• Switzerland's news in English
 
moving_to_switz_header

Migrant group slams citizenship changes

Published: 23 Aug 2012 12:56 GMT+02:00

Among the modifications to be debated next month in parliament is a requirement that only holders of C residency permits would be eligible to seek citizenship.

Holders of such permits are foreigners from the European Union or European Free Trade Agreement countries who have been granted a “settlement permit” after living in Switzerland for five or ten years.

C permits are also available to foreigners from other countries who have been granted settlement permits after ten years of uninterrupted residence in Switzerland.

The proposed revision will allow for eligible foreign residents to apply for citizenship after living eight years in the country, reduced from the current 12 years.

But this will be more than offset by the C permit requirement, according to a study from the University of Geneva.

The study was presented in Bern this week by the federal commission for migration issues (FCM).

It concluded that the number of new naturalized citizens would drop by 3,500 a year if the new proposals are accepted.

Switzerland’s citizenship requirements are among the toughest in the world.

Almost a quarter of the country’s residents are foreigners.

But even for children of these foreigners who are Swiss-born, citizenship is far from automatic, requiring approval at federal, cantonal and municipal levels.

The FCM recommends that citizenship be handled by a single body and that children born in the country should be automatically eligible to carry a Swiss passport.

“Obtaining (Swiss) citizenship allowed me to integrate in the country,” Fiametta Jahreiss, vice-chairwoman of the federal commission, told a press conference, according to the ATS news agency.

This is the opposite of the idea that it is necessary to become integrated in the country before earning citizenship, said Jahreiss, who became a citizen through marriage.

The University of Geneva study showed that most cases of naturalized citizenship were granted in urban areas.

Between 2005 and 2010,  the Zurich region recorded 61,852 “naturalizations”, the most in the country.

A total of 62,077 foreigners became Swiss citizens over the same period in the Lake Geneva region, including the cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Valais.

The study showed that the number of such new citizens was markedly lower in rural areas.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

2012-08-24 16:09:22 by Strictly
Interesting!
Today's headlines
Le Locle epidemic due to E.Coli in water supply
Residents are advised to avoid drinking the water in Le Locle. Photo: Neuchatel Tourism

Le Locle epidemic due to E.Coli in water supply

Authorities in Swiss watchmaking town Le Locle, where a mystery stomach bug has laid low up to 1,000 residents, have confirmed the presence of E.Coli bacteria in the water supply. READ  

Swiss equestrians ride again after drugs appeal
Steve Guerdat and Nino des Buissonnets compete in La Baule in May. Photo: Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP

Swiss equestrians ride again after drugs appeal

Swiss rider Steve Guerdat, the individual show jumping gold medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, is free to compete again after the international equestrian federation (FEI) announced on Monday they would lift a provisional ban. READ  

EXPAT GUIDE | Presented by Greenback
Taxes in Switzerland: the easy way
Photo: MoneyImages/Flickr

Taxes in Switzerland: the easy way

Tax season is daunting enough at home – let alone in a foreign country. That’s why expats David and Carrie McKeegan started Greenback, the tax company designed specifically for American expats. The Local talked to the couple about how to handle taxes in Switzerland. READ  

Calm Paléo festival sees decrease in crime
David Guetta brought the festival to a close. Photo: L Flusin/Paleo

Calm Paléo festival sees decrease in crime

The 40th edition of Nyon’s Paléo festival came to an end on Sunday on a positive note, with no major incidents and an overall reduction in crime, according to figures released on Monday by Vaud cantonal police. READ  

'Resilient' UBS bounces back with big profits
Photo: The Local

'Resilient' UBS bounces back with big profits

UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, on Monday posted second quarter profits of 1.2 billion Swiss francs ($1.25 billion, 1.1 billion euros), a 53 percent rise over the same period last year, which beat expectations. READ  

Two men arrested over Yverdon hitchhiker death
Police arrested the suspects at Yverdon train station. Photo: Roland Zumbuhl (picswiss)

