German citizens who want to leave Germany and visit other countries will need to get a German passport. Fortunately, this process is straightforward for most travelers. Here’s what Germans who want to travel internationally need to know about a passport before they obtain and/or use one. Once a traveler has a passport, international visits should be easy.
A German passport is a document that officially identifies a person as a German citizen. It is usually issued for the purposes of traveling abroad though it may have other uses, too. Some countries allow people with passports from Germany to enter their country without a visa. German citizens may also be eligible for a visa on arrival or an electronic visa.
The German passport also allows both the German government and foreign governments to keep track of who is in what country for the purposes of safety and security.
A passport from Germany looks like a small red or maroon booklet. It has the official seal of Germany embossed on the front cover as well as some text in German. Inside the passport is a laminated page with all of the traveler’s personal information. This includes their photograph and data like their name, birth date, and more.
Beyond that, the passport contains some information about how, when, and where the document can be used. Finally, the passport contains empty pages. These are where the traveler will collect stamps as they travel. Most countries will stamp a passport twice: once upon entry and again upon exiting the country. German passports for adults also contain microchips. There’s a small symbol on the front of the passport to indicate that it has a chip and that chip’s location.
GER passports are issued through registration offices when inside of Germany or by embassies and consulates when outside of Germany. Applicants will need to make an appointment and apply in person in order to get a passport. They also need to bring some documentation. They will need a completed application as well as the relevant fees for the passport. They should also bring two passport-sized photos of themselves.
If they have a previous passport, they should also bring that, along with their birth certificate, any marriage or divorce decrees, and proof of their current name. German government representatives will authenticate the data a person presents, then issue their passport based on that.
Children’s passports in Germany require additional paperwork, like the passports of both parents, and a Statement of Consent if only one parent is submitting the passport application. In a few scenarios, people can hold more than one German passport. They will need to prove that they require this and follow all relevant rules for their passports.
Germany does not permit passport renewal. Instead, citizens must submit a new application every time they need a new passport. This allows the German government to better track who has a German passport and helps them crack down on passport fraud. Getting a new passport in Germany is not difficult, so reapplying as needed should not be a problem for most citizens.
Most German citizens will qualify for a regular passport. This is the standard passport issued to people who want to leave Germany and visit other countries. Diplomats on official duty will receive diplomatic passports. Other officials will receive official passports.
These are only to be used when officially representing the German government. Any added personal travel must be done under a regular passport. German citizens who qualify for one of these special passports will be informed of what they need to do to get it when they need it. This information is not widely published outside of official circles in Germany.
Germany also has a provisional passport that can be issued in extreme circumstances. These have limited validity and applicants will need to prove that they require one of these passports. Provisional German passports are usually only good for one year and are designed to be issued when fast travel is required. They should only be used until the traveler receives their regular passport. Most of the time, this will occur within just a few weeks
Most regular GER passports are valid for 6 years from their date of issue if the applicant is under 24 years of age. Older people will get passports that are valid for 10 years. Germany reserves the right to invalidate a passport at any time. This is usually only done if a person violates a law or breaks a rule around passport use.
The laws that must be followed to keep a German passport are subject to change. The government can update these regularly. It is the traveler’s job to make sure they are following all of the relevant rules at any given time. If they are unsure how to conduct themselves, they can contact the German government.
German passports must also be intact in order to be valid. Water damage, torn pages, and even bent pages can render a passport invalid. Thus it’s important that travelers protect their passports at all times. They need to keep them safe and see that they don’t suffer damage. If a passport does get damaged, it’s the traveler’s job to inform the government ASAP. They will be instructed as to what they need to do to make the situation right.
German travelers will need to make sure that they know the rules they must follow to enter any country they want to travel to. Some will require them to get a visa ahead of time. Others may require them to get an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or an electronic visa.
Still, others may allow them to get a visa on arrival or to enter the country without a visa. Most countries require passports from Germany to have at least 6 months of validity left on them when the traveler enters the country. If the passport does not have this, the country may not permit entry or may restrict the amount of time that the traveler can stay.
Travelers with passports close to expiration should replace them before they try to travel outside of Germany. Similarly, many countries require passports to have at least one or two blank pages for stamping. Travelers who do not have these may not be able to enter some countries.
Dual citizenship means that a person qualifies as a citizen in more than one country. For many years, Germany did not permit dual citizenship or limited it as much as possible. Recently, they have changed their laws to allow more people to have dual citizenship.
People can hold German citizenship and citizenship in another nation if they qualify for it based on their birth. They can also get it by declaration if they can prove that they had a German ancestor. Naturalized citizens can also hold dual citizenship, as can people who get special permission. People with questions about dual citizenship in German should contact their local government or embassy/consulate to get more details.
When a traveler realizes that their German passport is missing, they need to immediately inform the passport office. If overseas, they need to inform the nearest embassy or consulate. These entities will give them further instructions. Many times, they will deal with the police so that the citizen does not have to do it on their own.
If a citizen finds a passport from GER that has been reported lost or stolen, they need to notify the authorities again. It will be invalid but this allows Germany to better track lost or stolen items. Travelers who lose their passports or have them stolen will need to replace them. If they need to travel soon, they may need to get a provisional passport until theirs can be officially replaced.
Passports from Germany contain biometric chips inside them. These are electronic forms of the traveler’s personal data. These chips can be scanned when the traveler enters and leaves Germany, as well as when they enter and leave other countries.
They make crossing borders faster and easier than ever before. They also make it easier for governments to track who is in their country and who is leaving it. Damage to the biometric chip can render a passport invalid. If this happens, the traveler will need to get a new passport before they can complete their journey.
The German passport is very strong. As of 2022, it is the second-strongest passport in the world. German citizens can enter 190 countries around the world without having to get a visa first. This makes international travel easy for German citizens.
Note that there may be other travel restrictions on a passport. COVID-19 rules can change quickly and things like war or lesser armed conflicts can change entry rules quickly. However, the German passport is still one of the world’s strongest. Citizens can apply for one today, get it soon, and travel the world as soon as they are ready.