According to daily paper 20 Minutes, the Vaud cantonal court didn't believe they were in love, but that the man, from Tunisia, simply wanted to live in Switzerland.
Speaking to 20 Minutes, the Swiss pensioner said she met her 21-year-old boyfriend on the internet when he was just 18.
“We both like rap, walks in the countryside. We have the same ideas,” said the retired secretary, who was previously married to a man 13 years her junior.
Having never met her intended in person, in August last year the woman took a five-day visit to Tunisia to visit him, and the couple lodged their request to marry with the Swiss ambassador in Tunisia.
But a court refused the request at the end of April, judging it “emotional fraud with the aim of migration”, the Vaud civil registry office told the paper.
According to Swiss law, couples wishing to get married must submit an application to the registry office in their place of residence which will then examine if they meet all requirements and the wedding can go ahead.
A couple may not marry “in order to circumvent laws on the admission and residence of foreign nationals”.
Speaking to 20 Minutes the young Tunisian said the 50-year age gap “didn't pose any problems” for him.
“I don't want to have children. I love her and I want to live with her,” he said.