Tribune de Genève.
A German national who married a Swiss citizen lost his right to Swiss citizenship after Swiss authorities learned he had evaded tax in Germany.
Four years after marrying, the man applied to become Swiss. In March 2014, he was granted the right to be naturalised under the facilitated process, a process requiring fewer years of residence, which is offered to those married to Swiss citizens. Two months later, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) went back on its decision after learning of the man’s problems with the German tax authorities.
The Bavarian courts, which have accused the man of evading tax of more than a million euros, demanded his arrest and extradition, something the Swiss authorities refused to grant.
The Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, recently upheld the SEM decision.
According to the Federal Tribunal, SEM was right to go back on its decision, even if as a general rule a contravention does not take away the right to naturalisation. The sum involved is significant and tax evasion is a serious matter. Withdrawing the right to citizenship was not disproportionate, concluded the court.