Swiss passport

A Swiss passport is the passport issued to citizens of Switzerland to facilitate international travel. For travel within Europe, Swiss citizens can use an identity card with few exceptions. The passport or the identity card allows for freedom of movement in any of the states of the European Economic Area.

Swiss passport
Swiss Pass 2010.jpg
The front cover of a contemporary Swiss biometric passport
Issued by  Switzerland
First issued10 December 1915 (first version)
1 January 2003 (machine-readable passport)
4 September 2006 (biometric passport)
1 March 2010 (current version)
EligibilitySwiss citizenship
Expiration10 years for adults, 5 years for minors up to age 17
CostCHF 140 (adult) / CHF 60 (minor)[1]

History of Swiss passportsEdit

The first Swiss passports were issued on 10 December 1915. The characteristic red Swiss passport was created in 1959.[2] Until 1985 the Swiss passport included only the national languages of the time (French, German, and Italian) as well as English. Romansh was added in the later Pass 85 after it was declared the fourth Swiss national language following a referendum. The order of the languages was then changed to German, French, Italian, Romansh, and English.

Structure of the Swiss passportEdit

Later Swiss passports (Pass 03, 06, and 10) contain 40 pages (instead of the previous 32) and a data page. 36 pages are provided for foreign visas and official stamps. The first page contains the bearer signature, as well as field 11 "Official observations". The pages 2–3 contain translations of the field labels of the data page in 13 (Pass 03) and 26 (Pass 06 and Pass 10) languages, respectively. Each page has a unique color pattern, as well as an incomplete Swiss cross which registers with the matching incomplete cross on the reverse side when held to light. On pages 8–33, the incomplete Swiss cross contains the microprinted name of a canton and the year it joined the Swiss Confederation, with the canton's coat of arms and a famous landmark in the top outer corner.

Biometric passportsEdit

Since 15 February 2010, non-biometric passports (Pass 03, 06, and 85) are no longer issued.

From 1 March 2010 and according to the Schengen Agreement, Swiss passports are all biometric. This is required for visa-free travel to the United States.[3][4]

Data pageEdit

The Swiss passport includes the following fields on the polycarbonate data page [5]

  • Photo of the passport bearer (also microperforated in the polycarbonate card)
  • Type (PA - without biometrics, PM - with biometrics, PD - temporary passport, PB - diplomatic passport)[6]
  • Code (CHE)
  • Passport number
  • 1 Surname
  • 2 Given name(s)
  • 3 Nationality
  • 4 Date of birth (
  • 5 Sex (M/F)
  • 6 Height (cm)
  • 7 Place of origin: (municipality and canton) (NB: birthplace is not indicated in Swiss identity documents)
  • 8 Date of issue
  • 9 Authority
  • 10 Date of expiry

The bottom of the data page is the machine-readable zone.

Names with diacriticsEdit

Names containing diacritics (ä, ö, ü, à, ç, é, è, etc; the letter ß is not normally used in Swiss German) are spelled with diacritics outside the machine-readable zone, but in the machine-readable zone, German umlauts (ä/ö/ü) are transcribed as ae/oe/ue (e.g. Müller becomes MUELLER) while other letters simply omit the diacritics (e.g. Jérôme becomes JEROME and François becomes FRANCOIS) according to ICAO conventions.

The transcription above is generally used for airplane tickets etc., but sometimes simple vowels are used (e.g. MULLER instead of MÜLLER or MUELLER). The three possible spelling variants of the same name (e.g. Müller / Mueller / Muller) on different documents can lead to confusion, and the use of two different spellings within the same document (as in the passport) may give people who are unfamiliar with the German orthography the impression that the document is a forgery.


Page 1, in addition to the signature line, is the designated area for official endorsements (field 11, "Official observations").


The entire passport is written in the four official languages (German, French, Italian, and Romansch) as well as English, with the exception of page 40, containing use and care instructions only. Page 2 contains translations into 13 languages. In Pass 10, 13 additional languages were added in consideration of the 10 countries added to the EU in 2004 as well as Norwegian and Icelandic to cover the languages of the EFTA states. Consequently, the Swiss passport has 26 languages, exceeding the EU's own passports with 23 languages. Inside the back cover, the phrase "This passport contains 40 numbered pages" is written in the 26 languages.

Timeline of the Swiss passportEdit

Present: Pass 10Edit

Available from 1 March 2010, Pass 10 contains biometric data: a photograph and fingerprints. Switzerland was required to implement this type of passport in order to participate in the Schengen Agreement. Pages 2–3 contain 26 translations. Pass 10 is practically the same as Pass 06 except for a chip with biometric data. This passport was accepted in a popular referendum on 17 May 2009.

Pass 06Edit

Pass 06 was issued from 2006. It contained biometric data in an RFID chip. This was a prototype of the newest Pass 10 but limited to a 5-year validity. On page 2 contains 13 translations. The older version, Pass 03, was still usable until the date of expiry, but because of the Schengen Agreement, had to be replaced with a biometric passport upon expiry.

