Obtaining Swiss citizenship is a long and laborious process that requires a great deal of patience and compliance with a number of conditions. Nevertheless, more and more people are applying for Swiss passports every year.

This is not surprising. Who does not want to live in Switzerland – in a stable and developed country, far from geopolitical battles, various unions and blocs, where the main priority of the authorities is economic growth and improving the welfare of citizens.

Citizenship of Switzerland

Proof of this is the referendum held in June 2016, which considered the issue of mandatory income of each Swiss citizen in the amount of 2,500 francs (2,525 euros), regardless of the level of wealth and employment. By the way, the local population did not support this initiative. In addition, the Swiss passport is one of the most authoritative on the planet, which provides free access to more than 140 countries around the world.

All these advantages are well understood by the Swiss authorities, that's why they are trying to develop preventive measures to unwanted migrants. Especially in light of the influx of refugees from Middle Eastern countries. Thus, in recent years there have been lively discussions in the country about changes to migration laws.

And while the issues of tightening the requirements for foreigners related to employment or business procedures are only being considered, amendments to the laws governing the acquisition of Swiss citizenship have already been adopted. The new provisions came into force on January 1, 2018.

The changes mainly concern the method of obtaining a Swiss passport through the naturalization procedure. In the context of these innovations, let's answer the question of how to obtain Swiss citizenship for foreigners in 2024.

How to obtain Swiss citizenship

Every year about 30-40 thousand foreigners receive a Swiss passport. Moreover, there are dozens of times more willing. The main and the most time-consuming option is naturalization. It is noteworthy that in addition to federal laws, regional and municipal authorities can set their own requirements for candidates. So, what you need to do or not to do to obtain Swiss citizenship by this method.

Conditions for obtaining Swiss citizenship by naturalization in 2024

  1. Residence in the country for 10 years (before the changes – 12 years), of which 3 years out of the last 5 permanently. The authorities of the region can make requirements for permanent residence in a particular city from 1 to 3 years. It is allowed to leave Switzerland for a maximum of 6 months.

  2. Legality of residence in Switzerland before applying for citizenship. This is a permanent residence permit (category C). Prior to the innovations, category B was allowed.

  3. The procedure for calculating the period of residence in Switzerland depending on age. Currently, for citizens between the ages of 8 and 18, one year is counted as two years. In the old law, the interval was 10-20 years.

  4. A number of additional requirements for the candidate:

    • knowledge of one of the official languages (German, French, Italian);

    • professional and social integration;

    • good behavior;

    • respect, knowledge and, above all, compliance with local laws;

    • payment of taxes;

    • readiness for military service.

Due to several levels of approval (federal and local), the process of obtaining a Swiss passport by naturalization can take 2-3 years. The cost of processing varies from 1,000 to 4,500 francs. It depends on the region and financial solvency, as well as the number of applicants, if it is a question of simultaneous acquisition of citizenship by family members.

Accelerated or alternative ways of obtaining Swiss citizenship


You can accelerate the process of obtaining Swiss citizenship by naturalization by entering into a marriage relationship with a Swiss resident. The main prerequisite is that you have been married for at least 3 years and have lived in the country for more than 5 years, of which the last year is permanent.

In some cases, residence outside Switzerland is allowed, in which case the period of marriage is extended to 6 years. In order to successfully obtain a passport, the other requirements for the basic naturalization procedure must of course be fulfilled.


Any child born in Switzerland is entitled to a Swiss passport if one of the parents has Swiss citizenship. Children born in Switzerland to foreign nationals are not automatically entitled to a Swiss passport.

Interestingly, in the absence of marital relations between the parents, the presence of citizenship of the mother allows unconditionally obtain a passport for the child, and if the resident is only the father, there must be an official recognition of paternity. Children are able to exercise their right to citizenship until they reach the age of 22. The main prerequisite is residence in Switzerland for at least 5 years (last year permanently) and socio-economic integration into the country.

These were the main ways of obtaining Swiss citizenship. Theoretically, it is possible to obtain a Swiss passport through refugee status or through outstanding achievements in some field of activity, such as sports or science. In practice, however, this is unlikely and problematic. Each individual case is highly individual and requires additional consultation with the Swiss authorities.

Advantages of Swiss citizenship

  • Free access to employment, without quotas, permits or proof of qualifications.

  • Wide opportunities for doing business, with access to the world market.

  • The right to quality European and Swiss education, and as a consequence, a reputable diploma.

  • Social guarantees and a high standard of living.

  • Free visit and residence in more than 140 countries of the world.

  • The opportunity to have dual citizenship.

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