Political rights

Swiss voting documents
Swiss voting documents © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

You are a Swiss citizen living abroad and would like to participate in Swiss political life. You are eligible to participate in popular votes at federal level as well as elections to the National Council without having to travel to Switzerland.

You may exercise your political rights by correspondence under the following conditions:

  • you are domiciled abroad,
  • you are at least 18 years old
  • you are registered with a Swiss representation.

If you meet the above requirements you may apply to the Swiss representation where you are registered for inclusion in the electoral register either by applying directly in person or by sending the duly filled out and signed application form to exercise your political rights.

According to the Ordinance on Swiss Persons and Institutions Abroad (Ordinance on Swiss Abroad), you will be registered into the electoral register of your last municipality of residence in Switzerland. If you never had your residence in Switzerland, you will be registered into the electoral register of your place of origin or of one of your places of origin. 

Ordinance on Swiss Persons and Institutions Abroad (Ordinance on Swiss Abroad; RS 195.11)

The electoral municipality will directly confirm in writing your inclusion in its electoral register, and will also forward to you the necessary voting materials. Any questions you may have or difficulties you encounter with the voting procedure should be referred directly to the municipality in question.

In addition to the official explanations of the Federal Council that accompany the voting materials you will find information on popular votes and elections in the “Swiss Review” as well as on the Swissinfo website, which provides online news in 10 languages.

If you move, you only have to inform the relevant Swiss representation of your change of address, which will pass the information on to your electoral municipality.

The competent Swiss representation will be glad to answer any additional questions. Do not hesitate to make contact.

Online desk

With the online desk you have the possibility to access consular services, such as registering in the Swiss Abroad Register, notifications of changes of civil status, changes of address. 

Online desk