French millionaire denied Swiss citizenship over speeding offence

Life & Aging

 © Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court has upheld a decision to reject the naturalisation of a French national guilty of driving at twice the speed limit.This content was published on January 12, 2023 – 13:55January 12, 2023 – 13:55


In a ruling published on Thursday, the court said the immigration authorities rightly rejected the citizenship application of the Frenchman, who has lived in Switzerland for almost four decades and is the owner of luxury hotels and clinics.

The appellant was deemed to be well integrated into Swiss society and financially stable with a fortune amounting to several hundred million francs. However, his application for naturalisation submitted in 2018 was rejected because the previous year he had been caught driving at 80km/h in a 40km/h restricted zone. The Geneva public prosecutor’s office had imposed a suspended sentence in July 2017, together with a fine. 

The Federal Administrative Court ruled that a person who holds a criminal record cannot claim “successful integration” within the meaning of the naturalisation requirements. The court noted that the naturalisation ordinanceExternal link provides that citizenship cannot be granted until the probationary period has expired. To this extent, the Frenchman will soon be able to submit a new application.


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