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HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SOUTH AFRICAN PASSPORT?

When travelling to another country if you are a South African citizen, you would need to apply for a South African passport.

How do I go about applying for this document? It is really very simple. There are a couple of different options that are issued by The Department of Home Affairs.
The different passports are:
  • Tourist passport
  • Child’s passport
  • Official’s transport
  • Emergency transport
  • Temporary passport, and last but not least,
  • Document for travel purposes.

What is required to apply for a tourist passport and what is a tourist passport? These documents are issued to South African citizens that are over the age of 16. To apply you would need to fill out a form BI-73, and then submit this to a Home Affairs domestic office, and if overseas, then you would have to submit this to a South African embassy or mission.

It is also important to have proof of identity, two passport photos, have your fingerprints taken and pay a fee of R190.00. Processing takes approximately ten weeks to issue, and is valid for ten years.

A child’s passport is issued to South African children that are under the age of 16. To apply for a child’s passport, you would have to fill out a form BI-73 and either submit it to a Department of Home Affairs office locally or to a South African embassy or mission if you are overseas. For this passport you should have proof of identity, two passport photographs, have your fingerprints taken, and pay a fee of R145. This passport will be valid for five years and will take at least ten weeks to process.

An official’s passport is issued to South African officials who are travelling on official government business. For an official’s passport you will need two passport photos, fill out a BI-73 form, have proof of identity, and have your fingerprints taken. This is also submitted to the Department of Home Affairs locally, and an embassy or mission overseas. This passport is valid for a five year period.

An emergency travel certificate is issued to South African citizens who need to travel urgently and there is not enough time to wait for a passport to be processed. As with the above-mentioned passports, your requirements are the same, excepting that the fee is R70. A week is all it would take to process this type of passport, and would be valid for a nine month period. The emergency travel certificate can be used for a single journey only.

A temporary passport is issued to South African citizens who have to travel urgently for a valid reason – whether it is someone close that is seriously ill, a funeral or any other type of emergency. To apply for a temporary passport you would need to complete form BI-73, as well as the application for a temporary passport, and submit it to a Home Affairs domestic office or, if you are overseas, to a South African embassy or mission. One cannot apply for a temporary passport without applying for a normal tourist passport at the same time.  For a temporary passport you must also have proof of identity, have your fingerprints taken, two passport photographs, and takes approximately a week to process. This is valid for a 12 month period.

A document for travel purposes is issued to people with permanent residence in South Africa who are unable to get travel documents from their own countries – an example is for people who are refugees and people who are stateless, and reside in South Africa. The same criteria for filling out forms etc applies to this document, as it does for applying for all other types of passports.

To process a document for travel purposes it will take about ten weeks to process the application, and is valid for a period of five years.

For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs website or contact your nearest Home Affairs Office.


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