How long does it take to get a passport in South Africa?

By | August 16, 2021

If you’re a South African citizen and planning on travelling to another country, you’ll need a South African passport. 

There are different types of passports, with different application fees for each type.

Did you know you can now apply for your passport online? Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information about the requirements for online applications or continue reading to find out more about the different types of South African passports.

  • Tourist passport
  • Child’s passport
  • Official passports
  • Emergency travel certificates
  • Document for travel purposes

Tourist passport

It will take about 7-21 working days to process the application and issue the passport. The tourist passport is valid for 10 years. 

Note: Passports must be valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure. Passports should also have at least 2 blank pages for entry stamps. 

Please contact your Home Affairs office before visiting, to confirm if they’re using the new biometric application system, or if you need to bring your own photos. 

Child’s passport

It will take between 7 – 21 working days to process the application and issue the passport. The child’s passport is valid for 10 years.

Official passports

This passport is issued to South African officials who are travelling on official government business.

This passport is valid for 10 years. 

Emergency travel certificate

It will take about one week to process the application and issue the certificate.

This certificate is valid for 9 months and can only be used for a single journey.

Document for travel purposes

It will take between 7-21 working days to process the application. You can track and trace the progress of your application on the Department of Home Affairs website, or by sending a sms with the letter P followed by you ID number to 32551.

This document is valid for 5 years.