The majority of Swiss citizens have voted in favor of simplifying the naturalization process for third-generation immigrants. In a referendum that was held on the “simplified naturalization of third-generation immigrants” bill on Sunday, 60.4 percent of voters and 19 cantons voted “yes,” media reported Monday.
The bill will now allow the foreign nationals who were born in Switzerland but had immigrant grandparents to get Swiss citizenship more easily.
Up until now, the process was a long bureaucratic one that had to proceed in individual cantons. But the bill will now see the transfer of responsibility to the federal level and reduce the bureaucracy for immigrants who are under 25 and whose parents and grandparents have lived in Switzerland for years to become Swiss citizens.
Less than 25,000 people in Switzerland currently qualify as third-generation immigrants, of whom nearly 60 percent are Italians, and the rest are with origins in the Balkans and of Turkish descent, according to a migration department study.