What are the naturalization procedures?

Since January 1, 2018, the new Federal Nationality Act has come into force.

The procedures for acquiring Swiss nationality have changed.

The procedure differs if the candidate is related to a Swiss person.

There are two different naturalization procedures:

  • the facilitated naturalization procedure is aimed at spouses of Swiss nationals and children of Swiss parents,
  • the ordinary naturalization procedure concerns foreign nationals with 10 years’ residence in Switzerland and a valid C permit.

Processing time

In principle, all naturalization procedures filed after January 1, 2018 should not exceed 18 months, from the filing of the application to the time of the municipal decision. Times may vary depending on current requests and processing times.

passeport naturalisation

Who can become Swiss and how?

Spouse of a Swiss citizen

In order to obtain Swiss nationality, spouses of foreign origin may apply for facilitated naturalization if they meet the following conditions:

  • Be married to a Swiss citizen and have been living with your spouse for at least  three years
  • Have lived in Switzerland for a total of five years, including the year prior to submitting the application
  • Not to jeopardize Switzerland’s internal or external security
  • Respect public safety and order
  • Respecting the values of the Constitution
  • Speaking and writing in French (A2 written/B1 oral certificates)
  • Participating in economic life or acquiring training
  • Encouraging and supporting the integration of family members

Ordinary naturalization

It applies to foreign residents who have been living and working in Switzerland for a long time. They must be well integrated and consider themselves as full-fledged citizens.
The main conditions are as follows:
  • Hold a C establishment permit
  • Have lived in Switzerland for at least 10 years
  • Have lived in the canton of Vaud for at least 2 years, including the year preceding the application
  • Speaking and writing in French (A2 written/B1 oral certificates)
  • Not to have received any social assistance in the 3 years preceding the application
  • Paying your taxes
  • No recent lawsuits or certificates of default.
  • Respect safety and public order
  • Good knowledge of Swiss, cantonal and local geography, history, social and political issues
cours de français

Meet language requirements

Becoming Swiss

One of the main conditions for applying for naturalization is a certain level of proficiency in a national language.

For the French-speaking cantons, thefollowing levels of French are required:

  • the FIDE language passport certifying level in French B1 in oral and A2 in written expression 
  • the DELF, DALF, TCF or TEF diploma
  • proof of compulsory schooling in French for at least five years
  • a diplomain French from asecondary level II or tertiary level .

An exception can be made for personal circumstances that would prevent language learning, by providing a certificate recognized by the canton or a detailed medical certificate relating to language skills (art. 9 OLN). 

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