Obtaining travel documents

Persons who are subject to a removal order that has taken full legal effect are required to leave Switzerland.

When they do, they normally travel using their own travel documents (passport, identity card).

If the person concerned does not have or claims not to have travel documents, provided he or she has been identified, the cantons may request SEM to obtain a temporary travel document from the foreign representation concerned.

This normally takes the form of a passport valid for a few days to a few weeks to cover the return journey. For this system to work, close cooperation with the countries concerned is essential.

Cooperation may be based, for example, on an existing readmission agreement.

Switzerland has entered into around sixty cooperation agreements (memoranda of understanding, standard operational procedures, etc.) and readmission agreements. These agreements include provisions on the procedures for obtaining temporary travel documents.

If no such agreement applies to the case in question, SEM has to contact foreign representations to request their assistance.

Last modification 26.04.2021

Top of page