Passport and identity card

As of 1 March 2010 Switzerland issues, beside the identity card, only biometric passports containing a chip with a photo of the face, two digital fingerprints and a digital signature. This biometric data is logged directly at a processing centre. In Switzerland this is the passport office of the canton of residence of the applicant. Abroad the processing center is the Swiss representation at which the applicant is registered.

Passports issued prior to the date mentioned above remain valid until the date of expiry. Certain countries may set specific conditions for entry to their territory. Please be sure to seek information on the entry conditions in good time at your travel agency or the relevant foreign representation (embassy or consulate).

All persons requesting the issue of a Swiss identity document have to apply and, after an agreed appointment, appear in person at the processing centre for the biometric data capture. Minors and persons under guardianship must be accompanied by their parents or by their legal guardian. A divorced parent who has sole parental custody must present an official document to that effect. In the case of joint parental authority, if the two parents are unable to attend together, the absent parent must provide written authorisation for the issuing of the child’s passport or identity card.

Since the production of Swiss identity documents is centralised in Switzerland, you should check the expiry date of your current travel documents in order to allow sufficient time when applying for new documents.

About Swiss Passports (de, fr, it)

Biometric Passport (model 2010)

As of March 1, 2010, Switzerland will only issue electronically readable Swiss passports (Passports 2010) with biometric data containing one digital facial photograph, a digital signature and two digital fingerprints. Swiss voters approved the change to biometric passports in a vote on May 17, 2009.

Please read the instructions in the document “how to apply” for detailed information concerning the passport application procedure.

Identity card (model 2003)

Due to the introduction of the passport 2010 the order procedure of the identity card changes as of March 1, 2010.

We would like to emphasise that there will not be any biometric data on the identity card until further notice.

Please read the instructions in the document “how to apply” for a Swiss identity card for detailed information concerning the identity card application.

Passport 2010 and Identity card (model 2003)

The Swiss identity documents can be ordered at a reduced price at the same time. Please follow the instructions in the document “how to apply …”.

Cancellation of Previous Swiss Passport or Identity Card

You must present your old Swiss passport and/or identity card at the time of application. However you can then keep it with you until the new passport and/or identity card will arrive at the responsible Swiss embassy or consulate. You will be informed of the arrival and will have to submit your old passport and/or identity card for cancellation when you pick up your new passport.

Registration

Before applying for a passport and/or identity card, registration with the responsible Swiss representation is mandatory.

Changes of civil status

All changes of civil status (marriage, divorce, bitrth of children) have to be updated before a Swiss identity document can be issued.

Travelling to the USA?

For current entry regulations to the US, Swiss citizens should check with the competent authorities. More information under "Links".