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Do I have a problem here? ExH related ...(12 Posts)
First things first: I'm resident in Switzerland and am a dual national on account of my father being Swiss, so I realise that I won't get any concrete answers. I am, however, hoping that someone may help me gain an understanding of how serious (or not) this is:
ExH and moved to Switzerland from London a few years back and got a divorce in February 2015. ExH has also obtained Swiss citizenship during his marriage to me. He has since re-married and is wanting to bring his new wife over from Jordan. And because ExH has always been a pushy bastard he must have pissed someone off ...
I've now received a letter from the federal migration authorities in Switzerland stating that they have been alerted to a possible case of fraudulent marriage (mine to him or his to his new wife - doesn't say) and are investigating for fraudulent acquisition of Swiss citizenship. They've sent me a catalogue of questions ranging from the mundane (what was the date of our separation) to the really personal (why do ExH and I not have children together and was this a mutual decision).
They want a written statement by 8th March and are suggesting I might be required for questioning of my answers are not satisfactory. I've rung them and they're saying that I am not technically a party to these proceedings (i.e. the investigation concerns him, not me) but surely is they think he's fraudulently obtained citizenship by means of marriage to me that would make me an accessory?
Can someone help me gain an understanding of how much trouble I'm in? Do I need legal assistance? What else do I need to do?
Forgive the typos ... IPhone and shaking fingers don't mix very well ...
Oh what a horrible situation. I am by no means a legal expert, especially in Swiss law, however I think that if you have nothing to hide and your marriage was genuine and aboveboard then you should just co-operate and fill out the form.
It might be worth contacting a solicitor just to go over the questions with you and put you mind at rest but I really wouldn't worry.
Hi OP, assuming your marriage was genuine there is not likely to be anything to worry about, but I think you would be wise to take advice from a lawyer in Switzerland. No-one here (lawyers included) will be doing anything other than guessing how the Swiss immigration authorities work. If you married him knowing that it was to enable him to circumvent Swizz immigration rules that is a very serious matter and I would get legal advice urgently.
No, I obviously didn't marry him to help him obtain Swiss citizenship!
I have not done anything wrong here but might be in trouble anyway because thanks to right wing populism authorities here are under a great deal of pressure to identify and address cases of fraud. Might end up having to de facto prove my innocence here rather than vice versa.
I'm also not entirely on board with answering questions like 'if you and your ex-husband wanted to have children, which measures did you take to have them?' - my sex life is basically none of their business and I'm not particularly inclined to share details with the authorities because that's frankly going a tad too far!!!
Anyway, I've lawyered up. My new solicitor is looking into what I have to answer at all and what the implications might be in case they decide there is a case to answer ...
Have you posted in the past about how he wanted you to change your surname so that there weren't two 'Mrs Jones' (as an example) existing ?? If not, apologies.
With respect to not wanting to answer their questions that kind of makes you look like you're hiding something? They're just questions - answer honestly and you have nothing to worry about surely?
No, that wasn't me - I never wanted and never had his surname. We're pretty amicably divorced, actually (except that I only see him at my place because he has form for acting up in public - arguably how he got into their radar in the first place).
As for not wanting to answer the questions: I don't mind the ones relating to dates and whatnot and will answer them (even though it's a nuisance, especially as they've not contacted him, only me). I do object as a matter of principle to answering questions relating to my sex life and to our family planning. This is none of their business. Some of it is quite emotionally loaded for me, too. They want to know why we have never had children together - I don't feel like discussing my five miscarriages with some random government representative. I also don't think these people have any legitimate interest in asking me how frequently my ex and I had sex and if there were any sexual problems in our marriage. It's just horrendously intrusive!
They're saying they're not interested in me at all - only in him. If that is the case then surely they have even less of a right to stick their noses into my personal affairs (and if they are interested in me after all then surely I should be questioned under caution). I'm having my solicitor look into just how much I do need to provide in terms of answers.
From what I know (friends living in Switzerland), the Swiss have an aging population and are pretty obsessed with ensuring that couples are actively trying for children.
When our friends got married they were asked during the civil ceremony what the name of their (unborn and unconceived) children would be.
What?! What if one of the couple was infertile?
Well, they can encourage this all they want - it's still not a legal or even a moral obligation to have children when you marry. Many of my married Swiss friends don't have any yet and the ones that do generally had them in their mid to late thirties. Now this might be because we're all horribly MC and that is a social trend in our demographic, but still ...
I am a Swiss citizen through marriage, how long did your XH have Swiss citzenship before you divorced ?
He had to be living in the country for 5 years and you had to be married for 3 of that for him to get his Swiss citizenship.
I guess the 'speed' of his new marriage and request to bring her to Switz is what has raised the red flags.
Those are horrendously intrusive questions particularly that you are not a party to the investigation but a 'witness', are they trying to ascertain if he 'tricked' you into marriage with him for the sole purpose of getting the citizenship? rather than you being party to a fraudulent application.
Maybe there were some things he did not disclose or was not truthful about on his original application, length of time living permanently in Switz, was he divorced before your marriage etc.
Hopefully the lawyer can provide some answers for you, but I feel for you, Swiss lawyers are outrageously expensive.
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