A birth certificate is a crucial document that is given to every newborn child in Switzerland. The process for receiving a birth certificate is automatic but it is an important part of having a baby in Switzerland. It is also important to know its uses in planning for your family and how to replace a lost birth certificate.
Purpose of a Swiss birth certificate
A Swiss birth certificate is automatically given to every baby born in the country by the hospital where the mother gives birth, on behalf of the civil status department (Abteilung Zivilstandswesen). If you do not give birth in a hospital, you must register the birth of your child within three days at your local civil registry office with a birth certificate provided by a doctor or registered midwife. Birth certificates are important documents that are required for a number of administrative applications, such as:
- Registering for a residence permit
- Applying for Swiss citizenship or citizenship of your nation of origin
- During adoption
- Applying for a Swiss passport
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Applying for the family allowance or other elements of social security in Switzerland
Losing a Swiss birth certificate
If you lose a Swiss birth certificate, either due to theft, loss or accidental destruction, you must reapply for one as soon as you notice its loss. To obtain a new birth certificate you must provide a full ID, such as a passport or residence permit, to the civil register office in the county (canton) of your birth, as well as paying 30 Swiss francs as a flat fee for the postage service.
If you are ordering a birth certificate for someone else, you must also provide evidence that you have power of attorney over that person, as well as a piece of identification from them. This does not apply if you are reapplying for a birth certificate for a dependent or child under the age of 18.
Civil status birth permits
In addition to standard birth certificates, your local civil register will also be able to provide you with additional documents such as a confirmation of civil status. This document can be used to apply for universities abroad and can also be useful in applying for citizenship for nations outside of the European Union.