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  #41  
Old 22.06.2010, 23:31
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

OMG! I wish you lots of patience and all the luck in the world!
(I quickly checked my passport, just in case )

I was just going to suggest what has already been mentioned above. If they like math like this, give them some. Get some official evidence from the embassy as to how things work in your country. Have them give you some official form saying "We testify that passport holder John Doe Wilberforce Marylin Smith, citizen of ..., born..., first names: John Doe Wilberforce Marylin, surname: Smith, ..." or something like this (I'm no good at these things.)

I mean seriously! I can understand that they cannot think outside the box. But if you present them with another riddle in their language (i.e. bureaucratics), I'm sure they'll start getting it.

Good luck! (And please keep us updated.)
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  #42  
Old 28.06.2010, 12:31
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Latest update:

My local gemeinde has written to me to confirm that they have managed to change my name in their computer. Thus all official documents will now be correctly addressed to me.

However, my C permit will still be wrong. This is a Bern issue so I need to go to Bern, or wait until 2014 when it comes up for renewal. In the mean time, if I need to show my C permit for whatever reason, it would still be wrong. So I do need to get it fixed.
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  #43  
Old 28.06.2010, 12:39
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Latest update:

My local gemeinde has written to me to confirm that they have managed to change my name in their computer. Thus all official documents will now be correctly addressed to me.

However, my C permit will still be wrong. This is a Bern issue so I need to go to Bern, or wait until 2014 when it comes up for renewal. In the mean time, if I need to show my C permit for whatever reason, it would still be wrong. So I do need to get it fixed.
Congratulations Axman John Smith Axman John Smith. Can we just call you Axman Axman now?

1 down, 1 to go. Good luck!
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  #44  
Old 28.06.2010, 12:46
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Wow that is scary and frustrating . I hope the mess will be sorted soon!
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  #45  
Old 28.06.2010, 20:33
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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However, my C permit will still be wrong. This is a Bern issue so I need to go to Bern, or wait until 2014 when it comes up for renewal. In the mean time, if I need to show my C permit for whatever reason, it would still be wrong. So I do need to get it fixed.
Not understanding that - when you registered at your local Gemeinde didn't they take your C permit and reissue it with your change of address?
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  #46  
Old 28.06.2010, 20:37
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

OHHHhhhhhh MY GOD !!!!

A prime example of the severe lack of logical thinking in this country.....

You poor fella....
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  #47  
Old 28.06.2010, 22:12
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Axman, you could always loose your permit or better still go swimming with it in your pocket - they will need to issue a new one - of course it will cost you ;-)



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Latest update:

My local gemeinde has written to me to confirm that they have managed to change my name in their computer. Thus all official documents will now be correctly addressed to me.

However, my C permit will still be wrong. This is a Bern issue so I need to go to Bern, or wait until 2014 when it comes up for renewal. In the mean time, if I need to show my C permit for whatever reason, it would still be wrong. So I do need to get it fixed.
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  #48  
Old 28.06.2010, 23:12
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Axman, you could always loose your permit or better still go swimming with it in your pocket - they will need to issue a new one - of course it will cost you ;-)
This will not work if he has one of the fancy new 'credit card' style permits ... need to get it eaten by a child, or something ...
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  #49  
Old 29.06.2010, 10:41
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Not understanding that - when you registered at your local Gemeinde didn't they take your C permit and reissue it with your change of address?
I have been at the same address for 7 years now. They changed my name without informing me. I mentioned Bern because that is the mothership for all permits.

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Axman, you could always loose your permit or better still go swimming with it in your pocket - they will need to issue a new one - of course it will cost you ;-)
Brilliant idea, but no way I am going to pay for their insistance on being an*l.
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  #50  
Old 29.06.2010, 11:03
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I just found out that the authorities have changed my name a couple of years ago without telling me...........

.................So now my house is not my house as it belongs to John Smith. I am not my wife's husband (she is married to John Smith, not John Smith John Smith). I am not my kids father. Those documents I signed at work are probably not legal, etc. etc....
You are very much husband of your wife because (I hope)she still recognizes you as her husband...... You Kids, still call you father (or Popi)... don't they? ......... you still get your salary on time (which I presme is happening since several months/year) .......so, why to panic about some words written on piece of paper?

