South African Passports
New Zealand applicants, please follow this link.
The South African Passport and Travel Documents Act of 1994 regulates the issuing of South African passports and travel documents.
Please do not make firm travel bookings before obtaining your passport.
Passport applications may take up to 6 months to be finalized. Applicants are requested to bear in mind that applications are referred to the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa for processing.
Clients are requested not to contact the Mission unnecessarily for progress on passport applications (These requests ultimately delay the process).
Applicants can contact or mail our office in the event of the passport taking longer than 3 months.
Different types of South African passports and their requirements
Persons must apply for a first or new passport when the passport has reached the full validity (ten years for adults or five years for children), or if the passport has no more blank visa pages available. New passports have a validity of 10 years for adults and 5 years for children. Please note that these passports cannot be extended once they have reached the expiry date - a new application must be lodged.
The Department of Home Affairs has now introduced a "maxi passport", which contain 48 visa pages instead of 32 pages. These passports are available to persons who travel extensively. In order to apply for a maxi passport, indicate this on the application form and pay the correct fee.
Please note: Do not make firm travel bookings before obtaining your passport.
Passport Requirements (All passport types)
Forms, except Form BI-9, may be downloaded from www.sahc.org.au.
To obtain the BI-9 Finger Print form, please email your request to:-
NB: Quote the applicant’s RSA ID number and postal address. The form will then be posted to you.
Applicants from Australia firstname.lastname@example.org or
Payment must be in Australian Dollars (AUD) made out to the “South African High Commission” by way of Postal Money Order or Bank Cheque. Personal cheques or credit cards are NOT accepted. ONE bank cheque or Postal Money Order for the total amount/whole family is preferred.
NB: Applicants applying for temporary passports to accommodate their travels to foreign countries are urged to check with the respective countries' representative whether a temporary passport may be used to enter their country before lodging an application with this Mission.
At this stage the following countries do not recognize the South African temporary passport as a valid document to enter these countries:
The United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, China, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Italy, Canada and certain states in the USA.
Processing period is 10 working days.
An emergency is defined as needing to travel in the event of serious illness or death of a family member. In the event, a doctor's letter or certificate must be provided as evidence. You are required to provide a written request detailing reasons for urgent travel, documentation to back up those reasons and a copy of your provisional flight itinerary.
Temporary passports are valid for 1 year from date of issue.
Temporary Passport Requirements (in addition to the permanent passport requirements)
Note: A temporary passport contains only four (4) visa pages. If you intend to travel to more than two countries where visas are required, you must apply for two temporary passports and additional fees are payable. An additional signature and photo will be required for each extra temporary passport.
Temporary Passport Fees
Payment must be in Australian Dollars (AUD) made out to the “South African High Commission” by way of Postal Money Order or Bank Cheque. ONE bank cheque or Postal Money Order for the total amount/whole family is preferred. Personal cheques or credit cards are not accepted.
Return Postage: Only Australian applications
Postal Address: Only Australian applications
The South African High Commission
An Emergency Travel Certificate is valid for only one single journey direct to South Africa and is issued only to South African citizens who are returning directly to South Africa in extreme emergency cases.
Once back in South Africa, the applicant may then apply for a Tourist passport.
To ensure that the correct travel document is issued, kindly contact the Mission during Consular Office hours 8.30am to 1.00pm on +61 2 6272 7300 for assistance.
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