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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for a travel document (passport substitute) for foreigners from non-EU countries


Every foreigner must have a recognized and valid passport or passport substitute. If you are not in possession of a passport or passport substitute, you must therefore apply to the diplomatic mission of your country of origin to obtain such a document.

The travel document for foreigners is a German passport replacement document, which can be issued alternatively in special exceptional cases.

You can apply for a travel document for foreigners if you come from a non-EU country, do not have a passport or passport substitute from your home country and cannot reasonably obtain such a document.

As a rule, it is considered reasonable to:

  • to apply for the issuance or renewal of a new passport or passport replacement in good time before the expiry of the validity of your passport in your home country and to cooperate in the official procedure, and
  • pay the fees set in the country of origin.

It would be unreasonable, for example, if you enjoy asylum in Germany as a politically persecuted person and therefore cannot visit the embassy of your country of origin. High costs for obtaining a passport in the country of origin do not make obtaining a passport fundamentally unreasonable.

When applying for a travel document for foreigners, you should be able to provide proof of your previous efforts to obtain a passport.

In the case of only temporary passportlessness, the issuance of a travel document for foreigners can only be considered if compelling reasons so require.

In addition to the unreasonableness of obtaining a passport, a further prerequisite is that

  • your stay in Germany is lawful, i.e. You are either already in possession of a residence title (residence permit, settlement permit, permanent residence permit) or should receive it together with the travel document.
  • The aim is to enable them to leave Germany permanently.
  • you are in the asylum procedure and
    • there is an urgent public interest in issuing the travel document, or
    • compelling reasons require the issuance of the travel document, or
    • the refusal of the travel document would constitute an undue hardship

and the implementation of the asylum procedure is not jeopardised.

The Foreigners' Registration Office may determine that the travel document should only be valid for certain states or continents.

If the country of origin refuses to issue a passport or passport substitute for reasons that also exist in German passport law, no travel document can be issued.

  • You are a national of a non-EU country.
  • You do not have a passport or passport substitute for your country of origin.
  • You can prove that it is not possible for you to obtain a passport or passport substitute from your country of origin with reasonable effort.
  • You meet one of the following requirements:
    • You are either in possession of a residence title (residence permit, settlement permit, EC long-term residence permit) or should receive it together with your travel document.
    • The travel document is intended to enable them to leave Germany permanently.

You are in the asylum procedure and there is an urgent public interest in issuing the travel document, compelling reasons require it or it would mean undue hardship if the travel document is not issued to you, and your asylum procedure is not jeopardised by the issuance of the travel document.

  • Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Proof of identity and nationality (for example, expired travel documents, certificates or affidavits)
  • Current residence permit, travel document or current residence permit, if available

In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or further proof.


  • From the age of 24: 100,00
  • Up to the age of 24: 97,00
  • Temporary travel document for foreigners: 67,00
  • Travel document without storage medium for foreigners up to the age of 12: 14,00
  • Extension of a temporary travel document for foreigners: 20,00


The issuance of travel documents is always subject to a fee (even when receiving social benefits).

The fee must be paid in full even if the application for the travel document is rejected.

No later than 8 a.m. before the travel document is required, the application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office.

Duration (for fixed time): maximum 10


The validity period of the travel document for foreigners is linked to the validity of the residence document. The maximum period of validity is:

  • for children under 12 years: six years, maximum up to the 12th birthday
  • for persons aged between 12 and 24 at the time of issue: six years
  • for persons who are 24 years of age or older at the time of issue: 10 years

Temporary travel documents are issued with a validity period of up to one year. In individual cases (for example, if the travel document is issued for the final departure from Germany), the validity is usually limited to a maximum of one month.


approx. 8

Further information on processing time:

It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for Bundesdruckerei to produce the travel document.

  • Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office
  • Action before the court named in the notice of opposition if the objection is not complied with

Responsible for issuing the travel document

  • in Germany: the immigration authority responsible for the place of residence of the applicant
  • abroad: the missions abroad

Forms available: No

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: Yes

  • Find out whether your immigration authority allows you to submit your application online or has a special application form.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of an online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you upon receipt of your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, preferably original, to the appointment).

When the travel document for foreigners is ready, you will receive information and can pick up the document at the competent office. If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.

  • There is no entitlement to the issuance of a travel document for foreigners. It is always a case-by-case decision.
  • Travel documents for foreigners contain the following visible information: issuing authority, date of issue, period of validity, serial number, personal data of the holder of the card (surname and, if applicable, maiden name, first names, doctoral degree, date and place of birth, gender, height, colour of eyes, place of residence, nationality, photograph and signature).
  • Travel documents for foreigners are usually issued with biometric features, i.e. with an electronic storage and processing medium (exception: temporary travel documents and travel documents for children up to the age of twelve).
  • After expiry of travel documents issued with biometric features, a new travel document must be issued. Temporary travel documents can be extended under certain conditions.
  • Processing media are not renewable.
  • A travel document can also be issued to recognised refugees and stateless persons.

An emergency travel document can be issued for citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Switzerland.

Ministry of the Interior and Municipal Affairs of the State of Brandenburg

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Landkreis Wittenberg - Ausländerangelegenheiten
Breitscheidstr. 3
06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Breitscheidstraße 3
06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg
03491 806-3330
03491 806-3390


03491 806-3339

03491 806-3331

03491 806-3333

03491 806-3334

03491 806-3332

03491 806-3338

03491 806-3337

03491 806-3335