Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

The Consular Directorate provides support for Swiss citizens worldwide

The Consular Directorate (KD) provides a wide range of services – including the issuing of passports, emigration advice and emergency assistance abroad – to support Swiss citizens in Switzerland and abroad. Read on to learn about some of the wide range of services provided by the KD.

 World map with FDFA representations abroad

The FDFA formulates Swiss foreign policy on behalf of the Federal Council and provides a range of consular services. © FDFA

In addition to the range of services it provides, on behalf of the Confederation the KD informs the Swiss abroad about their rights and obligations and keeps them up to date via various electronic channels about the latest political, social and cultural developments at home. The KD promotes contact between the Swiss community abroad and the home country and boosts networking through its representations and institutions for the Swiss abroad.

An example of this was the interactive 'Mission August 1st' website, which provided the Swiss abroad with a virtual meeting place to celebrate 1 August.

Now over to you: test your knowledge of the Swiss abroad:

How many Swiss citizens lived abroad in 2019?

770’900, most of whom live in France.

How many Swiss citizens living abroad have multiple nationalities?

75%

How many Swiss citizens moved to their home country in 2019?

23’965

In 2019 the FDFA again supported many Swiss citizens living abroad and Swiss travelers:

2019 figures for consular services

Passports and identity cards issued

61,752

Changes in civil status

50,914

Authentications and certificates

30,719

Citizenship cases

544

Consular assistance cases

1,823

Applications for social assistance /

Emergency cash advances

284 /

102

Helpline FDFA: enquiries

51,106

Travel Admin: registrations

87,578

Visa applications processed

68,8691

Online travel advice hits

2,292,000

Special challenges for the representations in times of COVID-19 crisis

During the COVID-19 crisis, the KD has been in close contact with Swiss citizens abroad through its 167 representations around the world.

Watch this video to learn about the daily work of Swiss representations and consular staff abroad, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Travel Admin app

Image of the Travel Admin app icon
The Travel Admin app allows the FDFA to locate and contact Swiss citizens more easily in the event of a crisis abroad. © FDFA

In September 2019, the KD launched the Travel Admin app. The FDFA's free travel app provides useful tips to help you plan your journey carefully as well as a wealth of information while you are abroad. All Swiss citizens planning to travel abroad are advised to register so they can receive useful information from the FDFA and be contacted in the event of a serious crisis abroad.

During the COVID-19 crisis, for example, the Travel Admin app helped the FDFA to locate stranded Swiss travellers and bring them home safely.

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