Important Information: Biometric Passport
As of March 1, 2010, Switzerland will only issue electronically readable Swiss passports (Passport 10) 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.
The existing machine-readable passports (Passport 03 and Passport 06) issued prior to March 1, 2010, will remain valid until their expiry date even after the introduction of the new biometric passport.
For more information on the new biometric passport, please visit the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police website. The list of fees for the new biometric passport is available on the right side of this page: www.schweizerpass.admin.ch (de, fr, it)
Information for Swiss citizens living abroad (29 Kb, pdf)
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 station
Since the introduction of the biometric passport, applicants must appear in person to record their biometric data: a photograph of the applicant and two fingerprints. Starting March 2014, one mobile biometric passport station is travelling around the United States and provides Swiss citizens with an opportunity to appear “locally or at least closer than San Francisco” for the issuance of a new Swiss passport.
The schedule of the mobile biometric passport station will be directly communicated by each representation to their Swiss Colony.
You have to apply for a passport at the Swiss representation where you are registered. Please note that registration is mandatory for all Swiss citizens who intend to stay in the consular district for more than 12 months.
You may now submit your application via the Internet using our convenient online service by clicking on the following link:
You may also apply for your passport by telephone or by making a personal visit to the representation that is responsible for you. When you apply for a new passport 10, you have the opportunity to order an identity card at a reduced price, as you could in the past.
Once the application is completed and approved, applicants will have to appear in person at their competent representation in the USA to have their biometric data taken: facial photograph, signature and two fingerprints. For organizational purposes, it will be necessary to make an appointment with the competent Swiss representation. This can be done electronically through the link which will be sent to you by E-mail after approval of the application or by telephone.
Your biometric data can be collected at any Swiss processing center (practically all Swiss representations abroad) and all cantonal passport offices which are equipped to do so. Your passport doesn’t have to be near its expiration date for you to have your biometric data collected.
You just have to make sure you initiate the registration through the representation where you are currently registered.
During the Internet application process you have to indicate in step 9 where and when you want to have your biometric data collected. A list of all cantonal passport offices can be found at: http://www.schweizerpass.admin.ch/pass/de/home/ausweise/antrag
/passstellen.html (only in German, French or Italian language) and a list of Swiss representations abroad can be found at: https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/laender-reise-information.html.
Applications for minors or persons under guardianship
In case one of the legal representatives is unable to appear in person at the Swiss representation to apply for the issuance of a Swiss travel document to a minor or a person under guardianship, a written consent should be signed. Therefore it is recommended that the absent legal representative complete the form “declaration of consent” which is available on the right side of this page.
The data in the passport is based on the information recorded in the Swiss civil registers. Before submitting an application for a biometric passport, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the information recorded in the Swiss civil registers is up-to-date in order to avoid unpleasant delays in the issuance of a new passport. If the applicant is in doubt, the competent representation should be contacted as soon as possible.
Declaration of consent (21 Kb, pdf)
Recording of biometric data
All applicants must attend in person for this procedure and present a valid ID document to confirm their identity.
For organizational reasons, it is essential to make an appointment. This can be done online via the link which will be sent to you by E-mail after your passport application has been checked and approved or by telephone.
You may choose another Swiss representation abroad, or in exceptional cases, a passport office in Switzerland to perform this formality. In this case, you must inform your representation, which will authorize the representation or passport office you have chosen.
Minors and applicants in the care of a guardian must be accompanied by their parents or guardian, who will be required to give their consent by signing the application form.
Divorced or unmarried parents must provide proof of custody of the child, and in the case of joint custody, both parents must give their consent.
Processing Time and Delivery
Applications should be submitted in good time.
Travel documents are produced in Switzerland and it usually takes between 3 and 4 weeks to obtain the new document.
When the quality of your new passport has been checked, it will be sent to you as in the past.
Cancellation of Previous Swiss Passport or Identity Card
To have your new passport or identity card sent directly to your home address from the processing office in Switzerland, you must submit your old Swiss passport and/or identity card to be cancelled at the time of your application. Otherwise, your new passport and/or identity card will be sent to the responsible Swiss embassy or consulate and then kept there until you submit your document for cancellation. In the latter case, higher postage fees apply.