Full indicator name: foreigners meeting requirements for naturalisation linked to residence
Naturalisation offers people a much greater opportunity to actively participate in politics. Naturalisation alone can ensure formal legal equality with Swiss citizens in both direct and indirect forms of participation in democratic decisions. It gives an indication of willingness, on behalf of the foreigner and the host country, toward integration: naturalisation assumes a certain identification with and attachment to the host country but is nevertheless also dependant on that country’s practices.
In 2018, 55% of foreign nationals met the federal requirements for naturalisation linked with their stay in Switzerland (see conditions below). Foreign nationals born in Switzerland (i.e. from the second or subsequent generations) show a proportion that is higher by more than 30 percentage points than that of first generation foreigners (80% compared with 49%).
A comparison over the years shows an increase in the number of foreign nationals who meet the federal requirements for naturalisation linked to residence. This increase was particularly strong between 2017 and 2018, especially among the population born in Switzerland (+25.1 percentage points). This change is mainly due to the new Federal Act on Swiss Citizenship, which came into force on 1 January 2018 and also to methodological changes in the way the reference population is defined (cf. conditions below).
The proportion of foreign nationals who meet the requirements for naturalisation varies by canton. The lowest rate is found in the canton of Graubünden. It shows a difference of 9.6 percentage points less than the national average in its share of people born in Switzerland who meet the requirements. The cantons of Glarus, Solothurn, Basel-Landschaft, Appenzell A. Rh., Aargau and Thurgau show the highest rates (85% or more). Among persons born abroad, the canton of Zug has the lowest proportion (41%). In contrast, Solothurn, Basel-Landschaft, Appenzell A. Rh., St. Gallen and Aargau all have rates above 55%.
The federal requirements for naturalisation linked to residence taken into account for the calculation of this indicator are as follows:
Before 1 January 2018: SR 141.0 Federal Act on the Acquisition and Loss of Swiss Citizenship:
Ordinary naturalisation (Art. 15 Residence requirements)
1. The foreign national may only apply for a licence if they have lived in Switzerland for a total of twelve years, including three of the five years prior to the application being made.
2. When calculating the period of twelve years, the period that the applicant has lived in Switzerland between the ages of 10 and 20 counts as double.
Simplified naturalisation (Art. 27 Spouses of Swiss citizens)
After marrying a Swiss citizen, a foreign national may apply for simplified naturalisation if he or she:
a. has lived for a total of five years in Switzerland;
b. has lived in Switzerland for a year.
Not taken into consideration
Federal conditions related to suitability are not taken into consideration in the calculation of this indicator. The applicant's suitability for naturalisation is verified, and in particular whether he or she:
a. is integrated into Swiss society;
b. is familiar with Swiss habits, customs and practices;
c. abides by Swiss law;
d. does not pose a risk to Swiss internal or external security.
After 1 January 2018:
SR 141.0 Swiss Citizenship Act
Ordinary naturalisation (Art. 9 Formal requirements)
The Confederation shall grant a naturalisation license only if the applicant:
a. holds a permanent residence permit when the application is made; and
b. can prove that he or she has been resident in Switzerland for at least ten years, three of which have been in the five years prior to making the application.
When calculating the length of residence required, the period that the applicant has lived in Switzerland between the ages of 8 and 18 counts as double. The actual length of residence must however have amount to at least six years.
Ordinary naturalisation (Art 10 Requirements in the case of a registered partnership)
If the applicant has entered into a registered partnership with a Swiss citizen, on making the application, he or she must prove that he or she:
a. has resided for at least five years in Switzerland, and for one year immediately prior to making the application; and
b. has lived for three years with this person in a registered partnership
Simplified naturalisation (Art. 21 Spouse of a Swiss citizen)Any foreign national may apply for simplified naturalisation following marriage to a Swiss citizen if he or she:
a. has lived for three years in marital union with his or her wife or husband;
b. has resided for at least five years in Switzerland, including one year immediately prior to making the application
Simplified naturalisation (Art. 23 Stateless children)
A minor child who is stateless may apply for simplified naturalisation if he or she can prove at least five years’ residence in Switzerland, including one year immediately prior to making the application.
Simplified naturalisation (Art. 30 Inclusion of children)
The applicant’s minor children are normally included in the naturalisation application if they live with the applicant.
Cantonal and communal requirements for ordinary naturalisation (but not for simplified naturalisation) are not taken into account either in the framework of this indicator. The consideration of cantonal and communal requirements for ordinary naturalisation would be complex in this specific case as the rules on the minimal length of stay required may vary from one commune or one canton to another.
This indicator shows the ratio between the number of settlement (permit C) and residence (permit B) holders who meet the federal residence requirements and the total permanent resident population of foreign nationals who are permit C and B holders. It is calculated by dividing the number of people meeting the requirements in year X by the number of residence or settlement permit holders in year X.