Apply for your first U.S. passport

If you were born in the United States or you have been officially documented as a U.S. citizen another way but you have never been issued with a U.S. passport, follow these instructions to apply for your first U.S. passport.

How to apply for your first U.S. passport:

You may apply for a U.S. passport by following the instructions on this webpage if you have any of the following documents:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship
  • U.S. Certificate of Naturalization
  • Your U.S. citizen parent’s passport in which you were included

A U.S. official can only determine your eligibility for a passport as part of a formal application. We are unable to pre-assess applications or advise on the likelihood of issuance before that process.

Click here to complete Form DS-11 online. After you have answered the questions, Form DS-11 will generate as a PDF file. You must print the form because it will not be submitted to us electronically. Do not sign the form until you are asked to sign it during your appointment.

Visit travel.state.gov for U.S. passport photograph requirements, including instructions, image size, and examples.

PPT photo
Smart Photo Tool
Passport Photo Requirements
Passport Photo Examples
Photo Composition Template
Photographer’s Guide
Kids Brochure (PDF 256KB)

 

  • Your passport application (Form DS-11)
  • Your U.S. passport photograph
  • Evidence of your U.S. citizenship
  • Self-addressed, prepaid C5 Size return envelope with a Swiss mailing address and the correct Swiss postage.
    • CHF 3.40 Swiss Franc stamps *
  • Valid government issued photo ID such as a U.S. or foreign passport, driver’s license, residency permit or military identification.
  • Foreign passport(s) that you have held or been included in (valid and expired).
  • Evidence of name change (if applicable). If you have changed your name since your proof of U.S. citizenship was issued, provide the relevant documentation (such as marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or name change document).

For applicants under 16

Both parents must attend with the child and present evidence of parentage (such as child’s birth certificate or consular report of birth abroad, listing parents’ names) and government-issued photo identification. If only one parent or legal guardian attends, please see information below.

If any custodial parent is not able to attend, they must submit a notarized Form DS-3053 Statement of Consent. The form can be downloaded here (PDF421 KB). At the time the DS-3053 form is presented, a copy of the same identity document presented to notarize the form must also be provided.

Please note: The notarized DS-3053 must be less than three months old.

If you have sole legal authority to act on behalf of the child, we require official documentation.  Examples include:

  • Original copy of the child’s birth certificate listing you as the only parent
  • Complete court order granting sole legal custody of the child, such as a divorce decree or other custody order
  • Complete court order specifically permitting you to apply solely for the child’s passport
  • Certified copy of an adoption decree listing you as the only parent
  • Certified copy of the judicial declaration of incompetence of the parent that cannot appear in person
  • Certified copy of the death certificate for non-applying parent

Applicants aged 16-17

Applicants should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The accompanying adult must present government issued photo identification. If a parent or legal guardian cannot accompany the applicant, evidence of Parental Awareness must be presented in the form of;

  • A signed note from legal parent or legal guardian with a photocopy of their ID.

Additional documentation may be requested depending on the circumstances of the case. You will be advised during your appointment if additional evidence is required.

Certificates must either be the originals or certified copies provided by the certificate issuing authority. Your original documents will be returned to you during the appointment.

If any documents are not in English, you must bring a translation supplied by an official translator as well as the original document in the original language.

 

* Please Note:
Swiss Stamps need to be purchased at the Swiss Post Office. The Consular Section cannot provide you with stamps or accept payment for delivery.

Our office is permitted to mail issued passports to France and Germany. However, we require a self-addressed prepaid return envelope with 18.30 Swiss Franc stamps. Additionally you may be charged a customs fee upon delivery from your postal service provider.

Prepaid Registered mail is not accepted.

U.S. Embassy Bern
American Citizens Services (ACS)

Online Appointment System

Contact Form


Consular Agency –  Zurich

Appointment Request Form


Consular Agency –  Geneva

Appointment Request Form


  Frequently Asked Questions


Security Notice

As fees and exchange rates are subject to change, the exact amount in your case will be confirmed during your appointment.

$135 for applicants under the age of 16
$165
 for applicants aged 16 or over.

Payment option at the U.S. Embassy in Bern:

Payment Options:

 

Credit Cards
  • Credit Cards we can accept: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club and prepaid credit cards and “Logoed” debit cards, i.e. debit cards displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo
  • In-person only (credit card holder must be present)
  • Charged in U.S. dollars
  • Exchange rates vary and fees may apply; please check with your credit service provider
  • Debit cards not accepted

We cannot accept contactless payment of any kind.

Cash: Local Currency (CHF)
  • In-person only (No Cash in the Mail)
  • Swiss Francs (CHF)
  • Our current cash exchange rate is 1 USD:1 CHF
Cash: U.S. Dollars ($)
  • In-person only (No Cash in the Mail)
  • U.S. dollar bills issued after 2006 only
Checks
  • No checks of any kind

 

Please note: We cannot perform any requested service until the correct fee for the full amount is paid.
Thank you for your understanding.

Processing time:

 

Please note: There is no expedited service outside the United States.

Processing time is approximately 14-21 business days 

Please note: Processing times for all services are approximate.  Times quoted should be used only as a guide.

Payment option at the Consular Agency Zurich and Geneva:

Payment Options:

 

Credit Cards
  • Credit Cards we can accept: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club and prepaid credit cards and “Logoed” debit cards, i.e. debit cards displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo
  • In-person only (credit card holder must be present)
  • Charged in U.S. dollars
  • Exchange rates vary and fees may apply; please check with your credit service provider
  • Debit cards not accepted

We cannot accept contactless payment of any kind.

Checks
  • No checks of any kind
Cash
  • No cash of any currency

 

Please note: We cannot perform any requested service until the correct fee for the full amount is paid.
Thank you for your understanding.

Processing time:

 

Please note: There is no expedited service outside the United States.

Processing time is approximately 3-4 Weeks

Please note: Processing times for all services are approximate.  Times quoted should be used only as a guide.

The average timeframe is approximately two weeks. This estimate is for guidance only.