From 1 March 2010, all passports issued will be biometric. For the Swiss abroad, the Swiss representation (embassy or consulate) where they are registered is responsible for issuing identity documents.
A distinction has to be made between passport applications and the recording of biometric data. An application for the issue of a passport must always be made to the representation where the Swiss abroad is registered. In the case of Swiss citizens residing in Malta, this is the Swiss embassy in Rome. This can be done by telephone, online or in person.
For the recording of biometric data, persons registered abroad can contact the representation responsible for them, any other Swiss representation abroad or, in special cases, an issuing authority of a Swiss canton, provided the representation responsible for them and the cantonal authority have given their consent beforehand. This means that, for this step, Swiss citizens in Malta do not necessarily have to contact the Swiss embassy in Rome. However, it is important that they inform the representation responsible for them of where they intend to have their biometric data recorded so that the data required to issue a passport can be transferred from one authority to the other. Applicants must make an appointment to present themselves in person at the chosen authority for the recording of biometric data with the documents required by the authority concerned.
In cases of serious physical or psychological disability, the competent authority can waive the requirement for the applicant to present himself/herself in person provided his/her identity can be definitively confirmed in another way and the data required can be obtained by another means. In such cases, applicants must firstly contact the Swiss representation where they are registered.
The identity card (ID card) will continue to be issued in the present form without chip and without electronically recorded data until further notice. Whether there will ever be a Swiss ID Card with data chip, the Federal Council will decide at a future date. He will specifically take into account for his decision the further international development. If possible the option between a biometric ID card and one without such data should remain.
Application procedure identical as for the biometric passport.