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Long process

The rigmarole of naturalisation

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It’s nearly four decades since Rolf Lyssy’s film "The Swissmakers" poked fun at the Swiss for making it so hard to get a passport. But have things really changed that much? (RTS/

Candidates for naturalisation still have to know which cheeses should be used in fondue and the dates of key historical battles. 

In Lyssy’s film, a policeman is sent to people’s homes to check up on their background, find out how integrated they are in society, and the possible danger they represent to the orderliness and cleanliness of the country. 

To this day, Geneva also sends elected officials into the community to carry out interviews with candidates and see if they live up to the high standards expected of them.

Meanwhile in canton Fribourg, candidates face up to four rounds of gruelling interviews, with general knowledge tests about their commune, canton and country. 

It begs the question, is it all worth it? 

Watch out on for our interview with Rolf Lyssy on the occasion of his 80th birthday, to find out how it feels to have made one of the country’s most successful films.