New Passport Rules

Moving to Germany this summer? Make sure you have your Special Issuance Passport in hand, or a memo stating you’ve applied for one. (Update: edited to change “official passport” to “Special Issuance Passport” to mirror the FCG language).

Effective July 1, 2021, there is a requirement to have your official passport BEFORE entering Germany.

The Foreign Clearance Guide has been updated as of June 14, 2021: https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg.cfm, with the following notice:

“ATTENTION: Official Travel with a Special Issuance Passport (SIP) is mandatory for DoD Civilians and Eligible Family Members (EFMs), per DoD policy. However, if not in receipt of the SIP prior to departure, traveler must have on hand a memorandum from a DoD Passport Agent stating the SIP application was submitted. This memorandum must identify each applying applicant, date of submission, country of travel for PCS and VPAS ID. Boarding a flight on official travel status with a Regular (blue tourist) Passport is permissible ONLY with such a memo, which is to be presented to boarding officials, upon request.”

Note: The exception to travel using a regular passport and memo will expire Sept. 30, 2021.

Please read the below clarifications to determine if this change impacts your situation. Details for Identification Credentials for Official Travel are outlined in Section 1.A. of the Foreign Clearance Guide for Germany (accessible on the .mil domain). If you have questions about your specific situation that are not answered in the FCG, please contact your local passport office.

WHAT IS A SPECIAL ISSUANCE PASSPORT?

A SIP is issued by the Special Issuance Agency and includes Diplomatic, Official and No-Fee Regular passports. SIPs include a Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, stamp that exempts eligible personnel from Germany’s 90-day visa limit.

DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING IF I AM:

Yes – A DoD civilian or family member, including infants, PCSing into Germany and do not have a SIP, but only a regular tourist passport without a SOFA card/stamp? See Sections 1.A.2 and 1.A.3. in the Foreign Clearance Guide for requirement details and the original post for information on traveling with a regular passport and memo.

No – Traveling from the US and already have a maroon official passport or a no-fee blue regular passport with a SOFA stamp?

No – A DoD civilian or family member, including infants, currently living in Germany and have a maroon official passport or a blue, no-fee passport with a SOFA stamp?

No – PCSing out of Germany back to the U.S.

No – A service member stationed in Germany on orders?

No – A third-country national family member. See Section 1.A.6. in the Foreign Clearance Guide for requirement details.

No – A DoD Contractor. See Section 1.A.4. in the Foreign Clearance Guide for requirement details.

No – A civilian or family member on personal leave outside of Germany using my tourist passport?

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