants, even well-qualified people with a good command of the local languages, find that it takes much, much longer to find work in Switzerland than they had first expected, sometimes not just weeks or months but even years. Secondly, permits granted under "family reunification" do not automatically grant the incoming spouse permission to work, at all. Sometimes the permit is only to live here, and sometimes it also permits employment.

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Can I put money on my account and explain to them that it’s my husband’s money in order to prove financial means you think?
No. I think that if it is in your account, that means it belongs to you.

The fact of the matter is that you cannot afford to support your husband. Therefore, your application is likely to be turned down.
Therefore, however, you have nothing to lose by adding all the kinds of extra documentation of support that you can muster:
  • your husband's own bank account with money
  • a guarantee from his family, and their bank account statements reflecting their regular income
  • a guarantee from your brother, with his bank account statements reflecting his regular income.
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  #44  
Old 14.12.2022, 01:45
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

Just an update on this process for anyone who might follow in my footsteps. When I make a meaningful milestone I'll add an 'edit' to my top post so it's not buried in these comments. But until then..


- Regarding my visa, the San Francisco Swiss Consulate told me to submit an application for a D (long-stay) Visa (link). This form required getting four passport photos ($20 at AAA), as well as submitting photocopies of my US passport and my Swiss spouse's passport. The visa fee is waived for spouses of Swiss nationals so I didn't have to remit any fee for this visa.

- Regarding registering our marriage, the San Francisco Consulate made us submit:
  • a recently-certified copy of my birth certificate. This can be done in person but only by the person whose name appears on the birth certificate; or, it can be done by mail and requires submitting a notarized request form. This cost me about $50 in total, and amazingly took only 5 days between the time I mailed my request, and received the birth certificate, which was astonishing.
  • a recently-certified copy of my divorce decree from my previous marriage. This must be requested from the family law records department at the courthouse at which the divorce was recorded. Note that a divorce judgement is a little two-page thing, and is not the same as the divorce decree that the consulate requires. The decree included my 25-page marital settlement agreement (at 50 cents per page) and other really private things about my divorce that I wasn't thrilled to share with the consulate and with the Swiss government. The decree can take 4-6 weeks if done by mail, but anyone can show up in person and get it same-day. I had my brother, who happens to live near the courthouse where the divorce paperwork was recorded, acquire a certified copy in person and mail it to me. The certified decree was around $50.
  • An additional declaration form (notarized) that I really did divorce my wife, and on what date
  • A marriage registration form that my spouse and I had to sign
  • a recently certified marriage license
  • Photocopies of my US passport, and my spouse's American and Swiss passports

- Regarding my residence permit, communicating (in German) to the Canton Zurich Migration Office, we were informed that I get the D Visa from my local consulate (per above), and once we arrive in Switzerland, we go to the municapality to register our move with them, and to get me a Residence Permit. So it is not possible that I can begin the process of acquiring a residence permit from abroad. This office also confusingly said we can submit an application for my D Visa to them, which I am not going to do because I think that will only confuse things, as I have already submitted D Visa application to the San Francisco Consulate.

- Regarding the financial sitaution, where my wife is not employed (but will be seeking work as an architect as soon as we arrive) and my being under the official "retired" age of 55, yet earning a livable income from investments and other non-employment things, and therefore not seeking employment. We were told by a tax & estate law attorney in Zurich (whom I had to retain for review of a complicated trust / tax thing) that, "As a Swiss citizen your wife can move to Switzerland without any problem and you as [her] spouse simply follow. There is not need to demonstrate a lot of funds. " We will see about this.

- Regarding the langauge competency: Per the the D Visa Proof of langauge skills for family reunification requirement (link), A1 language competency is required, "in the language spoken at the future place of residence" or confirmation of enrollment in a language course that will allow this level to be acquired. Spouses of Swiss and EU/EFTA nationals are exempt from the proof of language competency requirement. The San Francisco consulate confirms this to be true. So, in my case, I am exempt from this requirement. (Although I am A2 competent in Italian, and have enrolled in intensive German A1 language courses that start a month after I arrive).


