OSA advice

I have lived abroad with my foreign husband for many years. What requirements have to be met in order for him to apply for Swiss citizenship, and how should we proceed?

A fundamental requirement for the naturalisation of a partner is that the Swiss spouse already held Swiss citizenship when they got married. If the Swiss spouse obtained Swiss citizenship through regular naturalisation after the wedding, simplified naturalisation is not possible.

If you meet this requirement, your spouse may make an application for simplified naturalisation. In your case, as you reside abroad, the criterion is that you must have been living in a stable marital relationship for at least six years. The foreign spouse must also have a close relationship with Switzerland. They must meet certain criteria in order to fulfil the close relationship requirement. These include regular visits to Switzerland, the nomination of referees in Switzerland and the ability to communicate in a national language or a Swiss dialect. The linguistic abilities may be demonstrated during an interview at the embassy or consulate. Irrespective of the place of residence, applicants must be integrated into Swiss life at least in spirit, comply with the Swiss rule of law and not jeopardise Switzerland’s internal or external security. In the event of naturalisation, your spouse will acquire cantonal and communal citizenship at your place of origin.

Naturalisation applications must be sent to the relevant Swiss representation (embassy or consulate). 

Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Migration www.bfm.admin.ch > Topics > Swiss citizenship / Naturalization 

Addresses of the Swiss representations abroad: www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps.html

osa legal department

OSA’s Legal Department provides general legal information on Swiss law and specifically in areas that concern the Swiss abroad. It does not provide information on foreign law and does not intervene in disputes between private parties.

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