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 in Switzerland.
All persons requesting the issue of a Swiss identity document must 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, 10 working days are usually required for their delivery in Switzerland and 30 working days for delivery abroad. You should therefore check the expiry date of your current travel documents in order to allow sufficient time when applying for new documents.