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Place of Birth vs. Place of Origin (Updated 2018)

Did you know that Swiss passports don’t mention the actual place of birth of the passport holder, but the place of origin? People often confuse these two terms, including our customers, so today we will help you navigate through these terms.

Place of birth is, as you can assume, the place where you were born. But, in Swiss passports, there is your place of origin. Now, what could that be? Everyone knows their place of origin since it must be mentioned again and again on all the official forms. However, no one really knows its purpose.


Place of origin or Heimatort is the place where your family originates from. There are several ways how you can get your place of origin. Naturally, a child born to Swiss parents will inherit their parents’ place of origin. Usually, children receive their father’s place of origin. But, they can also add their mother’s, or choose just the mother’s. A child born to a Swiss father and a non-Swiss mother will have the place of the origin of the Swiss parent.

The citizenships by marriages include the place of origin from the Swiss spouse. In the past, even Swiss women who married Swiss men needed to change their place of origin to their husbands’.


People who lived in Switzerland for at least one or two years are eligible for a municipal citizenship. In this case, the place of origin will be the village, town or city where the citizen has received their citizenship.

You can also get a new municipal citizenship if you move to another Swiss village, town or city. The only rule is that you have to live there for a year or two.

The place of origin doesn’t have any significance today, but Swiss citizens feel proud to have one. Some families can trace their roots back to the 16th and 15th centuries. There were several attempts in parliament, in order to scrap the place of origin, however, they were all rejected. So the tradition lives on to cause confusion, however, the Swiss seem to like it.


So, when filling your next visa form, make sure to write down your place of birth and not your place of origin, even if it is not mentioned in your passport.

Viselio can help you obtain your visa. Simply apply on our website and avoid paperwork and queuing at the embassy. We apply on your behalf and we are sending your passport with the issued visa back to your home address. In case you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.

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