Bern tells foreigners ‘integrate or lose permit’

Bern tells foreigners ‘integrate or lose permit’
File photo: The Local
Foreigners should only receive a permanent residence permit if they are well integrated in Swiss society, say MPs debating reforms to the country’s foreigners law.

Currently most foreigners arriving in Switzerland with an employment contract are granted a B permit, which has a minimum validity of one year and can be granted for five years, before most then receive a C permit, which allows long-term residency.

However in an effort to encourage the integration of foreigners politicians want to make C permits dependent on integration, news agencies reported following a parliamentary debate on Monday.

According to parliament, that means speaking a national language, respecting public order, security and national values (such as equality between men and women) and contributing to the economy or following a training course.

Foreigners who don’t respect these conditions could have their B permit revoked entirely, while those who already have a C permit could have that swapped for a temporary B if they are not yet deemed well integrated.

Those who are long-term dependent on welfare could also have their permits revoked, even if they have been in the country for 15 years.

The new rules are still to be finalized.

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