How to get dual citizenship in Switzerland?

2.10.2022
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швейцария двойное гражданство

Currently, about 20 percent of the Swiss indigenous population has two passports. You can also become a dual citizen. First, you will need to get a residence permit in this country. Such a procedure should be carried out through a tax agreement or on any other basis.

Since 1992, Switzerland has allowed its residents to take citizenship of another state. Almost every fifth or sixth citizen who is already more than 15 years old has several passports in addition to the Swiss one. Thus, in this state, it is allowed to be a citizen of different countries.

According to statistics, about 50 percent of Swiss people living in Geneva have multiple passports. In cities such as Zurich and Basel, this figure hovers around 20 percent. The smallest percentage is observed in Nirvalden Uri, Obwalden.

In most cases, Swiss citizens apply for a second citizenship in Italy. In second place in popularity is France. The third place in the rating is occupied by Germany.

How can I get dual Swiss citizenship?

dual citizenship in switzerland

If we look again at the statistics, more than 70 percent of Swiss citizens acquired multiple citizenship through naturalization. At the same time, about 40 percent became Swiss citizens at birth.

Many people dream of living in this beautiful country. Obtaining Swiss citizenship by naturalization is considered the most popular method. In most countries, a second citizenship is obtained by going through this process.

So that you can understand, to apply for Swiss citizenship, you must have lived in the territory of this country for a certain period of time. Your residence must be legal. Migrants often have to stay in their potential homeland for more than a decade. Of course, this period is not long, but during this time you will be able to adapt among the locals, learn the laws of the host state, learn to respect the values of this people and learn at least one national language.

If you are married to a Swiss citizen who has been living in this country for a certain period of time or has Swiss roots, then you can count on easy and fast naturalization.

On our website, you can also learn how to get citizenship in other equally popular countries.

Advantages of Swiss citizenship

dual swiss citizenship

Foreign citizens who reside in the territory of this state legally, but have not yet passed naturalization, have some restrictions in their rights, unlike Swiss citizens. For example, they are not allowed to participate in political elections. After they are issued a Swiss passport, they will be able to fully participate in any activities of this state and enjoy other privileges.

A study of government organizations has shown that multiple citizenship provides integration of the economy and culture, in addition, each citizen is given the opportunity to get a high-paying position.

It is noted that people who have received Swiss citizenship are as loyal and loyal to this state as the indigenous people.

Can your Swiss passport be legally taken away from you?

Such a measure is taken only in rare cases. For example, one woman who had Swiss and French citizenship was stripped of the former because of her decision to join ISIS. She wanted to move with her children by different men. She wasn’t going to notify the men of her decision.

If you study the information in the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, you can find out that you can lose your passport of this country if you have caused significant damage to the reputation of Switzerland by your actions. Such rare situations include high treason or an act of terrorism.

Is it possible to renounce citizenship of other countries on a voluntary basis?

swiss citizenship

Over the past ten years, more than a thousand American citizens living in Switzerland have refused to be US citizens. The main reason for refusal is unwillingness to pay taxes in America.

The United States is the only industrial country that requires taxes from its citizens, regardless of where they live. In this situation, taxation is carried out on the basis of issuing passports.

Another equally interesting case involved a member of the Swiss Cabinet of Ministers. Ignazion Cassis voluntarily renounced his citizenship in Italy before the Swiss Federal Council elections. He committed this act so that no one would accuse him of multiple citizenship. But even here, there were people who were dissatisfied with his disinterested intentions. They criticized his decision and accused him of abandoning his homeland because of political opportunism.

What do you need to know before applying for citizenship in Switzerland?

Few people know that obtaining citizenship in this country is an expensive and rather lengthy event, and no one guarantees that the procedure will end successfully. As a result of various geopolitical events, many foreign citizens decide to move to Switzerland, and intend to get a local passport. Below we will provide information about this process and tell you whether it is difficult to get the desired document.

According to the legislation of the country, you must pass two procedures that allow you to obtain citizenship in Switzerland.

Most of the foreign migrants pass through naturalization, which can be either regular or standard. There is also an “accelerated ” version, which means a faster process with minimal complexity. Usually, this opportunity is given to foreigners who have married citizens of this country.

swiss citizenship by investment

According to accelerated naturalization, foreign spouses can obtain Swiss citizenship by getting married. To do this, you must be legally married for at least 3 years, and you must live in the country itself for at least 5 years. Official statistics confirm that more than 10 thousand applications received from migrants on the basis of naturalization were successfully completed in 2018. All of these applications were reviewed in an expedited manner.

In the course of ordinary naturalization, foreigners may be subject to various requirements.

If you don’t plan on getting married or marrying Swiss natives, then you’ll have a longer and more difficult route ahead of you. To apply for citizenship, you need to meet the criteria that were established by the authorities, among them::

  • canton,
  • commune,
  • The confederation.

The Federal Law on Migrants states that a candidate must legally stay in the country for 10 years. In some situations, the time limit may be reduced. For example, you lived in the country when you were still a teenager and had a residence permit type “C”. A few years ago, owners of other types of residence permits could apply for naturalization.

Authorized bodies carefully check whether the applicant complies with the laws of the country, maintains order, and poses a threat to state security. To acquire citizenship, you need to adapt well among the local population, that is, participate in the social and economic life of Switzerland, and speak the official language.

Can I be denied citizenship?

residence permit switzerland marriage

In 2018, changes were made to the legislation. The new law states that if you have requested social assistance from the state over the past three years, you cannot apply for citizenship until you pay the amount of benefits received.

