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Swiss citizenship For Members

What is the new 'self-check' for Swiss citizenship and who is it for?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
What is the new 'self-check' for Swiss citizenship and who is it for?
Marriage to a Swiss citizen is one of the conditions for facilitated naturalisation. Photo: Pixabay

If you are wondering whether you qualify for Switzerland’s facilitated naturalisation procedure, there is now a quick way to find out.

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The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has just launched the pilot phase of the ‘naturalisation self-check.'

The online questionnaire is intended for foreign nationals who would like to find out whether they meet all the eligibility criteria for obtaining Swiss citizenship via the facilitated (‘fast-track’) procedure.

READ ALSO: Five ways you can fast-track your route to Swiss citizenship

The test asks a number of simple questions, such as marital status and how long the person has been living in Switzerland, among others.

The answers will determine the foreigners’ eligibility for the facilitated citizenship and, in case of a positive result, will provide an application form..

For the moment, the self-test is meant only for candidates for facilitated naturalisation, rather than the ‘ordinary’ procedure (read more about this below), because they have constituted more than 90 percent of all the citizenship requests in last three years, SEM said.

What is it about?

There are two kinds of naturalisation procedures in Switzerland: the ordinary or facilitated / fast-track one.

But don’t be fooled by the name: there is nothing simple or fast about the latter option (the process usually takes at least a year), though it is generally less of a hassle than the standard procedure.

However, there are strict criteria in place for who can, and cannot, be fast-tracked.

Who is the facilitated / fast-track procedure meant for?

In general, it is intended for two groups of people: foreign nationals married to Swiss citizens, and people born in Switzerland to foreign parents.

Each group must meet certain requirements to qualify for the facilitated procedure, however.

For foreign spouses, for instance, “they must have lived for a total of five years in Switzerland, have spent the year prior to submitting the application in Switzerland, and must have been married to and living with the Swiss citizen for at least three years,” according to SEM.

In addition, the person wanting to become naturalised will need to be ‘successfully integrated’ in Switzerland. 

READ ALSO : How your partner can obtain Swiss citizenship through marriage

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What about the second category?

If you were born in Switzerland to foreign parents, but at least one of your grandparents was born in Switzerland and can be proven to have acquired a right of residence here, you will qualify for the fast-track procedure as long as:

  • At least one of your parents has acquired a permanent residence permit, has lived for at least 10 years in Switzerland, and attended compulsory schooling in Switzerland for at least five years
  • You were born in Switzerland and hold a permanent residence permit
  • You have attended compulsory schooling in Switzerland for at least five years
  • You are successfully integrated
  • You submit your application for naturalisation  before your 25th birthday.

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