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Immigration: Indian family forced to leave Switzerland after 20 years

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Immigration: Indian family forced to leave Switzerland after 20 years
Switzerland's former President Doris Leuthard (L) walks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the leave for a meeting in New Delhi on August 31, 2017 Image: Money SHARMA / AFP

An Indian family who has lived in Switzerland for 20 years - with two children born in the Alpine nation - has been forced to leave after a court decision upheld a decision not to extend the father’s residence permit.

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The Bern administrative court ruled on Monday that the decision of cantonal immigration authorities not to extend the father’s residency permit was valid. 

The story has made waves in Switzerland and abroad as the family’s two children - aged 16 and 11 years - will also be forced to return despite having never lived in India

The parents arrived in Switzerland from India in 2000. 

The man’s residency permit extension request was denied due to a string of business-related offences, including embezzlement, fraudulent bankruptcy and mismanagement. 

In 2017, he served six months of a 30-month sentence in relation to the offences. 

In dismissing the man’s appeal, the court said that the man was poorly integrated into Swiss society and that the family had accrued too much debt. 

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The judges did however give the potential for a reprieve to the family’s 16-year-old daughter, who began a vocational training program in mid-2019. 

The court said that the daughter may be able to stay in Switzerland due to her “special circumstances”, provided that she can prove she has sufficient financial resources and supervision. 

The court said that while the issuing of residence permits to minors was unusual in Swiss law, it was not expressly prohibited. 

The notion of ‘integration’ is a prominent consideration of migration authorities in deciding whether or not residency permits will be approved. 

Switzerland will vote on an initiative to restrict immigration in late September. 

READ: What is Switzerland's referendum to restrict migration and will it pass? 

 

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