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Swiss MPs refuse to extend 'fast track' naturalisation to registered partners

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Swiss MPs refuse to extend 'fast track' naturalisation to registered partners
Only a wedding allows a faster naturalisation process for foreign nationals. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

A foreign national married to a Swiss can benefit from the so-called “fast track” naturalisation. But this right will not be extended to unmarried couples, MPs decided on Wednesday.


A foreigner who is married to a Swiss citizen can apply for naturalisation after three years of marriage and five years of residence in Switzerland.

As a reminder, ordinary (or regular) naturalisation is the one most foreign citizens go through to become Swiss, after having lived here on a work-based residency permit for at least six years, with various additional age- related conditions.

In addition, cantonal legislation requires a minimum residence period of between two and five years in the commune and in the canton concerned.

Facilitated (or simplified) naturalisation is a shorter and less complicated process usually open to the foreign spouses and children of Swiss citizens, and — since early 2017 — to third generation foreigners.

READ MORE: Third generation fast-track naturalisation in Switzerland: What you need to know


But unlike married couples, those in registered partnerships are not eligible for the simplified process.

In 2013, two motions by the Green Party sought to end this unequal treatment, but the issue was put on the back burner for several years. On Wednesday, however, the National Council followed the Council of States in rejecting the proposal.

MPs refused these initiatives, arguing that homosexuals who have been living in registered partnerships will be able to marry from July 1st.

As for granting this right to all the others, “a popular vote would have to take place because the Federal Constitution would have to be amended in order to put registered partnerships and married partnerships on an equal footing on this point", said MP Andri Silberschmidt.

Left-leaning deputies are criticisng the decision to refuse equal naturalisation treatment for all couples, regardless of their marital status.

“This how our parliament imposes what the unions should look like to obtain a certain service from the state", said socialist deputy Ada Marra.

READ MORE: Naturalisation through marriage: How your partner can obtain Swiss citizenship





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