Based on the launched online service by the Department of Home Affairs which grants the people of South Africa the opportunity to carry out their passport application at banks, getting one’s passport has become a lot easier. But then, what are the processes that are involved in applying for your passport? Where can you apply for your passport? What documents are needed for a passport? How do you go about renewing your passport? These and several other questions are answered in this article, just read on.
Compared to before when Smart ID and passport applications were open to only South Africans that are within the age of 30 and 35, Home Affairs has gradually increased the category of people that can now access and use their website. With the eHomeAffairs website, everyone who has his or her South African citizenship is privileged to apply for his or her passport as long as such knows the process that is involved. Therefore, in this article, you will discover the latest easy-to-follow tips that you need to note when applying for your own passport at the banks from where you can access the service.
Step-by-step guide to apply for passport South Africa
The Home Affairs passport application process has simplified the processes that you have to go through before you can get your own passport as a citizen in South Africa. Now that the opportunity has been given to everyone to access their portal online, you do not have to go through rigorous steps or queue tirelessly when filing your application. Right from the comfort of your room, you can begin the process, and the steps that you are expected to follow are, therefore, explained below.
- Determine the kind of passport that you need
While applying for a passport may not be a difficult task to embark on, it is imperative that you, first of all, determine the type that you need. Based on the information published on The Department of Home Affairs’ official website, there are Tourist passports usually issued to people who are 16 years and older; Maxi tourist passports usually issued to South African citizens who travel frequently and are from 16 years and above.Then, there is also Child’s passport which is issued to children who are below 16 years; Official passports which are issued to officials who work with government institutions and need to travel on official basis; and Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC). However, it should be noted that the Emergency Travel Certificate is usually issued to citizens who do not have a valid regular passport yet and need to travel urgently. There are also Diplomatic passports and Crew Member Certificates
- Register for online banking
Among other things, it is compulsory that you are registered for online banking with the bank that you use. If you have not done this, you will need to visit the branch that is nearest to you do settle that. Although, it is not all the banks that offer the DHA services, the specific banks and branches where you can complete your application are discussed later in this article.
- Create a personal account online
Before you begin the process for your passport application online, you would be required to create a profile for yourself on the Department of Home Affairs portal. The essence of this account is to help you further your application process. Also, with this account, you can apply for your passport and also for your children. Then, when there is a need for you to do a renewal, you will always go through the profile which you have already created.
- Fill in the necessary information
Once you have determined the kind of passport that you want to apply for, the next line of action is to log on to the official website of the Department of Home Affairs for your registration. After you have filled in the required information, you would be asked to select the type that you want, whether it is for yourself or minor (i.e a child below 16 years of age).
- Upload the supporting documents
Once you have entered all the necessary information that you would be asked to, you will also be required to submit certain documents depending on the type of passport that you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for your child(ren), you will need to upload your identity document with your spouse’s and your child’s birth certificate, but if your spouse is dead, you will be required to upload the death certificate. Comprehensive details of the documents that you need are discussed later in this article.
- Choose your bank and branch nearest to you
In the process of carrying out your registration, you will be asked to select your bank and the branch from where you will like to collect it once it is ready. Apart from the branches of the Department of Home Affairs that are all over the country, you will be given options to choose from various banks that are registered with DHA to complete your application process.
- Make a payment via your online banking platform to complete your application
Log into your online banking profile with the bank that you are registered with and from there, you will be able to make your payment to complete your application process. After you have made the required payment, you will be given a payment confirmation reference number which you are expected to keep in case there is a need for it later on. Please note that there is no bank that is authorised to accept payments by cash and at the same time, making payment for another person is not permitted except for parents are applying for their children.
- Book an appointment with your bank’s branch
Once you get your payment confirmation reference number, the next thing that you need to do is to book an appointment with the branch of your bank. This you can do based on the page that you will be directed to in the form-filling process. The essence of the appointment is to have your fingerprints (biometrics) scanned and your picture captured. But then, bear in mind that you will receive an appointment confirmation which you will take to the branch that you have selected to complete the application process.
- Go with the necessary documents
When you are going for the appointment with the branch that you have chosen, go with your identity document. If you are applying for a new passport, for instance, it is important that you go with the old one with you.
- Wait for notification
Interestingly, once you have completed the whole process with the bank, you will receive an SMS as well as an email once your passport is ready. Until then, you need to exercise some patience.
Documents needed for a passport
When you start your application process, you will be expected to supply the following documents:
- An application Form DHA-73 that has been duly completed.
- Your original identity document as well as a photocopy. If you are under 16 years, you will be expected to provide your birth certificate and a photocopy.
- If you are applying from abroad, you will be asked to submit a completed determination of citizenship Form DHA-529.
- When you want to apply for a child that is under 16 years, the consent of both parents will be sought, and at the same time, both of you will have to be present when the application is to be completed. However, if one of the parents is deceased, a death certificate and a copy of it have to be provided.
- If you are applying for an official passport, you will be required to provide a letter written on the official letterhead of your organisation confirming that you actually need it for an official trip. Then, the letter has to be signed by the head of the institution you work with or the owner of the organisation.
Author: Adeaga Favour