Zurich looks to change fees for Swiss citizenship process

The Local Switzerland
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Zurich looks to change fees for Swiss citizenship process
Zurich naturalisation procedures could become less expensive. Photo: Its all about the shot /Getty Images

Some candidates applying for Swiss citizenship in the city of Zurich will pay less for the procedure, while for others the costs will be higher.


The naturalisation process in Switzerland’s largest city used to cost 1,200 francs for those coming from abroad, and 500 francs for foreigners born in Switzerland.

This week, the municipal council decided, however, to ‘equalise’ the cost: all foreigners, regardless of their place of birth, would pay a flat fee of 750 francs.

People under the age of 25 would apply for free. The fee could also be partially or completely waived for people without financial means to afford this charge.

While various parties quibbled over the new amount — with left-wing parties seeking to drop it to 500 francs — it was ultimately decided that 750 francs would be fair, as it would cover all the administrative costs.

‘Incentive for naturalisation’

During the debate, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) argued against lowering the cost of obtaining citizenship.

“If it doesn’t cost anything, it’s no longer worth anything,” its deputies said.


On the other side of the political spectrum, Social Democrat Maya Kägi Götz pointed out that a lower fee would provide an “incentive for naturalisation.”

This view was shared by a Green councillor, Urs Riklin, who said that making the naturalisation process more ‘affordable’ is good for the city and Switzerland in general.

“Everyone should be able to participate in democracy,” he said.

The final decision on this move will be taken at one of the forthcoming council meetings.

READ ALSO: How much does it cost to become a Swiss citizen?


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