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Old 12.11.2008, 09:38
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$1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Desperately need some advice here please guys.

I'm a Kenyan citizen who was born in India while my mother was on holiday there. I am married to a lovely Swiss lady and we have applied for our marriage to be recognized in Switzerland so I can reside and work in CH with a Permit B.

Now here's the horror. The Swiss Embassy has caused all sorts of delays only because of my Birth Certificate. I gave them all the papers they requested and they have all my originals. They have now asked me for $1000 to get my birth certificate approved in India which means 1 month delay as they have to send all my papers to India for verification. This is pathetic as it took them 2 months to tell me this! Why would they charge me $1000 to verify an original birth certificate? IT'S ORIGINAL and already approved by the relevant Indian authorities! I mean what type of rubbish is that? $1000 ??? That is atrocious.

Why is my Indian place of birth an issue when I have lived my entire life in Kenya and am 100% Kenyan? I have lived in many European countries before and spent many years working in the USA. No other country had a problem with my papers, why do they? The sad thing is, they can't even explain this procedure to me. They just say 'this is the way it is whether you like it or not.'

I feel very bad about this and feel I'm being dealt with unfairly.
Is there anyone I can take this matter up with? Like a bureau for complaints or do I just have to accept this nonsense?

Thanks in advance people.
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Old 12.11.2008, 09:45
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Good morning

I am just guessing and so could be wrong, but perhaps despite having the "original", they might have to validate it using their consulate(s) in India and in the course of doing so, might incur costs that you are being asked to provide ahead ?

I suppose that figure is on the high side as well.
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Old 12.11.2008, 09:52
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Thanks Jrspet ... I suppose you are right about getting it validated.

But the cost is outrageous. It doesn't take $1000 to approve a birth certificate even in Europe! And considering it's India, its plain robbery.

What really bugs me is the fact that they don't bloody care and have no human relations whatsoever. Take it or leave it is their attitude.

I get the feeling they think I'm going to Switzerland to leech off my wife and their money. I've been told the same by quite a few Swiss friends who acknowledge and are ashamed of their actions. Its very sad. I hope I don't face such nonsense once I get into CH.
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Old 12.11.2008, 09:53
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

I've no idea about all that money they want to charge but as far as the birth cert goes that's the way in many countries. The original copy is useless, it's a recent copy they need, stamped and verified within the last x months, and that costs money, though it certainly shouldn't cost that much... Unless they ae sending someone personally to get it done! But of course it is relevant- it is your birth and you are only born once and that has nothing to do with your nationality...
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Old 12.11.2008, 10:02
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

I think there is some confusion you have here. There is nothing like Approve the Indian Birth Certificate but it is like Verification and Legalization. The process is applicable to the documents or people coming from certain countries. In order for Swiss Embassy in India to confirm to the Migration or Fed office here the verification and legalization, they need to engage an agency to Legalize and Verify the documents and in some cases even make sure the convertion of document to one of the official langauges of Switzerland like German, French etc is correct.

They ask you for CHF 1000 but if the whole process takes, say for example 700 then you get 300 back as well. So there is no question of it being on higher or lower side. It is a standard process now a days and you can call the consulate or embassy in India to get more information.

I personally feel it is bit bureaucratic but probably it has some reason behind it.

Regards
Timpy

Last edited by timpy; 12.11.2008 at 10:03. Reason: typo
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Old 12.11.2008, 10:09
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Sounds weird.

I wasn't asked for any birth certificate, nor copy , nor original, nor legalized.

I just got an entry Visa from the embassy at my country of origin and then once here ( I came as an student ), that costed maybe $50, and I obtained an student B showing my passport and the university documents at the immigrations office.


Later on when I got the definitive working B, they asked for an original criminal record issued by my country of origin, but that's it, no other legalized documents were asked and never the process costed that much. ( probably max $200 )

But alas, that was 12 years ago, now probably things have changed.
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Old 12.11.2008, 10:10
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Is your Indian birth certificate in English? If not it would have to be translated and certified and that would add to the cost. All the same $1,000 seems very steep. But if they use couriers and then a handling agent in India the costs could rack up quite quickly. Won't the Indian embassy in Switzerland authenticate the birth certificate? Could you offer to have the certificate authenticated yourself at the Indian embassy in Kenya? Maybe they would accept that? But I guess since they have the original that might just delay things further. On the two months it has taken already I'm afraid that's par for the course and if the certificate has to be sent to India for authentication then it's easy to see how that could take four weeks. The process can take many months and if you're not here it can be very frustrating. Good luck.
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Old 12.11.2008, 10:24
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

I was born in India and then became an Australian Citizen- whenever I've had to provide my birth certificate, I've been told its not good enough, because
it doesn't have my name on it. Just says who my parents are, that I'm a girl, and where I was born.