Hope this is useful to someone. More later.
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  #45  
Old 15.12.2022, 15:58
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

Thank you for all the replies and @goffredo's update. I will let you guys know more about my situation soon when I'll have any progress.
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  #46  
Old 16.12.2022, 00:05
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

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Secondly, permits granted under "family reunification" do not automatically grant the incoming spouse permission to work, at all. Sometimes the permit is only to live here, and sometimes it also permits employment.
Just to correct this info, spouses of Swiss citizens are absolutely entitled to work in Switzerland without restriction, that's very clearly stated in the law. Spouses of EU/EEA nationals also have a right to work without restriction, even if the spouse with the main permit holder isn't themselves here with a work permit.

Only spouses of non-EU main permit holders need an authorisation before they can take up employment, and even then, the Confederation chooses not to enforce that article fully and in practice only applies it to L-permit holders, and permission to work is fairly easy to get, you just need to be qualified for the job, the conditions must be within the standards for the field (no cheap-labour) and the employer applies for it for a small fee (or even free in some cantons).
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  #47  
Old 16.12.2022, 11:29
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

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Just to correct this info, spouses of Swiss citizens are absolutely entitled to work in Switzerland without restriction, that's very clearly stated in the law. Spouses of EU/EEA nationals also have a right to work without restriction, even if the spouse with the main permit holder isn't themselves here with a work permit.

Only spouses of non-EU main permit holders need an authorisation before they can take up employment, and even then, the Confederation chooses not to enforce that article fully and in practice only applies it to L-permit holders, and permission to work is fairly easy to get, you just need to be qualified for the job, the conditions must be within the standards for the field (no cheap-labour) and the employer applies for it for a small fee (or even free in some cantons).

Hello, I totally agree with you. I have read the law couple of times and it is definitely very clearly written. As well as my mother is non eu but she had the permission to work right after she came here.

thank you for your input.
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  #48  
Old 20.01.2023, 11:37
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

Hello,

Just wanted to give an update. I received a mail from service de population who were handling my husband's visa application. They told me that they don't require any proof of financial stability from me. I don't know if it is because of my swiss nationality. I don't see any other reason. And also I believe it may defer canton to canton.
(FYI I have sent my husband's CV with his application to show that he'll probably be able to find a job once he's here)

Thank you everyone for your help. I will update you with more information once I hear back from them.
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  #49  
Old 19.03.2023, 22:00
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

OP here, just wanted to post another update. As I don't seem to have permission to edit my original post to summarize the following, I will just tack it on here.

Here's the mess of paperwork we had already submitted on December 12, 2022 to the Swiss Consulate in San Francsico:

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- Regarding my visa, the San Francisco Swiss Consulate told me to submit an application for a D (long-stay) Visa (link). This form required getting four passport photos ($20 at AAA), as well as submitting photocopies of my US passport and my Swiss spouse's passport. The visa fee is waived for spouses of Swiss nationals so I didn't have to remit any fee for this visa.

- Regarding registering our marriage, the San Francisco Consulate made us submit:
  • a recently-certified copy of my birth certificate. This can be done in person but only by the person whose name appears on the birth certificate; or, it can be done by mail and requires submitting a notarized request form. This cost me about $50 in total, and amazingly took only 5 days between the time I mailed my request, and received the birth certificate, which was astonishing.
  • a recently-certified copy of my divorce decree from my previous marriage. This must be requested from the family law records department at the courthouse at which the divorce was recorded. Note that a divorce judgement is a little two-page thing, and is not the same as the divorce decree that the consulate requires. The decree included my 25-page marital settlement agreement (at 50 cents per page) and other really private things about my divorce that I wasn't thrilled to share with the consulate and with the Swiss government. The decree can take 4-6 weeks if done by mail, but anyone can show up in person and get it same-day. I had my brother, who happens to live near the courthouse where the divorce paperwork was recorded, acquire a certified copy in person and mail it to me. The certified decree was around $50.
  • An additional declaration form (notarized) that I really did divorce my wife, and on what date
  • A marriage registration form that my spouse and I had to sign
  • a recently certified marriage license
  • Photocopies of my US passport, and my spouse's American and Swiss passports

- Regarding my residence permit, communicating (in German) to the Canton Zurich Migration Office, we were informed that I get the D Visa from my local consulate (per above), and once we arrive in Switzerland, we go to the municapality to register our move with them, and to get me a Residence Permit. So it is not possible that I can begin the process of acquiring a residence permit from abroad. This office also confusingly said we can submit an application for my D Visa to them, which I am not going to do because I think that will only confuse things, as I have already submitted D Visa application to the San Francisco Consulate.

