Politicians call for simplified naturalisation of third-generation foreigners

Of 25,000 people eligible for facilitated naturalisation, only 10% have applied © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Third-generation foreigners living in Switzerland should be able to become Swiss more easily, according to the House of Representatives, which on Tuesday voted to accept a parliamentary initiative from the responsible committee.

This content was published on December 7, 2022 minutes

The issue now goes to the other parliamentary chamber, the Senate, which so far has narrowly rejected the initiative.

Since February 15, 2018, people whose grandparents came to Switzerland and who were born in the country have been able to benefit from a “facilitated” naturalisation process, which is less restrictive and reduces administrative hurdles. This was widely approved by voters in February 2017.

However, parliamentarian Corina Gredig, speaker of the committee, said that of 25,000 eligible people aged nine to 25 only 10% had applied for naturalisation.

Stumbling blocks

According to a recent study, the law places far too many stumbling blocks in the way of those seeking naturalisation. This should be corrected, according to the House of Representatives.

If nothing is done, it will take more than 30 years for the third generation of foreigners to be naturalised in Switzerland in a simple way, Gredig explained.

This initiative provides, for example, that when it comes to naturalisation the place of birth should be taken into account, the type of residence title required should be extended and the scope of the education system taken into account should be broadened. In addition, the administrative procedure to find documents required for the application is to be simplified.

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