No more temporary passports to be issued!

The South African Department of Home Affairs announced that it will discontinue the issuance of Temporary Passports as of 01 September 2014.

A Temporary Passport was initially issued as an interim travel document due to longer turn-around times taken to issue a Permanent Tourist Passport valid for ten years. This turn-around time has improved drastically, rendering the issuance of Temporary Passports redundant. The turn-around time for a passport applied for now takes 13 – 24 days.

However, Emergency Travel Certificates are issued on the same day in consideration of the nature of circumstances presented as an emergency need.

The Department also noted that South Africans traveling abroad as well as to some neighbouring states are refused entry when traveling on Temporary Passports. This has resulted in accusations and claims against the Department in cases where citizens are refused entry into a particular country despite being in possession of a Temporary Passport.

In this regard, only an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) will be issued to an applicant under circumstances of emergency travel purposes such as when a passport that is lost while abroad; and traveling to countries that accept ETCs for purposes of assisting family members in distress or if a family member is deceased.

For more information kindly contact Mayihlome Tshwete at SA Home Affairs on 0728692477

(This does not mean that if you are travelling currently (at August 2014) to a neighbouring state that your temporary passport is invalid. It just means that this system will cease as a travel bridge whilst waiting for your new passport.)