Information about transmission of swiss citizenship

Swiss from birth

Swiss nationality is acquired from birth by:

  • A child whose parents are married to each other and whose father or mother is a Swiss national;
  • A child of a Swiss woman who is not married to the child's father.

A child below the age of majority who is a foreign national with a Swiss father not being married to his/her mother, acquires Swiss nationality in the same way as he or she would have done at birth, accounting for the child's close ties to the father.


Swiss by simplified naturalisation

  • Up until 1 January 2006 a child born with foreign nationality having a Swiss father who was not married to the mother, did not automatically become Swiss, not even if the father acknowledged paternity. However, the child now can submit an application for simplified naturalisation before reaching the age of 22. After the age of 22, the child can submit an application for simplified naturalisation provided he/she has a close relationship with Switzerland.
  • A child with foreign nationality who was born before 1 July 1985, and whose mother was a Swiss citizen before or at the time of the birth, can submit an application for simplified naturalisation if he/she has close connections with Switzerland".
  • A foreign child who could not become Swiss because the parent lost Swiss citizenship or had to give up Swiss citizenship in order to acquire or keep a foreign nationality before his/her birth, can apply for simplified naturalisation if he/she has close relationship with Switzerland.

According to the law on Swiss citizenship the following requirements have to be met:

  • the applicant is integrated into Swiss life
  • He/she respects the Swiss legal system
  • He/she does not endanger the internal or external security of Switzerland.


The requirements are applicable by analogy to applicants who do not reside in Switzerland.


Reinstatement of Citizenship

When children are born abroad and possess another nationality, as a rule they lose their right to Swiss citizenship if the birth has not been registered at the latest by their 22nd birthday with a Swiss authority in Switzerland or abroad. However, if they have links with Switzerland they can request reinstatement of citizenship within a further period of ten years. Moreover, a child may request resumption of citizenship even after expiry of the ten-year extension.


People who had to give up Swiss citizenship in order to acquire or keep another nationality can apply for re-naturalisation even if he/she is resident abroad provided he/she has close relationship with Switzerland.


A close relationship to Switzerland is generally considered established if the applicant fulfils the following four conditions:

  • He/she regularly spends holidays in Switzerland
  • He/she is in close contact with Swiss Clubs abroad
  • He/she has close connections with persons living in Switzerland (particularly with relatives and friends of the Swiss spouse)
  • He/she is able to communicate in a Swiss national language or Swiss dialect.


Close links with Switzerland can however be considered as established even if not all the conditions listed from a) to d) are satisfied, that is, if one or more of these activities is particularly intensive. Thus, close links can exist even if the applicant presents linguistic shortcomings, as long as one of the other connections to Switzerland are especially strong.