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Permits and Naturalization: All about applying for regular naturalization!


    Do you want to become Swiss? In principle, you will have to apply for so-called “ordinary” naturalization. We explain everything you need to know!

    There are two types of conditions to be met in relation to residence and integration. 

    Ordinary naturalization is governed by the canton of residence. Applications are made to the Naturalization Sector of the Cantonal Population Office. 

    Residence :

    To be eligible to apply for ordinary naturalization, you must:

    • Hold a C permit;
    • Have lived in Switzerland for a total of 10 years, including 3 years in the 5 years preceding the application;
    • If you are between 8 and 18 years old, the years count double, but you must have lived in Switzerland for at least 6 years;
    • You must have resided for 2 years in the canton, or even in the commune, where the application was made;
    • Reside in Switzerland for the duration of the naturalization procedure.


    Integration :

    An individual wishing to become Swiss by ordinary naturalization must:

    • Be integrated into the daily life of his or her canton of residence;
    • Respect public order and security;
    • Respect the internal and external security of the country;
    • Respect the values of the cantonal and federal constitutions;
    • Prove sufficient financial means if he has to support relatives in Switzerland;
    • Participate in economic life (by having a job for example) or be in training in Switzerland;
    • Not having received social assistance in the three years preceding the application, nor during the naturalization procedure;
    • Have a good command of the cantonal language both orally and in writing.

    You will also have to demonstrate your knowledge of general Swiss and cantonal culture (history, politics, geography, etc.) by taking a specific test. 


    How do I submit my application?

    You must go to the Naturalization Sector in the Cantonal Population Office of your canton of residence. You will need to present the C permit (settlement permit) and fill in the ordinary naturalization application form. 

    Then you will have to register for the test of knowledge about Switzerland and the canton.

    Once the test has been passed, the complete application can be submitted. You can find a complete list of the documents to be attached (for a procedure in the canton of Geneva) on this site:


    Ordinary naturalization takes about 12 months from then on. This procedure costs between CHF 300 (for minors) and CHF 2,000 for married couples over the age of 25. 


    It is a procedure of great personal importance. That is why it is imperative that you inform yourself, pay attention to the deadlines and especially to the validity of certain documents!

    Need assistance or afraid of making a false step? Review your knowledge of Switzerland while Lawrence answers your questions and guides you through the legal process!

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