The words ‘See you’ on a window in the middle of various signposts.
A diplomat’s life is full of arrivals and goodbyes. © Unsplash

Notification by note verbale

Embassy and consular staff with a legitimation card who are leaving their post in Switzerland must notify FDFA Protocol via their representation within one week unless they require a visa for their next destination because of their nationality or passport type. In such cases, legitimation cards may be retained until the member of staff reaches their final destination, where they must then be returned to the competent Swiss representation (embassy or consulate). 

Procedure for closing consular posts headed by a career or honorary consular officer

If a consular post is to be permanently closed, the embassy must inform FDFA Protocol by the diplomatic channels including information on which representation (embassy or another consular post) will cover the district of the closed consular post in future. 

The embassy must also ensure that all indications and outdoor signage for the closed consular post (crest, plaque on the front of the building or main door, flag, name on letterbox, entry in telephone directories, etc.) are removed or deleted. The outgoing head of post is also obliged to return all equipment used for official purposes (seals, official papers or forms, etc.) to the embassy. The FDFA legitimation cards of consular staff and their accompanying persons must be returned to FDFA Protocol as soon as possible. 

FDFA Protocol will then delete the name of the post and its head from the Directory of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps.

Notification of a potential chargé d'affaires a.i. 

Outgoing heads of mission must inform FDFA Protocol of their departure by note verbale before leaving Switzerland, including information, where applicable, on the appointment of a new chargé d'affaires ad interim. 

If the head of mission has already left Switzerland, the foreign ministry of the sending state must specify the name of the chargé d'affaires a.i. by decree to the foreign ministry of the receiving state. 

Returning legitimation cards

All legitimation cards (main holder and family members, possibly private household employees) must be returned even if they have expired. They should, as a general rule, be returned to FDFA Protocol via the embassy. However, they may also be returned to a Swiss representation abroad (embassy or consulate) if this has been agreed upon. 

Returning number plates

Number plates must be returned to the traffic office of the canton of residence before leaving Switzerland.

Last update 17.07.2023


Privileges and Immunities

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