Applying to become Swiss is a long process and requires lots of forms, documents and appointments. If you've lived in Switzerland long enough to think about applying, this probably won't come as a surprise! In the city of Bern, an information evening is offered to people who want to apply. We went along to clear up some questions I had about the process, and to find out as much information as possible.
Did you know we have a Facebook group? Switzerland for English Speakers is a great place to ask questions and share experiences. Have a look!
Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Your British Guide to Switzerland
- What the evening was like: who was there, what language did they speak, how long did it last
- New information we found out: applications to start the process can only be submitted from the day you have been in Switzerland for ten years, citizenship in Switzerland is threefold (local community, canton and federal level)
- What you can do in advance of the ten year mark: learn or improve your German (or local language) and take a recognised language test (A2 written, B1 spoken is required), fulfil residency requirements (check with your local community and canton, and check years in advance. In Bern you need to have lived three of the last five years in the place where you are applying, and the last two years before you apply in the same local community, "Gemeinde" of Bern), get a C permit, and if you previously lived in a different canton you need to apply for the document to confirm when you lived there
- Costs vary, but it looks like it will cost approximately CHF3000 and take roughly 2.5 years