- Regarding the financial sitaution, where my wife is not employed (but will be seeking work as an architect as soon as we arrive) and my being under the official "retired" age of 55, yet earning a livable income from investments and other non-employment things, and therefore not seeking employment. We were told by a tax & estate law attorney in Zurich (whom I had to retain for review of a complicated trust / tax thing) that, "As a Swiss citizen your wife can move to Switzerland without any problem and you as [her] spouse simply follow. There is not need to demonstrate a lot of funds. " We will see about this.

- Regarding the langauge competency: Per the the D Visa Proof of langauge skills for family reunification requirement (link), A1 language competency is required, "in the language spoken at the future place of residence" or confirmation of enrollment in a language course that will allow this level to be acquired. Spouses of Swiss and EU/EFTA nationals are exempt from the proof of language competency requirement. The San Francisco consulate confirms this to be true. So, in my case, I am exempt from this requirement. (Although I am A2 competent in Italian, and have enrolled in intensive German A1 language courses that start a month after I arrive).
We were told that my Visa D application wouldn't be looked at until my wife's Heimatschein on file in Altdorf in Canton Uri, which listed her as SINGLE, was updated to reflect our recent (November 2022) marriage in the US. Makes sense.

The Swiss Consulate in San Francisco claimed they submitted our marriage registration to "the competent authorities" in Uri, and we got an official file number and all that. Two months later, to inquire on status, we made a phone call to the Zivilstandsbeamtin (Civil Office) in Altdorf, and they had not received anything, and said to check back in a week. Then a week later, they had magically received whatever it was they were supposed to receive, and all was well. My wife received an updated Heimatschein on Feb 15th. Comically, the lady who processed and signed it has the same last name as my wife. I have since learned that there are really only two surnames in all of Altdorf.

So, it took almost exactly two months to get our marriage registered and get an updated Heimatschein.

Then the Migrationsamt in the canton we are moving (Zürich) began with the questions. Briefly describe your income, what you do for work, where you're going to live. They didn't seem to mind that my wife was unemployed and I was retired early, but we are foruntate to have a significant savings account, that probably helped show we weren't going to burden the Swiss system.

At some point in the email discussions, Zürich Migtrationsamt took to snail-mailing all correspondence to my wife's mother in Zürich. So she would have to open the letters, take a picture, and text-message it to my wife and I here in the states. No matter how many times we asked the Migrationsamt to please use email or snailmail to us in the US, they continued to send everything to our mother. Via snailmail.

They wanted to see the "deed for the house", so I sent them the deed for our house in the US. Then a week later, they sent (to our mother in Zürich) the exact same letter except "the deed for the house you will stay in Zürich" was appended to it. No thanks, sorry we weren't more clear, or anything.

Then on around March 15th, we ... well, our mother in Zürich ... was snail-mailed the letter instructing me to send my US passport in to the "competent authorities" in the US, so they could add my Visa D to the passport. I over-nighted it to the Swiss Consulate in San Francisco, and the next day they returned it to me with my 3-month Visa D stickered to my passport, and instructions that I needed to register within 14 days of arrival to get my residence permit.

I think that's about it. For paperwork submitted 12 December 2022 to the San Francisco Swiss Consulate, it took 2 months to register our marriage with Altdorf in Canton Uri, and it took an additional month for me to get my Visa D approved through Migrationsamt Zürich. Hope this info helps someone else.
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  #50  
Old 20.03.2023, 14:33
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Re: US citizen w/Swiss spouse, what visa do I use?

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Better yet, have your spouse contact the Swiss consulate in the USA that handles affairs for your geographic region:
https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/u...-overview.html

You'll need to start paperwork from the USA anyway, and the consulate sends documentation, etc. to Switzerland.
Exactly. I came over initially having already done the paperwork in the US for the B permit - I never had anything else initially

Facilitated naturalization was fairly straightforward after - but you may want to wait & see whether it's your cup of tea here ultimately before you plan too far ahead
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