But each time I needed to provide my birth certificate, if I also provided my original Indian passport that was considered enough by all authorities (including Swiss authorities quite recently). Whenever I need to verify my birth certificate, I carry a few things including my original indian birth certificate, my hospital release certificate, my school leaving certificate in India (studied there till I was in 5th grade) and my passport. I also have all Aussie documents including my birth date (passport, DL etc).

Worth asking if you can do something similar, or if this $1000 verification (egads!) is the only way?

Being born Indian is a headache, paperwork wise.
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Old 12.11.2008, 10:51
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Thank you to you all for your excellent comments and information. I am truly appreciative of your help.

I have already sought approval from the Indian Embassy in Kenya but the Swiss do not accept their approval. I mean how crazy is that? If you want to get something approved by the Indians, their Embassy should be good enough, but not to the wonderful Swiss Embassy.

Just as one of you said, they want it validated by their Embassy in India. Very bureaucratic, very slow and extremely frustrating. If they cannot accept a country's Embassy's approval, then that is blatent refusal to cooperate with foreign authorities.

I resigned from my job giving me 5 good months to get the papers in order even though the Embassy assured me it would take a maximum of 3 months. Lost income is a worry to me now especially considering how expensive life is in Switzerland and many months simply waiting for my permit. I wanted to join German Language school during my free time in Switzerland, not waste my days away jobless in Kenya. They won't even give me a Tourist Visa to go to Switzerland while I await my registration.

My birth certificate is in Hindi but I also have an approved translation of it by the Indian authorities. The Embassy accepts all documents in English and this is exactly what I have done.

Honestly, money is not the issue, but charging that much money to get one document approved by authorities in India is day light robbery. Because it certainly does not cost that much. $40 is the cost for DHL one way, $200 to get the certificate approved and $40 DHL return. How they come up with $1000 is amazing. And if they consider themselves to be so organized, how can they not know the exact cost?

I know there are many others out there who have had a much tougher time getting into CH, but to me this is totally unacceptable.

I am a professional hotelier having worked all over the world. I was even trained and qualified in Switzerland. The whole reason I am moving to CH is for my wife's happiness as she misses her home, friends and family dearly. With all the nonsense they are putting me through, I'm wondering if its worth it. I'm not some beach boy leeching on a rich foreign tourist. Eventhough I'm non EU and African, it does not mean I am only coming to seek greener pastures or streets paved with gold and live off unemployment money and be a burden to the government.

It makes one feel very very bad. I wonder why I invested so much money in a Swiss University...

Last edited by Ronnie; 12.11.2008 at 10:59. Reason: grammar
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Old 12.11.2008, 11:20
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Face it and call things by its name.

IMHO, They want less immigrants from specific origins. So they do it more complicated or expensive so you'd give up and don't come.

To issue entry visas to some people from my country, they even ask for a locked deposit on a bank of $4000 before issuing the Visa, that can only be unlocked by them when the person comes back from the trip.

I wasn't asked that, but alas, I am an engineer with high qualifications on a field they need, other people get asked more, it is not just a required thing, it is that they do it to discourage people to come over here that they suspect would stay and leach from the state as you said.
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Old 12.11.2008, 11:21
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Ronnie,
Can understand your outrage. Part of the problem is visas aren't dealt with by some super efficient centralized federal immigration department in Bern but by the myriad of regional cantonal offices operating under umbrella regulations. They have a limited number of people processing these applications and some, like Zurich and Vaud, have a very high number of applications to process. This partly explains why the process can take so long, why there are sometimes inconsistencies on how the rules are applied and why some immigration officials stick to the rules, resist making exceptions and have a take it or leave it attitude. This doesn't excuse the process but it goes some way to explaining it. If it's any comfort you're not alone. There has been lots of discussions on this forum in the past about the woes involved in putting together the paper trails and long waits for visas. Foreigners wanting to marry a Swiss in Switzerland for instance often report a lot of hurdles and costs complying with the papertrail including the authentication of foreign documents. I guess all you can do is be pragmatic, focus on the bigger picture and try to stay positive.
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Old 12.11.2008, 12:13
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Easy answer to it all, ask a lawyer who knows swiss law and it will all be ok.

