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Applying for a passport or identity card

All passports issued since 2010 are biometric (also called passport 10 or e-passport). Biometric passports have a chip that contains the holder’s fingerprints and a photo. The new identity cards, which are due to be issued in 2019, will only be available without a biometric chip, like the current identity cards.

How to apply for a passport or identity card

Depending on which canton you live in, you can apply for an identity card either in person at the residents’ registration office in your commune or at your canton’s passport office (in person, by phone or by internet depending on where you live).

You can apply for a passport or a combination of identity card and biometric passport at the same time by internet or phone. When your application has been examined, you will be invited to come to the passport office in person to record your data (photo, signature and finger prints (for passports only). Certain cantons allow you to bring your own digital photo. After your personal interview and once your application has been accepted, you will receive your passport and/or identity card within 10 working days by registered post (or within 30 days if sent to an address outside of Switzerland).

Applying for identity documents – the most important points at a glance

To apply you just need a computer with an internet connection and a reliable email address. The order website describes the application procedure. You will then get an email inviting you to a personal interview (to record your data for a passport and/or identity card).

Applying for a passport or identity card

Passport photo and digital photo criteria

The issuing authorities check the quality of the photograph and decide if it meets the requirements.

Passport or identity card for children

Children need their own passport or identity card to travel abroad. It is not possible to include a child on their parent’s identity papers.

Children up to the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult to the passport office to record their data. The adult must produce valid proof of identity. Unmarried, divorced or separated parents must provide proof of custody. A family or birth certificate and residence certificate may also be required along with the child’s application.

Special provisions for children, minors and non-responsible adults

Passport or identity card for Swiss abroad

You can order an application form for the identity document you require by calling the appropriate embassy or consulate, or you can complete an application online. If you are submitting an application online select ‘Abroad’ when you reach the question about your place of domicile.

After you have submitted your application you will then have to go to your nearest embassy or consulate in person to have your biometric data recorded.

If you have any questions, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate.

Swiss embassies and consulates

Applying for a passport or identity card

Renewing your passport

If your passport expires in the coming months, or if it has already expired, you must apply for a new passport (see above, Applying for a passport or identification card online).

Temporary passport (emergency passport)

You can apply for a temporary passport in an emergency.