The Swiss government now requires nationals of certain countries to submit proof of local language proficiency when applying for permanent residence status.

Key Points:

  • As of Oct. 1, nationals of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain who are applying for permanent residency must submit proof they passed A1 and A2 level language tests or otherwise prove local language proficiency after they have stayed in Switzerland for at least five years.
  • Previously, such foreign nationals were not required to submit proof that they were proficient in the local language spoken at their listed residence.
  • Swiss authorities are requiring foreign nationals who have pending permanent residence applications that were submitted before Oct. 1 to provide proof they have passed the language tests.
  • More information regarding the proof of language requirement is available here.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals from certain European countries who are planning to apply for permanent residency in Switzerland should have proof of local language proficiency to avoid complications and delays.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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