What it takes to become Swiss, how you can take the test of basic civic knowledge and which offices are involved in the naturalization process - you will find answers to these and other questions in the subchapter on naturalization.


01. What does it take to become Swiss?

Your first point of contact for a regular or facilitated naturalization is your municipality of residence. There you will receive all the information and the necessary forms.
Here you will find the leaflet of the canton Obwalden with all important information.

For foreigners in Switzerland, it is possible to use the Swiss citizenship by ordinary naturalization. Persons wishing to become naturalized must meet the following requirements in the canton of Obwalden:

  • 10 years of residence in Switzerland (years between the age of 8 and 18 count double), 5 years of residence in the same municipality of the Canton of Obwalden,
  • Incorporation into Swiss and Obwalden conditions; fulfillment of financial obligations, in the work and/or education process, social relations with the Swiss population, knowledge of public and social events,
  • Familiarity with the habits, customs and traditions of Switzerland and Obwalden,
  • Language skills in the German language for the areas of listening and speaking with minimum requirements Level B1 of the European Language Portfolio. Language skills are assessed by means of a Language level analysis at the Vocational and Further Education Center BWZ in Sarnen. The language skills must also be proven in writing at level A2.
  • Testing via the basic civic knowledge (Under certain circumstances, individuals may be exempt from the language proficiency analysis and/or the basic citizenship skills test. The decision on this is the responsibility of the municipality),
  • Observance of the Swiss legal system,
  • No threat to the internal and external security of Switzerland,
  • Visit a Information event on the course of the naturalization procedure (confirmation of attendance at the information event must be enclosed when submitting the application for naturalization).

02. What is the importance of citizenship?

With citizenship, various rights and obligations are acquired.

Political rights (e.g. voting and election rights)
Prohibition of extradition and expulsion
Right to diplomatic protection abroad

General compulsory military service
Ban on foreign military service

03. How to prepare and take the exam on basic civic knowledge?.

Before submitting the application for naturalization, a written test on basic civic knowledge must be passed. The confirmation of passing the exam must be attached to the application.

The Vocational and Continuing Education Center BWZ in Sarnen offers courses to prepare for the basic civic knowledge exam. It is recommended that you attend this course if you wish to take the basic civic knowledge exam. You can also take the basic civic knowledge exam at BWZ. It takes about 60 minutes per participant and costs CHF 60.

You can find the detailed course description of the BWZ here.

04. What agencies are involved in the naturalization process?

  • facilitated naturalization: The federal government is responsible for this
  • ordinary naturalization: The municipality, canton and federal government are responsible for
  • First point of contact for naturalization: your Community of residence. There you will receive all the information and the necessary forms. Then submit the application for naturalization on the official form and with all the necessary documents to the Residents' Community Council (or Citizens' Community Council) of the place of residence.

You can obtain precise information on ordinary naturalization in this Leaflet .
Information on naturalization procedures can also be found at the Website of the State Secretariat for Migration.
You can also find more information on the topic of naturalization here.

05. How much will the naturalization procedure cost me?

With the following Costs you have to expect for the naturalization procedure in the canton of Obwalden:

  • Underage persons not in gainful employment: Fr. 800.00
    Pupils: Fr. 800.00
    Students: Fr. 800.00
    Apprentices: Fr. 800.00
  • Individuals: Fr. 1000.00
  • Married couple: Fr. 1'600.00
  • Per child: Fr. 300.00

The police leadership report is charged separately by the cantonal police. The costs for this are approximately Fr. 500.00 to 1'000.00. The costs for the federal naturalization permit are usually Fr. 100.00 for individuals, Fr. 150.00 for married couples and Fr. 50.00 for minors.

In addition, there are the fees of the individual municipalities in the canton:

Alpnach, Giswil, Kerns, Lungern, Sarnen and Sachseln:

  • Individuals: Fr. 1'200.00
  • Married couples: Fr. 1'800.00
  • per child in the request of the parents: Fr. 200.00
  • Pupils: Fr. 700.00


  • Engelberg charges the costs according to expenditure.

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