The question of military service for dual nationals is, by definition, of interest to two States. There are no problems concerning Swiss citizens who also possess French, Italian, Autrian, Colombian, Argentinean or American (USA) citizenship because Switzerland has signed agreements with these countries.
Dual nationals whose place of residence is in Switzerland must complete their military obligations in Switzerland. Swiss-foreign dual nationals can, without risking sanctions, fulfil their military obligations in their other country of origin on condition they are residents in that other State. On the other hand, a departure for that other State with the sole purpose of completing military service is a punishable offence in Switzerland by virtue of the Military Penal Code.
Switzerland not only recognizes military service completed in the other country of origin but also its replacement by forms of civil service as well as the possibility of payment of a sum of money by way of compensation. These release the dual national from his obligation to complete military service but not from compulsory registration or payment of the replacement taxes.
Dual nationals who have completed their military service in Switzerland may, on the other hand, have problems if, when they return, their second country of origin does not recognize military service completed in Switzerland and demands that they complete a second term of military service in their second country.
Consequently, we strongly recommend that, before considering starting military training in Switzerland, this category of dual nationals find out from the foreign military authorities concerned about the conditions they are subject to.
The Military Obligations Section of the Army Personnel Group also provides general information on military service for dual nationals.