Update: 27.05.2009

Residence Permit is OK for the Mother of a Naturalised Child

The Swiss Federal Court allowed a Turkish mother to stay in Switzerland with her naturalised Swiss child after the death of her husband. The child's interest is more important, it empahsised. With this decision of 27 March 2009, the Federal Court  loosened former practices.

In 2003, the Tushish national married a Turkish man, thus obtaining a residence permit. Shortly after, her husband gained the Swiss nationality. In 2004, their daughter was born, automatically a Swiss citizen. After the death due to illness of her husband and father of the child, in 2005, the Turkish mother was refused the extention of the residence permit. She wasn'tmarried long enough with the desceased, it was argued. 

Former practice of the Swiss federal court criticised

According to the Federal Office of Migration, the return in Turkey of mother and daughter was justified. In 2008, the Administrative Court declined the woman’s appeal for an extension of her residence permit. However, the Federal Court decided differently and even criticised former practices. According to these, a Swiss child was to share the destiny of his or her foreign parent, and, therefore had to folow the evicted parent in his or her country of origin. The Federal Court juges acknowledge that the often-heard critics on this practice were- at least partly- legitimate.

Focus on the child’s interest

In such cases, the child's rights and those of his or her citizenship must be more largely taken into account, argued the Federal Court. Not only has the four years old girl a real interest to engage in the Swiss educational system and life conditions, but also her young age guarantees her integration. Indeed, having a Swiss passport authorises the girl to return in Switzerland when she reaches the age of 18. The Federal Court additionally argued that an eviction would indirectly violate the child’s freedom of residence and movement as well as the prohibition of expulsion of Swiss citizen.  

For all these reasons, the judges decided that Swiss children should not be forced to follow their mother or father to their country of origin - in particular when the concerned parent is not subject of any negative appearance. Consequently the Federal Court decided, that the well integrated Turkish mother should become an extension of her residence permit with the purpose of her Swiss child can grow in Switzerland.


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