Eine Frau geht an einer Weltkarte, die aus Kinderporträts besteht, am Freitag (18.06.2010) im JuniorMuseum in Köln vorbei.

3.7.2012 | Von:
Noemi Carrel

Citizenship

In Switzerland citizenship is based on the jus sanguinis principle. Individuals whose parents have Swiss citizenship are accordingly also entitled to Swiss citizenship. Although there have been efforts in Switzerland to introduce jus soli, at the beginning of the 20th century, for example, to this day a corresponding legal reform has not occurred.

Birth in Swiss territory therefore does not entitle one to the acquisition of Swiss citizenship. Female and male foreigners must consequently pass through a naturalization procedure. In Switzerland this procedure is especially marked by the federal system, since in order to become a Swiss citizen citizenship must be granted by a specific community, a canton and by approval of the federal government.

In the first years following the establishment of the Swiss Confederation, all individuals who possessed citizenship in a canton were considered Swiss citizens. Only as of 1876 did naturalization require approval by the federal government. Since that time, the federal government determines the minimum requirements for naturalization, while the cantons may prescribe additional requirements. In addition, cantonal legislation defines the leeway communities may have in granting communal citizenship. Depending on the design of the particular community’s naturalization policy as well as that of the canton, different requirements for attaining citizenship may result. The three-step naturalization procedure forms even today the basis for ordinary naturalization and leads to considerable regional variations.

The ‘Law on Swiss citizenship’ (Bundesgesetz über Erwerb und Verlust des Schweizer Bürgerrechts; German acronym: BüG) of 1952 introduced high minimum requirements for naturalization. This law with its various adjustments is still in effect and governs the acquisition and loss of Swiss citizenship. At the same time, the law distinguishes between ordinary naturalization, facilitated naturalization and re-naturalization. Ordinary naturalization requires inter alia that the individual in question be integrated into the Swiss context and be familiar with Swiss habits, customs and traditions. A minimum period of permanent residence of 12 years also applies, in which case any years spent in Switzerland between 10 and 20 years of age are counted double. Unlike in the 19th century, naturalization is no longer considered to be the starting point but rather the culmination of successful integration.[1]

A simplified procedure applies in cases of so-called facilitated naturalization or re-naturalization. Especially women who had lost their Swiss citizenship through marriage with a foreigner made use of re-naturalization.[2] Only since the coming into effect of the Swiss citizenship law of 1952 are they able in this case to retain their Swiss citizenship. Since 1952 those children whose mothers had previously lost their Swiss citizenship because of marriage with a foreigner have benefited from this facilitated naturalization procedure. Only in 1992 did the amendment of the law introduce facilitated naturalization for the spouses of Swiss citizens. Since that time, dual nationality has been permitted without restrictions. Efforts to introduce simplified naturalization for 2nd and 3rd generation foreigners have failed.[3]

Compared with other countries, Switzerland generally records only a small number of naturalizations. In the last decade this number increased, however, from 28,700 naturalizations in 2000 to a peak of 46,711 naturalizations in 2006. With 39,314 naturalizations in 2010, the number of naturalizations remained at a high level by Swiss standards.[4]

Fußnoten

1.
Arlettaz/Burkart (1990), D'Amato (2001), Eidgenössische Kommission für Migrationsfragen EKM.
2.
In the case of a female foreigner marrying a male Swiss citizen she was automatically granted Swiss citizenship. Since the revision of the law in 1992 this is no longer the case.
3.
Achermann et al. (2010), Arlettaz/Burkart (1990), Swiss Federal Commission for Questions on Migration EKM.
4.
Swiss Federal Statistical Office: The Statistical Encyclopedia, Bundesamt für Statistik BFS (2010), Swiss Federal Commission for Questions on Migration EKM.

Kurzdossiers

Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl: Aktuelle Themen

Ein Kurzdossier legt komplexe Zusammenhänge aus den Bereichen Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration auf einfache und klare Art und Weise dar. Es bietet einen fundierten Einstieg in eine bestimmte Thematik, in dem es den Hintergrund näher beleuchtet und verschiedene Standpunkte wissenschaftlich und kritisch abwägt. Darüber hinaus enthält es Hinweise auf weiterführende Literatur und Internet-Verweise. Dies eröffnet die Möglichkeit, sich eingehender mit der Thematik zu befassen. Unsere Kurzdossiers erscheinen bis zu 6-mal jährlich.

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