How To Apply For a SA Passport – South Africa Online Passport Application

South African Online Passport Application

Obtaining a Passport is one of the top priorities of a every South African wishing to travel abroad.

Even if you think you’ll never manage to save up enough to take your dream trip abroad, having a valid passport is a MUST for the modern person.

I mean, you never know when that lottery ticket will be the lucky one, or when a wealthy lover may want to whisk you away… both scenarios could go horribly wrong if you suddenly discover your passport has expired. Or even worse, you never had one to start off with.

What You Need to Apply for a Passport (South African Online Passport Requirements)

To apply for the passport, you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original identity document and a copy, or a birth certificate and copy thereof if under 16
  • If under 18 years, parental consent for issuing of the passport. Please see Tourist passports: persons under 16 for the requirements
  • A completed determination of citizenship Form DHA-529  when applying from abroad
  • Present any existing valid tourist passport or if you have lost your passport or it has been stolen and you are applying for a new passport,  you must provide a loss of passport report (DHA-335 ) and confirmation that you reported the loss to the police
  • Two colour photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications (NOT needed at smartcard offices as ID images are captured digitally)
  • Pay the prescribed fee for the passport

Tourist Passports

Issued to South African citizens over the age of 16 and is valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

• Identity Document
• Two color passport photos
• Finger prints will be taken

Cost: R400

Time-frame: It will take about ten weeks to process the application and issue the passport.

Child’s Passport

Issued to South African citizens under the age of 16. It is valid for five years from the date of issue.

What you need:

• Your (parent’s) ID and child’s birth certificate
• 2 color passport photos of the child
• Death certificate if one parent is deceased
• a copy of the Court’s appointment letter, if you are the child’s guardian
• There are special rules for children born out of wedlock, check out the Home Affairs website for more details.

Cost: R400

Timeframe: Takes about 10 days to process

Maxi Tourist Passport

It is a document for frequent travellers and is issued to South African citizens of 16 years and above.

The document contains 48 pages to provide for more visa pages. It is valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

What you need:

• Identity Document
• Two colour passport photos
• Fingerprints

Cost: R600

Time-frame: Takes about 10 days to process.

Emergency travel certificate

Can be issued to South African citizens who need to travel urgently and there is insufficient time to process a passport application. Valid for 9 months, but can only be used for a single journey.

What you need:

• Identity Document
• Two colour passport photos
• Fingerprints
• A valid reason for urgent travel

Cost: R140 to process, but you will need to pay an additional R400 to get your proper tourist passport when you return.

Time-frame: Normally takes about a week to process.

Official passport

Issued to South African citizens in the employ of the Public Service or of a government institution and who need to travel abroad on government official business. It is valid for five years.

What you need:

• Identity Document
• Two colour passport photos
• Fingerprints
• Letter from your employer

Cost: Free

Document for travel purposes

Issued to South African permanent residence holders who cannot obtain travel documents from their country of origin, for example refugees and stateless persons lawfully residing in South Africa. It is valid for 5 years.

What you need:

• Proof of identity
• Two colour passport photos
• Fingerprints
• Proof of permanent residence as well as written
confirmation from your country of origin that they cannot issue you with a passport.

Cost: R400

Time-frame: About 10 days.

South Africa Online Passport Application Process

south africa online passport application process

SA Passport

Online registration and submission

Applying for a Passport Online in South Africa is faster and simpler as compared to the manual process. To apply, you first need to visit the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website, you will be redirected their sub-website, https://ehome.dha.gov.za/echannel.

Information on the DHA’s is very vital since they spell out the necessary requirements need to qualify for a passport application.

I registered on this website then found options to apply for a passport online for myself or for minors. I selected the Minor Passport option, completed the forms and submitted them online.

The questions were quite straightforward however there was one unusual question – “How many spouses do you have?” . Maybe, it’s not so unusual in the South African context though.

I was required to select a branch where I wanted to collect my passport. Apart from Home Affairs branches all over the country, there were options to select certain ABSA and Standard Bank branches in Johannesburg and Pretoria (about three of each bank). I selected Standard Bank Killarney which was most convenient for me. Mine and my husband’s ID copies were required, which I uploaded and submitted online.

Payment

I was then required to initiate a payment instruction, by entering my bank account details. Thereafter I logged into my Standard Bank internet banking account and found the My Bills option under Payments.

I selected the Department of Home Affairs as a beneficiary.  The payment instruction then appeared under My Bills. I entered my reference number and approved the payment.

The passport renewal fee is currently R400 for a normal passport.

Booking an Appointment

Once the payment had been registered by the Department of Home Affairs, I was taken to a page to book an appointment for biometrics (fingerprints). Note that if you want to go to Home Affairs for this step, no booking is necessary. (Just expect to wait in long lines). I selected Standard Bank Killarney again and then had to select a time slot.

Confirmation

I received an appointment confirmation which I had to take with me to the bank.

Notifications

At every step above, I would receive an email and SMS notification.

Appointment

I went to Standard Bank Killarney on Friday (12 August at 2pm )- which was the latest appointment I could get. They had a separate Home Affairs section within the Bank. There were no queues at all.

They took photos of my kids in the photo booth and asked for mine and my husband’s electronic thumbprints and signatures.

I didn’t even have to give in photos or any other documents however do take your ID book/card and old passport with ( if you have one). I was told that I would receive a notification to collect the passports in 2- 3 weeks.

The staff were efficient and compared to Home Affairs, the whole process was a pleasure.

I received an SMS and an email 10 days later to say that the passports were ready for collection.

Additional Notes

  • Beware of incorrect information – Prior to making the appointment, I had emailed Standard Bank to confirm that their Killarney branch processed passport applications and they replied to say that it was “only open to all Standard Bank customers between the age of 25 to 40 who have an active Internet Banking account”. Then I asked the same question on their Facebook page and they confirmed that it was open to all ages. When I went into the Killarney branch they told me that it had just opened up to all ages from a week ago.  Apparently their call centres had not been informed yet.
  • You have to be a Standard Bank, FNB or Absa Internet Banking customer. Payment has to be processed online. You can’t go into the bank and pay as they are not authorised to accept payments and you can’t pay from someone else’s account. Only adults applying for their minor children can use their accounts to pay for the children.
  • If you are applying for a new passport when you have an existing one, your old passport needs to expire within the next 6 months.
  • If you are applying because your old passport is full, then you need to have 3 or less blank pages. If you have more than 3 blank pages, you will not be able to apply for a new one.

Banks Accepting Passport Application/Processing Fees

  • Absa Centurion Lifestyle
  • Absa Ghandi Square
  • Absa Towers
  • FNB Lifestyle
  • FNB Lynnwood (Grove Shopping Mall)
  • FNB – 4 Merchant Place
  • FNB President Street West
  • Nedbank Lakeview Office Park
  • Nedbank 135 Rivonia Road
  • Nedbank Arcadia
  • Standard Bank Canal Walk
  • Standard Bank Centurion
  • Standard Bank Killarney Mall
  • Standard Bank Simmonds Street

Other useful information:

Take a look at the passport and ID photo specifications.

You can track the process of your passport application through the Department of Home Affairs website.

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