Applying for Passports in South Africa
The South African Department of Home Affairs issues the South African passport to its citizens. This travel document is a valid proof of citizenship according to their nationality law. These passports are green in color and have the South African coat of arms on the front cover. Not only is it an essential travel document, but it is also a proof of identity and citizenship.
The government issues five types of passports to its citizens. These include the ordinary passport, children’s passport, temporary passport, diplomatic or official passport, and the maxi passport.
The ordinary passport is granted to South African citizens who are 16 years old and above. It is valid for a maximum of ten years. Another type is the children’s passport, given to citizens less than 16 years old. It has a validity of a maximum period of five years. The temporary passport is only for citizens who have to travel immediately for valid, urgent reasons. It is valid for 12 months.
In addition, another passport type is the diplomatic or official passport, which is for government officials and staff who are to travel on government mission or matters. It is valid for a maximum of five years. The maxi passport is for frequent travelers who are 16 years old and above.
In cases of emergencies, there is the emergency travel certificate, which is a single sheet of paper used instead of passports during emergencies.
The most basic requirement for South African passport application is a completed application form, along with passport-sized photographs. You will also need to submit proof of your citizenship, marriage certificate if married, birth certificate or copy of South African Identity Book, exemption certificate to travel on foreign passport if you have dual citizenship, notarized certificate of naturalization if you are a naturalized South African, fees, and fingerprints.
Losing your passport of or having it stolen while you are traveling abroad can be disheartening; to minimize the loss, report the incident to the police station immediately. Request a copy of the police report and submit it to the South African embassy in the country. You will then be asked to apply for a temporary passport or an emergency travel document.
You will need to submit a completed application form, evidence of your South African citizenship, two recent photographs, be fingerprinted, and pay a corresponding fee.
Every South African passport remains the property of the South African government. It can only be used by you if it is in your name. If you sell or allow others to use your passport, you open yourself up to criminal prosecution, not to mention risk having your passport revoked and your application for future passport services refused. If you enjoy reading this article, you’ll surely be interested in learning how to travel safely.