In order to facilitate the social and political integration of expats and new-comers, the Swiss Confederation requires them to speak at least one of the three official languages : French, Italian or German.
In 2007, the Federal Council launched a new framework to facilitate this and started developing the fide system.
fide, which means “French, Italian and Deutsch” (German), is the official program promoting language integration in Switzerland. It focuses on Swiss culture and everyday life.
It is a federal undertaking, which helps people who don’t speak French, Italian or German :
- Develop the necessary language skills.
- Ensure sufficient proficiency in one of these languages.
- Settle in their new country quicker.
Each expat/new-comer must take the fide test, which assesses their languages skills, to obtain their B/C permit or start their naturalisation process.
A network of professional experts, instructors, schools, training centers, local authorities and specialised companies help deliver the fide program across Switzerland. Following the fide council’s directives, they train expats and assess their skills to ensure they can integrate well in the Swiss Confederation.