Stateless children

A stateless child under the age of 18 can apply for simplified naturalisation if he or she can prove at least five years’ residence in Switzerland, including one year immediately prior to submitting the application.

Stateless persons over the age of 18 cannot apply for simplified naturalisation. In their case, the provisions on ordinary naturalisation apply.


A child is stateless if he or she has been officially recognised as such by SEM or by an equivalent authority in a signatory state to the UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.

SEM will therefore only consider the application if an official document recognising the applicant’s statelessness is submitted..

Übereinkommen über die Rechtsstellung der Staatenlosen
(UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. Available in German, French and Italian)

What does ‘being successfully integrated’ mean?

The simplified naturalisation procedure requires that you be successfully integrated. You are successfully integrated into Swiss society in particular if you:

  • show respect for public security and order, for example by paying your taxes on time, not being the subject of debt collection proceedings, not having any certified unpaid debts and not having a criminal record;
  • show respect for the values enshrined in the Federal Constitution;
  • can communicate in a national language in everyday situations, both orally and in writing;
  • participate in economic life or acquire an education; this also means that you have not claimed social assistance benefits in the three years before applying or you have repaid in full any social assistance benefits claimed;
  • encourage and support your family members in their efforts to integrate.

Appropriate account is taken of your situation if you are unable to participate in economic life, acquire an education or get the required language skills because of disability or illness or for other significant personal circumstances, or can only do so with difficulty.

In addition, you must not pose a threat to Switzerland’s internal or external security.

Language requirements

You must be able to communicate in the everyday situations in a Swiss national language both orally and in writing. At the time that you submit your application, you must prove that you have written language skills of at least A2 level and spoken language skills of at least B1 level.

Detailed information on the language passport
List of recognised language certificates (PDF, 277 kB, 01.07.2024)
FAQs on simplified naturalisation

Sprachförderkonzept des Bundes
(Federal language support programme. Available in German, French and Italian)

Where can I get the application form?

If you live in Switzerland, you can order the application form by email directly from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) at, indicating your exact postal address. The form will be sent to you by post and must be submitted, duly completed, to SEM by post.

What documents do I have to submit?

All the documents on the ‘List of required documents’ must be submitted together with the application form and annexes as well as the duly signed list of required documents.

The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) decides on cases of simplified naturalisation.

Further information

Handbook on citizenship: Other forms of simplified naturalisation, naturalisation of stateless children (section 62)
in German (PDF, 514 kB, 16.02.2023) 
in French (PDF, 572 kB, 16.02.2023) 
in Italian (PDF, 564 kB, 16.02.2023)

Last modification 02.03.2021

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