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Apply for an emergency travel document for foreigners


The emergency travel document is issued by the border authorities. Border authorities are the Federal Police and other state and federal authorities that are responsible for carrying out police control of cross-border traffic.

As a foreigner, you can apply for an emergency travel document, the so-called emergency travel document, in acute emergencies for departure.
Acute emergencies exist when undue hardship is to be avoided or there is a special public interest.
With the emergency travel document you can leave Germany and then re-enter. In principle, it is only valid for the duration of the respective trip, but for a maximum of one month. The emergency travel document is not a full-fledged replacement for the passport. It will only be issued to you if you no longer have time to go to the passport office before you travel.
You can only enter another country with an emergency travel document if the state recognizes your document as a travel document. The other country has no obligation to recognise your emergency travel document. There is also the possibility that airlines may refuse to take passengers with this travel document.
You have no legal right to the issuance of an emergency travel document.

An exhibition can be denied, for example, if:

  • you wish to travel to a country that does not recognise the emergency travel document, or
  • A temporary identity card or passport can be issued to you by the passport authority upon application.

Note: In the following countries, not the Federal Police, but a state or federal authority is responsible for the police control of cross-border traffic:

  • in the Free State of Bavaria at the airports of Nuremberg and Memmingen as well as the airfields that are approved as border crossing points, the Bavarian Border Police is responsible,
  • in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in the port, the Hamburg Water Protection Police is responsible,
  • in Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein in various ports and in Baden-Württemberg at Friedrichshafen Airport, the customs administration is responsible.

You can apply for the issuance of an emergency travel document in person at the border authority, such as at the airport with the Federal Police. You can also send the application digitally to the border authority in advance to speed up the process. You must still appear in person at the border authority before you start your trip.

Applications for an emergency travel document can be submitted by:

  • nationals of a member state of the European Union (EU), the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and their family members entitled to freedom of movement,
  • nationals of a country listed in Annex II to the EU Visa Regulation;
  • third-country nationals who are entitled to return to the above-mentioned countries, i.e. holders of a residence permit (Schengen visas of category C are excluded) or a long-stay visa for residence in Germany,
  • civilian ship personnel of a ship operating in maritime, coastal or Rhine navigation for shore leave, or
  • civilian flight personnel for a stay on the airfield grounds, in the airport community or for a change to another airport in order to depart from there.

Further requirements:

  • You can prove your identity and belong to the group of eligible applicants.
  • The issuance of a regular passport or passport replacement from your own foreign representation or the Foreigners' Registration Office is no longer possible before the start of the trip or can no longer be expected in time.
  • No interests of the Federal Republic of Germany are adversely affected.
  • There are no security concerns.
  • The purpose pursued by a search listing, if any, is not affected.
  • The destination country recognises the emergency travel document as a border crossing document.
  • In the case of minors, the consent of all legal representatives must always be given.

For children, the emergency travel document can be applied for by the guardian or an authorized person. An independent application is only possible from the age of 18. If both parents do not travel with the child, both custodial parents must agree to the trip. In the case of permanently separated parents who are jointly entitled to parental care, the situation is special: only the parent with whom the child habitually resides may apply for the passport. The parents must make the permanent separation life credible. This also applies if a parent with custody is permanently prevented, for example, unknown moved.

For the application and collection you will need:

  • Proof of your identity and nationality by:
    • expired passport or temporary passport, or
    • expired identity card or temporary identity card
  • when applying for a child:
    • expired children's passport or
    • Birth certificate (only when applying for a child)
  • Proof of eligibility for long-term residence
    • German residence permit in check card format or
    • Residence permit of another Schengen state in check card format
  • up-to-date biometric photo

Note: If this is not available, a photo will be taken at the authority. You will not incur any costs for this.

  • Issuance of an emergency travel document for adults: EUR 43.00
  • Issuance of an emergency travel document for minors: EUR 34.00

Note: Please note that the fee for the emergency travel document will not be refunded to you if:

  • you withdraw your application,
  • after the factual processing has begun,
  • you are denied the emergency travel document, or
  • the carrier refuses to take you with you despite having issued an emergency travel document.
  • for the processing of the application: usually around 30 minutes
  • Bar on site

Please contact the border authority.

  • Forms: no
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance necessary: yes

You can apply for the emergency travel document in person or online at the border authority, for example at the airport with the Federal Police.

Personal application

  • You go to the border authority and have an application form handed to you, which you fill out and sign.
  • An identity comparison is carried out on site. To do this, you must prove your identity and nationality or that of the person for whom you are applying for a passport replacement travel document.
  • You must present a current biometric photo or have it taken on site by the authorities.
  • You must pay the processing fee in cash on site.
  • You will then be given the emergency travel document.

Digital application

  • You can also submit the application online and send it to the border authorities for processing to speed up the process.
  • To do this, fill out the application in the federal portal and send it off.
  • After the digital application, you can contact the responsible border authority.
  • Before starting the trip, you must appear in person at the border authority to:
    • sign the application,
    • carry out an identity comparison,
    • to submit an up-to-date biometric photo or have it taken by the authority, and
    • to pay the processing fee.
  • You will then be given the emergency travel document.

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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