Swiss Ease Citizenship for 25,000 Foreigners

by swisscham in Culture & Society

Voters in Switzerland decided on Sunday to make it easier for young “third-generation foreigners” to get Swiss citizenship, agreeing to extend to about 25,000 people under age 25 access to the fast-track process now available to foreign spouses of Swiss nationals. The national statistics office said the “naturalization of third-generation immigrants” initiative passed with 60.4% of the vote, paving the way to a simplified path to citizenship for young people whose parents and grandparents have lived in Switzerland for decades. As in some other European countries, being born in Switzerland doesn’t automatically confer citizenship. While about 25,000 people are estimated to be eligible for the new process, the referendum’s passage ultimately could be far-reaching in a country where non-citizens make up one-fourth of the population.

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