Marriage made in Switzerland

6 months ago, Lizzy (my wife) applied for a new Swiss passport as she’s half Swiss and entitled to both a British & Swiss passport. The process was fairly tricky to get right with things needed to be signed & stamped… and not just stamped, but stamped with name, date, address etc! On the second or third attempt they accepted the application form and asked for us to send some original documents to them to complete the process… Our marriage certificate (fair enough, Lizzy had changed her name since she last had a Swiss passport), MY passport & MY birth certificate (this seemed a bit over the top, but we figured it was just Swiss thoroughness).

We posted the documents off on a Thursday I think and they arrived back with us on the Saturday morning… that is, all but our marriage certificate. They must have looked at the documents and popped them straight back in the post – what great customer service! What efficiency! The letter explained that our marriage certificate had been sent to the authorities in Swizterland. We figured that would get returned separately. We figured wrong…

We needed a copy of the marriage certificate for Lizzy to renew her nursing registration and when we went to look for it, we realised that the Swiss authorities had never returned it. Oh dear, we though, they must have forgotten about it! We thought wrong…

It turns out that they keep your original marriage certificate and you’re not allowed to have it back! We’re gutted! I can’t believe I’ll never see my original marriage certificate again 🙁

We’re going to try to get 2 duplicates written up by the registry office – use one for Lizzy’s nursing reg and one for sending to Switzerland and requesting a swap with the original. I’m not sure it will work, but it’s worth a try for the cost of a £7 copy. Wish we’d realised in the first place and done that then…

Switzerland may be great at a lot of things (like running trains on time, making chocolate and staying neutral) it seems they are not so great in all areas…

Author: Alex

I am X3JA

2 thoughts on “Marriage made in Switzerland”

  1. Nice… I don’t need a marriage certificate to remind me that I’m married…

    … it’s apparent by the near constant moaning noise in my ear… 🙂

  2. I worked in Switzerland for a while and absolutely love the country.

    However, were it not for my employer, there’s no way I would have been able to negotiate the amazing amount of paperwork that needs completing and stamping etc.

    So good luck.


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