If you have received social benefits, then you do not meet the federal requirement that a foreign migrant should participate in the economic development of the country, namely, bring benefits, receive educational services, or act as a labor force.

How long do you need to live in a particular canton to obtain Swiss citizenship?

Being in a particular region or canton plays an important role in the naturalization process. You can’t move frequently from one place to another and then apply for citizenship. Each canton has its own rules, but in any case, there is a certain period that you must live in a particular canton.

For example, in Geneva and Bern, migrants are required to stay in the territory for at least two years. St. Gallen provides a stay of more than 8 years. Zurich requires foreigners to stay in the municipality for 2 years. If you have met these requirements, you can safely submit an application for naturalization.

How to become a Swiss citizen – do you need to know the local language?

swiss citizenship through marriage

Deep knowledge and fluency in the state language are serious grounds for obtaining Swiss citizenship. Previously, foreign migrants were subject to different requirements, depending on their belonging to the canton. But after the adopted changes in the legislation in 2018, the applicant for citizenship must have at least the basics of the official language.

Currently, candidates are required to demonstrate writing and speaking skills. Writing should be at least at an elementary level, and speaking should be at an intermediate level. These requirements are a Pan-European standard for assessing language skills among migrants.

The cantonal authorities should set higher requirements for foreigners. For example, in some regions, German language skills are required at least at an average level.This applies not only to speaking, but also to writing.

There are cases when candidates can be exempted from the need to pass this exam. If, for example, the applicant’s native language coincides with one of the national languages of Switzerland, then he may not prove his competence in this matter.

You can also save yourself from this procedure by confirming that you have received a school education in Switzerland for five years. If you received a certificate or higher education from a school or university in the country where you studied in one of the official languages, you can skip this step.

How different can the rules be in different cantons?

get swiss citizenship

Each canton has certain requirements for its residents. Often, the rules depend on how well you have integrated into the local community. The authorities will be interested in whether you have made friends, how you behave in the work team. You should also know information about the area in which you live, as well as get acquainted with the history, traditions, and legislation of Switzerland.

As a rule, most communes and cantons practice interviewing candidates. This event is organized so that a foreign migrant can prove their integration into the indigenous community, as well as prove their knowledge of information about Switzerland. During such meetings, a foreigner may be asked various questions, such as how many lakes there are in a given canton, when a particular public holiday is celebrated, or ask to tell about one of the local traditions.

Sometimes a committee made up of the local population is invited for an interview. Its participants vote for or against the applicant’s application. This is why you need to be able to communicate with the local community.

In 2017, a case was published in the press when a woman was denied citizenship. The reason for the refusal was her opposition to the tradition of hanging bells around the necks of cattle. Later, she still managed to get citizenship after an appeal.

How to get Swiss citizenship through marriage?

Innovations in the legislation do not provide for automatic naturalization even when entering into an official marriage. We have already indicated above how long the candidate needs to live in the country and be married. Also, the migrant must meet the conditions that relate to integration into the local community. To do this, you should not avoid communicating with the indigenous people.

How long will it take to get citizenship?

swiss citizenship

Each foreign migrant may be interested in how long it will take to process their application and obtain citizenship of this country. If you decide to use the standard naturalization route, the procedure may take years. In this case, the duration of the process depends on where you live.

Until 2018, the canton delayed the procedure for up to 2.5 years. But now the deadline for reviewing applications has been reduced to one and a half years. If you have submitted an application, then do not try to move, otherwise you will have to start all over again.

How much will Swiss citizenship cost you?

Due to the fact that the country has three levels of authority, you will have to pay 3 fees for the procedures for accepting and processing applications based on naturalization. The Confederation sets payments in the amount of 100-150 Swiss francs. At the same time, fees in communes and cantons are much higher. Communal rates often start at 500 francs and end at 1,000 francs. Cantons charge migrants up to 2,000 francs.

In Geneva, adult migrants first need to pay 1,250 francs, then an additional 1,000 francs. These payments are mandatory, otherwise your application will not be accepted and reviewed. However, it should be understood that there is a possibility of failure. In Zurich, the base rate is 1,700 francs, followed by additional payments at the commune level.

Which canton is easier to get citizenship in?

swiss citizenship switzerland citizenship

If you follow the data published in newspapers, you can come to the conclusion that in the west of the country, passports based on naturalization and marriage are issued more generously than in other regions. The largest number of migrants in 2020 received citizenship in Zurich. This canton is considered the most populous in the whole country. Its population exceeds 1.5 million citizens.

In 2020, just over 4,500 people were approved in Geneva, with a population of half a million.

Dual citizenship is allowed in Switzerland, but what happens in other countries? Citizens of this country can freely hold two passports and, of course, many migrants also want to take advantage of this opportunity. However, some countries do not welcome multiple citizenship. If you live in a country where dual citizenship is prohibited, you will automatically lose your native citizenship if you receive a Swiss passport.

Can I buy Swiss citizenship with an investment?

On the Internet, you can often find information or even an offer to purchase citizenship for money. Sometimes you can even find a specific price for this service.

But do not believe this trick. The paradox of this situation is that this option is not available in this state. Legislation does not issue a passport for money. If you were offered to buy a passport of this country, then stay away from such people, they are scammers. Switzerland does not sell citizenship for investment. In this case, you can only “buy” a residence permit. This option is called lump-sum taxation and is a completely legal method.

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