Have you lived in Switzerland for at least 10 years?  Then perhaps it’s time to get the ball rolling on your Swiss naturalization!  This post is the first instalment in a series offering a first-hand account of becoming a Swiss citizen (or trying to).



First, some basic information.  Who is eligible to become Swiss?  There are a few ways, but this series will focus on ordinary/regular naturalization in Geneva canton (as opposed to facilitated naturalization).

To qualify for regular naturalization, one must have lived in Switzerland for 10 years, including 3 of the past 5 years preceding the application (time spent in Switzerland between ages 8 and 18 counts double).  You must also have a C permit, and be able to demonstrate language skills of B1 (oral) and A2 (written).  Furthermore, you must also be able to demonstrate integration into Swiss life, have no criminal record, pay your taxes, and have a basic knowledge of Swiss history, customs, geography and politics.

For the full list of requirements and conditions, click here.

Once you pass the 10-year mark, head to the OCP in Onex.  Happily, once you’re applying for Swiss citizenship, you will experience your first perk by bypassing the long lines on the ground floor.   Take the elevator straight to the 4th floor (the promised land), where you will be seen immediately, no appointment needed.

The agent will find you in the OCP’s system to confirm that you are indeed eligible to apply, and if so, you will be handed a yellow folder and a stack of forms/paperwork to complete.  For the full list of items you will need to gather/complete, click here (it’s a doozy!)

Last, during this first OCP visit, you will be scheduled for the ‘test validation des connaissances,’ which will test your knowledge of Switzerland and Geneva’s history, customs, politics and geography.  More on this exam in the second instalment of this series!