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How to apply for a Passport

Irish Citizens who are over 18, and have held an Irish Passport can now apply for their Passport Book and/or Passport Card online.

Our How to Apply for a Passport Guide takes you through each step of your Irish Passport application. You can't apply online but the guide will answer some of the most common questions like:

  • what form you need and where to get one
  • documents you need to include
  • photograph requirements
  • witnessing an application form
  • how to submit it
  • passport fees

The Embassy of Ireland in Switzerland can only accept passport applications from residents of Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Algeria. Only applications giving an address in one of the above countries and which have been witnessed in the same country, will be accepted.

Residents of countries neighbouring Switzerland should lodge their applications with the respective Embassies in Paris, Berlin, Vienna or Rome.

Application Forms

If you are resident in Switzerland, Liechtenstein or Algeria, you need to use an APS2 application form.

APS2 forms are available:

Documentation

You will need to include:

  • A completed and witnessed APS2 application form. See the "Application Forms" tab for information on how to get a form
  • 4 Passport Photographs (2 signed and stamped by an approved witness) and with the Form Number entered on the back. Please take care when submitting photos that the ink does not transfer to other photographs
  • Previous passport - if you have had one
  • Original Full Civil Birth Certificate giving details of parents. This must be included for all under 18s who have not previously held an Irish passport or where the passport was issued before 1st January 2005 and for adults if you have lost your passport or if applying for your first passport or if you wish to have your birth certificate name recorded on the observation page of your new passport.
  • Civil Marriage Certificate (if you are changing your name)
  • Additional documents will be required for first and/or lost passport applications. See below for information.

If you are applying for an Irish passport for the first time or have lost your passport you need to include the following:

  • Your original Full Civil Long Form Birth Certificate giving details of parents and your original civil marriage certificate (if you've changed your surname after marriage)
  • If these documents are not in English or in Irish, you must also submit a certified English version of the originals, translated by a registered translator. Swiss Registry Officers issue international certificates which are also in English. Any Algerian Certificate provided must be in the official French language version and must be authenticated by the Algerian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Each certificate must be accompanied by a full translation of each authenticated/legalised certificate in the English language
  • The original of a passport from another country and another form of photographic identification, such as your driving licence, your residence permit or your work or student ID
  • An original documents showing proof if your name, such as a pay slip, college registration correspondence or social welfare receipts
  • An original document showing proof of your address, such as a utility bill, bank statement or official correspondence from a public or private sector organisation
  • If you have lost your current Irish passport, please provide, where available, a photocopy of the lost passport or a photocopy of a previous Irish passport.

Further documents are require in certain cases, please select from the option(s) below for information if:

If you were born outside Ireland to a parent born on the island of Ireland, you will also need:

  • Your original Full Civil Birth Certificate giving details of parents and your original civil marriage certificate (if you've changed your surname)
  • The original Full Civil Birth Certificate and civil marriage certificate (if applicable) of your Irish-born parent
  • If the birth/marriage certificates are not in English, you must submit a certified English version of the original, translated by a registered translator. Swiss Registry Offices issue international certificates which are also in English. Any Algerian Certificates provided must be in the official French language version and must be authenticated/legalised by the Algerian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Each certificate must be accompanied by a full translation of each authenticated/legalised version into the English language.

If neither you nor your parents were born in Ireland but you can claim Irish Citizenship by descent, you will also need:

  • You original foreign birth registration certificate. Please see the citizenship section if you need to apply for this certificate.

If you are a naturalised Irish Citizen, you will also need:

  • Your original naturalisation certificate. Please see the citizenship section for more information on this certificate
  • Your original Full Civil Birth Certificate giving details of parents and your original civil marriage certificate (if you've changed your surname)
  • If the birth/marriage certificate is not in English, you must also submit certified English versions of the originals, translated by a registered translator. Swiss Registry Offices issue international certificates which are also in English. Any Algerian Certificates provided must be in the official French language version and must be authenticated/legalised by the Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Each certificate must be accompanied by a full translation of each authenticated/legalised certificate into the English language.

Born Abroad and adopted under Irish Law

  • Your certificate of entry by the Adoption Authority of Ireland in the Register of Foreign Adoptions
  • Your original civil marriage certificate (if you've changed your surname)
  • A document that proves your adoptive parent was an Irish citizen at the time of your adoption, such as a long form birth certificate or an Irish passport

Post-Nuptial Citizen

  • Your original post-nuptial certificate
  • Your original Full Civil Birth Certificate giving details of parents and your original civil marriage certificate (if you've changed your surname)

Please be aware that applicants may be requested to provide further information and/or attend for interview at the Embassy in Bern.

 

Photo Guidelines

What are the guidelines for passport photographs?

Size

  • Minimum: 35mm x 45mm
  • Maximum: 38mm x 50mm

Lighting and focus

  • Photos must be in sharp focus and correctly exposed
  • Shadows from the head must NOT appear in the background
  • Good colour balance and natural skin tones are essential
  • 'Red eye' in photographs is not acceptable
  • A clear contrast is needed between facial features and background

Photo quality

  • Photos must be printed on photo-quality paper at a high resolution
  • There should be no ink marks or creases
  • Digital enhancements or changes are not acceptable
  • The reverse of the photos must be white and unglazed
  • Black and white photos are recommended as they're digitally printed onto the passport in black and white. But we also accept colour photos.

