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  #61  
Old 30.06.2010, 15:23
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Does the country of the OP issue its passports in the 1951/1954 Travel Document convention?
Hmm, my first google search on this linked me directly back to your post. wow, EF!

Then I found it on wikipedia... travel document convention refers only to refugees, no?
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  #62  
Old 01.07.2010, 03:12
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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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.
Oh okay I see.
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  #63  
Old 05.07.2010, 22:24
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

As Jim said, contact your embassy may be they can help you.
Any way, this name (=Family name) and first name is always confusing ..

Good luck.
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  #64  
Old 15.07.2010, 12:18
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

update:

no news from Bern yet (actually, I had to send an application to the Zurich immigration office).

Anyway, a couple of days ago I received an invoice from the land registrar for Fr.300.

Fr. 150 for changing my name from John Doe Smith to John Doe Smith John Doe Smith, and Fr.150 for changing it back.

And the letter also said that as the changes were made at the same time, they would not charge me separately for changing my wife's name to Mrs. Jane John Doe Smith and back to Mrs Jane Smith again. Wow. Fr.300 discount. Nice. Why did they assume that my wife changed her name to follow mine in the first place??

Ok... so when I get an afternoon free, I am gonna walk over there and ask them why I should pay for a change that I did not even initiate...

So who said that this is not a big problem??
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  #65  
Old 15.07.2010, 12:38
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Have you considered writing a humerous article? Make plenty of notes!
I think the Swiss would see the funny side of your story!

Of course commiserations to you, what a f*** up!
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  #66  
Old 15.07.2010, 12:53
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities



(Sorry, can't refuse )
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  #67  
Old 15.07.2010, 13:32
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

What a nightmare!

I agree that you need to get it changed because of the possible problems: AHV etc. It is important to stress that you did not make any mistake and shouldn't have to pay for the correction. When I came to Switzerland, the Gemeinde automatically put my husband's name as my surname although I didn't take his name and this was clear on the marriage certificate. The mistake didn't go unnoticed because within 2 weeks the Fremdenpolizei called and said my passport had a different name than the B-Permit documents. My husband got the same CHF150 name-changing spiel, although it was clearly not our fault. This was just before Fasnacht so my husband remarked that it would be an excellent story for the Fasnacht-zeitung and suddenly it was revealed there was a special "slush fund" to deal with such things and we never had to pay anything.

The biggest difference to your case is that this situation has gone unnoticed for years. Nevertheless, you should put pressure on the office that was responsible for the mistake. This name=surname business is bullshit. Cantonal and Gemiende authorities are allowed to rub a few brain cells together and ask questions when something is not clear. Their mistake, they pay. Important is, I think, not to take an aggressive approach but allow them to "find" a solution while you only hint at possible actions on your part (letter to the local paper etc). This lets them save face and you don't have to pay for something that is their mistake.
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  #68  
Old 15.07.2010, 13:52
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I agree with Corbets

You should not need to change your name from the wrong "John Smith John Smith", to just "John Smith" because you never changed it in the first place.

Provide the authorities with evidence showing your name is "John Smith", that goes back to before the clerical error, and point out to them that the mistake was done by them, and therefore they should correct it.

If you can show evidence - of any form, such as bills, letters, etc - addresses to your normal name, and back it up with birth certificate, etc etc when staking your claim, then your job will be easier.
Surely your birth certificate should be sufficient to clarify this?
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  #69  
Old 15.07.2010, 15:50
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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Surely your birth certificate should be sufficient to clarify this?
and I quote my earlier post:

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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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  #70  
Old 16.07.2010, 12:10
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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.

According to my passport, my "name" is John Smith. However, apparently, unlike most passports, it doesn't differentiate between family name and first name. As "name" means family name in Switzerland, the authorities have therefore assumed that my family name is "John Smith".

To make matters worse, they must put an entry into the Vorname section in their computers. So they have put in John Smith again. Good move as now my name is John Smith John Smith.

I found this out because the land registry asked me to sign something and they put my name down as John Smith John Smith. When I asked them to change it to John Smith, they told me that they need to see a confirmation from the authorities that I have changed my name to John Smith.

So I called the authorities and that was what they told me. My "name" according to my passport is John Smith. "Name" is defined as "family name". That's it. Nothing they can do about it.

This could be a huge problem because this change happened only a couple of years ago and until then I have been using my correct name. 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....

The local gemeinde told me that they have some women with the same problem, but as they are married to Swiss men and have taken their husbands name, it hasn't been an issue.

They will call me back with maybe a solution, but already told me that there is probably nothing they can do about it...

Does anyone else have the same problem? Do I need to go to Bern or get a lawyer?
This is typically Swiss-bureaucratic. Bureaucracy gone mad, but as it went wild several centuries ago it's insitutionalised. My grandfather, a Vaudeville actor, could not have his stage name engraved on his tombstone except, exceptionally, after we raised holy hell. And then it was in parentheses. http://uniset.ca/misc/merianshundetheater.html

My daughter, born in Belfast where the authorities do not, or not readily, put diacritical marks in names on birth certificates, could not have her name spelled as Rébecca in her Swiss passport.

