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Marriage for All - Why is a Conversion sensible? Part 2

Since July 1, 2022, marriage has also been possible for same-sex couples, replacing the previously used registered partnership status. Existing registered partnerships remain valid and can be converted into marriage. However, it is no longer possible to enter into a registered partnership.


Even though the registered partnership status is based on the model of marriage, there are some important differences. We will explain why it is meaningful to engage with this topic in this two-part blog series.

Ein Altarbogen in der Natur

In Brief

In the two blog posts, we focus on the following key points:

  • Part 1: Matrimonial Property Regime: What is a matrimonial property regime? What are the differences, and what are the consequences of converting to the status of marriage?

  • Part 2: Simplified Naturalization: What types of naturalization are there, and what is the connection between marital status and the naturalization process?


Simplified Naturalization


There are two types of naturalization: Ordinary and Simplified.


Those eligible for simplified naturalization include foreign citizens who are married to a Swiss citizen, third-generation foreigners, or foreign children of naturalized individuals, provided they have not reached the age of 22.


All other foreign individuals are subject to ordinary naturalization. This process requires, among other things, a residence permit (C permit) and typically at least 10 years of residence in Switzerland. The years spent in Switzerland between the ages of 8 and 18 count double, but the actual stay must be at least six years.

General Requirements

The granting of federal naturalization authorization requires that the applicant:

  • is successfully integrated,

  • is familiar with Swiss living conditions, and

  • does not pose a threat to Switzerland's internal or external security.


Simplified Naturalization - Marriage Requirements

An application for simplified naturalization can be made by the spouse who:

  • is married to a Swiss citizen,

  • the individual seeking naturalization must have been residing in Switzerland for a total of five years and spent the last year before the application in Switzerland,

  • has been married to the Swiss citizen for three years.

The following cases exclude simplified naturalization:

  • if both spouses had a foreign nationality at the time of marriage, and the wife or husband acquired Swiss citizenship through ordinary naturalization after the marriage or

  • if the Swiss spouse is already deceased at the time of application.


Difference between Marriage and registered partnership

Unlike marriage, where the foreign spouse has the opportunity for simplified naturalization, the foreign partner in a registered partnership is subject to ordinary naturalization. There is only a simplification within the framework of ordinary naturalization if the person to be naturalized has been living in a registered partnership with the Swiss partner for at least 3 years and has been registered in Switzerland for a total of 5 years.


If a couple wants to change their marital status from registered partnership to marriage, the foreign citizen now has the opportunity to be naturalized through the simplified process. During the conversion, the duration of the previous civil partnership is credited to the duration of the marriage. Therefore, it is worth considering the change from a civil partnership to marriage from an immigration law perspective as well. This aspect can and should be fully taken into account.


Source: State Secretariat for Migration



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