Switzerland Wants to Make It Easier for Third Generation Immigrants to Gain Swiss Citizenship – SchengenVisaInfo.com

Still one of the harder citizenships to acquire:

The Swiss Federal Migration Commission wants to make it easier for third-generation immigrants to obtain Swiss citizenship by removing several bureaucratic procedures and requirements.

Though in a referendum held on February 12, 2017, the voters had supported changes to the constitution in order to make it easier for people born in Switzerland, whose grandparents had immigrated to the country to obtain citizenship, a recent study of the Federal Commission on Migration shows that there is still a low rate of applicants who meet this condition that are gaining citizenship.

In a press release issued last week, the Federal Commission has revealed that out of the approximately 25,000 applications for citizenship submitted by this category since February 15, 2018, only 1,847 had been granted Swiss citizenship until the end of 2020.

The Commission believes that there are too many unnecessary requirements hindering the process for these people.

The will of the people and the estates must be implemented. These people have long been part of Switzerland – Switzerland needs them!” the President of the EKM, Walter Leimgruber, says.

Amongst the main requirements that the Commission wants to abolish is the age limit. The current rules on applying for Swiss citizenship as a third-generation immigrant state that the application must be submitted before the 25th birthday.

Since many people only want to naturalize a little later, after completing their training or when starting a family, this age limit is not justified. The legal age limit does not correspond to the reality of the life of those affected. It should therefore be abolished,” the Commission claims.

It also states the requirement of proof of belonging to the third generation of foreigners is too complicated, as amongst others it includes:

  • proof that the grandparents were entitled to reside in Switzerland
  • proof that the father or mother attended compulsory school for at least five years,
  • evidence one parent lived in Switzerland for ten years and has a permanent residence permit

And finally, the Commission wants to make it easier for people wishing to become Swiss citizens as third-generation immigrants to access information and advice on the procedures.

Due to the complicated regulations, it is often a challenge for local authorities to provide competent advice to those wishing to naturalize. In order to facilitate the naturalization of third-generation people, local authorities need to be empowered to give them appropriate advice,” the Commission states.

Data by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office show that 0.2 per cent of the Swiss population are foreign nationals from the third or a higher generation. Another about five per cent are second-generation immigrants, of whom 3.6 are naturalized and another 2.4 of foreign citizenship.

The Swiss are one of the world populations that are most satisfied with the quality of life in their home country. According to the 2020 Income and Living Conditions Survey (SILC) of the Swiss Statistical Office, 40.4 per cent of the population aged 16 and over noted that they were very satisfied with their current life. Whereas in 2014, 39 per cent of the population aged 16 and over believed the same.

Source: Switzerland Wants to Make It Easier for Third Generation Immigrants to Gain Swiss Citizenship – SchengenVisaInfo.com

More Evidence on Third-Generation Outcomes

While generally not a fan of the work of Centre for Immigration Studies, this study is nevertheless interesting.

There are similar variations among visible minority groups in Canada, admittedly from smaller numbers of third or more generations, younger cohort, for most groups save Black Canadians:

Will the children and grandchildren of low-skill immigrants eventually rise to the same socioeconomic level as natives? In a report published last fall, I investigated this question using the NLSY-97, a survey of people born between 1980 and 1984 that includes their grandparents’ places of birth. The grandparent information helps identify a true “third generation,” meaning U.S.-born people who have two U.S.-born parents but at least one foreign-born grandparent.

Because the largest and most consistently low-skill immigrant group has come from Mexico, my report compared the grandchildren of Mexican immigrants to a reference group of white Americans from the “fourth-plus generation” – meaning U.S. born with two U.S.-born parents and four U.S.-born grandparents. The results indicated that Americans with at least one Mexican-born grandparent lag significantly behind on measures of education and income. In other words, assimilation of this initially low-skill group is still not complete by the third generation.

After the Great Wave of immigration ended in the 1920s, Americans developed some romantic notions about assimilation. No matter where immigrants come from, no matter what skills they bring with them, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in upon arrival, their children and grandchildren will supposedly converge to the socioeconomic level of the pre-existing population. Desirable as that outcome may be, the convergence is often incomplete. The results for third-generation Mexican Americans described above are perhaps the starkest illustration.

Differential levels of assimilation are also evident when comparing the grandchildren of immigrant groups who arrived in the same time period. After the U.S. and Mexico, the most common grandparent place of birth in the NLSY-97 is Europe. (Unfortunately, no specific countries in Europe are identified in the data.) This post provides the results of a new analysis comparing two third-generation groups — the grandchildren of immigrants from Mexico, and the grandchildren of immigrants from Europe.

Based on parental data from the NLSY-97 and year-of-arrival data from the 1970 census, most grandparents of the NLSY-97’s European third generation arrived in the U.S. between 1910 and 1950. Unlike Mexican immigrants, who were almost uniformly low-skill, European immigrants in that time frame were more mixed. They include largely low-skill Southern and Eastern European immigrants who arrived before the 1924 restriction, but also some educated refugees from Central Europe during the Nazi period, along with both skilled and unskilled immigrants from the post-war era.

The table below compares the grandchildren of Mexican immigrants and the grandchildren of European immigrants on measures of educational attainment, test scores, work time, and income. Although the two groups graduated from high school at about the same rate, the grandchildren of European immigrants have more than double the rate of college completion. They also scored higher on the AFQT, which the military uses to assess math and verbal skills. Similarly, although weeks worked are roughly equivalent for both groups, the grandchildren of European immigrants significantly out-earn their counterparts with Mexican-born grandparents.

On most measures, the European third generation even slightly outperforms the reference group of fourth-plus generation whites. Clearly, not all immigrant groups end up in the same place by the third generation.

For details on the data set and the calculations, please see my report from last fall. Also note that for simplicity and sample size considerations, the ethnic and cross-sectional samples of the Mexican third generation are combined in the table above.

Source: More Evidence on Third-Generation Outcomes

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


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.