Socialist Party to help expats become Swiss

Members of Switzerland’s Socialist Party (SP) are volunteering to be “naturalization advisers” under a new campaign to help foreigners in the country become Swiss citizens.

Announcing its ‘More Swiss’ campaign in a statement on Swiss National Day, August 1st, the party pointed out that a new federal law, due to come into force on January 1st 2018, will change the rules on obtaining Swiss citizenship.

Approved by the government in 2014, the new law will reduce the number of years a person must reside in Switzerland before applying for citizenship from 12 to 10.

But it will also specify that only holders of a C permit, meaning permanent residents, can apply.

Currently those with a B permit (granting temporary residency) may also apply, and the new law will deny some 650,000 foreigners in the country that right.

Overall, around two million residents in Switzerland do not have citizenship.