People at BW apply for more passports – SWR Aktuell

During the Corona pandemic, they were practically useless to many people: passports. But now long-distance travel is possible again – and the number of applications is on the rise.

Since almost all Corona rules have been lifted in Germany, and therefore also in Baden-Württemberg, the demand for passports has increased significantly. In some cities of the country, more applications were submitted in the spring than ever before. However, for citizens this also means longer waiting times. Especially in connection with the summer holidays, it will soon be necessary to hurry.

“Currently we are four weeks from the time of application to the day the passport is handed over, and therefore it can be obtained from us at the Citizens Service Centre,” explains Tony Klein, a spokesman for the city of Freiburg. SWR request. In Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, the current duration can be up to six weeks.

Print and mail times have nearly doubled

Regardless of where they are issued, all German passports are issued by the Bundesdruckerei. This logs a huge number of entries, which is why the processing time is almost doubled. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, it took an average of 10.1 working days to produce and send the passport in January and 18 in April, and before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the period was only 9.4 to 10 working days.

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Figures from some of the major cities in Baden-Württemberg show just how much the demand for passports has increased in recent months. From January to May 2022, a total of 5,257 passports were submitted in Karlsruhe. In the same period in 2021 there were 3,390.

The current development is more clear compared to the time before the corona pandemic. A total of 2,345 passports were submitted in Freiburg in March and April 2019. In the two years following Corona, the numbers in the comparison months fell sharply and reached 639 (2020) and 1,305 (2021).

“After March 2020, there was an unprecedented massive recession. Previous ‘normal values’ were not reached again until June 2021.”

Monthly register of passport applications in Freiburg

Can’t talk about “normal values” at the moment. In March 2022 alone, a new record was set in Freiburg with 2,043 passport applications. In April, there were at least 1,455 of these identification documents, so that a total of 3,498 passports were submitted in the two months.

A similar photo appears in the state capital Stuttgart: from April 1 to May 13, 2019, 4,589 passports were presented here. In 2020, the numbers fell to 192 during this period, to rise again to 3,261 in 2021. However, the value is currently much higher. From 1 April to 13 May 2022, 4,992 Stuttgart residents applied for a passport.

Travel restrictions crucial during the pandemic

All spokespeople for the Big Three agree: Travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic were responsible for this development. says Gerrit Munster from Karlsruhe when requesting SWR.

Britain’s exit from the European Union also plays a role

But Brexit also plays a role, explains Oliver Hellinger, a spokesman for the city of Stuttgart, saying: “People now travel more to non-European countries that require passports. Likewise, since Brexit, a passport is now required. For trips to Great Britain entry is required, and an identity card is no longer sufficient for this.”

However, none of the authorities cited concerns about the spread of the Ukraine war to other parts of Europe as a reason for the increased number of applications.

Significantly more expressive applications

The fact that some citizens suddenly needed a passport very quickly two years after the outbreak of the epidemic is shown by the so-called express applications. Express passes are produced and issued within a few days. In Karlsruhe, the numbers rose to 504 speed-pass requests between January and May (compared to 111 in the same period in 2021).

In Freiburg there were exactly 647 express applications between January and April 2019, in 2020 and 2021 together only 507 and now: 821. In Stuttgart there are similar: 445 express applications from April 1 to May 13 2019 is 596 in the same period 2022 compared . In the past two years, the total was only 287.

So if you need a passport within three to five days, you can still use the express procedure. However, this is also much more expensive than the regular app.

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