How to obtain Swiss citizenship
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Swiss citizenship (that is, having a Swiss passport) can be acquired (1) through birth from Swiss parents, or (2) through a procedure known as naturalization. Children born in Switzerland from non-Swiss parents do not automatically become Swiss.

Swiss citizenship can be acquired through what is called naturalization.
To become naturalized, you need to have resided in Switzerland for at least twelve years, three of which occurred within the five years prior to the request. Time spent in Switzerland between the ages of 10 and 20 years counts double.

The request is to be made to the Aliens Police in the municipality of residence. From there, it will then be sent to the Federal Department of Justice and Police, who will give a principle authorization if the following conditions are met:

  • You are integrated in the Swiss community.
  • You are accustomed to Swiss way of life and practices.
  • You comply with the Swiss legal system.
  • You in no way compromise the internal or external security of Switzerland.

Since Switzerland is a federal country, authorization must then be obtained from the canton and the municipality.

The canton and municipality of residence can add further conditions and set the cost of acquiring citizenship before approving it. Conditions vary greatly from one region to the next. Some municipalities apply rather open policies, while others will go as far as granting nationality by means of a local population vote. Cost also varies according to municipality and canton.

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