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

Important Information: Biometric Passport

As of 1 March 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 17 May 2009.

The existing machine-readable passports (Passport 03 and Passport 06) issued prior to 1 March 2010, will remain valid until their expiry date even after the introduction of the new biometric passport. However, be aware that entry regulations may vary from country to country.

For more information on the new biometric passport, please visit the website of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police.

Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police (de)