If you've settled in the UK then sooner or later the time will come that you need to renew your, or your family's South African passports. Although the renewal process is not that difficult there are a few problem areas.
This post is intended to help point out what you need to do.
Applications can be made by post or in person at the South African High Commission, 15 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DD.
However renewing an adult passport requires a full set of finger prints which will be done for you if you apply in person. Obviously then, if a postal application is made you will have to have the finger printing done elsewhere. This can be a problem because in the UK, not all Police Stations can do this. Only those with a finger printing bureau will. They will also charge £63.00
The SA High Commission also require that the finger prints are completed on a specific form - BI-9. The form cannot be downloaded from the internet. One will be sent to you however, if you send a request for the form with a self addressed stamped envelope to the SA High Commission. From what I read elsewhere, you will also then need to convince the British Police to do the finger prints on the South African form and not their own. There have been a number of cases where the British Police say that their UK form is suitable. Its not - it has to be on the SA from BI-9.
The choice to get your own finger prints done as opposed to making an application in person then depends really on how much of a hassle it is to get into London.
Obviously there other forms and supporting documents required. These are as follows;
- Passport application form - BI-73
- Determination of citizenship form - BI-529
- 4 x passport photographs (6 x photographs if older than 15 and a half and do not have a 13 digit identity number).
- 2 x certified copies of the bio page of your passport or identity book. (That's the page with the your photo on it.)
If your passport has been damaged or destroyed then a sworn statement of how it was destroyed or damaged will be required.
If you're renewing a child's passport then the written consent of both parents is required.
The fees are as follows;
- Adult passport - £14.00
- Child's passport - £10.00
Postal applications must sent by special delivery and must include a prepaid self addressed special delivery envelope. This is for the return of issued documents or, if there is anything wrong with the application, for the return of the application and supporting documents.
A further word of warning - once the passport arrives you will need to send in your existing passport so that it can be cancelled before the renewal passport is issued.