sounds a lot of money but if you really want to be here and work here is it not worth it?
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Old 12.11.2008, 12:28
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

For your info, a few of the Swiss Embassies in Africa and Eastern Europe were exposed as being corrupt two years ago (issuing visas at exorbitant prices was one of the things). I would say this is definately corruption, because I know for a fact that it doesnt cost so much (and I'm talking from experience).
Why dont you get your wife to call the immigration office in Switzerland (because everything has to go through Switzerland anyway). She should just tell them the information she's got from the Swiss Embassy and the price they're demanding, and ask if this is correct and to give it to her in writing. Best of luck.
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Old 12.11.2008, 15:36
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

My wife did contact the Department of Immigration and all they said was we had to follow what was required of us. Her Father, who is a respected Professor in Switzerland did the same and got the same response.
Still very vague and very suspicious.

A friend of mine, Swiss guy, who recently moved to CH with his Kenyan wife had to go through lots of rubbish too. All the while he was waiting to get her Visa, they told him that his papers were in Switzerland and the Visa was being processed. 8 months later, the truth came out that they had forgotten his papers ... FOR 8 BLOODY MONTHS !

What a bunch of jokers ... my views of Switzerland as an organized and efficient country have certainly changed. Coming from an African country rampant with corruption and disorganization, I don't think we any worse.

I repeat, the only reason I want to move to Switzerland is for my wife's happiness. It's not because I want to work there or earn there, that I will have to do to survive. It is a huge sacrifice on my part, but one I am ready to make for my marriage.
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Old 12.11.2008, 19:31
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

$1000 does not sound too much to me actually. My British friend who was born in India had problems with his birth certificate as it did not exist. Try getting a birth certificate from a country you have no conenction with. Indian embassy was completely useless and told him that he was not Indian anymore so they could not help Cheeky fks asked him to get the birth certificate from the British embassy. They knew very well that the British could not issue an original certificate as he was born in India and not UK.

The only thing he could provide the Swiss authorities was his old cancelled Indian passport and some school results. Anyway to translate some of the documents from Swiss approved translators was coming to 4k In the end he paid 0CHF because he wrote a very friendly letter to the Swiss Authorities explaining his impossible situation. They let it pass and he got married in Switzerland.

Bottom line is that you might be genuine but there are countless people who are not. Pay up the $1k and get on with your life (assuming the 1k fee is legit ) .

Last edited by ze devil's advocate; 14.11.2008 at 04:08.
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Old 13.11.2008, 16:42
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Sorry but I think 1k is outrageous. Guess the bottom line is this, do you feel like fighting it or do you prefer to avoid the stress. Still, the prize is more than absurd to me, but there are limits to what we can do...sigh.
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Old 13.11.2008, 19:40
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

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My wife did contact the Department of Immigration and all they said was we had to follow what was required of us. Her Father, who is a respected Professor in Switzerland did the same and got the same response.
Still very vague and very suspicious.

A friend of mine, Swiss guy, who recently moved to CH with his Kenyan wife had to go through lots of rubbish too. All the while he was waiting to get her Visa, they told him that his papers were in Switzerland and the Visa was being processed. 8 months later, the truth came out that they had forgotten his papers ... FOR 8 BLOODY MONTHS !

What a bunch of jokers ... my views of Switzerland as an organized and efficient country have certainly changed. Coming from an African country rampant with corruption and disorganization, I don't think we any worse.

I repeat, the only reason I want to move to Switzerland is for my wife's happiness. It's not because I want to work there or earn there, that I will have to do to survive. It is a huge sacrifice on my part, but one I am ready to make for my marriage.