Well, on the other hand... think about it, that you have another name in the records of swiss authorities, let them pay for it...... if you have no intention of staying here for long then you can do lot of things (such as stop paying taxes; as per my knowledge, Swiss governemt does not insist to pay taxes, they just recommend to pay taxes)... by doing so, they will just black-list Mr. John Smith John Smith and once he leave the country then he will not be allowed to enter in Switzerland again but Mr. John Smith can ........ are u thing that I have some bizarre thought, huh?
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  #51  
Old 29.06.2010, 11:33
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I have a similar problem except it's not as bad as yours. Swiss records don't recognize middle names so instead of being

John / Doe / Smith

I'm

John Doe / Smith

Both my Ausländerausweis and my AHV-IV card say that I'm Smith (family name) and John Doe (first names). Even at work I was known in the beginning as John Doe but put everyone straight before being called that on a regular basis.
I've a similar story here, with the added twist that my middle name is not common and the Swiss mispronounce it badly (I'm OK with the German pronunciation of my first name).

But I'm doing some courses at the moment and somehow I got enrolled with my middle name as my first name, and first name + last name as my surname. Not a great problem once I'd got the secretary on my side, but the instructions on a computer course said:

Username: firstname.lastname

and no combination of the above would work. On informing the computer guy of the problem I was met with a "deer in the headlights stare" until I wrote it down for him. I still had to stand over his shoulder when he was changing it to make sure he got it right.

On a more serious note, my mother always used her middle name and it was definitely disturbing to see a nurse in intensive care trying to wake her up using the wrong name. Long time ago, no sympathies required thanks, but it was a lesson in letting authorities know what your preferred name is.
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  #52  
Old 29.06.2010, 12:18
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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You are very much husband of your wife because (I hope)she still recognizes you as her husband...... You Kids, still call you father (or Popi)... don't they? ......... you still get your salary on time (which I presme is happening since several months/year) .......so, why to panic about some words written on piece of paper?
I know what you are saying. However, consider these possibilities - we can't register the kids for school because I, the parent, have a different name. Or worse, if I meet with an accident and die, my wife can't access my assets, because, while those assets do belong to her husband, but this dead person is actually someone else?

Last Friday, i received my new AHV card with the wrong name. I don't know what the impact of this is, but I foresee trouble if I want to get social benefits and even my pension.

Seriously, I discovered this problem because of something that the land registry wanted me to sign with regard to my house. I saw the documents and said that is not my name. They said, that is correct name, and then asked me who I am. After some explanation, they insisted that I must produce a letter from authorities to confirm that I have changed my name before they can make the correction. So really, at the moment, my house is not anymore my house...
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  #53  
Old 30.06.2010, 07:39
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I have the fun situation of having a ü in my name (or ue) on swiss documents, where in Canada just a u (no umlaut or e).

No issues yet, but it's definitely going to come back to haunt me at some point.
I have the same problem...My Texan name is different from my Swiss last name because of it...no problems yet either!
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  #54  
Old 30.06.2010, 08:30
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

This sounds like a (albeit serious) Abbott & Costello routine. Good luck.

I've also had trouble, as someone mentioned earlier, with having an accent in my first name. The North Americans don't include accents , so birth certificates, etc just doesn't include it. Because the authorities enter it into their system EXACTLY as seen only in official papers, they've not really got my real name. No matter what forms I submit they never take it as I've written it or ask why one is different from the other; I guess they just assume that my pen "slipped" and add two dots above one letter

Does anyone else also have the trouble of them thinking your name is hyphenated after marrying a Swiss? I know that things like taxes show the maiden name for purpose of record tracking, but as soon as it appears on one official document it starts appearing on all!
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  #55  
Old 30.06.2010, 08:52
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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This is not a clerical error. Apparently a couple of years ago some EU-related law came into force which they have to follow. And according to the law, name=family name. According to my passport my name is John Doe Smith. So according to this law, my family name is John Doe Smith.

Yes, vwild1, it is actually worse... I didn't mention my middle name in my first post to keep it simple, but I actually do have a middle name. So now my name is John Doe Smith John Doe Smith.

I have actually opened a can of worms when I spoke to my Gemeinde because now they realize that they have to change my wife's name to Jane John Doe Smith and my children's name to Mary Elizabeth John Doe Smith and Tom Jack John Doe Smith.


Wow you poor thing! That is messed up! Yeah that is a huge mess of a mixup.

