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SA Passports - 6 to 12 months?!

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DXB2OZ

It would appear that the guidelines for processing times for passports have changed and it will now take 6-12 months through Canberra!

 

has anyone else experienced this?

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ChrisH

I've seen people mentioning waits around those time periods recently.  They want to make it as unattractive as possible for people to keep their South African citizenship.

  • Haha 1

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Dill

I sent my application from Perth to Canberra mid September and received my new passport mid January, so 4 months. Interestingly, my passport is valid from 7 December 2017, so it took nearly 6 weeks to get from South Africa, to Canberra and then to Perth. The post from Canberra to Perth was overnight, as I enclosed a platinum express envelope.

I updated my details with DIBP by completing form 929 and emailing it to 929@homeaffairs.gov.au. The update was confirmed 2 days later and I double checked on the VEVO site.

Hope that 6-12 months is not the new norm and am grateful to have received my new "Green Mamba" in time for upcoming trips. Now to get a new ID card on my next visit...... 

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new2forum

I was in the same boat until recently.  My SA passport expires in the middle of march. I had to make a trip to SA in the first 2 weeks of feb.

SA officials never questioned me about travelling so close to expiry.

 

I applied for a new passport in SA, it took 6 working days, that’s quicker than an Australian passport!

 

I did have to que at home affairs for about 5 hours…the sights, sounds and smells made it worth the wait…in comparison for waiting 6-12 months!

 

Not sure why the embassy stipulates 6-12 months. They are indeed trying to make it as hard as possible. The workers at home affairs told me SA citizens are not working for the embassy here hence the belligerence.

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Gee08

I applied for my childs new passport in December (I'm still waiting though, which is fair), then recently saw the 6-12 month wait. My passport and my older sons passport expires in August and October this year, this is my first time renewing/applying for passports from Australia. I will now do both our passports next week. I did read somewhere before the 6-12 months application period came to light that applying for passport when you have more than 4 months left you would incur a fee?

 

Also, I was hoping that you could tell me whether I did the right thing when applying. I spent nights going over it all and reading extensively:

1. Complete the necessary forms and have the necessary certified (no fingerprints for minor)

2. Certify copies of birth certificates/ID/marriage certs/old passport/death certificates

3. Get photos taken (And certify - signed by a JP) - 4 photos taken in total

4. Post to address as per site via express post (Canberra) include a self addressed express envelope

5. Do a money order to relevant address and receiver (I included the receipt with my postage)

 

Now how do I go about tracking this - I initially did track this in my post office app - now its gone (been too long).

Anyway to check this? I know it says not to call.

 

Thanks in advance

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new2forum

good evening. there are no fees to be incurred apart from the prescribed passport fee.

 

unfortunately with these "workers" at the consulate, you can try to give them a call...and see what happens.

 

 

 

 

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Dill

Hi Gee08

I applied with just less that one year validity and didn't have to pay any extra fee.

Sadly, no way to track the application.

My application in September 2017 took 4 months, so hopefully you'll have good news soon.

Cheers

Dill

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AshB
On 1/23/2018 at 1:02 AM, Dill said:

I sent my application from Perth to Canberra mid September and received my new passport mid January, so 4 months. Interestingly, my passport is valid from 7 December 2017, so it took nearly 6 weeks to get from South Africa, to Canberra and then to Perth. The post from Canberra to Perth was overnight, as I enclosed a platinum express envelope.

I updated my details with DIBP by completing form 929 and emailing it to 929@homeaffairs.gov.au. The update was confirmed 2 days later and I double checked on the VEVO site.

Hope that 6-12 months is not the new norm and am grateful to have received my new "Green Mamba" in time for upcoming trips. Now to get a new ID card on my next visit...... 

 

Hi Dill

 

Th latest forms requires an applicant to surrender their old passport, did you retain yours ?

 

If you did were there no problems on renewel?

 

Regards

Ash

 

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Dill

Hi Ash

I didn't surrender my passport. I don't think it applies if you're overseas, as many people have valid visas for other countries in their passports and are likely to travel within the processing time.

I don't think they expect you to be without a passport for 6 months (their time frame for processing).

Just keep it unless they ask for it, but I can't see that happening.