I think you should actually place your post in complaint's corner, cause there is nothing you can do about it. This is how much they charge and if you want to get it, you need to pay. There is no need to suspect anything, i am sorry if you feel unfair treatment, but i don't think it's the case.
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Old 13.11.2008, 20:14
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

This still really surprises me because my husband is Indian- doesn't have a birth certificate (it was taken from him when he finished his school studies- according to the state government of the state he finished school in, you apparently only need either a school cert. or a birth cert- not both!) And yet he didn't have any of these problems. His passport was considered sufficient ID!

The policy either seems very very contradictory or really irregularly enforced. Either way, if I were in your position I'd try and look through Swiss immigration regulations around birth certificates etc, to find out what is required- that way you know whether they're going beyond the requirements. And if they are, take the relevant highlighted sections with you to the Department of Immigration. I've done this previously for the US Dept of Immigration which was my personal headache, and it helped immensely (though I'm sure the immigration lady thought I was a pain in the butt).

Additionally, I would find out precisely what they do to verify the birth certificate, and ask if you can do the process yourself- potentially saving some money that way.

While I don't agree this belongs in the rants section, I suppose if you want to be here ultimately (no matter what your reason for that is) you have to jump all the idiotic hoops they set up for you.
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Old 13.11.2008, 22:15
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

Then young men ,author of this posting presented original birth certificat already, obviously authorities have some doubts in that authenticity, and want to conduct thorough search. Good luck.
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Old 13.11.2008, 23:13
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Re: $1000 to Approve an Indian Birth Certificate ?!!!

I'm american , I was born in Sri Lanka.
I married a Swiss several years ago and had to go through similar ,"run around the tree five times going 'ooga oooba iggy iggy pop pop' to prove your worthiness", sort of an ordeal at that time,
Your current trials do touch a sympathetic nerve.

Heres a sum up of my particular trips around the ooga ooba tree.

What I had to go through to get my marriage to a Swiss ratified
was to provide notarized translations (into a national language) of my Sri lankan birth certificate, (which I didnt understand cause i have a US passport), Provide Notarized translations of my previous Marriage certificate, and THE ENTIRE DIVORCE agreement, (several pages as you can imagine),
and Notorized tranlations of the new marriage certificate (we got hitched at the lonely hearts chapel in reno special price this week only $39.99).

We did all the translations our selves after acquiring the documents, as all the documents were in english, including the (colonial) birth certificate.
The translations were approved and attested to by a Swiss notary\translator\lawyer It was all done through a swiss notary,

The authenticity of the documents needed verification and separate attestations, however.
Unlike what you have been told, I was never asked to provide funds so that THEY could go through the verification process.
It was up to me to provide the necessary documents with the appropriate attestations to authenticity by the respective authorities.

For example The marriage certificate had to be a special attested notarized version from the marriage authority in Reno.

The divorce agreement, my copy wouldnt suffice, I had to get a notorized copy from the courts in CA. which bore their seal.

The birth certificate on the other hand my dad actually attested to. For the sake of expediency (rather than talk to Colombo and wait and wait) he, my father wrote an attestation to its authenticity in the presence of a US lawyer\notary and I presented that notarized 'authenticated' copy.
Which they accepted.

I could imagine , should they have rejected that one, that we'd have had to have called the Registrar of Births in Colombo and would have had to have them send us an attested copy via the Sri Lankan embassy or something. (Which I would be quite surprised to hear isnt infact an option in your case.)

I would suggest, perhaps, that you ask them to specify exactly what sort of 'authenticated' versions of which documents they would consider satisfactory and make the arrangements to get them from the indian authorities. Give it a shot.

I cant imagine them trying to corner the market on document authentication or anything. Im sure theres a way to provide them with the docs they're looking for. Without having to hand over stacks of greenbacks.

The docs whatever they be will almost certainly require translation to one of the local lingos however. Which would mean paying a local notary\translator to attest to a translation. (either he translates or you translate and have him attest to the fact that its an accurate translation, in your translation remember you have to describe the official seals and stuff. ie. you would say something like ' Circular embossed seal bearing the words 'Registrar of Births Calcutta ' blah blah )

Some of the Oooga Ooba is nonsensical and redundant no doubts about that , but In this country ,in more cases than not , you'll find that its run by an efficient and even sympathetic beaurocracy, with rules and regulations that for the most part make good sense.
(Here come the boos and groans!!)

I wish you lots of luck and patience. It'll work out in the end.
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