Before qualifying to apply for Swiss naturalisation and get a Swiss
passport you have to have been resident in Switzerland for 12 years.
While it’s not easy, it’s not impossible to obtain a residence
visa in the first place — with perseverance you may find a canton that will have
Retired persons over 60, able to support themselves and with no intention of carrying on business may be able to live in Switzerland but they must show close ties with the country.
The Swiss confederation consists of 26 cantons, and each of these cantons has autonomy in the allocation of its share of the limited number of residence permits set by the confederation each year. Some are more active than others in encouraging new industrial and commercial activities.
A cantonal authority that is keen to attract a new business will arrange
for the necessary work and residence permits for the owner of the business,
for managers and for necessary foreign personnel. The arrangements will
include a commitment by the authority to ensure that the necessary renewals
after the first year are forthcoming. A permit will cover the holder’s
spouse and children under twenty.
For the first five years, the permit (called a B permit, permitting
both work and residence) is renewable every year. After five years it
can be renewed for another five years; and after ten years it can be
convened into a C permit which is good for life without renewal. Any
renewal is, however, subject to the continuance of the economic activity
that supported the permit’s initial grant.
After 12 years’ residence, application may be made for citizenship
by naturalisation The grant of this falls within the canton’s
authority, not the federal authorities This is because a Swiss citizen
is first a citizen of his commune of origin; then a citizen of his canton
of origin; and only thirdly a citizen of Switzerland
How to live within Switzerland without a Swiss visa
This heading is slightly misleading, however accurate, because you will
need Italian papers.
Provided you have a certain amount of money, and the patience needed
for finding a property for sale in what is a very small area, the Italian
enclave of Campione could be for you.
Campione’s total area is only one and a half square kilometers
so the real estate supply is somewhat limited.
It is on Lake Lugano, and 4 kilometers as the crow flies from the city
of Lugano, which is of course in Switzerland, and happens to be the
third largest Swiss banking center, served by the Lugano-Agno airport
with 9 flights a day to such places as Zurich and Geneva. There is no
frontier post between Campione and Lugano — and I do not mean
just for crows.
To apply for a “domicilio Italiano” (residence permit)
for Campione, you need to have bought a property (conditionally will
do), have a valid passport, and evidence of means and of good character.
Attendance at the police offices at Campione and nearby Como will be
After ten years’ residence the domicilio status can be changed
to a “residencia permanenta”
Campione has certain tax advantages: “private people” pay
no Italian income tax.
What Campione calls “private people” — retired people
and freelance professionals resident in Campione — pay no income
tax in Italy so long as they are not doing business or have no assets
there. Residents of Campione with Italian-source income pay one-quarter
the normal Italian rate.
Double tax treaties between Italy and other countries are applicable
to Campione residents as they are to other residents of Italy.
House/apartment prices — when you can find a property for sale
— range up to Swfr5,500 per square meter, which contrasts nicely with Monaco at
up to Swfr15,650.
If you need the name of someone who may be able to help answer questions
about either residence permits or real estate in Campione, please write
as requested on page 49.
Brazil — $US300,000+
Anyone wishing to make a business investment in Brazil may submit to
the Brazilian embassy or consulate a proposal, which will be considered
for approval on a case by case basis. The minimum figure quoted is $US300,000.
In addition to approval of the business proposal. applicants for a
permanent Brazilian visa must supply the usual records, such as a valid
passport, birth and marriage records, and clear police and health records.
The visa, if issued, must be used within three months of its issue,
although it can be extended as long as application for extension is
made before the visa has expired.
Apart from approved business immigrants, Brazil will also accept retired
persons with a pension of at least $US500 monthly, remittable to Brazil,
and employees of Brazilian companies or firms under employment contracts
approved by the government.
Brazil also permits entry to relatives (spouses and direct line relatives,
and dependent minors) sponsored by a resident or by someone being accepted
as a resident under the above headings.
The normal period of permanent residence required before application for
naturalisation is four years, which is shortened to three for those in
the investment category, to two where the applicant is engaged in scientific
or research work, and to one where he or she is sponsored by a Brazilian
relative. /next chapter...
Reminder: This edition of How To Get A Second Passport was published
in 1990. Check the useful
links page for updated information.
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