I am an Indian student in France on a 6 month visa for an Internship. Currently I don't have my passport with me as I have applied for UK visa and am not hoping to receive it back in next 10 days. I was wondering if I can travel to Germany without my passport in hand.

The documents I can carry are a photocopy of my passport's identity page, Residence proof here, proof of Internship in France,Indian national identity card, receipt from UK embassy stating my visa application.

Please note that I do NOT have a photocopy of French visa page.

  • I plan to go by bus Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 8:53
  • What "residence proof here" do you have?
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:12
  • Do you really want to jeopardize your visa application? Do you expect the UK would ignore law transgressions beyond its borders? What happens if at your return to France you are asked for your documents? While in France respect French Law, respect also that of any place you wish to visit.
    – David
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 12:23
  • 1
    @David I never said I was going to break the law. Question was meant to know alternates to the passport, if any. Thanks for your comment, any how Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:57
  • @phoog I am staying in a residence that hosts students of the university I am interning at. I have a letter from their side. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


According to the law, you are not allowed to travel to Germany without your passport. Foreign citizens are required to have a valid and approved travel document both to enter and to stay in Germany (AufenthG § 3). In your case as an Indian citizen, only passport is an approved travel document and a copy does not suffice.

In practice, there are no regular id checks on the French/German border and unless the bus company requires you to present a valid id document, no-one will likely notice that you don't have your passport with you.

  • 1
    The linked statute doesn't help much since we don't know what is meant by a "passport substitute" or a "substitute identity document."
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:10
  • @phoog In practice: approved national id cards (e.g. from EEA citizens) or refugee travel documents. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:35
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Thank you. I wanted to know alternates to passport and as it turns out there are none in my case. I just hope I receive my passport back soon enough. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 15:00
  • Passport checks at the French-German border are rare - at the French-Swiss and German-Swiss borders though, they're common, especially entry checks by the Swiss
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:57
  • I should passport checks are getting more common esp when you travel via bus. So think twice before doing it.
    – user38149
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 18:39

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