• Switzerland edition
 
Migrant group slams citizenship changes
Photo: European Communities

Migrant group slams citizenship changes

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

2012-08-24 16:09:22 by Strictly
Interesting!
Today's headlines
Burkhalter hails Second World War mobilization
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter. Photo: FDFA

Burkhalter hails Second World War mobilization

Swiss President Didier Burkhalter on Monday thanked the country’s citizens who mobilized 75 years earlier to defend the mountain country when the Second World War broke out. READ  

Swiss pays UK and Austria over tax dodging
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Swiss pays UK and Austria over tax dodging

Switzerland said on Monday that it had completed a programme to pay Britain and Austria hundreds of millions of euros in settlements for past tax-dodging by their citizens. READ  

Japan Novartis unit failed to report 'drug deaths'
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Japan Novartis unit failed to report 'drug deaths'

The Japanese unit of Swiss pharma giant Novartis has admitted it did not report more than 2,500 cases of serious side effects in patients using its leukaemia and other cancer drugs, reportedly including some fatalities. READ  

Swiss health insurance premiums 'set to jump'
Federal Health Minister Alain Berset: set to release official figures later this month. Photo: Federal Assembly

Swiss health insurance premiums 'set to jump'

Swiss health insurance premiums are set to rise steeply overall next year, according to figures revealed by a Sunday newspaper. READ  

Presented by St Bernard Assure Limited
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
Photo: St Bernard Assure Limited

Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard

A new car insurance firm has ripped up the rule book when it comes to selling policies in Switzerland, by cutting out the middle-man and passing the savings onto their customers with its online only model. The Local finds out more. READ  

Bencic and Federer give Swiss double boost
Switzerland's Bencic celebrates at US Open. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America/AFP

Bencic and Federer give Swiss double boost

Seventeen-year-old Belinda Bencic on Sunday became the youngest women's quarterfinalist at the US Open since 1997, giving Switzerland a double boost after Roger Federer moved into the last 16. READ  

Air show draws large crowds to Payerne
Patrouille Suisse in action. Photo: Matthias Kabel

Air show draws large crowds to Payerne

An estimated 160,000 people turned out for the opening weekend of Switzerland’s biggest air show at the Payerne military aerodrome in the canton of Vaud. READ  

Bolivian bus crash claims three Swiss lives
Route in the Uyuni region of Bolivia. Photo: Hermes Images/AFP

Bolivian bus crash claims three Swiss lives

A bus accident in Bolivia over the weekend claimed the lives of three Swiss citizens and at least six other people, according to press reports. READ  

Novartis heart drug billed 'blockbuster' after tests
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Novartis heart drug billed 'blockbuster' after tests

An experimental drug from Swiss pharma giant Novartis reduced deaths from chronic heart failure by 20 percent compared with an existing treatment, according to the results of a vast new study. READ  

Kavcics's injury gives  Wawrinka US Open break
Wawrinka eases into fourth round. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP

Kavcics's injury gives Wawrinka US Open break

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka reached the fourth round of the US Open tennis tournament by walkover on Saturday when Slovenian Blaz Kavcic withdrew from their third-round match with a right foot injury. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
National
Two hundred passengers rescued after landslide derails Swiss train
Travel
Switzerland remains world champion for per capita train travel
Culture
Social media backlash forces Polanski to bow out of Locarno film festival
National
Two policemen identified among three Israelis killed in train crash
Features
Untouched Alps: The Local explores Switzerland's only national park
National
Swiss government secretary tweets nude ‘selfies’ taken at work
International
Swiss couples fined in Ibiza for making love in van without seatbelts
National
Schumacher medical record theft suspect hangs himself in Zurich cell
National
Thousands of motorists drive without permits in Switzerland: report
National
Switzerland celebrates the centennial of national park in Graubünden
National
Animal rights group protests over dead fish throwing at festival
National
Federer forced to tear down kids' play area at Graubünden holiday home
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

1,973
jobs available