HOWEVER: there are European Court of Justice (not normally binding on the Swiss authorities but sometimes persuasive) and European Court of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms decisions on foreign names that might be relevant. Here's the press release summarising the ECJ case (the entire judgment is also online): http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/commu...f/cp0343en.htm

The easiest and cheapest way to approach the authorities may be through a politician. The Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne (on the campus of the University of Lausanne) may be able to give you legal authorities.
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  #71  
Old 16.07.2010, 12:48
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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This is typically Swiss-bureaucratic. Bureaucracy gone mad, but as it went wild several centuries ago it's insitutionalised. My grandfather, a Vaudeville actor, could not have his stage name engraved on his tombstone except, exceptionally, after we raised holy hell. And then it was in parentheses. http://uniset.ca/misc/merianshundetheater.html

My daughter, born in Belfast where the authorities do not, or not readily, put diacritical marks in names on birth certificates, could not have her name spelled as Rébecca in her Swiss passport.

HOWEVER: there are European Court of Justice (not normally binding on the Swiss authorities but sometimes persuasive) and European Court of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms decisions on foreign names that might be relevant. Here's the press release summarising the ECJ case (the entire judgment is also online): http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/commu...f/cp0343en.htm

The easiest and cheapest way to approach the authorities may be through a politician. The Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne (on the campus of the University of Lausanne) may be able to give you legal authorities.
This is extremely helpful. Thank you.
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  #72  
Old 16.07.2010, 12:59
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

I certainly feel for you. Incredibly frustrating I'm sure...

Just one question:
When they smugly pointed out that in your passport and BC it says "Name = John Doe Smith", surely that in their eyes means that you have no first name and your surname is John Doe Smith. So why are they putting John Doe Smith John Doe Smith?
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  #73  
Old 16.07.2010, 13:05
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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I certainly feel for you. Incredibly frustrating I'm sure...

Just one question:
When they smugly pointed out that in your passport and BC it says "Name = John Doe Smith", surely that in their eyes means that you have no first name and your surname is John Doe Smith. So why are they putting John Doe Smith John Doe Smith?
They must follow some rule that says that the name must be the name on the passport. So name = surname.

But in their computer, they can't leave the first name part blank as it requires an entry. So here they conveniently forgot their rules and entered my name again.
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  #74  
Old 16.07.2010, 13:47
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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They must follow some rule that says that the name must be the name on the passport. So name = surname.

But in their computer, they can't leave the first name part blank as it requires an entry. So here they conveniently forgot their rules and entered my name again.
So a bit of blind rule following, followed by ignoring the rule and making it up as they go along. Good logic...

Fingers crossed they eventually manage to sort it out for you.
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  #75  
Old 17.07.2010, 08:20
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

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So a bit of blind rule following, followed by ignoring the rule and making it up as they go along. Good logic...

Fingers crossed they eventually manage to sort it out for you.
LOL! I guess that was better than them putting in "No Name John Doe Smith" in that spot! Or "None John Doe Smith" LOL! When I fill out people's info into the computer they tell us to put "none" in places that require something, but that the person doesn't have, so instead of leaving it blank we have to put "none". So his name could have been "No Name John Doe smith" instead of John Doe Smith John Doe Smith! LOL! They probably doubled his name up because something was required in the spot or else they could not get the computer to accept the document and move on, so instead of thinking and saying well part of this must be his first name, they just doubled up the "last name" so the computer will accept it and move on. LOL! Some programs won't let you move off the page and on with the document until each required space is filled so that's why they doubled his name. It's still wrong, I'm just explaining why it happened. LOL!
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  #76  
Old 19.09.2016, 11:54
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

Hi Smith, Currently I am facing same problem with change in my name. i.e., first name is family name and family name with my first name. Its interchanged since my old passport under Name I had both my Frist name and last name together. So Swiss authorities took wrong.


I would like to know how did you fix you problem is it's done.




Thanks..
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  #77  
Old 19.09.2016, 12:08
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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 a Hungarian friend who has a ű in her name.

In Hungary ü and ű are two distinct letters.

She has enough trouble explaining that in Switzerland.

It's a good thing she hasn't tried Canada yet.
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Old 19.09.2016, 12:21
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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.

According to my passport, my "name" is John Smith. However, apparently, unlike most passports, it doesn't differentiate between family name and first name. As "name" means family name in Switzerland, the authorities have therefore assumed that my family name is "John Smith".

To make matters worse, they must put an entry into the Vorname section in their computers. So they have put in John Smith again. Good move as now my name is John Smith John Smith.

I found this out because the land registry asked me to sign something and they put my name down as John Smith John Smith. When I asked them to change it to John Smith, they told me that they need to see a confirmation from the authorities that I have changed my name to John Smith.

So I called the authorities and that was what they told me. My "name" according to my passport is John Smith. "Name" is defined as "family name". That's it. Nothing they can do about it.

This could be a huge problem because this change happened only a couple of years ago and until then I have been using my correct name. 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....

The local gemeinde told me that they have some women with the same problem, but as they are married to Swiss men and have taken their husbands name, it hasn't been an issue.

They will call me back with maybe a solution, but already told me that there is probably nothing they can do about it...

Does anyone else have the same problem? Do I need to go to Bern or get a lawyer?
I think I have the same problem.. All documents i signed are under my name , say "John Doe". But on my stay its written as: "John Doe John Doe"... .
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  #79  
Old 19.09.2016, 12:33
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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.
This is normal and correct. It is First Name(s). One, two, three, as many as you were given. You can choose whaterver name you wish called with, or how many, or something completly else.

But, if you are Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor you will properly just called Prince Charles.

Actually, in Swiss naming law if you wish to change your first name you have to show actual ussage first.
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  #80  
Old 19.09.2016, 19:41
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Re: My name is not my name... according to the authorities

But, is Prince Charles having a problem getting a permit to live here?!!
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