Pass No Pass

The Federal Network Agency has banned the marketing of so-called zero-rating options – also known as zero-rating – in Germany. According to a press release, such offers “violate network neutrality because they do not treat data traffic equally.” The authority stresses that the regulation does not only affect future contracts, but that existing mobile contracts must also be terminated. Zero-rating options exclude the data traffic of certain music, video, gaming or chat apps from the calculation of the data volume used by customers, depending on the tariff. On the one hand, they are offered as paid add-on options, and on the other hand they are integrated into certain contracts as a lure. For example, Telekom’s Magenta Mobil rates currently include different numbers of StreamOn passes depending on the monthly price. Vodafone, on the other hand, offers one selectable Vodafone Pass for each of its Red mobile rates in the lowest-priced rate plan Red XS.

One-year transition period

There was early criticism that such options would violate the principle of network neutrality because they would favor certain services over others and put small providers at a disadvantage. In September 2021, following inquiries by German courts, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that such zero-tariff options violate the EU regulation on access to the open Internet. Differentiating certain data within Internet traffic for commercial considerations was incompatible with the principle of equal treatment of data traffic. The Federal Network Agency has now ordered that new marketing of StreamOn and Vodafone Pass must be discontinued by July 1, 2022, and that these rate options should no longer be bookable from that date. Corresponding contracts with existing customers must be terminated by the end of March 2023. “This implementation period is necessary in view of the large number of existing customers, also to enable a consumer-friendly transition to other tariffs,” the authority said. It said it expects “the discontinuation of zero-rating options to have an overall positive impact on the German mobile market.” The authority expects its decision to “accelerate the trend toward tariffs with higher data volumes and cheaper mobile flat rates.” A Vodafone spokesperson told SPIEGEL when asked, “We are currently analyzing the Federal Network Agency’s order regarding the discontinuation of Vodafone Passes and will subsequently provide information on further steps. Currently, everything remains as usual for our customers.” Telekom said on request that it “very much regrets the discontinuation of the zero-rating offer for around four million satisfied users and the nearly 500 StreamOn partners,” and that it will no longer make StreamOn available in the future and will inform its customers within the specified deadlines. However, the user experience is already being optimized by giving away data volume or “permanently upgrading the data volume in rates for selected customer groups. The “next measures for further customer groups” are in preparation. In the case of an expired passport or ID card, the Federal Police can issue a travel document as a passport substitute for German citizens for a trip abroad. This only applies if the issuance of a (temporary) travel document at a passport office can no longer be expected in time. The issuance is not permitted if it is clear from the overview “States that recognize passport replacement documents issued in Germany” that the destination state expressly does not recognize the document. It should also be noted that a large number of states require that the travel document must still be valid for at least three months at the time of entry. The travel document as a substitute for a passport does not meet this requirement, as it may only be issued for a maximum of one month. In principle, no travel document as a substitute for a passport is issued upon entry. Exceptionally, the issuance to German citizens residing abroad is permitted, if due to an intended short duration of stay in Germany the issuance of a passport or passport substitute is not reasonable. For nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, as well as for persons authorized to return to these states, the Federal Police may issue an emergency travel document for a trip abroad or for re-entry. This applies only in the case of avoiding undue hardship or for reasons of special public interest, provided that the issuance of a travel document by the own foreign representation or a foreigners authority can no longer be expected in time. The issuance of replacement documents to children and persons under the age of 18 is generally subject to the consent of their legal representatives. Identity and citizenship must be proven by presenting official documents (for example, in principle an expired passport or passport replacement, copies of these documents are not sufficient). Important information about substitute papers

  • If you travel with passport substitute documents, you do so at your own risk, because other countries are not obliged to recognize these passport substitute documents. It is not impossible that a destination country does not allow the entry with these passport substitute documents, or that an airline already refuses to carry them because of this.
  • Even if all legal requirements are met, the border authorities may refuse to issue replacement documents. This applies in particular if it is known that the country of destination does not recognize the passport replacement documents and if they are even used, there is a risk of criminal consequences.

Electronic application

To speed up the process of obtaining the required passport replacement document, you can use the online application to electronically transmit your personal details and the relevant travel data to the relevant border authority, which will quickly contact you. From there you will also receive notification about the modalities of collection. The so-called Schengen Agreement is not yet fully applied in relation to Croatia. There are still entry and exit controls at the Slovenian-Croatian border. It is not possible to cross the border without being in possession of a valid passport or identity card. Driving licenses, birth certificates or merely photocopies of passports or identity cards are not sufficient for crossing the border.

The embassy helps

For vacation travelers who do not live in Slovenia but in Germany, the embassy can issue a temporary or a child’s passport upon request, but only if the domestic passport authority at the applicant’s place of residence authorizes the embassy to do so. The domestic passport authorities generally issue this authorization only on working days and not on weekends or on the public holidays applicable to them. Therefore, the Embassy cannot issue you a passport on weekends or on holidays applicable to the domestic passport authority.

Procedure; Appointment Booking

You must appear in person at the Embassy to apply for a passport. The Embassy accepts applications Monday through Friday (please note that the Embassy is closed on holidays applicable to the Embassy). A separate appointment must be made for each applicant. You must book the appointment yourself online through the appointment system. Appointments are only available on a limited basis and can only be booked at least one day in advance. We ask for your understanding in this matter.