Temporary passport (emergency passport)Edit

The temporary passport is often called an "emergency passport." Under Swiss law regarding identity documents, it may be issued only when there is no time to apply for a regular passport, or a regular valid passport could not be presented (if the regular passport was lost, destroyed, or stolen for example), or if a valid passport does not meet the necessary requirements for travel (for instance when the time of passport validity is not long enough to enter a foreign country, e.g., Russia and China require more than 6 months of validity).

The temporary passport is the same as Pass 03, lacking biometric data. The front cover of the temporary passport is clearly marked with a white band on the lower half of the cover to distinguish it from a regular passport. The temporary passport only has 16 pages. There is no polycarbonate data page, instead using a laminated security paper data page. The temporary passport complies with international security standards for these types of documents and is machine readable.

The temporary passport can be applied for abroad at any Swiss consulate or embassy, any domestic passport office, or at the Zürich, Basel, and Geneva airports.

Pass 03Edit

Pass 03 was first issued on 1 January 2003, because its predecessor did not comply with current international standards. Pass 03 is also the first Swiss passport equipped with a machine-readable, polycarbonate data page. It is identical to Pass 06, except for the fact that it contains no biometric data.

Pass 85Edit

Pass 85 was first introduced on 1 April 1985. Its data page was not machine readable. The medium-red cover is decorated with a large Swiss cross and the words "Swiss Passport" vertically in 5 languages. An earlier version of Pass 85 only had 4 languages, until Romansh was made a national language in Switzerland in the late 1980s. Safety features include UV-reactive paper, watermarks with the page number and Swiss cross, Guilloché printing with variegated colours, colour shift ink, and printing registration elements when the passport is held up to light. The photograph of the bearer was glued on and embossed with two seals. Black and white photographs were acceptable in Pass 85. As in older passport versions, the bearer's hair and eye colours were stated.

Pass 59Edit

Pass 59, introduced in 1959, had a dark red cover with a Swiss coat of arms on the left and on three lines "Passeport Suisse", "Schweizerpass", and "Passaporto Svizzero". The inner pages were in four languages: French, German, Italian—the three national languages at the time—and English. Security features included watermarks and Guilloché printing.

Pass 1932Edit

Pass 1932 had a brown cover with a centred Swiss coat of arms and employed no security features. The Romansh language was not used.

Pass 1915Edit

Pass 1915 had a green cover with no printing, and also only had the three Swiss official languages and no security features. There were no restrictions on the size of the photograph of the bearer, which could extend beyond the page margins.

Visa requirementsEdit

Visa requirements for holders of regular Swiss passports
  Freedom of movement
  Visa free access
  Visa on arrival
  Electronic visa
  Visa may be obtained online or on arrival

Visa requirements for Swiss passport holders are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on nationals of Switzerland. As of 17 February 2019, Swiss citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 185 countries and territories, ranking the Swiss passport sixth in the world in terms of travel freedom (tied with Austrian, British, Dutch, Norwegian and Portuguese passports), according to the Henley Passport Index.[7] Additionally, Arton Capital's Passport Index ranked the Swiss passport fourth in the world in terms of travel freedom, with a visa-free score of 164 (tied with Austrian, Belgian, British, Canadian, Greek, Irish, Japanese and Portuguese passports), as of 17 February 2019.[8]

Moreover, by virtue of Switzerland's bilateral agreements with the EU, Swiss citizens have freedom of movement to live and work across all 27 European Union member states, as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.[9]

Dual citizenshipEdit

Dual citizenship is allowed in Switzerland, but the requirements for the naturalization of foreigners vary from canton to canton. Male Swiss citizens, including dual citizens, can be required to perform military or civilian service, and Swiss citizens are not allowed to participate in any other military, unless they are a citizen of, and are resident in, the country in question. (The Swiss Guards of the Vatican are regarded as a "house police" and not as an army.)


Prices in Swiss Francs (CHF) as of 24 January 2017 [10]

Passport Passport combined with ID card Temporary Passport Identity Card
Children up to 18 CHF 60 CHF 68 CHF 100 CHF 30
Adult CHF 140 CHF 148 CHF 100 CHF 65

Temporary passports issued by the Federal Police at airports incur an additional fee of CHF 50.

See alsoEdit

References and sourcesEdit

  1. ^ Gebühr/Preis und Gültigkeit Archived 2014-02-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Einführung des neuen Schweizer Passes 10: Neue Rechtsgrundlagen treten per 1. März 2010 in Kraft" [Introduction of the new Swiss passport 10: New legal basis takes effect on 1 March 2010]. Aktuell (in German). The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation. 2010-01-25. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  4. ^ "Pass 10" [Passport10] (in German). The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation. 2009-10-21. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  5. ^ "Pass und in IDK Der Ausweis enthält folgende Daten:" [Passports and Identity document content]. The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation (in German). 2010-01-26. Archived from the original on 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  6. ^ "Verordnung des EDA vom 13. November 2002 zur Ausweisverordnung (VVAwG)" [Order of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs about Identity documents of Swiss nationals]. The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation (in German). Chancellerie fédérale. Die Bundesbehörden der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft. 01-0-2007. Retrieved 2010-03-25. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "Global Ranking - 2019".
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Prix, validité et délai de livraison

External linksEdit