Breytenbachs is aware that many South Africans abroad are facing difficulties because they must wait months to have their South African passports renewed. Not having a valid South African passport leads to various challenges.
During 2019, the South African Department of Home Affairs amended their regulations regarding passport applications for South African nationals living outside the Republic of South Africa.
Before you can apply for a passport, you must first apply for confirmation of your South African citizenship. This is mainly because many South African born nationals obtain a second nationality through naturalisation without first asking the permission of the South African authorities. If you do not apply to retain your South African citizenship before applying for a foreign nationality, you will automatically lose your South African nationality. You will then not be eligible for a South African travel document.
As a result of the new regulations, it takes very long to obtain a new South African passport via a South African representative abroad.
It takes about six to eight months to confirm citizenship because adjudication takes place in South Africa and not at the office of application. Your passport application is only processed once confirmation is received that you may proceed with your application for a South African passport.
Breytenbachs advise all South African nationals residing abroad to apply for confirmation of your SA nationality timeously before your South African passports expire. If you have this document available, it will speed up the process to get a new South African travel document tremendously.
Please also note: If you have the right to make use of a South African passport, you are obliged by the SA Citizenship Act to do so at all times when you travel to and from South Africa.
For any queries on your South African citizenship status, please feel free to contact the Breytenbachs South African immigration team at SAImmigration@bic-immigration.com.
This post is also available in: Afrikaans