A passport is a document issued by a national government for international travel. The passport also certifies the identity and nationality of the holder. South Africa as a country issues passports to its citizens. South African passport allows South Africans to travel around the world with ease. The South African passport is issued based on the South African Passports and Travel Documents Act, 1994.
The South African passport is printed only in Pretoria, South Africa, from where they are dispatched to the offices of application. Applications made within South African borders can be submitted to any office of the Department of Home Affairs while applications made outside of the country can be submitted to your nearest South Africa embassy or mission.
As a first-timer, before you apply for a passport, you must have a South African identity number. In case you do not have your identity number, you must apply for the registration of your birth and for a South African identity document.
There is also an option for someone who has no passport and wants to travel immediately. All you need to do is to apply for an emergency travel document/certificate.
With the exception of official and diplomatic passports, you would need to pay fees for all types of passport applications.
A regular tourist passport has 32 pages, however, in the event that you are a frequent traveler, can apply for a maxi tourist passport with 48 pages.
There are also tourist passports for persons who are 16 years and above in addition to the maxi tourist passports. If you are 16 years and above, you can be issued a tourist passport or a maxi passport and these two passports are valid for 10 years. For citizens below 16 years, you will be issued a tourist passport which is valid for 5 years.
When you apply to replace lost, stolen, or damaged passports will be double the normal fee if the incident was a result of the passport owner’s negligence.
One thing you have to know is that the passport is not renewable so once it gets expired, you must apply for a new one.
How To Apply For Your Passport Online
There are two ways that you can apply for your South African passport. You can do so electronically online and also via an in-person approach. Although we would be taking a look at the online application, we would also touch a bit on the in-person approach as well. To apply for your South African online, do the following;
- Visit the URL https://ehome.dha.gov.za/ehomeaffairsv2/ and register online.
- After the registration, you can make your online payment.
- After completing your online payment, your photo and biometric details need to be taken. At this point, there are two ways for your photo and biometric details to be captured. You can do so by visiting the nearest Home Affairs office with your ID, old passport, and proof of payment. Once there, officials will take your photo and biometric details including your thumbprints and signature.
In-person passport application
To carry out your application using another alternative other than the online approach, do the following;
- Visit the nearest Home Affairs office.
- When going, kindly take along your ID, current (expired / or expiring) passport, and the fee your application fee which is in the region of R400.
- Additionally, you must have completely filled the passport application form (DHA-73).
- Anyone below the age of 18 will need the consent of his or her parents before the passport will be issued.
- If the individual is below the age of 16, then you must be ready to bring along additional requirements to apply. These additional requirements can be found by visiting the URL http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/travel-documents2.
- You must have two color photographs and these two photos must comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
- Be ready to willingly submit your biometrics and signature.
Payment of passport fees can be made via banks as well as at the home affairs office.
South African Passport Fees
Except for the Maxi tourist passport, the fee for applying for a passport is R400. The Maxi tourist passport is R600 and the official passport is free. With the official passport, you must prove that you are a South African citizen who is a
Public Service worker or of a government institution and who needs to travel abroad for government official purposes.
List Of Bank Branches Where You Can Do Passport Applications
If you choose to pay for an application via bank, there are some banks you can do so with ease in the various popular South African cities. Check these banks and the cities below;
- First National Bank Towers
- ABSA Towers
- First National Bank Merchant Place
- Nedbank Lakeview
- Nedbank Sandown
- Standard Bank Killarney Mall
- Standard Bank Simmonds Street
- First National Bank The Grove Mall
- Nedbank Arcadia
- ABSA Centurion Lifestyle Centre
- First National Bank Centurion Lifestyle
- Standard Bank Centurion
City: Cape Town
- Standard Bank Canal Walk
When To Apply For Your Passport
You can only apply for a new passport when the validity of your old passport is less than six months. The passport application is done at any time of the year as well.