Becoming A Swiss Citizen: General Requirements And Ordinary Process


Why Switzerland?

There is no place like Switzerland - the distinctness of Swiss culture owes not only to the courage of William Tell, the world-famous Matterhorn, its cheeses and chocolates - but also to an exquisite variety of amusing dialects and puzzling expressions.

Switzerland boasts of various institutions, habits and interesting customs: its unbelievably complicated electoral procedures, its referenda and initiatives, its specialised economy with its banks and watches, its complicated federalism with cantons and communes and central government, its three official and four national languages, its neutral status, its astonishing wealth per head, its huge proportion of foreign workers, its efficient public services and its religious divisions.

If your aim to become a citizen of Switzerland, there are some important details to consider from an immigration perspective. In this blog, I will outline the steps to undertake in case you qualify for regular naturalisation.

Regular Naturalisation

The Swiss passport has the reputation of one of Europe's most difficult passports to obtain, but it does provide travelling benefits - the Swiss passport ranks fourth on the passport power index with visa-free access to 155 countries.

If you take on Swiss nationality you can keep your current nationality/nationalities (and so have dual or more nationalities) as long as your country of origin also accepts it.

Because of the ability to keep other nationalities in addition to the Swiss nationality, British citizens who do qualify are considering taking up Swiss citizenship following the UK's vote to exit the EU.

General Requirements

Foreigners with no direct blood ties to Switzerland through either birth or marriage must live in the country for at least 10 years before they can apply for citizenship. Years spent in the country between ages eight and 18 count double, but in this case the actual stay in Switzerland must be at least six years.

The following stays are counted towards the duration requirement:

stays with permits B or C; stays with a so-called "carte de legitimation" issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) or with a Ci permit; stays with F permit; however, only half of this length of stay is credited. Cantonal legislation sets its own requirements regarding the length of stay in a particular Canton and commune. Usually, the regulations stipulate a minimum stay of between two and five years in the municipality and canton.


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