Hope this helps,

Cheers

Dill

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AshB
On 1/23/2018 at 1:02 AM, Dill said:

I sent my application from Perth to Canberra mid September and received my new passport mid January, so 4 months. Interestingly, my passport is valid from 7 December 2017, so it took nearly 6 weeks to get from South Africa, to Canberra and then to Perth. The post from Canberra to Perth was overnight, as I enclosed a platinum express envelope.

I updated my details with DIBP by completing form 929 and emailing it to 929@homeaffairs.gov.au. The update was confirmed 2 days later and I double checked on the VEVO site.

Hope that 6-12 months is not the new norm and am grateful to have received my new "Green Mamba" in time for upcoming trips. Now to get a new ID card on my next visit...... 

 

Hi Dill

 

Th latest forms requires an applicant to surrender their old passport, did you retain yours ?

 

If you did were there no problems on renewel?

 

Regards

Ash

 

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AshB

Hi Dill 

 

Thank you for the information. it helped me a lot.

 

Regards

Ash

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new2forum

no need to surrender old passport.

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Tntaglia

We applied for new passports in SA in August last year and weren't required to surrender our old passports so unless the change is really recent I don't think you'll have an issue.

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Kodplessis

Hi all, any updates on the time to get a child passport renewed via Canberra HC? We sent all the documents to the HC on 2 May and travelling to SA beginning December. Hope to receive it back before then...

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Donovan83

Hello everyone :) 

 

I've been a bit negligent with my personal admin and I let my SA passport expire. I only discovered this when I was looking to book a flight for a holiday there. 

 

I currently have a valid british passport, and an expired south african one. I've read somewhere that it would be unlawful to enter SA on the british one because I am a SA citizen - is this the case? 

 

I would really like to go visit in October and the current waits look like that won't happen, unless I could use my british passport. 

 

Other option could be for me to renounce my SA citizenship, but they say that would take 6 to 12 months too :( 

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SandraDee

yes, you need to enter and depart South Africa on your South African passport.  They have become more sticky on this as of late. Fines or denied entry.

 

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Donovan83

Damn. I don't mind paying a fine to be honest but wouldn't be ideal to go all that way to be denied entry. 

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Piet1234

My kids have dual (SA and UK) and only ever entered and left SA on British Passports, I never knew they had to use SA passports.

 

I guess I was lucky as they were born in UK so it doesnt look like they should have a SA passport as I always carry UK brith certificates.

 

I renounced my citizenship and travel on BP, at the gate they ask where is my SA passport and I say i renounced it, they have never asked for any proof.

 

Not saying you should take the risk but its never effected my kids travelling in on BP. 

 

 

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Piet1234

One suggestion I can make is this, apply for your SA passport and get the receipt for the application from the Embassy.

 

Then if it does not come back in time, you can travel on UK passport and if they ask where is SA one you show proof of application and say it didn't come back in time.

 

Not sure if this is a fail safe method, but I did read about this waiting the 6 months for my sons passport.

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ChrisH
7 hours ago, Piet1234 said:

they were born in UK

 

That's why.   My son was born in Fourways so they will always insist on seeing his SA Passport.  I can't wait to renounce our South African citizenship.

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Donovan83

Maybe it would be easier for me to renounce SA citizenship - anyone done that recently? What's the timeframe involved?

 

I'll call the embassy today I think. 

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Piet1234
8 hours ago, Donovan83 said:

Maybe it would be easier for me to renounce SA citizenship - anyone done that recently? What's the timeframe involved?

 

Mine was a "voluntary" renouncement, meaning I didn't know I had to apply to keep my SA citizenship when obtaining my British Citizenship, so when I became British, I was "voluntarily" stripped on my SA citizenship.

 

How it happened was I went to the SA High Commission in London to apply for my daughters SA birth certificate and passport, during this process the parents need to fill out a "Determination of Citizenship" form and from this form they realised I am no longer South African, and a few weeks later I got a letter in the post stating Loss of Citizenship and my new Non SA ID number. I carry this form whenever I travel to SA but they have never asked to see it.

 

It was really quick in the UK, but not sure how Aus works because I think you mail things to Canberra you don't have a walk in high commission like we do here in London.

