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HOW TO BECOME A CITIZEN OF SWITZERLAND

INTRODUCTION

Switzerland may seem small compared to other larger European countries, yet it is one of the best and safest countries to live and work in. The unending beauty of Switzerland will leave you in wonder.

Why Choose Switzerland? Switzerland is ranked fourth among the happiest countries in the world. The scenic train rides, ski trips, chocolates and spectacular landscapes will forever hold a place in your mind. Switzerland also provides one of the world’s best educational systems giving opportunities to students all around the world. To hold citizenship in this spectacular country will give you free visa access to 155 other countries in Europe.

If you’re looking at how to become a Swiss citizen, you have come across the right page! Here we have all the answers to your questions on acquiring Swiss citizenship. This complete guide will help you find solutions for all your questions on Swiss citizenship.

HOW TO BECOME A CITIZEN OF SWITZERLAND

How to apply for citizenship

How to apply for citizenship through birth or descent

Gaining citizenship in Switzerland through birth or descent unlike many other countries will require a true process before handing over your Switzerland citizenship. To apply for citizenship through birth, the below are the criteria should be followed :

  • Child of married parents one of whom is Swiss
  • Child born to an unmarried Swiss mother
  • Child of an unmarried Swiss father, when the paternity is acknowledged before the age of 22
  • Child of a parent who lost their Swiss citizenship but shows close relation with Switzerland
  • A foreign child of 22 years who have lived 5 years in Switzerland and was not included in the

How to apply for citizenship through naturalization

With several travel benefits, Switzerland’s passport is ranked fourth in the passport power index with visa-free access to about 155 countries in the world. To apply for regular naturalization the following are the requirements to meet to apply for your citizenship :

  • Staying with a B or C permit
  • Staying with a Ci permit
  • Staying with a F permit
  • Minimum knowledge on the national language
  • Familiarisation with Swiss customs and traditions.

On how to get Switzerland citizenship through naturalization procedure, once the application is submitted it will undergo three basic levels involving cantonal, communal and federal authorities before getting the Swiss citizenship. The process is quite lengthy which might take at least some years before reviewing the citizenship.

How to apply for citizenship through marriage

If you are waiting to apply for your citizenship after your marriage to a Swiss citizen, then you’re eligible to apply under the simplified naturalization process in Switzerland. If you live in Switzerland you can get the application form by directly emailing the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) at ch@sem.admin.ch, with your postal address to be sent to you by post. Once completed with the details to be provided in the form submit it to the SEM by post.

The below are the requirements for gaining citizenship through marriage in Switzerland :

  •  Should be married for at least three years.
  • The husband or wife of the Swiss citizen must live a total of 5 years, including 12 months prior submitting your application.
  • B1 level and written to A2 level knowledge on the Swiss National Language.
  • Will be assessed to prove as no danger to Switzerland’s internal and external security.

General Requirements

Who is eligible for Swiss citizenship?

  • Child born to a married couple, one of whom is Swiss
  • Child born to an unmarried Swiss mother or Swiss father.
  • Married to a Swiss citizen for at least 3 years.
  • Should be legally residing in Switzerland for at least 10 years.
  • The applicants must hold a C residence permit during the submission of application for Swiss citizenship.
  • Applicants must be familiar and blend with Swiss society.
  • Familiar with the Swiss way of life.
  • No risk for Switzerland’s security

Citizenship test in Switzerland

Is test easy to get Swiss citizenship?

The Swiss test varies across the country according to the Swiss cantons and communes where you are taking the test. The costs and the application process will also differ according to the Swiss canton you are staying in. They include questions regarding the language and general information of Switzerland. Although the questions seem easy, they can be confusing at times. To know more about how to become a Swiss resident, one has to undergo various procedures to acquire Swiss citizenship.

Regular Naturalisation

How do you become a naturalized citizen of Switzerland?

You can become a naturalized citizen of Switzerland by various circumstances that are available to foreign citizens, who want to hold permanent Swiss citizenship by undergoing and applying for the process suitable for them.

  • The Simplified Naturalisation is an option for the people who married a Swiss citizen or were born and raised in Switzerland and belong to a third generation foreign family who have been living in Switzerland for a long time.
  • The Ordinary Naturalisation, is the one for the people who have been living in Switzerland for about 10 years and who hold a permanent residence permit (C permit) in Switzerland.

Swiss citizenship benefits

What are the advantages of Swiss citizenship?

Switzerland with its breathtaking beauty and various opportunities to explore is one of the best countries to reside and find your inner passion. If you are looking at how to get Swiss citizenship, then one should also know the benefits of moving to Switzerland as well. The below points will help you with the advantages of living in Switzerland.

