Just 1000 third-generation foreigners apply for Swiss passport under easier citizenship rules

Interesting explanations of the restrictions responsible for the relatively low take-up:
Only a small percentage of the estimated 25,000 third-generation foreigners who can now take advantage of rule changes that make it easier for them to obtain Swiss citizenship have done so to date, but the current requirements may be partly to blame, a report published on Tuesday suggests.

Third-generation foreigners are those who were born in Switzerland and may have spent their lives here but who do not have Swiss citizenship because their parents and grandparents did not.

In 2017, the Swiss public voted in a referendum to allow this group to access to facilitated (or simplified) naturalization– a far simpler citizenship process usually reserved for the foreign spouses and children of Swiss citizens.

In February last year, the news rules came into effect.

However, a new report (here in French) published by the Federal Commission on Migration (FCM) shows just 1,065 third generation foreigners have applied for citizenship under the new rules so far, while 309 have already obtained the Swiss passport.

Eighty percent of applicants came from four countries – Italy, Turkey, Kosovo and Spain, according to the report.

Meanwhile, two thirds of the applications came from just six cantons, five of which are considered to have restrictive citizenship processes (Aargau, St Gallen, Solothurn, Thurgau and Basel).

The report had allowed applicants to sidestep restrictive cantonal policies, its authors said.

Parents school requirement as a legal obstacle

However, the FCM also recognised that the current rules for facilitated naturalisation for third-generation foreigners made it difficult for some applicants – specifically the requirement that they prove their parents had completed five years of compulsory schooling in Switzerland.

The FCM noted that this requirement did not match up to the immigration reality of many of Switzerland’s third-generation foreigners. The commission said that many of these people’s grandparents had come to Switzerland as seasonal workers and had only brought their children to the country when they had secured a residence permit.

As a result, many parents of potential candidates for facilitated immigration had not attended five years of school in Switzerland. However, many had completed professional training here.

The FCM recommended that the rules be changed to reflect this situation, with that professional education being recognised in place of the five years of compulsory schooling.

The commission also called on communes and cantons to do more to encourage third-generation foreigners to take out Swiss citizenship.

A flop?

Geneva newspaper Tribune de Genève labelled the results of the first year of the rule changes a “flop” but the woman behind the initiative, Ada Marra, whose grandparents emigrated to Switzerland in the 1960s, told Swiss news agency SDA she wasn’t disappointed at all.

She said the figures indicated that their was “a real need” in cantons with more restrictive citizenship policies.

The military service issue

Under the rules, only third-generation foreigners under the age of 25 can apply for facilitated citizenship. This was a proviso added in by parliament over fears people could shirk their military service obligations by only applying for citizenship after that age – though those currently aged 26-35 will be able to apply if they do so in the first five years of the new system.

Source: Just 1000 third-generation foreigners apply for Swiss passport under easier citizenship rules

Census data says you’ll make a lot more than your immigrant parents, but your kids won’t make as much as you | Toronto Star

The chart above breaks out the visible minority population by generation. While Black Canadians and Japanese Canadians have the highest percentage of third generation, the actual numbers are small for 25-54 years olds: about 24,000 and 12,000 respectively. The numbers of the other groups are all under 5,000 (many under 1,000), save for Chinese Canadians at just under 9,000.

Given the relatively small size, it may be premature to make this conclusion regarding the overall prospects for the third generation:

Children of immigrants make a lot more money than their parents but their kids won’t make as much as them, the latest census shows.

While visible-minority immigrants tend to earn less than their white immigrant counterparts, their kids more than make up the income gap between the two groups and also outperform their white peers in the second generation, according to a report by the Association of Canadian Studies based on 2016 census data.

Part of the study, to be presented at a national conference in March on immigration and settlement policies, examines the ethnic differences in after-tax incomes across first, second and third generations of immigrants by ethnicity in the prime working age between 35 and 44.

For immigrants — white or non-white — that upward socioeconomic mobility based on earnings fizzled by the third generation when all groups, except for the Korean and Japanese, made significantly less money than their second-generation parents.

According to Jack Jedwab, the report’s author, visible-minority immigrants made an average of $38,065 a year, compared to $47,978 earned by white immigrants.

Overall, children of visible-minority immigrants made a 47 per cent leap in their average earnings above their parents, making $55,994 annually, surpassing their white second-generation peers, who made $54,174 annually or 13 per cent more than their own parents. (The white group also includes those who self-identified as Aboriginal, who makes up 6.1 per cent of the group.)

While all children of immigrants of colour did better than their parents, some communities fared better than others.

Second-generation South Asians made the most progress, earning an average of $62,671, up from $38,978 from their immigrant parents. Their Chinese peers, who had the highest average annual income of all groups at $65,398, made 50 per cent more than first-generation Chinese immigrants who made $43,085.

 

“The entire second generation enjoyed a higher mobility though some communities were faring better than others,” noted Jedwab, who teaches sociology and public affairs at Concordia University.

The higher socioeconomic attainment, he said, can be partially attributed to immigrant parents’ expectations on their children to make up for the sacrifice they made for the move and seize on the better opportunities Canada has to offer.

“Education is certainly a key explanation and I would suggest that the value that children of immigrants attach to higher education is greater than is the case for the grandchildren of immigrants,” said Jedwab.

via Census data says you’ll make a lot more than your immigrant parents, but your kids won’t make as much as you | Toronto Star

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Switzerland Votes to Ease Citizenship for Third-Generation Immigrants – The New York Times

Good result:

The posters seen in several cities and provinces featured two very similar young women: both born in Switzerland, educated in Swiss schools, now in their 20s and working full time in Swiss jobs. They even share the given name Vanessa.

The point, though, was the crucial way they differ. One Vanessa is a Swiss citizen, while the other is not, and is locked in a lengthy and expensive process to obtain citizenship even though her family put down roots in Switzerland two generations ago.

The posters backed a government-sponsored measure that would ease the path to citizenship for third-generation immigrants like the second Vanessa. And on Sunday, the measure was approved in a nationwide referendum.

The outcome went against the recent tide of right-wing populism and anti-immigrant sentiment in much of Western Europe. Just over 60 percent of votes were in favor, including majorities in 17 of the country’s 23 electoral cantons — a minimum of 12 are required to pass — despite a right-wing campaign that sought to stoke fears of Muslims infiltrating the country.

“We are quite surprised,” said Stefan Egli, a manager of Operation Libero, a politically independent group that campaigned in support of the initiative and organized the poster campaign featuring the two Vanessas, among others. Mr. Egli said he had thought the referendum would win the national popular vote, but he worried that more of the rural cantons would oppose the change.

Swiss law typically requires foreigners to be residents of the country for 12 years before applying for citizenship; after that they must undergo a series of tests and interviews to assess their suitability, and are judged by criteria that differ from one canton to another. Unlike the United States and some European countries, Switzerland does not grant automatic citizenship to children born on its soil.

The measure approved on Sunday will not change those basic rules, but will speed up and simplify the approval process, using uniform criteria, for foreigners under 25 whose parents and grandparents have permanent residence status in Switzerland. “These are people who are at home,” Simonetta Sommaruga, the federal justice minister, said in a statement explaining the government’s position on third-generation immigrants. “The only difference is they do not have a red (Swiss) passport.”

An assessment by Geneva University for the government’s department of migration found that just under 25,000 people could benefit from the changes. Most of them are Italian, it found, and nearly 80 percent are of European extraction.