Forgot to mention this little detail, but I’m finally Swiss!!
After receiving my 765CHF letter in October stating that there was a positive decision, I needed to wait for all the final formalities where the Heimatort is given one last right to object. In the craziness leading up to our Australia trip, I received the official letter from the Heimatort confirming and congratulating me that I am now Swiss.
It was a little anticlimactic though, because although I was now Swiss, I didn’t know what the next steps were to get that little booklet up there. I thought there would be some sort of “How to” leaflet included. Not knowing what to do, I figured I would sort it out after our Australia trip. Anyway, my B-permit was still valid until August 2015, so no problems there… or so I thought.
When we got to passport control on the way out of Switzerland, my permit wouldn’t scan. I wondered out loud that maybe it has something to do with my naturalization. The lady asked where I was naturalized, because with my American passport and Swiss foreign permit in hand, it wasn’t really clear to her that I was talking about Swiss naturalization. I think she just assumed I am a foreigner with little to no right to be in Switzerland and was about to give me a telling-off.
Of course when I told her I am Swiss, she wanted to know where my Swiss passport was and I had to explain that I JUST became Swiss a week or so previously and wasn’t even sure it was totally finalized. Maybe the Heimatort is busy updating the town hall before I could apply for my passport?
They let me leave, but it was clear that my foreign permit was no longer valid because I was Swiss (why doesn’t it say that on their control screens??) so I was traveling without valid Swiss residence identification. Woohoo.
When we returned, I had to play the game again and they were a little more suspicious about letting me back into the country. They asked where is my letter confirming my citizenship and I told them that I didn’t think I had to bring that because my foreign permit was valid until August 2015, and nobody explained that it would automatically terminate!
We arrived home on a Monday morning and headed straight to work. In the evening at home, I realized that the town hall had been informed about the final decision and they did send me a helpful little leaflet about how to get the passport. The kicker was that they said they don’t have anything to do with it and I could have done it all on my own in December if I had known the steps!
On Tuesday I made an appointment to go to the Travel Office. The appointment slots fill up very quickly in the evening, but I managed to get one for the next day on Wednesday and after a 15 minute stop in the morning, I was done. By Friday morning, I received my shiny new passport in the post and the following Monday, a week after arriving home, I already had the Swiss identification card as well. How is that for efficiency??
We’re a bit late, but Kay and I are throwing a party this week to celebrate my citizenship. We don’t have parties that often, but this definitely seems worth celebrating!