ADVANTAGES OF SWITZERLAND CITIZENSHIP
Ranked fourth as the happiest country in the world
You can exercise the power of the people and vote
Swiss passport is a power factor in the global travel market
You won’t be requiring tourist visa for most countries
You cannot be deported from Switzerland, no matter what
Easier to get certain jobs when you are a Swiss
Highly democratic country
Incredibly low university costs for citizens
Higher standards and quality living
The crime rate is very low.

Renaturalisation

Renaturalisation of citizenship is only possible if you were a Swiss citizen and lost it because either you relieved the citizenship or married a foreign citizen. Renaturalisation is only possible according to the below criteria :

  • Having close relations in Switzerland
  • Showing respect for public security and order
  • Not posing danger to Switzerland’s internal and external security

Costs of the naturalization application

After 10 years as a resident in Switzerland, foreigners who aren’t eligible for simplified naturalization can apply for ordinary naturalization. The application process, costs and processing time differ according to the various Swiss cantons and communes. You have to contact your local canton naturalization authority to understand the exact process and to know more information regarding the application process.

The costs of a naturalization application in Switzerland depending upon the canton level will cost about CHF 2,000 per person and according to the commune, the level will cost about 1,000 per person.

Documents required for the submission of your application through naturalization :
Proof of C residence permit
Valid ID
Proof of language proficiency acquired from an authorized language school in Switzerland
Your address in Switzerland
Application form

Rules & Regulations

There are several rules and regulations with several recently needed requirements for applying for Switzerland citizenship. There are various rules to be followed while applying for your permanent Swiss citizenship. This would give you a brief idea of how to get Swiss citizenship while moving or living in Switzerland.

  • Being well integrated and should live about 10 years in Switzerland before starting the naturalization procedure.
  • The applicants residing only with a  B-, F- or C-Permit are considered for Swiss citizenship.
  • The applicant should have specific minimum language requirements.
  • The applicant must not be receiving any welfare benefits at time of application.
  • Residing between 10 or 20 years in Switzerland.
  • No crime records and should be of no threat to the internal and external Switzerland security.
  • Acquiescence with the Swiss rule of law

Overview of the ordinary naturalization/ process

The Swiss passport is one of the most difficult passports to be obtained in Europe, which has free visa access to about 155 countries in the world. There are basically three levels of citizenship involved in the process – communal, cantonal and federal authorities.

On how to become a Swiss resident, during the submission of the application for ordinary naturalization, the applicant must reach a minimum length of stay of 10 years in Switzerland and must hold a permanent residence permit in order to submit an application for ordinary naturalization. Once the application is submitted to the cantonal or communal authority, it will be registered and will be undergoing several surveys and interviews to determine the eligibility of the applicant’s naturalization procedure. Swiss citizenship can only be acquired after the federal authority has granted the permit. The cantonal and communal fees vary greatly, although the federal fees are considered minimal.

PROS AND CONS OF SWITZERLAND CITIZENSHIP

PROSCONS
Abundant and affordable health care servicesSwiss citizenship process is difficult compared to other countries
Best educational systemsYou will be required to have a minimum stay of 10 years in Switzerland for citizenship, compared to other countries which require only about 5 years of stay (USA, Canada).
The Swiss passport carries visa-free access to over 155 countriesA lengthy process probably takes about several years to grant citizenship
Ranked as the fourth happiest country in the worldFees need to be paid at different levels – cantonal, communal and federal
 Right to vote in public elections.The Swiss citizenship test is difficult to pass.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Is it hard to become a Swiss citizen?

Compared to other countries, becoming a citizen in Switzerland is quite a lengthy and costly process. The process might take up to several years to pass through the three levels of authorization to grant Swiss citizenship.

Is it easy to get a job in Switzerland?

Although Switzerland is one of the best countries to live and work in, finding a job with long work hours is difficult in Switzerland.  The competition and opportunities for various jobs in Switzerland are fierce and one might have to go through various selection processes to enter into any job in Switzerland. Language is one of the most important keys to unlocking job opportunities in Switzerland.

How hard is it to immigrate to Switzerland?

If you are not an EU citizen, it will be harder for you to immigrate to Switzerland compared to those who are EU citizens. If it is student immigration, immigration and job findings will be much easier compared to other foreigners. Also if you are married to a Swiss citizen, immigration and stay become easier for you. It is also a must factor to know all the languages (French, Italian, German) to find a job or to make some friends.

CONCLUSION

Here is the ultimate guide on how to get Switzerland citizenship, the requirements, rules and criteria, you should know before applying for your Switzerland citizenship. Prepare the requirements and documents with your application form and the information on the canton authority you are planning to submit. This is a lengthy process and also may take some years to receive your citizenship. Switzerland’s citizenship might be difficult to obtain as it is ranked fourth in the world for its passport power index.

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