Long-term residence


Country Report: Long-term residence Last updated: 14/05/21


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The Long-Term Residence Directive is not applicable in Switzerland.

A recognised refugee with asylum status receives a residence permit (B permit). After 10 years, or if he or she is especially well integrated, after 5 years, the canton can issue a permanent residence permit (C permit).[1] However, there is no absolute right to receive this permit; it is at the discretion of the canton. These are the same rules that also apply for other foreigners.

A temporarily admitted person receives an F permit. After 5 years, the person can apply to the canton for a residence permit (B permit), if he or she is well integrated.[2] However, the practice among the cantons varies and is in general strict. In 2020, 2’835 persons obtained a B permit in this way.[3] Once the person has a B permit, he or she can again apply for a permanent residence permit (C permit) after 5-10 years similar to the process described above.

Under the revised naturalisation law, which entered into force on 1 January 2018, it is now necessary to have a C permit in order to apply for naturalisation. This is very difficult for protection beneficiaries, especially temporarily admitted persons, as they will first have to go through all the different steps of permits, which takes a very long time. This is also the case for those born in Switzerland.



[1]        Article 34 FNIA.

[2]        Article 84(5) FNIA. The specific criteria are listed at Article 31 OASA.

[3]        SEM, Asylum statistics 2020 (table 7-60).

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection