The Federal Act on Registered Partnerships (Partnership Act), which entered into force in 2007, enables same-sex couples to legally secure their relationship. In addition, state recognition of same-gender couples should aid in stopping discrimination and eliminating prejudice.
In accordance with this Act, same-sex couples may register with the civil registry office of their place of residence and thereby commit to a partnership with clearly defined rights and duties.
A partnership duly registered abroad will be recognised in Switzerland if it is consistent with the relevant principles of Swiss law.
With respect to family reunification and residence permits, registered partnerships are considered equal to married couples (Art. 52 Aug). The foreign partner in a registered partnership has the right to apply for residence permit B.
For the time being, there is no provision for simplified naturalisation.
The Federal Act on Registered Partnerships for Same-Gender Couples can be found at www.ejpd.admin.ch
For more information on registered partnerships and a fact sheet from the Federal Government on registered partnerships visit at www.ejpd.admin.ch
Self-help group for binational couples: www.pinkcross.ch
Sample contract for couples: www.pinkcross.ch