Passport photo do's and don't's

Pose

  • Do centre your head in the photo
  • Do look directly at the camera
  • Do make sure your facial features are clearly visible, from the bottom of your chin to the crown of your head
  • Don't tilt your head up/down or left/right

Expression

  • Do keep your facial expressions neutral (no raised eyebrows, frowns)
  • Do keep both eyes open and your mouth closed
  • Don't smile

Glasses, head covers and clothing

  • Do wear your glasses (if you normally wear them) but make sure there's no reflection on the lenses and the frames don't obscure your eyes
  • Don't wear sunglasses or glasses with tinted lenses, unless they're prescription
  • Don't wear a head covering unless it's for religious or medical reasons
  • Don't wear a uniform, civil or military (e.g. showing epaulettes, insignia)

Infants

Infants or very young children who can't support themselves should be photographed lying down on a plain, white surface. No one else should appear in the photo, so make sure that hands or arms used to support the child are not visible.

People with disabilities

If you have a disability that prevents you meeting all of these requirements, contact us and we will offer you further advice.

How to get your passport application witnessed

Please note that witnesses must be resident in the same country in which you reside. Embassy Bern will only accept applications from residents of Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Algeria and the witness should therefore be resident in either Switzerland, Liechtenstein or Algeria. Witnesses resident elsewhere, including Ireland, will not be accepted.

Identification

A member of one of the professions listed below can witness your passport application form as long as they are satisfied as to your identity and that your four photos are a true likeness of you. Make sure you bring photo identification with you and be aware that the witness may ask you for more proof of identification - this is at their discretion.

  • Police officer
  • Member of clergy
  • Medical doctor
  • Lawyer
  • Bank manager/assistant bank manager
  • Elected public representative
  • Notary public/commissioner for oaths
  • Peace commissioner
  • School principal/vice principal
  • Accountant

You must:

  • Sign Section 8 of the form in the presence of the witness. Everyone aged seven and over must sign their own form

The witness must:

  • Complete Section 9 of the form, including a work landline phone number - mobile phone numbers will not be accepted
  • Insert the form number from Section 9 on the back of two of your four photos
  • Sign and stamp the back of those two photos

Remember...

Your application form is only valid for six months from the date your witness signs Section 9.

Consent of parents or guardians

This is an addition requirement for children. Everyone under the age of 18 must have the consent of their parents/guardians to get a passport and this consent (Section 7 of the passport application form) must be witnessed.

The only exception to this is if the applicant is married.

Parents/guardians must:

  • Fill in and sign the relevant part of Section 7 of the passport application form in the presence of a listed witness. This is the same witness list as the Section 9 identification requirement.

Find out what to do if both parents/guardians are unable to sign Section 7.

The witness must:

  • Complete, sign and stamp Section 7, including a work landline telephone number - mobile telephone numbers are not acceptable.
  • Sign each column separately if they witness both parents/guardians' signatures.

Lost/stolen and damaged passports

If your passport has been lost, stolen or damaged, you must:

  • Complete Section 6 of the application form, explaining how your previous passport was lost, stolen or damaged
  • Have it witnessed and stamped by the same person who witnessed Section 9 of your application
  • Obtain a statement of loss/theft from the police

If you lose two or more passports, it may restrict the period of validity for your next passport and processing times may take longer.

Remember...

Do not, under any circumstances, try to travel on a passport that has been reported as lost or stolen.

Fees

The applicable fee depends on the type of passport you apply for:

  • A standard, 32 page 10-year passport is 111 CHF
  • A large 66-page, 10-year passport is 144 CHF
  • A standard 5-year passport for those under 18 years is 56 CHF

Payment methods

Payment must be by made by bank transfer. This can be done at any Swiss or Liechtenstein Post Office, by e-banking, through your bank, or into any branch of UBS, using the following details:

Name and address: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dublin
Embassy of Ireland, Kirchenfeldstrasse 68, CH-3000 Berne 6
IBAN: CH19 0023 5235 4157 7301 J
Bank: UBS Switzerland AG, CH-8098 ZUERICH
Swift: UBSWCHZH80A

When making payment, please ensure you enter the name of the applicant on the payment slip.

Cash and cheques are not accepted.

Please include evidence of payment of the appropriate fee with your passport application.

 

Where to Apply

You should send your application form and documents by post to:

Embassy of Ireland
Kirchenfeldstrasse 68
P.O. Box 262
CH-3000 Berne 6
Switzerland

Passport applications can be delivered by post without coming to the Embassy.

We would encourage you to consult the relevant section of our website regarding the service you require before contacting the Embassy. Passport application forms can be ordered online.

If you choose to post your application, we strongly recommend that you use registered mail or a reputable courier service. The Embassy cannot be held responsible for applications or documents lost in transit.

Remember....

Read all sections of the passport application form to make sure you've filled it out correctly, including photo requirements and how to get it witnessed properly.