To keep the family registers accurate and up-to-date, Swiss authorities need to be informed about any changes in the civil status of Swiss citizens and dual nationals (birth, marriage, death and divorce).
In Switzerland the registration of this changes is based on various statutory provisions and has a tiered structure (communal / cantonal / federal) with clear areas of competence. The Registry Offices which are located in most communes, hold the following five registers:
- Register of Births
- Register of Deaths
- Register of Marriages
- Acknowledgement of Paternity Register
- Family Register
The Family Register is held in the "commune of origin". Every Swiss national has the citizenship rights of a commune, known as the "place of origin" or "place of citizenship". This is usually the town or village which the family originally came from and descendants always assume the same place of origin, regardless of their place of birth or residence. This registry system enables a family tree to be traced back many years.
The role of the Swiss missions abroad is to report changes in the status of Swiss nationals which have taken place abroad to the relevant authorities in Switzerland so that they may be entered in the Family Register.
Swiss citizens are therefore asked to present the above mentioned documents to the relevant Swiss mission.
Birth registratio (PDF, 442.8 kB)