Almost Half of the Migrants Wish to Apply for the Swiss Citizenship

Wish to apply for the Swiss citizenship, by origin (Source: Migration-Mobility Survey 2016)

In general, a little less than half of all migrants intend to apply for the Swiss citizenship (40%), 27% do not wish to apply, and 34% have not yet decided.

However, this distribution changes significantly when considering the origin of the migrants. West Africans and South Americans present the highest share of individuals that intend to apply (69% and 62% respectively). In contrast, Austria and Portugal are the only two countries where the share of persons who do not intend to apply for the Swiss citizenship is higher than those who do. For both countries, we found a significantly higher share of strong feeling of attachment to their country of origin than to Switzerland; a result that might explain their reluctance towards naturalization. Also, Austria does not allow double citizenship.

When looking at the motives, among migrants interested in naturalization, 26% would like to vote, 25% feel that they belong to Switzerland, and 22% mention practical reasons such as the right to stay or administrative facilitations. Among those not interested, 27% do not intent to stay in Switzerland, 23% do not want to give up their current nationality, and 17% do not see a benefit in obtaining the Swiss citizenship.

Finally, men are slightly more interested in the Swiss citizenship than women.