Swiss by marriage

Whereas, until the end of 1991, Swiss law distinguished between acquiring Swiss citizenship by marriage depending on whether one was a man or a woman, and stipulated that only the foreign woman automatically acquired the right to Swiss citizenship with the conclusion of marriage (the foreign husband could only become Swiss by following the usual naturalization procedure), the revised law on Swiss citizenship which came into force on January 1, 1992, makes no difference between sexes. From now on, a foreign woman can no longer become Swiss automatically by marrying a Swiss national.


If the couple lives in Switzerland, the foreign spouse (male or female) may apply for simplified naturalization if the couple has been living in Switzerland for five years and if they have been living together for at least three years. Foreign nationals married to Swiss citizens living abroad can apply for simplified naturalization after having lived together for at least six years and on condition they have close links with Switzerland.


Unlike stipulated by the former provisions, a Swiss woman living abroad who marries a foreigner now no longer loses her Swiss citizenship. As previously, women who lost their Swiss citizenship before January 1, 2006, by marriage or by inclusion with their husbands in the loss of their Swiss citizenship, may apply for.