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Old 17.11.2009, 08:01
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Non-EU Visa Processing Times (Schaffhausen)

Hello,

I am a U.S. national, getting married very soon to a Swiss national in Switzerland. We are in the process of applying for a B-bewilligung for me, however we have not been able to get a clear answer on how long we can expect the processing time to take. From what I understand, this can vary from canton to canton, however the Swiss embassy in the U.S. says, "Please note that the procedure takes at least six to eight weeks."

I am currently on a Schengen visa and will have exhausted my 90 days. I am planning on leaving Switzerland soon to avoid any complications with this. However in order to come back into Switzerland, I must wait at least 90 days OR have a spousal visa.

Therefore, I several questions regarding this:
1.)For anyone who has gone through this process in Schaffhausen, how long did you have to wait for your visa to be processed?
2.) Do visa processing times differ from canton to canton or is the six to eight weeks stated generally accurate of how long the process takes?
3.) Does the processing time differ based on the spouse's nationality?

Thank you in advance for your responses.
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Old 18.11.2009, 00:01
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Re: Non-EU Visa Processing Times (Schaffhausen)

Hi Mountainhugger, welcome to the English Forum!

Unfortunately I can only help you with part of question 2: yes visa processing time does vary from canton to canton. That's because each canton has their own approval process. Some don't ask for much (if anything) beyond what you've already done for the "federal" part of the process, but some cantons ask for even more paperwork, which of course adds a little more time.

Good luck with everything!

Last edited by zuritopia; 18.11.2009 at 00:04. Reason: just being more accurate, and possibly persnickity
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Old 18.11.2009, 09:09
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Re: Non-EU Visa Processing Times (Schaffhausen)

Hi and welcome!

I am currently going through a similar process in Schaffhausen. Here is what I have discovered, the process requires you to:
1. get your marriage recognition certificate from the canton of your spouses birth or family line, to get your spousal visa and permit (this took me longer because we got married in the U.S. and had to go through an extra step to obtain this paper work);
2. Once you get your spousal visa you must start the resident permit process - which I am sure you are aware of. I was required to leave CH and get the visa and re-enter with it and have it stamped at the local gov't office. Schaffhausen requires 4-5 things to actually ge the permit. If you have all of your paper work already you hsould be fine;
3. If like me it takes you a while to get your paper work, don't plan on going anywhere soon.

However, once you start the process you are considered good to stay, there is no time limit where they can kick you out (i.e. the 90 days with the visa). So I turned in my basic paper work and am gathering all the other necessary information without having to worry about leaving the country again.

I am sure everyone's paperwork process is different depending on where you are coming from, so I cannot speak to the details, unless you are from CA, but if you want to discuss the process more feel free to PM me!

Best,
Emily
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Old 18.11.2009, 17:26
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Re: Non-EU Visa Processing Times (Schaffhausen)

When my partner and I moved to Schaffhausen we submitted all of the paperwork and I got my B permit in 2 and 1/2 weeks. Having all of the paperworkd done and correct is what speeded it along, I think. The permit was actually issued within 7 days of my submitting the papers but they took a little while to mail me the notificaiton that it was ready.

good luck
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Old 18.11.2009, 21:54
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Re: Non-EU Visa Processing Times (Schaffhausen)

Thank you so much for your helpful replies.

I think I'm a little bit confused. Is the Bewilligung B a spousal visa or a residency permit? Here, it is described as a residence permit.

According the Schaffhausen Ausländeramt, I need to submit my paperwork documenting my marriage (marriage certificate, letter from hometown police, and passport under married name) and then wait for them to send my husband a letter of approval, at which point, the Swiss embassy in the U.S. will issue me a visa to come back into Switzerland (since I will not have been out of the country for the 90 days required by Schengen regulations). Is it then after all of that that I begin the process of applying for a B-Bewilligung?

Does anyone know what exactly the Swiss Embassy will issue me after I receive approval from the SH Ausländeramt?

How long does it take for the SH Ausländeramt to verify the marriage documents?

Sorry for the confusion and thank you for whatever insight you can share on this.

Last edited by Uncle Max; 09.03.2012 at 08:34. Reason: Removed personally identifying information
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Old 19.11.2009, 09:04
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Re: Non-EU Visa Processing Times (Schaffhausen)

Does anyone know what exactly the Swiss Embassy will issue me after I receive approval from the SH Ausländeramt?

- You will get issued a single entry visa, when you arrive to Switzerland, you then apply for the residence permit.

How long does it take for the SH Ausländeramt to verify the marriage documents?

- That depends from canton to canton as mentioned above, could be anywhere between 2 weeks to 4 months.
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Old 07.01.2010, 11:31
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Re: Non-EU Visa Processing Times (Schaffhausen)

Hi all,

I am not sure if anyone will read this post ever since the topic is finished, but I just wanted to post a couple things that I learned in this process for anyone who might be going through the same thing in the future.

1.) Getting Your New Passport Under Your Married Name:

In order to apply for a visa to come back into Switzerland as a spouse, you will need your passport (under your married name, if your name has changed). My experience was that the fastest way to get a new passport in my married name was through the U.S. Embassy in Bern. When I called, I was told that it was would take two weeks, no less. After emailing, the projected time was cited as one week, and when I applied on a Friday, I received a call the following Monday, saying that my passport was ready and waiting at the embassy. This may not be the case for everyone, but my passport was processed and printed in three days.

Another side note on passports at the embassy: The photos you need for your application are an obscure size that the photo booths in the train stations do not have. Instead of running around trying to get the proper photo size, you can take them at the photo booth in the embassy, which requires 10 CHF in change.

2. Strafregisteraufzug (Police Background Report)

You will also need your background report from the police in your hometown issued within the last few months . My mid-size suburban hometown police department was great about this. I called them up (from Switzerland) explained my situation, faxed them a letter of authorization for a relative to pick it up along with a copy of my passport and driver's license, and the police department released it to a family member. However, this is not the case for everyone, since this varies from city to city, so it is good to get started on this as soon as possible.

3. Submitting Your Application

We submitted my application through my husband's hometown Gemeindeverwaltung (town hall). I had to then leave the country as my Schengen visa was about to expire. My application was then passed on to the cantonal Ausländeramt, who issued approval and sent a letter to my husband in Switzerland. That letter was then forwarded to me in the U.S. In the meantime, per advice of another English Forum member, I was in contact with the Swiss Consulate General responsible for the part of the country where I came from. I inquired there as to if my application had been received and approved, and quickly received an answer. Note, it is the Consulate Generals, not Honorary Consulates, that are responsible for approving applications. The Consulate General informed me that my application had, in fact, been received and approved.

The Consulate General instructed me to send the standard Schengen visa application form along with two passport photos, my passport, and an self-addressed return envelope. The person I was in contact with was extremely helpful, and within a day, my passport was returned to me with my Swiss visa. In all, the process took less than three weeks for me, which is much better than the six to eight weeks cited on the Swiss Embassy's website.

Here are a few links that I found helpful:

Information on Applying for a Spousal Visa (in English)
Familiennachzug Drittausländer (B2) /Application for Residency Permission for Individuals from outside the EU - Canton Schaffhausen (in German)
Information Sheet on Applications - Canton Schaffhausen (in German)


Hope someone else finds this useful!
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