According to a report published by the Federal Commission of Migration on April 8th, one quarter of the Swiss resident population do not vote because they do not have the nationality.
Almost 350,000 people are foreigners born in Switzerland and approximately 35,000 belong to third generation families established in Switzerland.
Walter Leimgruber, President of the Federal Commission of Migration, hopes that many young people will take advantage of this transitional period.
He believes it would be a benefit for Switzerland to have more people, well integrated into Swiss society, participating actively in debates and political decisions.
Swiss naturalisation procedure is either ordinary i.e. takes 1-2 years – or is fast-track / facilitated – which takes a maximum of one year. (Covid delays within cantonal immigration offices need to be taken into consideration).
As a general rule – fast-track naturalisation is for those who are “entitled” to naturalisation subject to all material conditions being fulfilled (absence of criminal record, residence in Switzerland etc.) whereas as ordinary naturalisation is for those whose naturalisation depends on the discretion of the authorities.
Due to the complexity of the conditions, this article will not explain all the formal and material conditions for naturalisation.
There are several options for fast-track naturalisation under the Swiss federal law on nationality. This article only concerns one of the options – third generation naturalisation – available for certain people till 18th February 2023.
The conditions for third generation fast-track naturalisation are provided by article 24a of the Swiss federal law on nationality:
Since February 2018, foreigners under the age of 25, whose grandparents were already established in Switzerland, can request fast-track naturalisation. (Articles 24a LN and 15a OLN).
A child of foreign parents may, on application, be granted facilitated naturalisation
if the following conditions are met
- at least one of the grandparents was born in Switzerland or it can be plausibly established that the grandparent had a B, C, L or A permit or a carte de Legitimation in Switzerland.
- at least one of the parents had a C permit, had lived in Switzerland for at least 10 years and had completed at least five years of compulsory schooling (i.e. primary and middle school) in Switzerland;
- He was born in Switzerland;
- He has a C permit and has completed at least five years of compulsory schooling (i.e. primary and middle school) in Switzerland.
2 The application must be submitted before the age of 25.
3 A naturalised child acquires the citizenship of the commune of residence and the canton of residence that is his at the time of naturalisation.
The transitional provision – article 51a LN, provides that:
Third-generation foreigners who, on 15 February 2018, had reached the age of 25 but had not yet celebrated their 35th birthday; and
Who fulfil the conditions of article 24a LN ( and other material conditions of the Swiss federal law on nationality), can therefore apply for fast-track naturalisation until 15 February 2023 at the latest, provided they have not yet reached the age of 40 at the time of the application.
Did your grandparents live in Switzerland?
Did your parents live in Switzerland?
Are you under 40 and living in Switzerland?
If yes, you may be eligible for third generation fast-track naturalisation.
The information in this article was prepared by Renuka Cavadini of Page & Partners.