Home Affairs tightens rules on passport applications and collections

16 Aug 2022 –  News 24

As part of measures to protect the security of South Africa’s passport, Motsoaledi announced the end of transferable and third-party collections and a new activation process that only applicants can complete.

In a bid to clamp down on illegal immigration and restore faith in the South African passport, Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said the “flexibility” given to these applications and collections is being withdrawn.

Motsoaledi made this announcement as part of efforts to restore the integrity of the South African passport after a public outcry.

Issues of fraud and corruption linked to South African passports, has negatively impacted South Africa’s image.

Motsoaledi highlighted cases involving illegal immigrants and department officials.

“South Africa’s passport has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. It is for this reason that the Department of Home Affairs has to do something – because this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue unabated,” Motsoaledi said.

As part of measures to protect the security of South Africa’s passport, Motsoaledi announced the end of transferable and third-party collections and a new activation process that only applicants can complete.

Current processes for passport applications permit the document to be picked up at any home affairs office in the country, granted the applicant requests a transfer and also allows for third-party collection, however, this has been scrapped.

Passports will only be collected from offices where they were applied for and the applicant is responsible for collecting the passport.

Passports will be activated by a fingerprint, linked to a photo. On collection, everything has to correlate to the data in the national identity database.

Only parents or legal guardians can apply and collect passports for minors.

The department also said it will be withdrawing transit visa exemptions for Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals from August 1, following nationals from these two countries having attempted to illegally pass through South African airports.

Travellers from Bangladesh or Pakistan are now required to apply for a visa when transiting through South Africa.

www.samigration.com

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