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Old 12.05.2010, 18:16
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As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in CH?

I am a European union citizen working in Geneva for the United Nations, I am not really an actual immigrant, or inhabitant of Switzerland, just a diplomat on a temporary mission here until 2013.

(I feel the need to clarify because wherever I speak with any Swiss agency they are totally confused and tell me stuff about immigration quotas, or requirements for immigrant-visas and then some one else gives me more conflicting info saying my partner is not technically an immigrant and so on)

The situation is that my Partner is American and we have been in a relationship for two years now and we desire to registered our partnership and start a life together.

I'm currently in Switzerland so my partner after registering would come live with me here, at least that is what we plan.

However it's been over 3 months since I've been running around asking for questions and no one seems to know the correct answer!!!!!

I wonder if it's because we're both males, or because I have a diplomatic status, I really don't know but the Swiss beauroucracy has the potential of giving multiple migraines at this point.

I went to the cantonal office of population in Geneva and they told me that my fiance needs a marriage visa, then I spoke to Swiss embassy in Washington and they told me they don't have such visas.

Then my fiance came on the 90 days free waiver visa program but aparently this is not good enough for marriage.

meanwhile my fiance's 90 days are almost up!!! and we're still running around Geneva trying to find some answers

I was hoping I would be able to find some answers here!!!!

Thank you so much!
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Old 12.05.2010, 19:41
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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I am a European union citizen working in Geneva for the United Nations, I am not really an actual immigrant, or inhabitant of Switzerland, just a diplomat on a temporary mission here until 2013.

(I feel the need to clarify because wherever I speak with any Swiss agency they are totally confused and tell me stuff about immigration quotas, or requirements for immigrant-visas and then some one else gives me more conflicting info saying my partner is not technically an immigrant and so on)

The situation is that my Partner is American and we have been in a relationship for two years now and we desire to registered our partnership and start a life together.

I'm currently in Switzerland so my partner after registering would come live with me here, at least that is what we plan.

However it's been over 3 months since I've been running around asking for questions and no one seems to know the correct answer!!!!!

I wonder if it's because we're both males, or because I have a diplomatic status, I really don't know but the Swiss beauroucracy has the potential of giving multiple migraines at this point.

I went to the cantonal office of population in Geneva and they told me that my fiance needs a marriage visa, then I spoke to Swiss embassy in Washington and they told me they don't have such visas.

Then my fiance came on the 90 days free waiver visa program but aparently this is not good enough for marriage.

meanwhile my fiance's 90 days are almost up!!! and we're still running around Geneva trying to find some answers

I was hoping I would be able to find some answers here!!!!

Thank you so much!
Assuming you are not having us on (and in order to assume that I also have to assume you are not a career diplomat, which I was until I retired), you should ring not the cantonal authorities which have nothing to do with this, but the Foreign Ministry's office responsible for accreditation.

But that's not even your job. Your mission's protocol office (or admin office, if it's a small mission) deals with the Foreign Office on a daily basis. They will find a solution for you.

For what it's worth: I was accredited to Switzerland as an American. But my mother was Swiss. Birth to a Swiss mother abroad plus 3 years' residence in Switzerland, plus the fact that I speak (indeed have always spoken) a Swiss language meant I was entitled to Swiss citizenship.

It happens that my PhD was on the law of personal status. Assuming that you have a civil partnership, that relationship should be recognised in Switzerland.

But as I said, it's hard to take your query seriously. And if it is serious, then your mission's personnel office is seriously deficient. The Foreign Office will be on your side. Even if they can't issue a "carte de légitimation" to your partner they will find a solution, such as burying the file, keeping it pending for your entire posting.
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Old 14.05.2010, 13:46
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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... I went to the cantonal office of population in Geneva and they told me that my fiance needs a marriage visa, then I spoke to Swiss embassy in Washington and they told me they don't have such visas.

Then my fiance came on the 90 days free waiver visa program but aparently this is not good enough for marriage.

Meanwhile my fiancés 90 days are almost up!!! and we're still running around Geneva trying to find some answers ...
Thank you so much!
I want to give a better answer to the specific point above.

Diplomats are exempt from marriage visa requirements. (The reason they can marry but not divorce in their country of posting is because marriage is an administrative act whereas divorce is a judicial one and diplomatic immunity intervenes.)

I believe the Foreign Office's Protocol Department will have a solution for you. But if not, then why not apply for British marriage/civil partnership visas and marry at a designated Register Office in London, such as Chelsea Town Hall?
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Old 17.05.2010, 11:30
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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Diplomats are exempt from marriage visa requirements. (The reason they can marry but not divorce in their country of posting is because marriage is an administrative act whereas divorce is a judicial one and diplomatic immunity intervenes.)
However the diplomatic agent can expressly renounce his immunity for that purpose, no?
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Old 17.05.2010, 18:16
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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However the diplomatic agent can expressly renounce his immunity for that purpose, no?
A diplomat cannot waive his or her immunity. The chief of mission may do that. And a chief of mission's immunity may be waived by the foreign ministry of his country.