Two men arrested over Yverdon hitchhiker death

Two suspects are being held in custody after the battered body of a 53-year-old man was found near the port of Yverdon-les-Bains in the early hours of Friday, Vaud cantonal police announced on Sunday. READ  

Mystery stomach bug hits Swiss watch capital
The Unesco World Heritage Site of Le Locle is Switzerland's third smallest city. Photo: Swiss Tourism

Mystery stomach bug hits Swiss watch capital

Residents of the Swiss city of Le Locle, world famous for its watch production, have been laid low by a nasty infection with authorities warning people not to drink the water. READ  

Federer and Wawrinka in Swiss Davis Cup return
Photo: SwissTennis

Federer and Wawrinka in Swiss Davis Cup return

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka have made themselves available for Switzerland's Davis Cup World Group playoff match against the Netherlands in September. READ  

Bern joins ban on campfires and fireworks
Photo: Zermatt.ch

Bern joins ban on campfires and fireworks

Barbecues will not be permitted in Bern’s forests this weekend as the canton became the latest to ban the lighting of open-air fires. READ  

Vineyards look forward to bumper harvest
Photo:myswitzerland.com

Vineyards look forward to bumper harvest

The 2015 vintage could be a great one for many Swiss winegrowers, thanks to the hot, dry summer. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
The Expat Guide: Moving to Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
National
Swiss army airlifts water to thirsty cows
International
Canary Islands: diver killed in collision with Swiss windsurfer
National
VIDEO: Seagull steals camera for amazing bird's eye selfie
Switzerland celebrates first ascent of Matterhorn
Politics
Immigrant recruits may not be loyal: Army chief
Solar Impulse 2 round-the-world flight halted for repairs
Society
Teenager gets high on vegetarian meal at Zurich club
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
Geneva's revolutionary marketing education
National
Greece seeks tax revenues from assets 'hidden' in Swiss banks
Culture
Paris police arrest Swiss artist for naked Eiffel Tower selfies
National
Scientists uncover largest Swiss dinosaur skeleton ever found
National
National weather office extends danger alerts as heatwave takes hold
National
Most severe heatwave in Switzerland since 2003 on the way
Travel
Bogglingly expensive Geneva club sandwiches remain 'priciest in world'
Politics
Anti-immigration nationalist party remains most popular: poll
National
Greek finance minister slams Swiss over lack of tax evasion info
Business & Money
Insects proposed for sale in Swiss supermarkets next year
National
'Oh God — I'm coming': noisy lovers' complaint goes public
National
Canton of Ticino threatens closing Italy border to asylum seekers
National
Just in case: Swiss National Bank prepares for Grexit 'crisis'
National
Russian crisis fuelled by sanctions threaten 40,000 Swiss jobs: study
National
Art Basel: Art for art's sake — or to make an investment?
National
New survey ranks Zurich Europe's priciest city for expatriates
National
Quarter of residents in Switzerland 'have multiple homes'
Features
Veggie lovers and 'flexitarians' challenge Swiss meat-eating habits
National
Forest officials struggle to save Switzerland's dying ash trees
Education
Historian finds ancient Egyptian papyrus texts in Basel uni library
National
Seven large Swiss employers back 'flexible work' charter
National
Basel police rescue of ducks forces closure of A2 motorway
National
Mother and daughter die as rain storms lash central Switzerland
Sport
'Stan the man' Wawrinka: French Open triumph 'completely crazy'
Culture
Expat's Zurich 'then and now' video shows how little the city has changed
National
Phoney Geneva police officers rob tourists and UN staff
Sport
Blatter's abrupt resignation seen as a 'stunning capitulation'
Features
Cleanup crews head to ski resorts to keep Swiss mountains tidy
Culture
Interlaken museum showcases works by Picasso using Caran d'Ache pencils
National
Low interest rates give tenants right to seek rent reductions in Switzerland
Sport
Switzerland's Blatter fends off critics to win fifth term as Fifa president
National
Agricultural researchers discover why Swiss cheese has holes
Culture
Swiss filmmaker returns home to shoot 'gender-fluid' film in Ticino
Features
Severed rope recalls Matterhorn's first ascent 150 years ago
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se