There are certain things you will only discover once the need arises and based on my firsthand experience I would like to share this useful information that I have gathered that might come in handy for you.
Three weeks ago, I found out I would be travelling for work to Zambia and I thought this would be a great chance for my daughter, who is half South African – half Zambian, to meet her Zambian side of the family. This is going to be her first trip out of the country so I had to apply for a passport for her from Home Affairs.
You might think it is as simple as going on to the website and getting the requirements together, going to the nearest Home Affairs and putting in the application. There are a some MAJOR factors to be aware of before you embark on your passport mission and here are the fast facts on the process and what to expect (in the case of applying for a South African Passport) :
- The mother and father’s original ID (and they must both be present with the child at Home Affairs when putting in the application)
- R 400 (current application fee – based on January 2016)
- Original and copy of child’s unabridged birth certificate
Note: most major Home Affairs take the passport photos in-house so you don’t need to go to a photo store prior.
It is strongly advisable for one of the parents to go and queue up super early. They open at 8am. (you could be in line for up to 3 hours on a bad day). When you are close in line your partner can then join you with your baby. In some cases, you may find that the system is down and so you need to go back and keep checking. I would advise getting a car guard’s number and give him yours to ask him to send you a missed call when the system is up. Note that the system can go offline after you have waited in line for hours, very frustrating but it is the reality of the situation.
Once you get through and the system is online, your baby goes for a quick photo shoot, you are then directed to pay and then you wait in line in a new queue. That queuing took us about 40 minutes. After waiting we spoke to the consultant who captured all the information and the application process was done. We were told it could take 2 weeks but thankfully we got the passport in 4 days! I hope you find this information useful, may the force be with you!