Become a Swiss citizen

Swiss citizenship

Swiss citizenship and how to acquire this under the new laws?

From 1 January 2018, the law changed somewhat when it comes to acquiring Swiss nationality. The procedures for getting a ‘red passport’ are still some of the toughest in Europe.
Swiss nationality is acquired by descent or adoption, as well as the ordinary or facilitated citizenship processes.

You can apply for ordinary citizenship once you have been living in Switzerland for at least 10 years. Facilitated citizenship is reserved for foreign spouses of Swiss citizens, foreign children of Swiss citizens or Swiss third-generation foreign nationals.

To help you through the process, Royaslan sets out the conditions for acquiring Swiss citizenship.

Switzerland Kandersteg

Switzerland Jungfrau


Facilitated citizenship for spouses

The foreign spouse of a Swiss citizen may seek to acquire Swiss citizenship. A facilitated Swiss citizenship application can be submitted if:

  • You’ve been in a married relationship for at least 3 years
  • You’ve been living in Switzerland for at least 5 years, including the year preceding the request (proof of domicile is required)
  • You can demonstrate successful integration by :
    • Speaking one of the national languages (minimum B1 level in oral and A2 on the written side)
    • Proof of paying your taxes. No criminal record, lawsuits / acts of default of property filed against you
    • Respect for the values of the Constitution
    • Participation in economic life or participation in training (employment or training, not living on social security)

The facilitated citizenship procedure costs about CHF 900 per adult and must be paid in advance. This isn’t refundable if your citizenship request is turned down.

If your home is in Switzerland, you must submit your request to the Secretary of State for Migration (SEM). If you’re living abroad, you need to submit your application to an Embassy or Swiss Consulate.

Unlike marriage, civil partnerships don’t come with the same rights to citizenship as being the spouse of a Swiss national. The regulations only provide for an application for ordinary citizenship. In this case, the registered partner must :

  • Hold a settlement permit (permit C)
  • Have lived in Switzerland for 5 years, one year prior to filing the application for citizenship
  • Have lived in a registered civil partnership with your Swiss partner for 3 years

Citizenship for 3rd generation foreigners

In Switzerland, citizenship is granted by descent, according to the principle of the right of blood and not based on the place of birth (right of birthplace). However, 3rd generation foreigners can now apply for assisted citizenship.
To enjoy this right, the conditions listed below are imperative :

Please note that years spent with an N or L permit don’t count. A stay with an F permit can count for half (art. 33 al. 1 lit. b nLN).

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

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