As part of new legislative reforms that came into force on 1 January 2018, the candidate for naturalization must first obtain a permanent residence permit called “C” Permit prior to filing an application for naturalization. So far, the candidate has been able to apply for Swiss citizenship by being in possession of either a B or C Permit. Considering the above, we have decided to write an article on the requirements for obtaining a permanent residence permit (C Permit).
Requirements for obtaining a C Permit (After 10 years of residency)
Foreign nationals may obtain a permanent residence permit (C Permit), should the following requirements be met:
- They have resided in Switzerland for a minimum of ten years in total by being in possession of either a short stay (L Permit) or residence permit (B Permit), and have held a residence permit (B Permit) without interruption for the last five years;
- There are no grounds for revoking the L or B permit in accordance with article 62, paragraph 1 of the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals. To that effect, an L or B permit may be revoked if the foreign national:
-Or their representative in the permit procedure makes false statements or conceals material facts;
-Has been given a long custodial sentence or has been subject to a criminal measure in accordance with Articles 59 to 61 or 64 of the Swiss Criminal Code;
-Has seriously or repeatedly violated or represents a threat to public security and order in Switzerland or abroad or represents a threat to internal or external security;
-Or a person he must care for is dependent on social assistance;
-Has attempted to obtain the Swiss citizenship unlawfully or his Swiss citizenship has been revoked based on a legally binding ruling issued in connection with a declaration of nullity of the naturalization decision under Article 36 of the Swiss Citizenship Act of 20 June 2014.
In the event of an application for a C Permit made after 10 years of residency, the candidate is no longer required to demonstrate his language skills.
Requirements for obtaining a C Permit through simplified procedure (After 5 years of residency)
A “C” permit may be granted after an uninterrupted 5 years of residency by being in possession of a residence permit (B permit), should the following conditions be met:
- Good knowledge of one of the national languages ;
- The foreign national demonstrates his successful integration. This concept is unclear, but it often implies that: the foreign national is affiliated with local associations, establishes good relations with local population, has not committed any criminal offence, is not dependent on social assistance, is not prosecuted for unpaid debts and his sources of income stem from the business he runs or from his employee status.
It is necessary to specify that for nationals of EU countries, the criteria are different, for some countries the obtaining a C Permit is automatic.
Obtaining a permanent residence permit after completing education in Switzerland
Any foreign national who has received education in Switzerland is entitled to obtain the permanent residence permit if the person concerned, after completion of his education, has held a residence permit (B permit) for an uninterrupted period of two years. In this case, the time spent as a student will be taken into account in the uninterrupted period of stay of 5 years applicable to both ordinary and simplified procedures for obtaining C permit (See above for details). It should be noted that this procedure is very challenging for non-EU Nationals and may lead to a positive outcome in exceptional cases.
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