Cohabiting and same-sex couples
If you are a non-EU citizen wishing to cohabitate with a Swiss national in an unmarried relationship, you have no claim to a B or C permit. Article 30b of the Aliens' Act includes a hardship clause if, for justified reasons, the celebration of marriage is impossible. Furthermore, no right to simplified naturalisation can be claimed based on such cohabitation. However, parents have the possibility of applying for a residence permit for the purpose of living with their child if the partner is a Swiss national or holds a permanent or temporary residence permit. In this case, too, the applicant must demonstrate why marriage would be impossible. With the Partnership Act, which entered into force on January 1, 2007, Swiss nationals and foreigners with permanent residence permits who live in a registered partnership have the option to establish residence status for their foreign partners in the same way as married heterosexual couples do so (see above).
On occasion, there are situations that will prevent a seme-gender partnership from being registered, particularly when a threat of discrimination in the partner's home country exists. In such cases of hardship, a residence permit may be granted if the driteria specified by the Federal Court have been satisfied. These critera include an established, long-term partnership, unreasonableness of conducting the relationship abroad or through approved stays, ability to integrate, contractually stipulated assumption of duties of care, an the like. Work permits are subject to the same provisions, i.e., family members from the original EU member countries who immigrate subsequently do not require any additional work permit. Persons from the new EU countries remain subject to the transitional provisions (see Work Permit).