On 12 February 2017, the Swiss electorate voted on the Federal Decree on the Simplified Naturalisation of Third-Generation Immigrants.
There is a significant number of young foreigners living in Switzerland whose grandparents emigrated to Switzerland and whose parents grew up here. These young people were born here and went to school here. They participate in sports clubs, sing in the local choir or belong to other associations. Switzerland is their homeland. If these young people wish to become Swiss citizens, they currently face a lengthy and often expensiv naturalisation procedure.
What is being voted on?
The National Council and the Council of States want to change this situation. They have adopted a new constitutional provision that facilitates naturalisation for young, well-integrated, third-generation foreign nationals. Only the procedure will be simplified; no one will be naturalised automatically. Those who wish to become Swiss citizens must submit an application, and are still required to fulfil a series of requirements. Parliament has already prepared an amendment to the law. If voters accept the new constitutional provision in the upcoming ballot, the amended legislation will come into force, assuming that a referendum is not requested.
Position of the Federal Council and Parliament
Both Parliament and the Federal Council are in favour of facilitating naturalisation for young third-generation foreign nationals. These young people have spent their entire life in Switzerland and should therefore be able to become Swiss more easily. They are an important part of our society and generally have a stronger relationship with Switzerland than with their grandparents’ homeland.
Last modification 12.07.2021