Processing time

The embassy can only obtain the above-mentioned authorization from the domestic passport authority after you have appeared at the embassy. The authorization including if applicable The authorization, including any other required certificates, must be received by the Embassy no later than 3:00 p.m. (on Fridays no later than 1:00 p.m.). Otherwise, it will not be possible to issue the passport on the same day. Please also note that due to the high number of applications at the beginning of the week, a considerable processing time must be expected. On Mondays, especially in the peak travel months of June/July/August, passports may not be ready until late afternoon, and in some cases may not even be ready until the day after your application.

Application documents

  • The application form. If you have the possibility to download and print it (see below), please bring the completed form with you to the Embassy. However, please do not sign it until you arrive at the embassy. The information on the General Data Protection Regulation, which is attached to the application form, is for your information only and does not need to be printed out or presented to the embassy.
  • If available, the last passport or ID card of the applicant, alternatively the current driver’s license (in credit card format !) of the applicant. It may be necessary that the authority that issued the last passport or ID card to the applicant sends the photo and the signature to this passport or ID card to the Embassy.
  • If no passport or identity card can be presented, the applicant must make a binding statement at the time of application as to whether he or she is in possession of a passport or identity card and – if so – whether this passport or identity card is still valid.
  • If the applicant’s current passport and/or ID card has been lost: if possible, the police report of loss or theft.
  • A recent photograph of the applicant – there are a number of photo studios within walking distance of the Embassy, e.g. Tivoli.
  • Cash in the amount of 65,- EUR to pay the processing fee.
  • In the case of underage applicants, please also note:
    • If possible, the birth certificate of the minor applicant should be presented.
    • In addition to the minor applicant, his or her legal guardians must also appear at the Embassy and bring their valid passports or identity cards.
    • If a parent or guardian cannot attend the Embassy, he or she must declare his or her consent in writing using a form (see below). A printout of the fully completed and signed declaration as well as a copy of the valid passport or valid ID card (front and back) of the custodian must be scanned and the scan sent to the Embassy by email.

In individual cases, further documents may be required.

The alternative to reissue: forwarding

In view of possible time savings, if you have forgotten your passport or ID card at home, you should also consider having the forgotten passport or ID card forwarded by a courier service instead of applying for a new passport at the embassy. Please make sure that you can either receive the courier shipment in person or that the office to which you are having the ID document forwarded is aware of your intention and can receive the shipment.

Overnight stay in Ljubljana

For an overnight stay in Ljubljana you can choose from a variety of hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs, hostels, etc. However, overnight accommodation is not always possible without a valid passport or valid identity card. Please inquire whether check-in is possible without a valid identification document before booking the overnight stay for which a fee is charged.

Excursus: Travelers without German citizenship

If you are not a German citizen but are authorized to reside in Germany, you must be in possession of both a valid passport from your home country and a valid German residence permit to cross the border from Slovenia to Croatia. The embassy issues visas, but does not issue German residence titles (e.g. residence permits or settlement permits). If the validity of your German residence title has expired, if you have forgotten your German residence title at home or if it has been stolen, the embassy unfortunately cannot help you. A new German residence title can only be issued to you by the responsible foreigners authority in Germany. This requires your return to Germany. If you have simply forgotten your German residence title at home, you can consider sending the residence title to Slovenia instead of returning to Germany. The Embassy also advises you to contact the Croatian Embassy in Ljubljana with the question whether the Croatian Embassy can issue you an entry visa for Croatia. Type: Article , Main subject: Modern administration

Obligation and validity of identity cards

The Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs provides information here on the obligation to produce identity documents and the validity of passports. Further information concerns German citizens living abroad and the online ID card. The information was updated on 05 December 2022. In the course of the containment of the Corona pandemic and due to the protection against infection, many citizens’ offices had partially reduced general office hours from spring 2020 to the beginning of summer 2022 and asked to complete or postpone authority matters online if possible. Since the containment measures have now largely been suspended nationwide, no further restrictions are to be expected for applications for passports and ID cards. As usual, you can obtain information about opening hours and your options for making an appointment by using the online information service or the telephone service of your Bürgeramt. In particular, please make use of the online appointment-making options provided by your Bürgeramt. At the beginning of the summer of 2022, the manufacturer Bundesdruckerei GmbH had to process a high number of applications, which led to a slight increase in production time. Since November 2022, production times have been falling back to the normal level: ID card: approx. 5 working days, passport: approx. 10 working days. To avoid any difficulties when traveling, a remaining validity of the travel document of approx. 6 months at the start of the trip is recommended. If necessary, please apply for a new document in good time before the trip. You should obtain information on whether and to what extent the state of your destination has imposed entry restrictions due to the Corona pandemic before starting your trip. Current information on entry requirements of the destination country can be found online in the travel and security information of the German Foreign Office. It is only possible to apply for a passport and ID card at a citizens’ office outside your home town for good cause; please clarify your request with the authority in advance. Furthermore, there is a surcharge for lack of jurisdiction (identity card: 13.00 13.00; passport: double fee) and the office service of the actual competent authority must authorize the selected authority to issue it. For destinations in the countries of the European Union (EU) as well as Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Turkey and the Vatican, a valid identity card is sufficient as a travel document as usual. Due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the EU a passport is always required for travel to the British Isles. Current information on entry requirements for these destination countries can be found online, among other places, in the travel and security information of the German Foreign Office.

Online identification

Many government services are already offered digitally, so you can also complete them using the online identification function on your ID card. If you have entered your PIN you can enter a new six-digit PIN of your own choice. PIN free of charge at your local citizens’ registration office, or you can PIN-Please note that the online ID card function of the ID card is automatically no longer applicable when the validity of your ID card expires. If your online ID card function needs to be activated first, you can have this done at the citizens’ registration office of your main place of residence or apply for it free of charge and digitally; Link: Pass No Pass.

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