Frequently asked questions

Does my child have to come to the passport office?

Yes, when applying for a passport/child passport/ID card for minors, children must come to the passport office accompanied by their legal guardian/s, regardless of their age. If a parent with custody is unable to attend, the parent’s certified declaration of consent must be brought along. The exception to this is the application for an identity card by minors aged 16 and over. Such an application may be made by the minor himself/herself, without the involvement of the parents. In this case, please fill out the application form for adults.

Is it sufficient for the father or mother to come to the passport office with the child?

In principle, both parents with custody must come in person with the minor. If one custodial parent is unable to attend, his/her certified declaration of consent is required.

Can I take a photo on site?

Yes, a photo booth is available. The photos cost CHF 15,– per person. Please note: the photo booth is not suitable for children under 6 years of age. If you prefer to have your photo taken by a photographer, you are free to do so, e.g. here. Make sure to secure an appointment with the photographer well in advance of your appointment at our office and to inform him/her that you require a photo according to the German biometric standard.

Do I need a photo of my newborn baby?

Yes. Please take notice of the note at the bottom right of the photo sample board for passports and identity cards.

Where can I submit the application?

If you live in Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein and are deregistered in Germany, the German Embassy in Bern is the passport and identity card authority responsible for you. 

You can also submit your passport application at the offices of the honorary consuls in Geneva, Basel, Lugano or Zurich if you take an appointment there.

Please note that the honorary consuls charge a service fee of currently CHF 90. The fee increases if there are several applications per person.

I am (still) registered in Germany, can I still submit the application in Switzerland ?

In principle, yes, but only if an important reason is given and if it is not possible to issue the application at the locally competent authority. In this case, an “out of jurisdiction surcharge” applies; the embassy must obtain authorisation from the locally competent authority, which prolongs the processing time.

I live in neighbouring France. Can I still submit the application in Geneva ?

Yes, this is permitted. However, an “out of jurisdiction surcharge” will apply and the processing time may be longer.

How long does it take for the passport/identity card to be ready ?

Passport: Processing time approx. 8-10 weeks
Express passport:Processing time approx. 4-5 weeks
Identity card:Processing time approx. 8-10 weeks

How long is my passport valid after expiry?

Biometric passports are accepted for 12 months after expiry in the countries of the European council. This applies to travel by car or rail.  For air travel, please check directly with the airline.

Can I keep my old ID?

You can keep your current ID until the new one is ready. As soon as the new identification document is ready, the German embassy in Bern will ask you either by email or post to send your current identification document to the embassy in Bern. A few days later you will receive both the new identification document and the previous one (canceled) by post.

How high are the fees?

See passport fees.

Can I pay by card?

Yes, at the office of the German Honorary Consul in Geneva you can pay with Debit cards or Postcard, unfortunately, payment by creditcard ist not possible.

Why are the fees given in approximate amounts?

Why are the fees given in approximate amounts?The fees are set in euros, but they are payable in Swiss francs at the daily exchange rate of the German Embassy in Bern.

Do I have to come in person or can I send the application by post? 

Since your identity must be verified in order to apply for passports and identity cards, you have to come in person and book an appointment in advance. This is not possible by post.

Can I have my passport or identity card renewed ?

No, an extension is no longer possible. Please take an appointment to apply for a new document.

Which documents do I need to bring to my appointment ?

You can find a list of required documents here

Is it sufficient to bring copies ?

No, please bring original documents and one copy of each document. The originals will be returned to you. If necessary, we can make copies for you on site. This costs CHF 1.00 per copy.

Can I get a second passport ?

The passport law is clear: No one is allowed to hold more than one German passport unless they can prove a legitimate reason. A planned or expected travel alone is not sufficient for this. You can prove the legitimate interest e.g. by airline tickets, with previously issued visas and, if applicable, a written justification from your employer.

Can I get an earlier appointment more quickly?

Please refrain from asking us for earlier appointments.
Please check our appointment calendar frequently. Appointments that have become available due to cancellations at short notice (which experience has shown to be a regular occurrence), are displayed in there. If internal capacities permit, additional appointments will also be made available at short notice.

Can I obtain a passport or identity card more quickly ?

You can apply for an express passport (processing time approx. 4-5 weeks, additional fee approx. CHF 32,-) or a provisional passport, the latter, however, only in connection with the application for a biometric passport (processing time approx. 3 weeks, additional fee approx. CHF 92,-).
Please note: Provisional passports may only be applied for in case of emergency and if you have already booked a trip and provide proof for it.

Processing time starts when all documents are complete and do not include postal processing times.
If a trip is planned, please check whether entry with a temporary passport is possible (, Sicher Reisen ).
Provisional identity cards cannot be issued abroad.

What to do if passports are lost ?

If passports, documents, cash or other valuables are stolen, please contact the nearest police station immediately, report the theft and ask for a copy of the loss report.
Insurance companies always insist on the presentation of the police report of loss if the damage is to be compensated. The same applies when applying for a new passport/identity card.
The certificate of loss is sufficient to enter Germany by car or rail from Switzerland.

How can I contact the passport office? 

If you have any further questions, please contact us prior to your appointment: