A passport is an important document that every citizen of a country should have. It is a travel document that allows you to enter different countries and to be identified there. So added to the fact that you need it to travel, you can also use it to identify yourself. Like we have established, a passport is a must-have. Every passport contains the following information:
- The name of the country issuing the passport.
- The type of passport it is.
- The authority issuing the passport.
- A picture of the person who has the passport.
- The passport’s unique number.
- The name, gender and nationality of the holder.
- The date and place of birth.
- The date of issue and expiration.
In South Africa, the covid-19 pandemic hit the department of home affairs’ operations were affected, so a passport might take a little longer than usual to be issued, and if you need to renew an expired passport, you would simply have to apply for a new one. Whatever the case, we will be showing you how to conduct the application process online. To ensure your process goes without hitches and interruptions, ensure that you have internet banking services to make the necessary payments. So, here’s how to apply:
How to apply for your passport
Applying for a passport online is relatively easy, and almost anyone can do it. The department of home affairs has made the process such that you can apply for your passport online at your convenience. Whether you are a first-time applicant or looking to apply for a new passport after the previous one expired, you need some documents. They include:
- A DHA-73 form
- Identification documents
- 2 passport photographs
- The passport fees
- You are required to present your old passport if you have one.
- Children will need their parents or guardians present during the process.
A step-by-step guide to applying.
Step 1: Get registered.
You are required to be registered on the Department of Home Affairs database.
- To do that, launch their website on your device and click on register.
- Then fill in the required information to create your online profile
- You will be required to answer a few questions. This is for security purposes. Answer the questions and move on to create a password for your account.
- An OTP will be sent to your cell phone, key it in where it is required. ( an OTP is a One-Time-Pin).
- The last step of registering is uploading a digital copy of your ID.
Step 2: Pay fee
This is where internet banking comes in. You’ll need to make a payment of R400. If you are not well acquainted with e-banking, you don’t need to worry, it is easy, and you can always contact your bank for assistance.
- Simply key in your bank details on the DHA portal.
- Then log in your online bank account so that you can make the payment.
- When you are logged in, select ‘payments’ then ‘my bills’ so that you can start the payment process.
- Make the DHA a beneficiary to the payment and a pop-up notification will be displayed under ‘my bills’.
- You will then be required to specify the amount (R400), key in your reference number and then authorise the payment.
Step 3: Input biometric data
There are two ways you can do this:
- Go to a DHA branch office
After making your payment, you now need to continue the application process on-site. Go to any DHA branch near you and give your signature and thumbprints. You will also need to take photographs, so no heavy makeup, no shades or head covers that are not for medical or religious reasons. You don’t need to book an appointment for this; just get her with your ID. If you don’t want to do this, then you can use option 2.
- Go to a DHA equipped bank
Again, after making payments, you can go on to get your biometric data recorded. If you are in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, you can do this by making an appointment at any of their local branches. To make the appointment, you will be given time slot options, and you can go ahead to choose which one is most convenient for you. They will send you an email or an SMS to confirm your appointment. Take that, along with your ID, when you go for your appointment. They will take photographs, signatures and thumbprints.
Step 4: wait for the DHA response.
After you must have completed this process, sit back and relax while you wait for the DHA to process your documents and issue your passport. How will you know when it is ready? They will tell you! You will receive an email or an SMS to tell if your passport is ready for pick-up.
South African Passport fees and Payment
As we mentioned above, the South African passport fee is R400, and you pay this amount as a lump sum through your preferred bank. This is the cost of a standard passport. The price may differ for an emergency travel certificate or a child’s passport.
If you are applying for a new passport with the old one in hand, you will pay the same as first-time applicants, which is R400. But if you are applying for a new passport when you have lost the old one, you will be required to pay a little more than the others. You would have to pay R600.
When to apply for your passport
The average processing time for passports in South Africa now is six months, so if you have made travel plans or intend to make them, make sure you apply for a passport at least six months before your intended travel date. That way, your passport will be ready beforehand. And since visa applications require that your passport is valid for at least 30 days after your departure date, it is a win-win situation.
List of bank branches where you can make passport application
If you were wondering which banks were offering the biometric recording service, we took the liberty of providing you with a comprehensive list; that way; you can easily identify the one closest to you.
|Absa Tower North||Johannesburg||Commissioner Street, Johannesburg|
|ABSA Centurion Lifestyle||Centurion||Centurion Lifestyle, C/O Old Johannesburg Road and Lenchen Ave 180|
|Standard Bank Centurion||Centurion||Standard Bank Building, 1263 Embankment Rd|
|FNB Centurion Lifestyle||Centurion||Road and Lenchen Ave|
|Absa Gandhi Square||Johannesburg||Gandhi Square, Johannesburg|
|Standard Bank Killarney Rosebank||Johannesburg||Killarney Mall, C/O Riveria Road and Killarney Ave Shop 599LL|
|FNB President Street West||Johannesburg||47 Pixeley Ka Isaka Seme Street, Johannesburg|
|FNB Merchant Place, Rivonia||Johannesburg||4 Merchant Place, Cnr Rivonia|
|Nedbank Arcadia||Pretoria||Nedbank Plaza, 175 Steve Road. Arcadia, Pretoria|
|Standard Bank Canal Walk||Cape Town||Canal Work Shopping Centre, Century City Dr Shop D6, Deck|
|Nedbank Lakeside Mall||Benoni||Level, Lakeside Mall, Tom Jones Street, Benoni|
|FNB Lynwood (The Grove Pretoria Mall)||Pretoria||The Grove Mall, Lynwood Rd, Pretoria|
|Nedbank Sandown||Johannesburg||135 Rivonia Road (Rivonia And Maude Street)|
You can go to any of these banks and have your biometrics recorded and complete your application process with ease.
So, you can now pack your bags and make those travel plans because getting a passport in South Africa has never been easier. Simply follow the simple steps we have listed in this article, and you will be able to complete your application process within a few days and have your passport issued in about six months’ time. If you have questions or inquiries, you can get more information on the eHomeAffairs website:
Postal: Private Bag X114, Pretoria, 0001
Physical Address: Hallmark Building, 230 Johannes Ramokhoase Street, Pretoria
Tel: 012 406 2500 / 0800 60 11 90
Fax: 086 512 7864