Full name of indicator: probability of obtaining a settlement permit
A settlement permit offers persons of foreign nationality a considerable degree of mobility on the labour market. It thus increases their equality of opportunity compared with the native population and provides them with considerable security regarding their stay. An assured long-term right of stay is generally a prerequisite for successful integration (and also the result of successful integration).
In Switzerland, the share of persons holding a residence permit (B permit) that obtained a settlement permit (C permit) in 2020 was 18%. The rate was lower if the person holding a B permit was born in Switzerland (14%) and higher if the person was born abroad (19%).
Among those who had held a B permit for at least 4 years, the rate of obtaining a settlement permit decreased by 14.9 percentage points between 2012 and 2020. The decrease was greater among persons born abroad than those born in Switzerland (-15.6 percentage points compared with -5.7 percentage points). The latter group, however, continued to show the lowest rates of the two population groups.
Regardless of whether they were born in Switzerland or abroad, citizens from the EU27 and EFTA countries had the greatest likelihood of obtaining a settlement permit. If born in Switzerland, the rate was 22%: the likelihood was even greater if they were born in a foreign country (27%).
Persons from other European countries and the rest of the world have a rate that is 2 to 4 times lower (rates between 6% and 11%). This low likelihood of obtaining a settlement permit among the population originating from other countries worldwide is due to the stricter conditions for obtaining a C permit. For example, they generally have to have been a resident of Switzerland for a longer period of time before they can apply for a settlement permit.
The canton of Neuchâtel has the highest C permit acquisition rate (28%). In contrast, the cantons of Obwalden and Glarus have the lowest rates (6% and 5% respectively).
The difference according to the place of birth is the greatest in the canton of Neuchâtel: 28% of people born abroad had obtained a settlement permit compared with 18% for those born in Switzerland. The smallest differences are found in the canton of Solothurn. Irrespective of the place of birth, 17% of the persons residing in this canton have obtained a settlement permit.
In line with the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals and Integration (FNIA), the settlement permit may in principle be granted at the earliest following a legal stay of at least 5 years (see article 34 on the FNIA for further details). This indicator, however, refers to those who have held a permit B for at least 4 years on 31.12 in the year prior to the year of observation (denominator) because the duration of stay may reach 5 years during the year of observation.
The calculation is done in the following way: the share of those newly obtaining a C permit from year X who have held a B permit for at least 4 years on 31.12 of the previous year among the number of persons who have held a B permit for at least 4 years on 31.12 of the previous year.