South Africa is testing a new passport project in the UK – what you should know

The Department of Home Affairs has launched a pilot project to ease the passport renewal process for South African nationals living in the United Kingdom.

The pilot will cover the cities of London, Edinburgh and Manchester, the department said in a statement on Monday (13 June).

To deliver this service, the department said it is extending its partnership with VFS Global to implement the pilot in the UK. VFS Global will receive applications for passport reissues at its new centres in the three cities.

South African nationals will be able to visit the VFS Global centres to renew their South African passports.

“This is part of the effort to introduce innovative and effective methods of improving service delivery as the new passport service will accelerate the processing of applications and delivery of completed products to clients in the UK.”

“The new passport service will advance the department’s movement from manual, paper-based processes to digital systems, for smart, faster and reliable services. With this system in place, our citizens in the UK will no longer wait for extended periods when renewing their passports. This will also ease space constraints at SA’s embassy in London”, said minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

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He added that key benefits for applicants include:

  • Operating times in London, Edinburgh and Manchester (08h30 to 16h00);
  • Dedicated courier service for processed passports;
  • Dedicated email for applicant queries;
  • Quicker turnaround time for passport renewal;
  • Passport photo service is also available in London, Edinburgh and Manchester;
  • Application tracking facility with SMS service.

Read: Domestic flight ticket prices spike in South Africa

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