Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Swiss passport

Naturalisations increase in 2015 after long decline

Despite a substantial increase in 2015, the number of residents opting for a Swiss passport has seen a steady decline since a peak in 2006. More stringent requirements and increased costs associated with the process could be blamed. 

According to data from the Federal Statistics Office, published by the SonntagsBlick newspaper, naturalisation of foreigners has declined by 38% since 2006. However, this only applies to those who apply through the conventional route and does not include facilitated naturalisation (for spouses of Swiss nationals) and adoption of children. 

The year 2015 saw a reversal in the downward trend with 31,166 ordinary naturalisations, an increase of slightly more than 30% over 2014 figures.

Tough ask

There has been a tightening of requirements for obtaining a Swiss passport in recent years by Swiss cantons. For example, Zurich made a mandatory German language test a prerequisite last year and the canton of Bern demands an additional naturalisation test. 

Cost is also a factor. The naturalisation process can cost up to CHF3,000 ($3,026) depending on the municipality. The introduction of new types of fees has made it more expensive in recent years. For example, those who fail the naturalisation test in Bern are obliged to take a course that costs CHF300. 

Walter Leimgruber, president of the Federal Commission on Migration, which advises the cabinet on migration issues, told SonntagsBlick that the difficult process excludes a large proportion of Switzerland’s migrant workers from Swiss citizenship.

He added that it also dissuades expats and children of migrants born in Switzerland and could create social tensions.



All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.