The reason is that immunity does not exist to benefit the diplomat but rather the sending state. While immunity is occasionally waived so a diplomat may sue (a landlord, for example) or for politico-diplomatic reasons (Gueorgui Makharadze case http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/ref...dze/index.html ), I know of numerous cases where, following an "incident" a diplomat was speedily sent back home. And I know of cases where diplomats were not permitted to testify as witnesses.

I know of former diplomats who have divorced in the UK, including a friend of mine. But a serving diplomat must divorce in his/her home country. This could make it impossible to divorce (or to have the divorce recognised as to one of the parties (= a limping marriage results)). Let's say a diplomat marries a citizen of the country where s/he is posted and that person then wants an annulment or a divorce: there can be issues of domicile, jurisdiction, tribunal competence and other matters that law students like to debate.

In Switzerland in the 1960s and (I think) 1970s when personal law depended on nationality citizens of countries that did not have divorce laws (Ireland, Italy, Malta) could not divorce. At one time that would have left the Swiss wife of a citizen of that country also unable to divorce; indeed earlier she would have lost her Swiss nationality (as my mother did; she later got it back) by reason of acquisition of a foreign nationality. There are still lots of outrages concerning women trapped in regretted marriages, but now it is possible to contrive a venue where a divorce case will be heard. Whether the divorce will be recognised elsewhere is an open question (limping marriage, again). But when religious laws intervene in matters of personal status there are always problems. Think of talak (Islamic divorce) and get (Jewish divorce paper).
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Old 18.05.2010, 12:00
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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A But a serving diplomat must divorce in his/her home country.
Unless we consider the precedent of Fernandez v Fernandez of course
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Old 19.05.2010, 13:40
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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I am a European union citizen working in Geneva for the United Nations, I am not really an actual immigrant, or inhabitant of Switzerland, just a diplomat on a temporary mission here until 2013.

(I feel the need to clarify because wherever I speak with any Swiss agency they are totally confused and tell me stuff about immigration quotas, or requirements for immigrant-visas and then some one else gives me more conflicting info saying my partner is not technically an immigrant and so on)
Then you (well, your mission or UN HR) should speak to the Swiss Mission to the UN in Geneva as they are the ones handling this... and no one else really . There should be no problem in your companion being permitted to join you.
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Old 19.05.2010, 14:06
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

This raises an interesting conjecture.

Seeing you can be the citizen of two countries simultaneously, you can also technically be in the diplomatic service of two countries simultaneously. Therefore when in one country, you are immune from its las due to being in the diplomatic service of the other and vice versa. Neither can that other country call you back or fire you when you break laws because that is in itself a judicial act from which you are immune thanks to the first country. Therefore you can live in a lawless vacuum.
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Old 19.05.2010, 14:13
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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This raises an interesting conjecture.

Seeing you can be the citizen of two countries simultaneously, you can also technically be in the diplomatic service of two countries simultaneously. Therefore when in one country, you are immune from its las due to being in the diplomatic service of the other and vice versa. Neither can that other country call you back or fire you when you break laws because that is in itself a judicial act from which you are immune thanks to the first country. Therefore you can live in a lawless vacuum.

let me think about this...
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Old 19.05.2010, 14:18
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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This raises an interesting conjecture.

Seeing you can be the citizen of two countries simultaneously, you can also technically be in the diplomatic service of two countries simultaneously.
Not simultaneously no. If you are a bi-national, then merely being accredited by one nation to the other requires specific permission from the receiving nation.
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Old 19.05.2010, 14:21
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

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This raises an interesting conjecture.

Seeing you can be the citizen of two countries simultaneously, you can also technically be in the diplomatic service of two countries simultaneously.
...
Errr, no, this proves not to be the case, as they say.

You might have got away with it by saying "theoretically" rather than "technically".
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Old 04.01.2011, 20:42
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

I agree with Andy02's comments.

Case in point, I know of a situation where one partner works for the UN at their Geneva office. We was able to bring his same-sex partner (who happens to be Mexican) without any major issues. And this was ten years ago. It is my understanding that Kanton Geneva was amongst the first Kantons to accept same-sex partnerships with enough legal rights to allow for someone with the legal right to live in Switzerland to bring with them their long-term partner along.
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Old 04.01.2011, 21:31
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Re: As a EU-diplomat, how can I bring my same sex American partner to live with me in

We never did hear back from our dear Yaom... I wonder what happened.
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