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Life in Switzerland When young people want a Swiss passport

Being born on Swiss soil does not mean you are automatically Swiss. Naturalisation is therefore an option for foreigners who have been born in Switzerland and want Swiss nationality. 

The process includes one or more interviews, which children from 12 years of age may also be required to complete.

Swiss nationality is acquired through one blood relationship – that is, through the father or mother – or through naturalisation. In general, when a foreign family starts the process, this also includes their children. If the children are older than 16, they must put down in writing why they want to become Swiss. From age 14, they can submit their request for naturalisation individually, with the agreement of a parent. 

Journalists from the Swiss Public Television RTS programme "Temps Présent" were allowed to sit in during the interviews of three young naturalisation candidates in the canton of Fribourg. 

Requirements to become Swiss

To make a naturalisation request, one must possess a Swiss residence permit (C permit), have lived in Switzerland for at least ten years (the years spent in the country between the ages of eight and 18 count double), speak and write the local language and have committed no serious crimes nor received government benefits in recent years. Basic knowledge of history, geography and political systems of Switzerland as well as the canton where the candidate resides are also required.

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