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Have your say: How could Switzerland improve citizenship and naturalisation?

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Have your say: How could Switzerland improve citizenship and naturalisation?
(FILES) A file photo taken on September 15, 2018 shows a Swiss biometric passport photographed in Lausanne. - For the first time, more than two-thirds of people in linguistically-split Switzerland now use more than one language regularly, according to an official survey out on January 25, 2021. Multilingualism is increasing, with 68 percent of over-15s now regularly speaking, reading, writing or listening in at least two languages during a regular week -- whether at home, with family and friends, at work or consuming media. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

An NGO has called for improvements to Switzerland’s naturalisation procedures, calling them “among the most restrictive in Europe”. What could be done to make things better?


That Switzerland’s naturalisation requirements are strict is nothing new to the one quarter of the country’s residents without a Swiss passport. 

Around two million people living on Swiss soil have not been naturalised, including plenty who born in Switzerland or whose parents were. 

How to apply for Swiss citizenship: An essential guide

In a press release from Tuesday, the Observatory for Asylum and Foreigners Rights said the law - which was made stricter in 2018 - should be relaxed to make it fairer for the nation’s foreign residents. 

“The requirements for naturalisation are too high, the procedures too different. The new law needs to be adapted and practice urgently simplified,” the press release reads. 

READ MORE: Would you pass a Swiss citizenship test?


Only around two percent of the country is nationalised each year, which represents one of the lowest figures in the world. 

A result of the tight rules is a range of absurd cases where people are denied naturalisation for bizarre reasons, including not knowing enough about the local zoo or not liking hiking (no, really). 

READ MORE: The nine most surprising questions on Switzerland’s citizenship exam

While the Observatory laid out ten recommendations - including conferring citizenship on people born in Switzerland - we want to hear from you. 

Whether you are a long-term Swiss citizen or if you are a new resident, what do you think of Switzerland’s citizenship rules? 

Do they need to be changed? And if so, how could they be improved? 

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