When a foreign national seeks citizenship/naturalisaton of their host nation, who should make that decision – those of the community in which the applicant lives; or, as in the United Kingdom, a bureaucratic, box-ticking government department?

Recently, in Switzerland, a case concerning a woman who had lived in Switzerland since she was eight, speaks fluent Swiss German, has three children with Swiss passports, has no criminal record, doesn’t claim welfare and is politically active was rejected. On the face of it, one would have thought she would be a ‘shoo-in’ for a Swiss passport. How wrong you are..

Read the article and you will find the reasons why the outcome of her application was rejected. You will also be able to read the comments to the article, among which is mine.

As I wrote, my view is that only those to whom ‘ownership’ of a nation is a ‘given’ should be able to confer citizenship and the benefits that such brings.

Should that not be the case in our nation, the United Kingdom?

Is there not a case made, in this instance, for ‘people power’ – and should not ‘people power’ be able to decide any matter which affects that people’s nation?

What do my readers think?

4 thoughts on “Naturalisation

  1. I have a young relative born in New Guinea and schooled in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and England. She lives in Zurich speaks German, works as a teacher and is happy there. I also have a neighbour who sent their daughter to be an intern in Lucerne for 2 years. She has not learnt one word of French and will be glad to home in the spring. So my question is Ms Holten has got it all wrong and why did she stay so long?

  2. “people power “is mob rule leading to gang rule. Muscle usually prevails over intellect for a while..
    People are sheep.

  3. I think that local people with a knowledge of the individual should be consulted, or at least be given the chance to object, just as we are (theoretically) in the case of planning applications, with notices posed up within the community.

    1. As indeed they are in a sense, Form AN1 Application for Naturalisation requires signatures of two referees who must have known the applicant for at least three years.
      Seems to me that the applicant in the Swiss case was hard done by, by people that were more concerned with their local values rather than the values of Switzerland as a whole.
      The Swiss system seems to be fragmented, leaving decisions on Nationalisation to individuals in Cantons who presumably all have slightly different priority’s is not IMHO very clever or fair.
      In this area it seems to me that the English System has more merit, it demands that the applicant has a good command of the Language and Knowledge of the Country and it’s culture (IMHO maybe to too high a standard in both cases) plus two local referees and can prove that they are “settled”.
      There is a standard and it’s universal.

      The deficit in terms of democracy is not with Nationalisation it is with “Leave To Remain” for which no local referees are required at all.

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