Zug, 14.06.2022

Anyone who needs a new ID card may have to wait for weeks

Because many Zug residents didn’t renew their expired passports during the corona pandemic, the Zug ID office is now running flat out to meet demand. The waiting time for a new passport is currently six weeks – with the trend rising.

After the cancellation of Swiss flights, the next bad news will follow before the summer holidays: the ID office of the Canton of Zug is currently so busy that anyone who needs a new passport or ID will have to wait for weeks. "The demand is very high," confirms office head Robin Furrer.

The reason for the rush: the corona pandemic, or its flattening off. After two lean years, the Swiss are once travelling abroad again. The tour operator Hotelplan, for example, recorded 10% more new bookings in March and April of this summer than in 2019. Destinations in the Mediterranean region, such as Spain or Greece, are very popular.

Waiting times of up to six weeks
The problem: many Zug residents did not renew their expiring passports when they were either unable to travel at all, or only to a very limited extent, during the pandemic years. They are now making up for it. And all at once, it seems.

The summer holidays are imminent in the canton of Zug.            Symbolic image:

After the federal government largely lifted the measures in February, the passport office has been recording more and more enquiries. This is now reflected in the waiting times:

"There’s currently a waiting period of about six weeks for an appointment at the counter."

This means that if you are planning a holiday in mid-July and need a new ID, you should register in the next few days if you want to be able to book a flight or hotel without difficulty.

And the situation is likely to deteriorate. Robin Furrer doesn’t rule out the possibility that the waiting times will be extended further the closer we get to the summer holidays. These will start in the canton of Zug on 9 July – i.e. in less than a month. What does this mean for people who want to go on holiday, but don't have a valid passport yet?

In such a situation, Robin Furrer advises contacting the passport office as soon as possible:

"Depending on the situation, we can try to offer the customer an extraordinary appointment."

But this requires a certain flexibility, and customers will have to take the appointments they can get.

ID office advises foresight
In the event of an emergency, the authorities could still issue an emergency passport., i.e. one to three days before departure or on the day of departure itself. And if the capacities in Zug are not sufficient, there is also the emergency passport office at Zurich Airport. "In such a case, however, you’ll have to allow enough time. And not all countries accept an emergency passport," warns Robin Furrer.

In order to save yourselves all this, the head of the Zug passport office advises checking beforehand:

"We recommend that passport holders check the expiry date of the ID card at an early stage and submit the application for new ID cards at least two months before a planned trip."

Apparently, this awareness is not widespread among the population, and customers at the ID office are amazed when they hear about the long waiting times. But: "Once they know the reasons for this, the understanding is usually very great. We are doing everything we can to reduce the waiting time thanks to additional human resources." Says Robin Furrer

Nevertheless, the situation in Zug is downright relaxed, compared to Sweden, for example. As the news portal "The Local" reported in March, citing police information, the waiting time for an appointment at the passport office in certain regions of Sweden was not six weeks – but six months!