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 2020, 55% of foreign nationals met the federal requirements for naturalisation linked with their stay in Switzerland (see conditions below). Foreign nationals born in Switzerland show a proportion that is higher by more than 30 percentage points than that of foreigners born abroad (79% compared with 49%).
Between 2011 and 2017, a continuous decrease in the share of foreign-born foreigners meeting the federal requirements for naturalisation can be observed (-2.6 percentage points). The proportion of foreigners born in Switzerland meeting these requirements increased by 3.6 percentage points between 2011 and 2017.
Between 2018 and 2020, the share of foreigners meeting the federal requirements for naturalisation linked to residence has decreased among the three population groups (between -0.1 and -1.2 percentage point).
The proportion of foreign nationals who meet the requirements for naturalisation varies by canton. The lowest rate is found in the canton of Nidwalden. It shows a difference of 10.8 percentage points less than the national value in its share of people born in Switzerland who meet the requirements. The cantons of Solothurn shows the highest rate (88%). Among persons born abroad, the canton of Uri has the lowest proportion (38%). In contrast, Appenzell Ausserrhoden has a rate of 58%.
The federal requirements for naturalisation linked to residence taken into account for the calculation of this indicator are as follows (SR 141.0 Swiss Citizenship Act):
Before 1 January 2018:
Ordinary naturalisation (Art. 15 Residence requirements)
1. The foreign national may only apply for a naturalisation 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 years an applicant has lived in Switzerland between the age 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:
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;
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