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Old 27.07.2009, 05:45
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Rules on joining armies outside Switzerland?

Hello
I currently live in Australia, but was born in Switzerland, but have been here since I was 14. I was thinking of joining the army reserves in Australia, but I do remember someone telling me a while ago that Switzerland would consider that an act of treason and I would lose my citizenship.
I am not sure if that is true or not, and being Swiss by blood, that is where my heart lies and last thing I would want to do is lose my citizenship.
If you guys could give me any knowledge on that it would be great.
Thanks for your help
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Old 27.07.2009, 07:35
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Re: Rules on joining armies outside Switzerland?

I would suggest that you ask the swiss consulate general in Sydney, I am sure they can answer your question. I'm also not sure if you can join the reserves if you aren't an Australian citizen ?
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Old 27.07.2009, 08:44
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Re: Rules on joining armies outside Switzerland?

Oh I have dual citizenship.
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Old 27.07.2009, 10:24
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Re: Rules on joining armies outside Switzerland?

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Oh I have dual citizenship.
I think the rule is that you can choose as a dual citizen. But once you have served in the Swiss army, you are not allowed to join another (maybe with the exception of the foreign legion, if you ask nicely). Just check with the embassy and they should be able to tell you what to do....

best of luck
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Old 27.07.2009, 10:37
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Re: Rules on joining armies outside Switzerland?

Aha, I thought it was that if you served in a foreign army at any point, you couldn't be in the Swiss Army. Just in case you switch sides in the upcoming conflict with Liechtenstein, of course.
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Old 27.07.2009, 17:36
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Re: Rules on joining armies outside Switzerland?

If you join the army of a nation where you don't have double citizenship, this could get you into trouble with Switzerland (Vatican army aside ). As you are Australian, there's no problem in this regard. It even might reduce your liabilities to pay military service compensation or to join the army should you move to Switzerland in the future. The PDF link from this quote is no longer functional but I suggest to inquire what the Swiss-Australian military service recognition treaty is about.


Army [Swiss dual national, exemption]

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Isko – A good first post after five months of lurking A few words on the duty compensation fee as it has affected me too for postponing the annual refresher, although the minimum amount goes down to 160 or 120 Fr./year based on the number of days you've served. It's important to know that once you have completed your service, you have the right to get your money back. But you have to demand it and it's no-interest too.

Okay now for the expat angle (German PDF here, German/French website here).
  • Swiss are exempt from the compensation fee if they haven't had a Swiss residence for three years without interruption. (Therefor I think it's strange that they've retroactively charged Isko)
  • They're also exempt if they serve in the resident country's military or civilian service, or if they pay the compensation fee to the resident country where it exists.
  • Once they've served, it's also an exemption if they are at the disposition of the respective military/civilian service.
  • Additional exceptions exist for Swiss dual citizens of Austria, France and the USA.
And don't worry too much about being the gramp of 19 years old. Ours mixed in just fine.
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