Please enter a search term.
Please note:You can only obtain complete information if you indicate the place of residence, the place of business or the building project, depending on the procedure.

Travel Document Issuance for Foreigners

Every foreigner must have a recognized and valid passport or passport substitute. If you are not in possession of a passport or a substitute for a passport, 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 substitute document that 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:

  • apply for a new or renewal of a passport or passport replacement in good time before the expiry of your passport in your home country and to cooperate with the official procedure,
  • the fulfilment of compulsory military service or other civic duties required for the issuance of the national passport, and
  • pay the fees set for it in the country of origin.

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

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 require it.

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

  • Your stay in Germany is lawful, i.e. You are either already in possession of a residence permit (residence permit, settlement permit, permanent residence permit) or should receive it together with your travel document.
  • They should be able to leave the federal territory permanently.
  • you are in the asylum procedure and
    • there is an urgent public interest in the issuance of the travel document, or
    • compelling reasons require the issuance of the travel document, or
    • the refusal of the travel document would constitute 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 countries 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.

Process flow

  • Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or whether you have 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 after receiving your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, preferably in the original, to the appointment).

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


  • You are a citizen of a non-EU country.
  • You do not have a passport or passport substitute from 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 permit (residence permit, settlement permit, EC permanent residence permit) or should receive it together with your travel document.
    • The travel document is intended to enable them to leave Germany for good.

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

Which documents are required?

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

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

What are the fees?


  • 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
  • Renewal of a temporary travel document for foreigners: 20.00


The issuance of travel documents is always subject to a fee (even if you receive social benefits).

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

§ 48 Residence Ordinance - Fees for passport and ID measures

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Application deadline: The application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office at least 8 weeks before the travel document is required.

Period of validity: The period of validity 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: 6 years, up to the age of 12 at the latest
  • for persons between 12 and 24 years old at the time of issue: 6 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 (e.g. if the travel document is issued for the final departure from Germany), the validity is usually limited to a maximum of one month.

Processing duration

approx. 8

Further information on the processing time:

It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the Federal Printing Office to produce the travel document.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: Yes


  • Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office
  • Bringing an action before the court specified in the notice of objection if the objection is not complied with

What else should I know?

  • 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 passport (surname and, if applicable, maiden name, first names, doctoral degree, date and place of birth, gender, height, color 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 the 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 medium are not extendable.
  • Recognised refugees and stateless persons can also obtain a travel document (travel document for refugees or travel document for stateless persons).

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

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)