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I did that. My BC says that my name is John Doe Smith. Name = family name. Same problem.
You have to go there and tell them that your name is "Smith" Don't even mention your first and last name since name to them means only your last name. You keep telling them your name is John Smith and the same misunderstanding keeps happening. Tell them your name is "Smith" period. Don't mention your first and middle name.

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If anyone had success in changing the name.. Please..Bitte..Bitte post here the procedure, cost, etc.,.. I was told that time it will cost 3K..
That' crazy! Especially for a mistake that is NOT your fault.

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Interesting question for you native English speakers. Does name = surname? Or name = full name?

I thought it would be the latter. That is how my passport is.
Name for me = first and last name.

Last edited by vwild1; 30.06.2010 at 09:51. Reason: merged 2 successive posts into 1
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  #56  
Old 30.06.2010, 10:33
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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You have to go there and tell them that your name is "Smith" Don't even mention your first and last name since name to them means only your last name. You keep telling them your name is John Smith and the same misunderstanding keeps happening. Tell them your name is "Smith" period. Don't mention your first and middle name.
Doesn't matter what I tell them. My passport and BC says that my name is John Doe Smith.

Trust me, the first thing I did when I found out about this problem is to walk straight to the Gemeinde and told them that my name is Smith. They asked to see my passport and smugly pointed out that in my passport my name is John Doe Smith. There you go.
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  #57  
Old 30.06.2010, 13:06
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I've also had trouble, as someone mentioned earlier, with having an accent in my first name. The North Americans don't include accents , so birth certificates, etc just doesn't include it. Because the authorities enter it into their system EXACTLY as seen only in official papers, they've not really got my real name. No matter what forms I submit they never take it as I've written it or ask why one is different from the other; I guess they just assume that my pen "slipped" and add two dots above one letter
One problem is that the relevant computer systems in the US probably weren't designed to cope with accents.

I note that my UK passport has my name in block capitals, which seems a bit antiquated. They probably don't do accents either. In contrast my C Permit uses mixed case.
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  #58  
Old 30.06.2010, 13:24
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Yep, but perhaps the NA computer system has changed by now? No idea. In Canada accents are accepted (b/c of French language) but once it goes into the system there's no taking it back without a notary.

Just imagine what happens to foreigners who arrive here with names from a different alphabet! I'm sure the Swiss translation/spelling doesn't do justice to the real pronunciation. You'd end up being called some faint version of your real name by everyone who sees your name on paper.

I've asked would take to change my name with it's accent and basically I'd have to go back to my birth country, change my name officially under a court/notary, bring the proof here, and have all the papers changed over. Too much money, too much time.
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  #59  
Old 30.06.2010, 13:53
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Just imagine what happens to foreigners who arrive here with names from a different alphabet! I'm sure the Swiss translation/spelling doesn't do justice to the real pronunciation. You'd end up being called some faint version of your real name by everyone who sees your name on paper.
Slightly off topic, but I'm sure this affects many. There are established methods for transliteration from one alphabet to another. For examples of the problems involved, see Romanization of Arabic.

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One basic problem is that written Arabic is normally unvocalized, i.e., many of the vowels are not written out, and must be supplied by a reader familiar with the language. Hence unvocalized Arabic writing does not give a reader unfamiliar with the language sufficient information for accurate pronunciation. An exact equivalent of قطر would be qṭr, which is meaningless to an untrained reader. A "full transliteration" adds information not in the text, which has to be supplied by a speaker of Arabic, qaṭar. Usually, newspapers and popular books do not use a transliteration, but a transcription: Instead of transliterating each written letter, they try to reproduce the sound of the words according to the orthography rules of the target language: Qatar.
I think the best way to deal with the problem is to pick one spelling and stick with it.
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  #60  
Old 30.06.2010, 14:30
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Essentially this is all about recognition (or Anerkennung in Deutsch) of your documents, the way in which information is presented in them, and therefore the way in which they should be recognized by other authorities (Border control etc.).

Does the country of the OP issue its passports in the 1951/1954 Travel Document convention?

Regardless of recent EU directives, passports issued according to international conventions should be processed as such by the Swiss authorities, especially where such non-EU documents are not issued subject to EU directives or were issued before the directive was implemented by the issuing country/authority.

Have you phrased your question to the Swiss authorities in this way?

Last edited by magyir; 30.06.2010 at 14:32. Reason: spelling/clarification
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