You’ve jetted off to Australia, you’ve set up a home, you’ve found a job, and you’ve started enjoying your social life. However, you’ve completely forgotten about the responsibilities of being a South African in another country. What responsibilities, you ask? What about the responsibility you have to renew your South African passport abroad? If you’re currently gasping at the realisation that you’ve let your passport validity almost lapse, now is the time to take action. You can easily renew your South African passport in Australia if you know what to do.
South African passport renewal from Australia – tips
The most important tip that we can share with you about the process to renew a South African passport abroad is that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. If you don’t manage to wangle a South African passport renewal fast track, you’ll be stuck in the queue along with everyone else, and at the moment, renewals can take between 3 and 12 months to process.
Because of this, South African Embassy passport renewal must be planned well in advance. It’s also important to note that you need at least 6 months of validity on your passport on the date you plan to travel, so make sure that you keep a note of your passport validity dates and set reminders as needed.
Now, here’s where South African laws get tricky and cause confusion. South African law will tell you that you only need 30 days validity on your passport to enter, and in some instances, you may face officials telling you it is 6 months. You may be lulled into feeling falsely secure, only to get to the airport and have the airline stop you from boarding in Australia because you don’t have at least 6 months of validity on your passport. So to play it safe, ensure you’ve got at least 6 months of validity before planning a trip.
Documents required to carry out South African passport renewal from South Africa
To renew your South African passport from Australia, you must ensure you complete and send the following documents:
- BI-529: Determination of Citizenship status form
- DHA-9: Fingerprint Form (you can only get this from the SA High Commission via post)
- BI-73: Passport Application Form
- A certified copy of your current passport – you can also use your ID or birth certificate
- 4 x passport photos (endorsed)
- Envelope (self-addressed for returning your new passports)
- DI-47: for people who have a lost or stolen passport
- Certified copy of foreign citizenship or dual citizenship certificate if this is your situation
- South African naturalisation certificate if you are a naturalised Saffa
Obtaining the fingerprint form is tricky. First, you need to send a note requesting the form and quoting the full name and ID numbers of the applicants with a self-addressed envelope to the South African High Commission. If you are over 16 and currently residing outside of South Africa’s borders, you must send a DHA-9 form. This form must be completed and then signed off by an authorised official at the South African Honorary Consulate. Bookings are essential for this.
Top tip: If you’re planning to leave South Africa for Australia and your passport is expiring in the next two years, you could save a great deal of your time and frustration by renewing your passport before you leave the country (while still in South Africa).
Where to send your South African passport renewal application if you’re applying from South Africa
The next thing you will need to do is send your documents on to the right place and in good time. We recommend that you send the documents express and purchase insurance or track and trace to ensure you know when the documents are received. Once you have all your documents in order, send them along with your self-addressed envelope to the following address:
The South African High Commission
South African passport renewal fast track in Australia
South African passports require biometrics, meaning you must first apply for the passport and then have it expedited if you want it fast-tracked. It is still being determined if this service can be provided in Australia. Still, there are companies in South Africa, such as Passportassist.co.za, that can help expedite passport renewals already in progress.
Get further passport renewal advice at FinGlobal
The FinGlobal team has a finger on the pulse of all things emigration-related. While we focus our professional services on FOREX, financial emigration, retirement annuity withdrawals, tax refunds, tax clearance, exchange control, and more, we can help you make sense of all the paperwork involved in getting overseas and staying there while still being within South African law.
Our team has a decade of experience in the industry, and each consultant is well-versed in their area of expertise. When making contact with us, you can expect us to simplify seemingly complicated systems and processes for you and to make you feel entirely at ease and at home while we work with you. Of course, there’s no expectation for you to know everything about emigration – that’s our job, and we’re here to help. For a friendly discussion regarding your emigration requirements, you can reach out to our professional team today! To contact us, simply give us a call at +27 28 312 2764 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will revert as soon as we possibly can.