Information for dual nationals

The question of military service for dual nationals is, by definition, of interest to two states.

Swiss citizens who are also citizens of Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Colombia, Argentina (not yet ratified) and the USA will encounter no problems, as Switzerland has signed inter-state agreements with these countries. Clicking on a  country will take you to the agreement and more information.

Dual nationals whose place of residence is in Switzerland must complete their military obligations in Switzerland. Swiss-foreign dual nationals can, without risking sanctions, fulfil their military obligations in their other country of origin on condition they are residents in that other state. On the other hand, a departure for that other state with the sole purpose of completing military service there is a punishable offence in Switzerland under the Military Penal Code.

Recognition of completed military service

Switzerland not only recognises military service completed in the other country of origin but also its replacement by forms of civilian service as well as the possibility of payment of a sum of money by way of compensation. These release the dual national from his obligation to complete military service but not from compulsory registration and the exemption tax.

However, problems can emerge for dual nationals if they have completed military service in Switzerland and their second home country does not recognise this military service. In this case, the dual national is still obligated to complete military service in his second home country after his return, in spite of already completing Swiss military service.

Consequently, we strongly recommend that, before considering starting military training in Switzerland, this category of dual nationals find out from the relevant foreign military authorities what conditions apply. 

For detailed information we advise you to consult the Swiss army website or to contact directly the competent authority in this matter:

Kommando Ausbildung
Personelles der Armee (Pers A)
Rechtsanwendung und Vorgaben
3003 Bern
Tel. 058 463 80 83
Fax 058 464 32 70