For reference my sons new passport took under 3 months here.

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Piet1234
11 hours ago, ChrisH said:

I can't wait to renounce our South African citizenship.

 

So far my "voluntary" renouncement was the best thing I ever did. I hate dealing with SA High Commission for anything.

 

Saying that though, I will be renewing my kids SA passports until they are 18 and then they can decide if they would like to keep it or not. At that point they should have SA, UK and Aus passports :P

 

 

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Nomad

I have been waiting seven months now for my South African passport to be processed. When I first applied in Feb 2018 the website declared a 3 - 6 month processing time. It has since been upgraded to 6 - 12 months. I emailed Home Affairs several times to determine the progress of my application, but it was only when I called in person that (after a lengthy wait) I was able to get more direct answers. They said what I imagine they tell everyone who asks the same question, that the passport application has not yet been finalised, sorry for the inconvenience and can you please contact again in 3 - 4 weeks?

 

I had initially booked airline tickets to visit my mother in SA, allowing a six month buffer for the passport to be processed. I have had to adjust the flight times twice now (plus fees, of course) and yet seem no closer to receiving my passport on time. Since calling, however, I find that my regular emails are now answered, although the result is still always the same - Your application has not been finalised, but we have sent an escalation request to the processing department and can you check again in four weeks time? I dearly wish now that I had not bothered to retain my SA citizenship when you had to apply specifically to hang on to it a few years ago. I would have been able to go visit SA quite easily on my Australian passport. I would renounce my SA citizenship in a flash if it could help me get to SA quicker, but this too takes months and months to process.

 

I know that many people take the chance and simply enter SA on their foreign passports, relying on the inability of an inefficient border control to verify their dual citizenship status. But my family and I were turned back from Joburg Airport in 2017 after the New Zealand visa fiasco and I wouldn't wish an hour in the immigration official's airport office on anyone. At the time my wife and daughter were travelling on NZ passports, and had never previously required a visa for SA. Home Affairs had been slow to publish the new requirement on their website following the spat that SA had with NZ and by the time we departed for SA we, the travel agency and Qantas check in were wholly unaware that NZ citizens required visas for SA. There were several others in the same boat as us by the time we landed in Joburg, and were all treated as wanted criminals and hounded back onto the plane and back out of the country (within an hour of arriving after a 14-hour flight). Coming from SA I could still afford to roll my eyes at all of this, but I felt sorry for the NZ folk who had probably never encountered such malicious behaviour from airport immigration officials.

 

So if anyone else has applied for a passport from abroad and wondering how long it will take, I know exactly how you feel. You can contact HACC all you like and are likely to get the same response every time. The inefficiency is staggering, but as most South Africans will know there is little you can do about it and all you can do is wait and hope.

  • Sad 2

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Donovan83

I'd forgotten how absolutely useless the SA government is.

 

I'm trying to renew my passport. Through trial and error, the process (if you're in Perth) is:

  • Fill in 3 forms. Of the 3 forms, 2 are online, one you have to email canberra and they post you the fingerprint one (they had none when I originally mailed so I got delayed 2 weeks). 
  • Go to the SA consulate services thing in Perth. They take your fingerprints. Instead of just stamping the forms and handing them back to you, they keep them for some reason and then post them to you. It's been two effing weeks and I've not received anything yet.
  • Then post the forms and photos and stuff to Canberra.
  • Canberra then posts them to South Africa.
  • (An indeterminate amount of time will then pass)
  • Eventually you get a new passport. Maybe. 

If you are eligible for or have another citizenship, you can go through a similar process (6 to 12+ months) to renounce your SA citizenship... with a similarly stupid process of forms and post. 

 

I couldn't be bothered any more so I am going to give it another week and then abandon this if I haven't received anything back from the consular services bunch here in Perth. From what I can tell, one way to short cut the renunciation process is to just apply for and take up Australian citizenship. In doing so, you are deemed to have renounced your SA citizenship, so I will probably do that. 

 

I did manage to confirm that if you travel to SA on a non-SA passport, they will just give you a warning the first time, so my travel plans aren't impacted thankfully. 

 

I am VERY glad I no longer contribute any tax to these idiots 🤬

Edited by Donovan83

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