Switzerland is unique in its culture, thanks not only to William Tell’s bravery, the world-famous Matterhorn, its cheeses and chocolates but also to a fantastic range of entertaining accents and perplexing idioms and countless more reasons.
Citizenship can be granted to various persons in Switzerland, including foreign residents who have resided in the nation for the requisite amount of time. However, it is not necessary for long-term residents, and many ex-pats elect to get permanent status instead. If you wish to become a Swiss citizen, consider a few things from an immigration standpoint.
Citizenship by birth or descent
Unlike many other nations, a newborn born in Switzerland does not instantly become a Swiss citizen. There are specific criteria a child must fulfil to qualify for Swiss nationality.
One or both of the married parents would have to be of Swiss nationality, or the child must be born to a Swiss woman who could be unmarried. If fatherhood gets established before 22, a child born to an unmarried Swiss father will be considered a Swiss citizen.
A foreign kid under 22, not born in Switzerland and has spent at least five years in Switzerland, including the year before the application, would also qualify.
Also, a child whose parents lost their Swiss citizenship but has strong links to the country could qualify for Swiss citizenship.
Getting citizenship by naturalisation
Those who aren’t qualified for naturalisation after ten years of continuous residence in Switzerland can apply for Swiss citizenship through conventional citizenship. Anyone who satisfies the residency criteria and holds a C residence permit is eligible.
Years spent in Switzerland between the ages of 8 and 18 get counted twice, allowing persons under 18 to petition for citizenship after five years if they fulfil other qualifications.
You must apply for citizenship through regular naturalisation at three levels – confederation, canton, and commune. While the conditions for all candidates are the same at the federal level, they differ significantly across cantons and communes.
Requirements for Swiss citizenship
There are various extra conditions for citizenship in Switzerland through regular naturalisation at the federal level, such as knowledge of a Swiss national language at the B1 level (spoken) and the A2 level (written). It would help if you also were acquainted with Swiss traditions and absorption with Swiss life adhering to the Swiss legal system.
It would be best if you didn’t pose any threat to Switzerland’s internal or foreign security. There also must be no time spent on social assistance payments in the previous three years unless you return the money.
The Swiss passport has a reputation for being one of Europe’s most challenging to get, but it does come with travel benefits: it ranks fourth on the passport power index, allowing visa-free travel to 155 countries. If you get Swiss citizenship, you can maintain your present nationality/nationalities, as long as your country of origin permits it.
Due to the opportunity to maintain dual nationality in Switzerland, British people who meet the criteria might consider applying for Swiss citizenship since the UK exited from the EU. In 2016, some cantons reported significant increases in citizenship applications.
As of January 2017, dual nationals can apply for diplomatic jobs, overturning an earlier ‘obsolete’ and ‘discriminatory’ restriction and rejecting the notion that such individuals are less loyal or patriotic.
Benefits of a Swiss citizenship
These are some of the perks of becoming a Swiss citizen, and they include the right to live in Switzerland, even if you have lived elsewhere for a long time.
The rights to vote locally and run for public office in Swiss elections, legally being free to work anywhere in Europe, and automatically getting granted for spouse residency are some of the few amongst many others.
Another significant advantage includes primary healthcare and guidance on how to choose the best health insurance. PrimApp is one of the most popular tool online for health insurance comparison. Comparison on PrimApp is easy as it is available in English, French, and Italian language.
However, Swiss citizenship comes with responsibilities. If you’re a non-disabled male adult, you are mandated to serve military forces.
Process for application of citizenship
The application procedure, costs, and processing time vary by canton and commune in Switzerland. It usually takes over a year and costs more than CHF 1,000. Because of the multi-stage procedure, this is the case.
Your application must be submitted through your local canton or municipality. The legislation of your canton determines the particular procedure. One must contact the cantonal naturalisation authority or lookout for Switzerland’s federal, cantonal, and local authorities.
You will need to submit an application form, which you may get from your cantonal office.
As evidence, you may need to show a C residency permit, as well as proof of language competency from a registered language school in Switzerland and any other documentation that your Swiss canton or commune requires to qualify further.
The government body for principal immigration and citizenship granting is the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). On the other hand, citizenship generally gets governed at the cantonal level.
Swiss citizenship requirements vary depending on your country and personal circumstances. After ten years of residency in Switzerland, foreigners are usually eligible for citizenship.
Swiss citizenship ensures that you and your family have the right to stay in Switzerland. As a Swiss citizen, you will have permanent residency in Switzerland and will be able to seek citizenship for additional members of your family. Overall, it is a magnificent country to be a citizen of.