If you have Swiss citizenship, you can claim a Swiss passport to travel overseas for work or holidays. The Swiss passport is one of the most valuable in the world, allowing for visa-free access to 94 nations worldwide, and simple visa-on-arrival access to a further 40 countries. It also serves as a universally valid form of identification.
How to apply for a Swiss passport
Applying for a passport in Switzerland is open to all Swiss citizens and can be done online through the official government website. If you are a Swiss citizen overseas, your application should be sent to the nearest mission in your country of residence. The online application consists of:
- Basic personal information
- Previous Swiss passport details if reapplying
- Delivery address
Key steps to remember when applying for a passport for Switzerland
The Swiss passport process is divided into two parts. The first part is a questionnaire, which you fill out on the Swiss government website. The system asks general questions about your status in Switzerland, followed by a request to send your passport and ID to a passport processing facility in Switzerland by post.
The second part involves submitting your biometric information to the Swiss authorities by attending a processing centre. Be sure to apply for your new passport six months before the expiry of your old one, or allow for two months of processing before you travel abroad again.
Can I use my old passport while applying for a new Swiss passport?
You are allowed to keep and use your old passport while applying for a new one if you wish. To request this, during your application, under “delivery” you must put “processing centre” in that section. This will allow you to use your passport until the interview at the processing centre, instead of sending the passport immediately.
Once this is complete, a government representative will contact you to arrange the exchange of your old passport for a new one while giving your biometric information at a processing centre.
Can I choose when to submit my biometric information in a passport application?
When you fill out your application, you can select your preferred dates for attending a processing centre to submit your biometric information. Put this under the section for “Remarks” and they will be taken into consideration - but they are not guaranteed. If you are unable to attend your appointment, you must inform the processing centre at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment or face a fine.
How long does it take to receive a Swiss passport?
Once you have completed the application form and have submitted your biometric information to your processing centre, it should only take a few weeks to process your application and send a new passport to you. If you are applying from overseas, your application will take longer. Your processing centre will contact you should any additional information be required.
Cost of passport renewal in Switzerland
The price of applying for a Swiss passport varies depending on your age and how soon you need a passport. The approximate prices (in Swiss francs) are:
|Swiss ID||Swiss passport||ID & Passport||Provisional
or Emergency passport
|Provisional or Emergency passport if issued at the airport|
|Children up to 18
years of age
The cost of delivering the passport to your address will depend on where you are a resident.
How long are Swiss passports valid for?
Once your application is complete and you have received your new passport it is valid for 10 years if you are over the age of 16 and five years if you are younger than 18. Temporary and emergency passports are valid for a set duration of up to a maximum of 12 months.
Applying for a Swiss passport from abroad
It is possible to apply for a Swiss passport while living abroad. Switzerland has consulates all around the world that will be able to assist you in getting a new passport, although delivery times may take longer. In your application, in the section marked “Delivery”, add the address of your nearest consulate or Swiss mission. Your biometric information can also be processed at your local mission.
Emergency passports in Switzerland
If there is an emergency that requires immediate travel to or from your place of residence, the Swiss embassy or consulate can provide an emergency passport. This passport is valid for four to six months and can be granted on the spot with very little delay. This passport is only designed for emergency situations and must only be applied for if absolutely necessary.
Losing a passport in Switzerland
Losing a passport in Switzerland is a common occurrence, and your embassy or consulate will do everything they can in order to give you an emergency passport for use before you apply for a new passport. The process if you lose your passport depends on where your passport was issued.
Losing a Swiss passport in Switzerland
If you have misplaced your Swiss passport while resident or visiting Switzerland, it is necessary to report your passport as missing to your nearest passport processing centre. If you need to travel immediately, they will then assist in getting you an emergency passport.
If your passport is stolen, you should also report this to the emergency services, who will follow up and try to find your passport. If you need to travel immediately, you will also need to apply for an emergency passport.
Losing a non-Swiss passport in Switzerland
If you cannot find your non-Swiss passport while visiting or being resident in Switzerland then you must declare the passport lost at your local mission in Switzerland. You can reapply for a passport or request an emergency one as the need requires. Most nations have full embassies in Bern, and some larger nations also have missions in Zurich, while some larger French-speaking countries have missions in Geneva.
If your passport is stolen, then you must also report this to the police.