Mandatory citizenship courses sell out within hours in Swiss canton

Mandatory citizenship courses sell out within hours in Swiss canton

On May 24, budding Swiss citizens in Canton Ticino were left disappointed, as mandatory citizenship courses sold out within hours of becoming available. According to authorities in the canton, this is not a rare occurrence and plans are now being drawn up to offer more courses in future.

Citizenship courses in Switzerland sell out within hours

In some Swiss cantons, a “citizenship training course” is required before expats and internationals can apply for their new passports. Unfortunately, in many areas like Ticino, spots on these courses are few and far between, with Ticino online reporting that the latest batch “sold out at lightning speed, leaving dozens of people out.” 

The application portal only opens every six months, which can leave some applicants waiting years before they can move forward with naturalisation, particularly the elderly and those who are not as fast with computers. “They should plan more courses, including online. We are in 2022 and [the system] seems to be in the Middle Ages,” one disgruntled applicant said.

Ticino looking to improve access to Swiss citizenship courses

"Every six months we face a wave of people angry because they didn't click at the right time," noted Manuela Courbon Guggiari, director of the Institute of Continuing Education in Ticino. He explained that the backlog of applicants has been made worse by the COVID pandemic, where face-to-face training courses were paused until long after the end of the first lockdown in late 2020.

In response, authorities in Ticino are now considering raising the number of training courses in the near future. Responding to angry applicants, Guggiari said that they had increased class sizes and were now evaluating how to adequately respond to the high demand.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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