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  • Writer's pictureAngie

Practical tip - Immigration - language requirements for C permit applicants

Updated: Feb 1

Nationals of non-French-speaking states who have a settlement agreement with Switzerland must also provide a language certificate when applying for a residence permit (C permit).

Persons already holding a C permit are not concerned.

When can I apply for a C permit? What are the rules?

As a general rule, a residence permit, called C permit, may be granted to a foreign person, who has resided legally and uninterruptedly for 10 years in Switzerland with the benefit of a short-term authorization (permit L) and for the last 5 years residence permit (permit B) and a certain command of the French language.

Anticipated request of C permit after 5 years of stay: Certain foreigners, depending on their situation or nationality, are entitled to a (C permit) after a legal and uninterrupted stay of 5 years (5 years with a B permit). These include:

- Spouses/registered partners of Swiss nationals (Art. 42 para. 3 LEI + 52 LEI) and permit C (Art. 43, 5 LEI + 52)

- Nationals of European countries with which Switzerland has concluded agreements:

- Spouses and minor children of nationals of Austria, Germany, and Denmark

- Nationals of the United States and Canada

The examination of the application will consider the degree of integration of family members over the age of twelve. A certain command of the French language is required: you will indeed have to attest to a level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR) orally (at least) and A1 to writing (at least) in the national language spoken at the place of residence.

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